If your kitchen is crying out for a remodel, but you don’t quite have the budget that you need, you may be able to go ahead and do your remodel—by going at it in phases. Prioritize what are the must-haves, put off what can wait for another year and then get started!
Do Now List
- Layout and Cabinets. This Old House magazine emphasizes that your kitchen layout is one area where you should spend your money as you’re planning your kitchen remodel. I recently remodeled my kitchen, and the first thing to go was the layout. I couldn’t wait to tear down the cabinets that cut across the middle of my kitchen, splicing it into two small, awkward uncomfortable spaces. We ripped out the cabinets, opened up the space and layed out the new cabinets flat against the far wall. We also added a portable island to the space. Don’t skimp on the layout, because this is your chance to transform the space into your space.
- Flooring. While the cabinets are ripped out, now is the time to replace your flooring. It’s easier to do this home improvement when you’re changing up your cabinets so that you can get the measurements just right. After ripping up our existing flooring, we found water damage and ended up replacing the subflooring as well.
- Plumbing, Electrical, Windows. Make sure that old, existing infrastructure is updated and brought up to code. Surprises often lurk in the wiring and plumbing of older homes, and you want to fix these while you have the chance. We used this opportunity to move an inaccessible plumbing shut-off valve (located behind a corner cupboard that you could only reach by pulling out the dishwasher!) and to update some wiring.
- Countertops. If you’re replacing the cupboards, now is the time to upgrade your countertops. You could do it later, but ripping off countertops can cause damage to cupboards and the surrounding walls.
Wait for Later List
- Backsplash. We had tile all picked out for our backsplash, but after the walls were painted and countertops were installed, I just wasn’t comfortable with how it was all going to look together. Finally, I decided to return the tile and live with the kitchen and the colors awhile until I could figure out what I wanted. This job can easily be finished later.
- New appliances. You can cut some money out of your budget by making do with your current appliances. Just be sure that if you know you want a bigger size of the next appliance that you leave room for it in your layout. When you get that next bonus, you’ll be ready to upgrade.
- Settle temporarily for a less expensive light fixture. Since you have your wiring updated, you’ll be able to install the upgraded fixtures once you have some more room in your budget.
- Furniture. While it would be fun to get the perfect dining set for your new space, save up your money and purchase it after you pay that next college tuition payment.
Ultimately, if your space is crying out for a kitchen renovation, you can move ahead with a partial budget. Just be patient, prioritize what needs to be updated now and plan ahead for the future.