Kitchen Remodeling Can Be Expensive – But it Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Kitchen Remodeling Can Be Expensive – But it Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Kitchen remodeling can be a huge undertaking. Most homeowners choose to offload the planning and construction work to a general contractor.

Once the framing and plumbing pass inspection, it’s time to hang, tape, and finish drywall. This is often the longest part of the project.

The finishes like backsplashes, countertops, and flooring make the biggest impact on your kitchen’s look. Layer samples of your preferred materials to help decide.


Kitchen remodeling begins with a careful review of the layout to optimize space. A basic L-shaped design runs cabinetry along two adjacent walls and eliminates the need for non-cooks to navigate through work zones. This configuration can be optimized further with a central island.

A dated layout and awkward use of square footage pushed this kitchen toward a remodel. A new layout and fresh finishes lightened the look with airy materials. Taupe cabinets and cool blue tiles set a soothing tone.

For homeowners without the space for a full-sized island, a peninsula can offer twice as much workspace and a more streamlined appearance. This design option is especially well-suited for smaller rooms. It accommodates the ‘working triangle’ by keeping distance between the sink, stove, and refrigerator within a comfortable range.


Cabinetry is one of the most expensive elements of a kitchen remodel. But it doesn’t have to break the bank: refacing cabinets, for example, applies laminate or wood veneer over existing cabinet surfaces for an instant style upgrade at a fraction of the cost of new cabinets.

Stock or semi-custom cabinetry comes in many styles and finishes, from simple beaded insets to classic paneling to modern framed designs. Custom cabinets allow for door and drawer fronts, cabinet depths, and other details to be tailored to a space.

Add a pop of color with painted cabinetry, like the blush pink in this 1950s bungalow kitchen designed by Romanek Design Studio. Then, play with hardwood floor patterns to complement the painted finish. For safety, consider adding a knife drawer that sheaths sharp blades.


The countertops in your kitchen are the most visible and used surface, so they’re a big part of the overall design. Appearance is a major factor when choosing your countertop, but it’s also important to consider how well each type of material holds up to heat, resists scratches and other damage and keeps clean.

A popular choice is granite, which has become less expensive and more available than ever before. It’s hard-wearing and highly resistant to impact, abrasion and heat, but it can be damaged by hot pans and requires regular sealing.

Tile countertops are a classic, affordable option that can look beautiful with the right design. However, tiles can be prone to cracking and require regular grout cleaning and sanitization.


The right appliances make a big difference in your kitchen’s look and feel. They also impact how much you recoup at resale. Stainless steel is a popular option because it’s durable, easy to clean and looks sleek.

If you’re upgrading, choose models that offer the latest features, including energy-efficient options. You should also decide whether you want a traditional range, an oversized chef’s model or cooktop and wall ovens.

Lighting is another important consideration. Decide whether you want recessed lights, semi-flush or pendants, as well as fixtures under cabinets and shelves. A mix of styles helps a room look balanced and bright. This kitchen’s white upper cabinets stretch to the ceiling to visually expand the room. Open shelves display the homeowner’s pretty blue midcentury serve ware and tableware.


In many kitchens, lighting is sidelined as a secondary detail, but the intensity and style of fixtures can influence the overall tone. Adding new fixtures or upgrading existing ones is a simple way to freshen up the look of your entire kitchen.

For example, quartz now comes in a broad range of looks that convincingly mimic natural variegation found in marble and limestone. These durable materials are a smart choice for high-use surfaces like countertops, backsplashes and cabinets.

As kitchens become more of a gathering space, homeowners are displaying framed artwork on walls. Recessed, adjustable fixtures with a wide beam spread can highlight these pieces without overwhelming the room. It’s best to install the infrastructure for these decorative lighting fixtures during a remodel. This will avoid having to pay to rewire later.

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