Remodel or Renovate…that is the question?
Staging your Kitchen: Part 1
Your kitchen cabinets
So you know your kitchen needs a lot of help! You’ve looked at your old tired cabinets and horrible stained counter tops and drab walls for years meaning to do something to update them.
But where to start and what will give you the most return on your investment?
Before you make a decision, there are some questions you should ask yourself.
Do I want to Remodel the entire kitchen or just Renovate, and what’s the difference?
Renovation means “restore to a good state of repair.” … Remodel means “to change the structure or form of something.”
Let’s look at the plus and minus of both…
Remodel: How long do you plan on staying in your house? Kitchens tend to cost the most to remodel. It’s not uncommon for a home owner to spend $35,000 to $100,000 to revamp their kitchen. If you plan on staying in your home for the next 10 plus years that may be fine. If not, you probably won’t recoup your entire remodeling investment.
Renovations: Renovations, however are likely to give relatively more bang for the buck at resale with at return of 92.9%. So for a relatively minor (roughly $7,000-10,000) investment you can see big results!
Whether you remodel or renovate, plan your kitchen to compliment the style of your home. Nothing looks worse than updating a Craftsman Style house with kitchen that has Mediterranean design. Get my meaning…?
Many home improvement or kitchen design stores will actually provide designers that will help you come up with a plan that will enhance your home’s design and create value.
When pressed for which room is most important to a potential buyer, they will say it is the Kitchen! The kitchen is one of the biggest selling points of any home. Home buyers want to fall in love with this space and it can play a major factor in whether they decide to put in an offer or walk away. Most people are looking for a “move-in ready” home and don’t want to be burdened with a costly kitchen renovation down the road.
So I’m going to focus on the Renovation…
Let’s pretend this is your kitchen, a little tired and in need of a face lift… The cabinets come first!
Cabinets: Should you Replace or Reface?
New cabinets can take up nearly 50 percent of your total budget in a kitchen renovation, and functional cabinets can mean the difference between a kitchen that works and one that doesn’t. But what if you can’t afford to buy all new cabinets with the latest storage features and styles?
Many homeowners today are saving big money by “refacing” rather than completely replacing their existing kitchen cabinets.
There are three primary ways to reface cabinets:
1. Refinish or paint existing cabinet and drawer fronts.
2. Install new wood or laminate veneer over existing cabinet and drawer fronts.
3. Install completely new cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
This is the same kitchen in the previous photo with cabinets refaced with
New Cabinet Doors…
Wow! What a big difference and for a fraction of replacing the entire kitchen cabinets.
In all three cases, whether you get new doors, veneer or paint to reface your cabinets, new hardware such as hinges and pulls helps to complete the update. The interior of the cabinets can also be sanded, painted or stained for a completely new look. Now lets look at before and after Refacing with Wood Veneer
These cabinets are common in many homes and a perfect candidate to reface with wood veneer.
But even with the potential cost-savings, refacing isn’t right for every kitchen remodel. Before making the decision to reface, rather than replace, home owners need to consider a number of factors, starting with the “bones” of their current kitchen cabinets.
You can get a professional quote or there are kits on refacing with veneer. Normally I’m all about “DIY” projects but I would be cautious. A DIY could go seriously wrong so I’ve provided a video link to at least help you see if this is a project you would want to take on.
Here’s a video link on showing a how to Wood Veneer for your Kitchen Cabinets. Gorgeous results!!! So this may be an option especially if you are looking for modern kitchen cabinet. The change in the cabinet doors takes this kitchen from old and worn to a fantastic modern design.
The third is least costly with great reward if done correctly…
Painting is a relatively inexpensive way to upgrade outdated kitchen cabinets. You just have to determine whether or not your cabinets can be painted. Wood, wood veneers and metal can be painted with fantastic results. Laminate and melamine, not so much.
But only fools rush into this major DIY undertaking.
So here are 8 Big Mistakes You Make Painting Kitchen Cabinets
1. You have unrealistic expectations
Painted cabinets look lovely, well some do, but they aren’t going to look totally smooth. If the cabinets have a visible open grain, the grooves are going to show through the paint.
2. You don’t allow yourself enough time
People often think it’s a weekend job, but it takes at least four to seven days when you build in the proper prep time. So Plan!!
3. Forgetting to clean the wood!!!
No matter how clean you think your kitchen is, you need to wipe everything down with a grease remover. I recommend a paint-prep degreaser called TSP.
4. You don’t remove the doors off and drawers
This is a crucial first step: Take all the doors off, pull the drawers out and remove the hardware knobs and hinges. If you paint over them, the paint will crack an look awful. Better yet, put your hinges inside your doors and get new hardware! Oh and Label everything with numbers so you know what goes where!!
5. You skip sanding
Even if your cabinets are in near perfect condition, you still have to sand them so the paint will stick. Use sandpaper in the middle of the spectrum (150 or 200 grit is good) then wipe off all debris.
6. You don’t prime
Take the time to prime. if you don’t the grain will bleed through! Maybe not right away but if you go with a lighter color paint than your existing cabinet, it will bleed through!
7. You choose cheap paint
Go for a higher quality paint. Talk to the paint specialist. You will get a smoother finish with a good paint. Most kitchens need less than two gallons, so the splurge isn’t going to break the budget (plus you’re skipping hiring a pro, so treat your amateur skills to the best, easiest-to-use materials).
8. Choosing your paint color
When choosing paint for cabinets, it’s important you get it right the first time. I suggest buying small tester cans painting a big poster board the color you’re considering (you can usually get a small one for just $5). Hang it up next to your back splash and your appliances and make sure that’s really the color you want.
Then once you’ve done all that, watch the video on Painting your kitchen cabinets!
Just to be safe!
What are the Pros and Cons
Painted cabinets tend to accumulate grease and dust, so they are difficult to maintain; while refaced cabinets can be easily cleaned and maintained.
Painting cabinets is much more economical than refacing cabinets. Refacing cabinets extends the life of cabinets making them more durable. Painted cabinets are at risk of paint getting peeled off; especially if the surface had not been correctly and sufficiently prepared.
This is a crazy good market to list your home but appearance is still paramount in getting top dollar for your hame. Which means renovating your kitchen is the first place you should think about starting!
My next blog post will be Staging Kitchen: Part 2, Kitchen Counter Tops so watch for it. My hope is that whatever you do with this information, it will help you move forward in making the best decisions for your home.
And if you need any help… we’re here for you!