If you want to update your kitchen but don’t have the budget for an entire remodel its best to start with the cabinets. Adding new appliances and updating finishes may help give the kitchen a bit of a face lift but can’t help much with functional issues and can be costly. Appliances are generally designed to fit a specific space and may not be reusable later, the same goes for countertops.
Updating the cabinets first is vital because they are the footprint and foundation of the room. When a designer works on a kitchen they start with the cabinets. They determine so many factors in the space like the size of the cabinets, what type of appliances will be needed as well as how they will be placed. If you update the counters and later want to change the footprint of your kitchen you will have to start back at square one with the countertops.
Next, cabinets are a big undertaking while replacing countertops, cabinets, backsplash and other finishes is easier. Cabinets are installed and become a permanent fixture in your home while these other items can be replaced with much less work. If you add the cabinets and budget friendly countertops you can later replace the countertops with very little mess and construction.
One of the biggest reasons you should focus first on cabinets is because they are the biggest part of your budget. Installing quality boxes and cabinets will allow you to update and upgrade them as time goes on without the cost of a big remodel. Using high quality materials and well constructed products can allow your cabinets to last for decades. Cabinet doors may need refinishing, hardware updates and other cosmetic changes but the cabinets will last for decades with little sign of wear.
If you are looking to update your kitchen in a full remodel the cabinets will likely be about 35-50% of your budget. If you don’t currently have the budget to remodel your entire kitchen you may want to consider adding the new cabinets and choosing a lower end set of appliances (or reusing the existing appliances) and adding low cost countertops. Once the footprint of your kitchen is established you can add the more polished finishes as your budget allows.
If you have a tight budget and still want to update your kitchen the countertop is a great place to cut costs. The high end laminate counters have come a long way in both looks and durability and can be a great cost saving option.
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