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Kitchen Remodeling Costs: Budget to Change One Element at a Time

by Susanne Clemenz

Kitchen remodeling costs are an investment that pays off in easier work, beauty, and resale value. If your kitchen makes you wring your hands, but you don't want to go into debt over it, here are work-around ideas.

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Make a Master Plan for Your Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Months before you've saved for it, identify problems, then start work on kitchen remodeling plans. Prioritize the problem areas. Get rough costs. Change only elements that really need it. Here's how to evaluate priorities:

  • The cabinets need refacing now, but the flooring and appliances can wait two or three years. The lighting is great--ignore it in planning.
  • Everything is too dark--cabinets, floors, appliances. Other than that the layout is fine and everything is in working order. Prioritize the in-your-face cabinets, wall paint, and countertops. They are the biggest mass of darkness. Replace and/or reface them first, do the floors and appliances over the next three or four years.

The Nitty-Gritty of Budgeting

  • If kitchen remodeling is a real priority, put certain monthly expenses on hold for a while. Instead of gym membership, for example, buy used exercise equipment on Craig's List and jog around the neighborhood. Or spend half of your vacation time relaxing at home or redoing the garden, the other half visiting nearby national or state parks. Limit dining out to two meals per week. Keep your cars several extra years.
  • Add up these monthly savings and have the amount transferred into a special account used only for kitchen remodeling.

Home kitchen remodeling plans take time. Work on them while your savings grow.

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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