It's not surprising that two of the most popular rooms for home makeovers are the kitchen and bathroom. When potential homebuyers are searching for homes, they generally are more attracted to homes with updated kitchens and baths. These same rooms rank high in return on remodeling investment at resale, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost-vs-Value 2008-09 Study.
However, both can be pricey ventures. According to the same study, the national average for minor kitchen remodel was $21,246. A sample remodel at this cost includes replacing cabinet fronts, flooring, laminate countertops and oven and cooktop; installing mid-priced sink and faucet, adding wall cover and repainting trim.
The national average for a mid-range bathroom remodel was $15,899, which included replacing fixtures, installing a porcelain-on-steel tub, new shower and ceramic tile flooring.
If you're like many consumers today, you are more budget conscious and may not be able to afford thousands of dollars on a remodeling project. Here are some alternatives that will give your kitchen and bathroom a fresh, modern look without breaking your piggy bank.
Cabinets-Give your cabinets a fresh look by either refinishing or refacing the fronts at a more economical cost than buying new ones. You can even take the center face out and install a glass front.
Hardware-Replacing your cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, can give your kitchen an entirely new look.
Paint-A fresh coat of paint is always a sure bet. And it is one of the least expensive ways to give a room a makeover. To further transform the room, choose more modern hues, such as a warm yellow or deep red.
Countertops-The price of natural quartz or stone countertops can quickly eat away your kitchen remodeling budget. Less expensive, yet still attractive alternatives are solid surface materials such as Silestone® or granite and ceramic tiles. An even more affordable choice is laminate, which is easy to install yourself and comes in a variety of colors and styles.
Faucets and Sinks-Add a fresh new look by replacing your sink and faucet with a high-arched spout in an updated finish, such as brushed nickel, brushed chrome or stainless steel.
Backsplash-Another option to modernize your kitchen's look is adding a backsplash. But rather than having ceramic tiles, consider creating a mosaic with ceramic or glass or install a faux backsplash panel.
Window treatments-Switch out older valances with options that let the natural light in.
Lighting-By adding under cabinet lights or even track lighting, you can create a dramatic look to your kitchen.
Paint-As with the kitchen, a new coat of paint is a low-cost way to renew a room's look. Choose a warm color to give the room an intimate feel.
Showerheads-Change out old showerheads with a new rain showerhead.
Shower Doors - If you still use shower curtains for your bathtub, you can update the look by installing glass doors. Frameless doors are preferable. However, if the walls aren't flush to the tub area, framed doors will still give you the modernized look you're seeking.
Hardware-Just as with the kitchen, replacing the knobs and handles can give your vanity a fresh new appearance.
Lighting and Mirrors-In addition to the vanity, the lighting and mirrors above that area can combine to make the perfect focal piece for your bathroom. If changing the vanity is not in your budget, consider swapping out your unframed glass for a more decorative mirror and add a new lighting fixture.
You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to add pizzazz to your kitchen or bath. Just changing one or two elements can make a huge difference in its appeal to you and a potential buyer down the road.