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.

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New Year, New Kitchen

Organizing the home can be a fairly common New Year’s resolution, and is often needed after the holidays. If the kitchen is in a state of despair try some of these ideas to whip it back into shape.

Stash the Pots and Pans: Stacking them on top of each other means pulling out five different items when only the one on the bottom of the pile is needed. Trying installing a pot rack in an area where it could be out of the way, such as above an island. Or perhaps a pegboard on an open kitchen wall. Turning a cabinet into a pullout cabinet can be a great alternative as well. The dividers separate the pots and pans, making it convenient to get them in and out.

Tackle that Tupperware: Those plastic containers can quickly get out of control, causing an avalanche when the cabinet door opens. Separate and organize lids and containers by size and shape so they are much easier to stack. If a container is missing a lid or has become warped or badly stained, take the plunge and throw it out. Use containers to store the lids so they aren’t thrown about haphazardly and hard to find.

Spruce up the Spices: Throw away old spices and combine duplicate bottles to make more room. Organize it so the spices used less often are toward the back while the ones used more frequently are in the front.

Clear the Countertop: Appliances can take up an unnecessary amount of counter space, while hardly getting used. How often does that quesadilla press get used? What about that mini cupcake maker? If appliances do get used a decent amount, but not enough to be sitting out constantly, a nearby cupboard might be a better location. If they rarely get used, consider moving them to a basement or pantry area or even donating them. They’re just taking up valuable counter space.

Show off the China: Display pretty china or glassware on shelves or in cupboards with a glass front. This can simultaneously make the kitchen feel more open and display decorative pieces that have been hidden away. Displaying them on shelving can also make more room in the cupboards for appliances and other dishes.

Organizing the kitchen may seem like an impossible task, but once done it can bring a lot of stress relief into the home. Start the New Year with an organized and clutter free kitchen.

Designing the Perfect Kitchen

As kitchens are morphing into a focal point of the home and an integral part of entertaining, they are beginning to reflect personal style instead of just functionality. Here are a few kitchen styles to consider.

Country kitchens bring the weekend getaway feeling straight into your home. Using primary red, yellows, blue and cream with a mix of finishes on cabinets creates a lived-in feeling. Farmhouse tables and furniture-like cabinets are common in these kitchens. A slight distressed look and natural light bring the country anywhere, even in the suburbs.

Modern kitchens are all about sleek lines and polished surfaces. They are designed to cut out clutter and bring an air of sophistication. High-tech materials often adorn the highly reflective surfaces. Exotic woods are also used to bring luxury into the kitchen.

If you’re going for a cozy feeling that draws you in, the cottage style is perfect. High-end appliances in retro colors add to the charm of this style. There are often imperfect finishes on surfaces in these kitchens. Putting in homey touches and collectibles finishes off the look.

Contemporary kitchens mix functionality and family friendliness along with new and old materials. With lots of open space it creates room for hosts and guests to work and interact at the same time. Creating the perfect environment for entertaining.

Travel across the ocean to the South of France with a Mediterranean or French Country design. With colors that reflect nature and worn surfaces, it creates a romantic feel associated with that area. Using rich tones like russet, cobalt and ochre along with warm wooden cabinets can create the perfect atmosphere. Top it off with handmade ceramic accessories and copper pots.

Beaches are a wonderful place of relaxation. Coastal designs use cool shades of blue, green, white and sand to create a beach vibe. Use wicker and seagrass for seating and make sure to let in plenty of sunlight.

Old World design brings back a time when craftsmanship was important. This design says luxury with its dark mahogany finishes complete with carving and detail. Stone or wooden floors help complete the look along with heavy fabrics and historical accessories.

Lastly, the traditional kitchen is a staple in design. It revolves around holidays, after-school snacks and family. The clean, comfortable look is created with paneled or glass doors on the cupboards and bright, white elements. This kitchen design radiates a welcoming vibe in any home.

There are countless kitchen designs to reflect a certain place, time period or feeling in a home. They can be a blueprint for how to style the rest of the home or continue a style from the rest of the house.

No matter which kitchen style fits your family and personality, Refinish First can refinish the existing countertops and tile to match. Contact us today for a free kitchen refinishing estimate!

Kitchen Trends

 

Kitchens are becoming more of an artistic viewpoint. Functionality is being combined with creativity and design to create a kitchen worth marveling at. Check out these new kitchen trends and how you can incorporate them into your home.

