How to Make a Kitchen Makeover Budget

Businessman Calculating And Checking Articles Of AgreementOne of the most important parts of a kitchen makeover plan is the budget. Without a well thought out budget, you could easily get in over your head and in debt. There are many factors to consider when developing a budget, and it’s always best to overestimate than underestimate. The kitchen is a vital part of your home and you deserve the best that you can afford, so make sure your budget is accurate and on point.

Know What You’re Getting into for a Large Sized Kitchen Design

A kitchen remodel can range from something as simple as getting new cabinets to knocking down walls. The first step to creating a good budget is knowing what you’re getting into. Decide what you’re going to do as that determines everything. For example, if you’re getting new appliances such as refrigerator, oven or dishwasher, then there’s a range of prices for each appliance.

If you’re moving electrical or plumbing, then that will require a contractor unless you have a very good knowledge of such things. That’s one area that can be very costly depending on what needs to be done.

Don’t Forget a Timeline and Plan for a Practical Kitchen Design

Once a major remodel begins, it’s almost impossible to stop working completely. You can’t leave walls caved in and electrical wiring out for long periods of time. It’s important to know how long the remodel will last and when it will begin. This impacts your budget by allowing you to use incoming money to pay for the work.

For example, if you don’t have the money to purchase the oven when the project starts, you may have it two weeks down the road, on your next paycheck. Plan out the remodel from start to finish, so you can judge your budget for the specific weeks. The last thing you want is to have to stop work because you ran out of money.

Pad the Budget for the Unexpected Kitchen Makeover Problems

Many people like to plan the budget down to the dollar, but during every kitchen remodel there are bound to be unexpected hiccups. Maybe the electrical turned out to be more difficult than expected or you accidentally tore down a portion of wall that wasn’t going to be replaced, etc. It’s the hazard of any DIY project and these should be accounted for in the budget. Pad about 10 percent into the budget for the unexpected. Ideally, you’ll never need it, but it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

If you want to get a plan for your remodel, then use our free kitchen design tool to get an idea of what your new kitchen will look like.

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Why You Should and Shouldn’t Buy Intricate Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Designs

After covering a couple of different finish options, it’s obvious that the design of your kitchen cabinet hardware has just as much of an impact as the finish. Of course, there are far too many hardware designs out there, even just on our site alone, to cover each in detail. Instead, we’ve split them up into a couple of basic categories. Previously, we covered simple designs with smooth, sleek lines. Today will be the opposite.

Intricate, Visually Speaking

First we should be clear that we’re talking about intricacy from a visual perspective—cabinets with a lot of patterning and rich detail, whether on a fine or a big and bold scale. That’s probably pretty obvious, but we didn’t want you to think that these are door handles with a bunch of Swiss Army Knife attachments that swing out, or that transform into butterflies or something; they’re not that kind of intricate!

Pros of Intricate Cabinet Hardware

  • Personality! If a door pull is just a straight bar, it’s just that: a straight bar. If it instead has a fleur-de-lis design on each end, and a ridged section joining them, you know right away that there are French influences there, so they can say more about you and what you like.
  • Patterned designs are inherently low-maintenance. With no flat surfaces to hold fingerprints, you have a lot more freedom in terms of finish.
  • Even within the same design, a matte finish might look beautifully antiqued, while a polished satin finish can look almost like jewelry, sparkling and catching the light.

Disadvantages of Simple Hardware

  • Can be overdone: Too much visual complexity can become overwhelming to the eye and wind up feeling chintzy rather than classy. Pair intricate hardware designs with simple lines elsewhere to avoid this, or choose patterns that complement fancier cabinet detailing rather than contrasting designs.
  • Lots of places to hide … bacteria and, let’s be honest, a certain level of grunge, is tough to avoid. Since a lot of finishes include high contrast between almost black deeper spots and highlights more toward the surface, it can be a little hard to tell when “antiqued” has transitioned to “eww.” Clean from time to time with brushes or picks to avoid this, and use liquid spray sanitizers in between.
  • Ironically, complex surface patterns, especially if continued to the edges of the piece, can act like camouflage, reducing their visual impact. If you want this, great! If not, stick to designs where the detail is interior, but the hardware still includes a clean outer line to help it pop visually.

