One of the very first things you will need to decide on is the total budget for your project. Keeping your budget lower than what you can actually spend helps in situations where unexpected problems come up and you have to spend a bit more money than anticipated. Once you have decided on your budget, you have to select the kitchen features that you want to upgrade the most. You should also choose items that will add the value of your home at completion. It is only in your best interest to upgrade features that will help sell your home or help you acquire a home equity line in the future. If you have a smaller budget you could replace the countertops, flooring, lighting and a fresh coat of paint. If you have a larger budget you can add new cabinets, an island and a possible texture effect on your walls.
Once you have your main list of items together you have to begin pricing out the cost of the products to see if you can stay within your budget. The best thing to do is to buy a contractor’s material estimator calculator. It takes the guess work and underestimation out of the equation. It will help you properly budget and stay on track. You will have the exact measurements and quantities you need when searching for your materials. It is well worth the $30 investment and can be found online at www.homedepot.com.
Don’t just go to big-box home stores to find products and pricing, you may find some good deals in your local newspaper or online ads such as Craigslist to find items that people bought and never used, or had left over from their own renovation project. You can also check your newspaper or go online to see when the next builder’s auction is coming to your area. You can save a lot of money buying your materials in large quantities at these auctions. They typically have many material lots for sale that have come straight from local hardware stores and big-box home stores. Lots for sale include overstock items, custom orders that clients never took possession of, and second-quality materials containing small imperfections. You should always check out lots for sale personally before the bidding begins.
Select items that will allow you to stay in budget – you can’t always go out and buy all marble. You may have to texturize your walls with a rented texture gun instead of going for the same look with expensive wallpaper. You may have to stick with store brand paints instead of those made by clothing designers. You may have to buy pre-mixed colored paints instead of custom colors if it will save you money. Making realistic choices will keep you from regrets later. Choose styles of flooring, countertops and cabinetry that fit your needs.
Once you have all of your materials together you should always tap into the personal DIY knowledge of family or friends that have either just completed their own kitchen remodeling project or that work in the industry. Tips and hints can save you a lot of money in the long run. Always follow the installation instructions provided with your materials. If you are unclear about anything or want more information before you begin you should go online to find step-by-step instructions or videos. You can visit www.diynetwork.com or www.ehow.com. Remember to document your renovation project with pictures so that you can compare before-and-afters, allowing you to take pride in your hard day’s work.