Did you know?

Renovating a kitchen is a great way to increase the value and also the functionality of a home. The National Kitchen & Bath Association’s latest market report says that, in the first three months of 2012, the number of homeowners who started a kitchen renovation was up more than 50 percent from the previous quarter. A kitchen is a central gathering place and is one of the most popular family gathering spots in the house. With traditional dining rooms being eliminated in favor of open, eat-in kitchens and entertaining spaces, more attention than ever is now placed on a well-designed kitchen. The average remodeling budget for a kitchen renovation exceeds $30,000. But there are ways to keep budgets in check.

* Do some of the work yourself to reduce money spent on labor costs.

* Consider laminate flooring and counters, which will look like real stone but at a fraction of the cost.

* Skip custom cabinetry in lieu of stock units. They’re more attractive than ever before and don’t require the wait time of custom-ordered cabinets.

* Choose less expensive, mid-range appliances that may function better than or equal to high-end models.

* Plan layout accurately and spend time reviewing your designs. Late changes in a remodel can quickly eat up a budget.

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