Ready to start designing your kitchen today?’s free online design tool will help! Get started here:


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Which Is Better—More Expensive Long Lasting Kitchen Cabinets or Less Expensive Shorter Lasting?

Worker Facing Two Choices On The RoadOne of the hardest decisions to make with kitchen cabinets is what materials to choose. Long lasting kitchen cabinets tend to be made from real wood and are more expensive. Pressboard cabinets at the other end of the spectrum cost less, but likely won’t last as long. There are also mid-range materials that last somewhere in between. As someone about to purchase new cabinets, what is more important to you? We’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of each and how wear and tear might factor in to your decision.

How Much Do You Use It?

If you’re a bachelor or a family that tends to eat out or cook pre-made meals, then cheap kitchen cabinets might be a better investment. If the kitchen isn’t used for preparing meals, then it won’t endure much wear and tear. You might be able to extend the life of less expensive cabinets.

In some homes, the kitchen is just for show, so the cabinets will look pristine. Kitchens used regularly or for preparing large family dinners would be better served with more expensive cabinets. They fare better with the wear and tear of everyday use such as dropped pots and spilled food. You also will want to clean them more often. Cheaper cabinets will not handle that and begin showing nicks and stains.

Save Money Now or Later

Money is perhaps the biggest factor in choosing kitchen cabinets. If everyone could, they’d spend money to get the best, but that isn’t always possible. The biggest advantage of inexpensive kitchen cabinets is you save money right away.

If you don’t have the capital for more expensive cabinets or want to spend money in other areas of a kitchen remodel, then you might choose saving money now. The downside is that down the line you’re going to need new kitchen cabinets sooner than with a more expensive variety. Depending on how much wear and tear cheap kitchen cabinets take, you may end up needing new cabinets in 5-7 years. A more expensive cabinet set can last a decade or longer, so you’re saving money in the long run.

Are Mid-Range Materials Worth it?

We’ve discussed the two extremes, least expensive and most expensive, but what about those mid-range materials. MDF, laminate and other materials are sturdier than pressboard, but still have issues with water and warping. While made differently, they all deal with various layers or pieces of wood glued and pressed together. They will last longer than pressboard, but not nearly as long as solid wood cabinets.

Are you thinking about putting new cabinets in your home? Whether you are looking for elegant kitchen cabinets or something cheap, our free guide will teach you everything you need to know. Check it out today.

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Pros and Cons of Simple Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Designs

After covering a couple of different finish options in previous blogs, it’s clear that the design of your kitchen cabinet hardware has just as much of an impact as the finish. Now, there are way too many hardware designs out there, even just on alone, to cover each in detail, plus that’d probably make for a pretty boring read! Instead, we can split them up into a couple of basic categories, such as the advantages and disadvantages of simple kitchen cabinet hardware designs, which we’re covering today.

What Do We Mean By “Simple”?

By simple, what we mean is that the design is not visually complex. These door handles and drawer pulls feature sleek, bold lines, sweeping curves, and not a lot of busy patterning. Obviously, this is a spectrum, so we aren’t just talking about straight bars and D-curves here. Some fluting and large-scale patterns still qualify; it’s the kind of thing where you’ll know it when you see it.

Why Should You Buy Simple Cabinet Hardware?

  • Sleek, clean lines are timeless; they can just as easily look modern or rustic, depending on the finish.
  • Simple designs are easy to sanitize; they don’t have lots of little nooks and crannies for bacteria to grow and thrive on oils and food particles held in small detail work.
  • They tend to be comfortable in the hand; no sharp or rough edges or textures, just smooth curves.

Disadvantages of Simple Hardware

  • While timeless when the overall effect is understated, simple hardware can look stale or boring, even unimaginative.
  • Depending on the finish, smooth, clean lines mean there’s no place to hide fingerprints and smudges, so you might end up spending more time polishing than you’d like.
  • The opposite of “camouflage,” simple lines can’t help but stand out, so the simpler the design, perhaps counterintuitively, the less subtle it will look.

Before you make a move to buy your new kitchen cabinets, be sure to download The Consumer’s Guide to Kitchen Cabinets and our free bonus reports, The Kitchen Remodel Survival Guide and Our Top 12 Most Popular Design Ideas.

