One simple budget remodel idea with spectacular results

It's true. Remodeling a home is expensive. Sometimes a complete overhaul is needed, but sometimes paint and new fixtures is (almost) all you need to turn yuck! into YAY.

Custom cabinets can be a big part of the budget for any remodel. Even if you save money with semi-custom or off-the-rack cabinets from your local big box retailer, new cabinets often require new flooring, new counter tops, new appliances, modified electrical and plumbing work... you get the idea. One little change is never one little change, it is a cascade of changes.

How do you know if you need new cabinets or just a refresh like this one?

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Are my cabinets structurally sound? If so, consider painting or resurfacing and adding new knobs and pulls. You can make them even prettier by having new doors made for your old cabinets. 

2) Are my cabinets functional? Adding soft close hinges and drawer glides can give old cabinets that "new car smell", but If you need wider, deeper drawers, more drawers, fewer drawers, or drawers in different places, you may need to demo those existing cabinets.

3) Am I making layout changes that will impact my existing cabinets? You can't just move a built-in cabinet. This is the time to demo the old to make way for gorgeous things to come. 

4) Will new cabinets add enough value to your home to offset the cost? While you can't usually expect to recoup a home reno investment dollar for dollar, you should check online for recent home sales in your area and be familiar with what buyers are looking for. Kitchens and master baths help sell homes quickly, so knowing what buyers in your area want can help you to make a smart decision. 

This is the "before" pic for the refresh above:

Not so great, is it? It would have been so easy to tear this thing out and install a beautiful new unit like this vanity set, but we saved the homeowner some serious money by leaving it. Saving it allowed us to keep the old floor tile, which looks just fine now that the rest of the bath has been de-crazied. We also saved on labor by not disturbing the sink plumbing. 

We removed the diamond trim on the door faces, sanded and painted, used new hardware, tiled over the outdated cultured marble counter top, kept the sink basin and added a new faucet, and installed a new mirror and light

Now, I won't lie and tell you the drawers are as fabulous as a new unit would be - but for a guest bath or child's bath, this is an affordable solution that looks great.