Budgeting a Kitchen Upgrade

Kitchen upgrades can increase the asking price of a house when selling. However, these upgrades can cause homeowners to spend a huge chunk of money, especially if they don’t have a plan. Creating and staying within a budget can be difficult, but it is possible with a few steps.

Homeowners should set a budget based on the increase in value they believe they can get when they sell. Spending a ridiculous amount on an upscale kitchen in a middle-class neighborhood probably won’t reap a positive return.

From there, the costs should be broken down into percentages. Labor usually makes up between 20 to 35 percent of the budget costs. Then break up the costs based on the priorities. For example, the appliances may be in decent shape, but new cupboards and countertops may be in desperate need of an upgrade. It is also recommended to set aside about 20 percent of the budget for unexpected costs such as water damage.

Homeowners should also have a plan for how they are going to go about paying for the upgrade. Many people need to borrow money to finance a kitchen upgrade and they have multiple options for doing so. They can take out a home equity loan, a personal loan, refinance, or borrow against a retirement plan. It depends on the state of their finances and what will work best for them.

One detail that can get overlooked when doing a kitchen upgrade is the cost of not having a kitchen for a period of time. Homeowners will have to eat out or rely on take-out while the kitchen is being worked on, depending on what projects they are doing. This should be worked into the main budget as well.

Don’t just set a budget and then forget about it. Keep checking purchases and quotes against it. The easiest way to do this is to put it in a spreadsheet. This will help homeowners stay on track.


Big Ideas for Small Kitchens

Small kitchens can be hard to decorate without making the room feel cluttered. However, smaller kitchens cost less to makeover and small projects can make a dramatic impact.


To make a dramatic statement without painting the walls or cupboards, try adding a backsplash. There are a variety of styles, patterns and colors to fit any kitchen. They are also easy to wipe clean if food particles get on them while washing dishes or cooking.


Go bold in the kitchen with a bright color. This can be achieved by painting an accent wall or colorful kitchen decorations such as rugs, decorative dishware, towels, and wall hangings.

Bold Patterns

If the kitchen has a window above the sink, find a window covering with a colorful, bold print. This focal point could be used to draw color inspiration for other decorations in the kitchen. Or, find a patterned wallpaper to put in the kitchen. This is a great way to bring color into a plain, white kitchen.

Open Shelving

A kitchen trend that has caught on recently is open shelves and cabinets for displaying interesting dishes or fun containers. This idea is better suited to those who like to keep their storage areas really tidy. Textured or colorful baskets or bins can be used for organization while bringing in a decorative element as well. Colorful dishes could be put on display as too.

Smaller kitchens are a good place to go bold, whether it be with color or patterns. Pieces that are both decorative and functional work well, so they aren’t just taking up much needed space.

Picking a Color Scheme

Colors define the mood of a room. Choosing the right color scheme is important, especially in the bathroom. When choosing a color scheme for the bathroom, use the rule of three. The rule of three is picking one neutral, one rich color, and one accent.

After picking three different colors, use a proportion of 70/20/10 for distribution. The lightest color should make up 70 percent of the room, the second lightest 20 percent and the boldest color should only make up 10 percent of the room.

There is another rule of three involving color. Make sure each color is used at least three times in the room. This can be done with accents, furniture, towels and more.

To create a nice contrast, dark colors can really help balance the room out. If a bright hue is chosen, make sure to balance it with a neutral tone so avoid making the room too loud.

Homeowners who are having trouble deciding on a color scheme can use the rest of the house as inspiration. Take an accent color from another room and use it as the base color for the bathroom. This can tie the whole house together and take the hassle out of picking paint colors.

Add Value to Your Home

When thinking about remodeling or fixing up your home to increase the value before selling, there are two rooms that need the most attention; the kitchen and the bathroom. Out of all the rooms in the house, these two are the only ones that are likely to have semi-permanent fixtures. Walls can be repainted, carpets can be replaced, but cabinets and bathtubs can be pricey and difficult to replace.

The kitchen is often the first and last room buyers look at while touring a house. As a whole, people are spending more time in the kitchen than we have in the past. We gather there, entertain there and obviously, cook our meals there. Real estate experts are in agreement that you can get the greatest return from a kitchen upgrade.

Even simple upgrades can transform the entire room. Refinishing worn out or dated kitchen counters and painting the cabinets can bring your kitchen from dull and boring to bright and lively. You don’t always have to go big to get a big return.

Bathrooms are a high traffic area and can accumulate wear and tear pretty easily. A dingy shower-bathtub combo isn’t likely to attract many buyers. Cracked and chipped counters will make them run the other way. Buyers are looking for a clean, attractive space especially in a guest bathroom. Tile can bring an element of sophistication to any bathroom, but if it becomes cracked and needs to re-grouted, it can look like a nightmare. Refinish First can repair tiles and replace grout. Refinishing also seals the grout.

Putting even a small amount of effort and money into these rooms can pay out big. Talk to Refinish First about upgrading your home and get a free estimate.

Cool Toilet Paper Holders

You know you need them and the fact is you don’t have to choose the one that matches your towel bars. Not to say that isn’t a totally great option, because it is. However, if you feel like stepping out and being a little more adventurous, then here are a few options to check out:


This is a reclaimed wood and pipe toilet paper holder.



Here is a hands-free holder with an entertainment option.



A modern twist.



For the well-traveled.