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Best Ways to Save on a Kitchen Remodel

budgetA kitchen remodel is a major undertaking and you want to save money as much as you can. While there are many places you can cut corners to save a few dollars, some of those may end up being a detriment in the long run. Our guide will help you know where the best places to save will be and where not to skimp.

We want you to have the perfect kitchen that you can admire for years. It needs to be a mix of function and affordability. We know that for many people the concept of “money is no object” isn’t possible, so save where you can.

Save: Kitchen Cabinet Accessories

Your kitchen needs to have good kitchen cabinets, but not necessarily all the frills that go with them. Kitchen accessories are great and make life easier to organize, but they are not a necessity. Accessories from fancy doors to a connected spice rack will drive up the price of the cabinets.

You may start with a base set, but with each accessory the price goes up. If you absolutely need accessories, then buy them, but don’t do it just for the sake of having cool gadgets. Many people get locked into that trap and end up going way over their budget without even noticing it happening.

Don’t Skimp: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

Kitchen cabinets need to last for a long time, like a decade or more. You don’t want to spend thousands on your kitchen remodel just to completely replace your kitchen cabinets in a few years. It’s important to choose a sturdy material for your cabinets.

Press board may be inexpensive, but it’s also prone to damage, warping and more. Your cabinets will look great for a year or two, but you’ll see signs of wear and tear, especially if it has regular contact with water or moisture. If you choose better materials, such as hardwood, then the cabinets will look better and last longer.

Save: Appliances Don’t Have to Be the Best

When you’re buying ovens and refrigerators for your kitchen remodel, you’ll be tempted to go for the best. It only makes sense. You’re going to have them for many years, and by then even the most advanced appliances will be old news. You may think that a Bluetooth-enabled oven that can tell you when food is done is great, but do you really need it?

A refrigerator keeps food cold and an oven heats food up. It doesn’t need to do much more than that. The more important factor is size. You want appliances that fit your space and your needs. If you’re a family of six, then you’ll want larger appliances. Gadgets and extras are nice, but not necessities.

If you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel, then why not check out our free brochure that tells you everything you need to know about buying kitchen cabinets.

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The Classic Style of Bronze Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Whether you’re replacing your cabinets with new RTA kitchen cabinets, or giving your kitchen a minor makeover with some new hardware, bronze is a finish option you might want to give a second look. We’re going to include a variety of specific finishes in this category today, and depending on what model of hardware you’re interested in, it could be called anything from “oil-rubbed bronze” to “satin antiqued brass,” but the common theme is a dark, non-polished, bronze-colored finish.

A Touch of the Unexpected

Dark bronze hardware can look dramatic and unexpected, used with light-colored cabinets, and can modify the look and feel of your kitchen to create some interesting dynamics. For example, most people would go with a polished chrome or brushed nickel finish with white cabinets. With bronze, however, you can take the airy simplicity of white and turn it into something more akin to rustic farmhouse, without losing the light and airy feel.

Light and mid-toned stained wood finishes can also benefit from bronze finishes because the similar overall color tone lets them blend in, while still remaining visually interesting on closer inspection. Of course, the natural inclination is to use bronze with dark cabinets, but be careful with extremely dark cabinets; you’ll need to choose the design carefully to stay in “antique chic” territory rather than cheap or drably stereotypical.

Super Easy to Keep Clean and Maintain

Let’s be real for a second here. The truth is, most “bronze” cabinet hardware isn’t actually made of bronze. Nor would you want it to be! Real bronze takes tons of maintenance to avoid it growing a green patina. While green patina might look great on statues and domed roofs, it probably isn’t quite what you had in mind for your kitchen cabinets.

Thankfully, our bronze-finish cabinet hardware is mostly made of die-cast zinc, metallurgically modified to give it that classic oil-rubbed bronze finish. This makes it really easy to clean and maintain—just sanitize it like you usually would, and wipe it down once in a while; it doesn’t hold fingerprints, and doesn’t need regular oiling like genuine bronze.

Would you like to get the inside scoop on buying cabinets online, including common dirty tricks and misconceptions? Get The Consumer’s Guide to Buying Kitchen Cabinets—it’s a free downloadable book that will help put your mind at ease.


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