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Our Remodeling Your Kitchen Experts

Vern Yip

Vern Yip

Designer for TLC's hit show "Trading Spaces"

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Susan Serra

Susan Serra

Certified kitchen designer and NKBA member

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Janice Anne Costa

Janice Anne Costa

Editor of Kitchen and Bath Design News

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The Rewards of Remodeling

Create a Remodeling Budget

Many people delay renovating because they have misconceptions about the price, says Debra Stewart, an interior designer from Dallas. A design professional can help give you an accurate idea of what costs will be and what can be done within your price range.

According to a National Association of Realtors survey, a minor kitchen update can cost about $15,000 and a major kitchen remodel will cost, on average, about $55,000. An upscale, full kitchen renovation with top-of-the-line finishes and high-end appliances will be about $110,000. That’s a significant financial investment, but one that adds great resale value to your home.

It’s possible to make small, less expensive changes that will have a huge impact on the appearance and function of your kitchen, from changing cabinet hardware or painting the walls to buying new appliances or refinishing the floors. Try to find the elements that are most important to you. Susan Serra, a certified kitchen designer from Long Island, says “You may have enough money to replace the backsplash, one appliance, the window coverings or the sink.” She also recommends bringing in artwork, like oil paintings from a living room, which make a kitchen less austere.

Serra successfully remodeled her own kitchen on an extreme budget a couple of years ago. “You have to think creatively. It doesn’t have to be a catalogue kitchen. Make it your own.”

Getting Professional Help

So once you’re ready, how do you know what to do first? A design professional can serve as your guide, project manager and idea generator. Bringing in a designer after you’ve begun can often require starting over and cost more money (read: it's cheaper to get help at the outset.)

“Don’t do it yourself if you don’t know what you're doing,” says Yip. “Really think about the implications and if you are willing to potentially mess up and have to pay somebody else to fix it.” Whether you are remodeling by yourself, with a spouse or hiring a team, you have to be realistic about your capabilities, says Costa. Have a strategy for who will be doing the labor, and keep them in mind when thinking about construction and installation.

Posted: 8/22/08