Fewer upper cabinets creates wall space for decorative lighting such as sconces. Most sconces have adjustable arms so you can move the light directly where needed. They also come in a variety of finishes to match or make a statement in the kitchen.

Large backsplashes are another option with the upper cabinets gone. They can bring natural materials into the kitchen and become a focal point. Refinish First has a wide range of Stone Accents that can convert your backsplash and countertop from plain to eye catching.

Warmer metals are starting to replace chrome, nickel and stainless steel in the kitchen. Shades of iron and graphite are becoming more popular and can go well with that new Stone Accents backsplash.

Natural materials are coming into play this season as well. Brick, concrete and wood create an industrial, yet warm feeling. Creating open shelving with reclaimed wood can be a fun DIY project to add some rustic charm to your kitchen.

Need some ideas to get you started? Contact Refinish First. We would love to help you update your kitchen!

Yes, You can Refinish Tile Floors…and you should.

Does your bathroom tile floor drive you crazy? Every time you take a shower do you wish the dirty grout would go away or fix itself? Wouldn’t that be nice? Guess what, it is totally possible and we can make this wish come true.

It is really easy to refinish your floor and deal with all that is annoying. It is the perfect opportunity to address stains, mold, broken tile, elevation unevenness, cracks and colors that you want replaced. When you get a tile floor refinished, Refinish First comes in and takes care of all these challenges and final coatings.

The actual floor refinishing begins with a high tech coating application right over the existing tile. On top of this layer a hard acrylic coat is applied. You end up with a long lasting finish that is easy to clean and brand new. All the annoying grout lines are sealed up. Wahoo! All this and the process is far more economical than removing an existing floor.

Our most popular finishes are from a stone finish collection that features many attractive options. You’ll have the opportunity to select something that reflects a palette you like and works with existing elements. However, while your floor is being resurfaced, it’s the ideal time to refinish the tub and counter surfaces as well. Have Refinish First give you a free estimate to resurface any or all parts of your bathroom.

 

 

Kitchen Flooring

Now that you are determined to update your kitchen, hopefully you are in the process or have decided what to do with the counter. The most affordable and very attractive option is to have your counters refinished. Refinish First can refinish almost any countertop: laminate, Corian,Formica, Silestone and ceramic tile. Refinishing can be done quickly, at a significant cost savings over replacement and without the mess.

Once a decision has been made on the counter, you will have a color to work with. This along with the color of the cabinets and existing or potential wall colors, will help you decide on the color of the flooring. Certainly budget, availability, and preferences will also come into play.

One affordable option is vinyl. Vinyl is not only great because of the affordability, but how easy it is to clean. The offerings have expanded a bit in recent years, but that is really the biggest challenge with vinyl. There just aren’t lots of color or pattern options when compared to other possibilities. Having said that, if you find what you like, you are good to go.

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Wood flooring in the kitchen has existed since homes were first built. Maybe you have a wood floor underneath a piece of vinyl that you want to refinish? Don’t let a few old boards ruin your plans. Repair, replace and refinish. It will look great. Another option, which sometimes is more affordable than perfect boards, is to have a wood floor of different lengths. On the higher end, Tamarack, Pine and Walnut are trending among designers and remodelers. Any option you choose will look great, because you can’t go wrong with a classic like wood.

Of course, it might be that you want a wood floor, but want to install it yourself, which might push you toward a snap together floor. This has real wood that is prefinished and is much easier to install for anyone unfamiliar with wood flooring. It eliminates the need for sanding, which is where most people find the biggest challenge.

Snap together or floating flooring, is also available in patterns that replicate the look of tile. This is a nice option if you find a pattern you like and prefer installing this way versus tile. It is an attractive option.

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Another timeless material is tile. Tile can be affordable, looks great, and there are lots of color options. It can be a DIY project or easily hired out. The challenge with tile is keeping the grout lines looking clean. It is also possible to break tile if something hits one just right. However, despite the challenges, small grout lines can make for a great kitchen floor that works beautifully with a refinished counter.

Already have a tile floor that doesn’t match your new kitchen color scheme? Refinish First can refinish that tile floor to match any color scheme. Contact us for a free estimate.

Lots of options, means lots of fun. Happy remodeling!