Once you’ve accounted for what you have to work with, and set aside your budget cushion, then you decide which remodeling methods will let you reach your goal within your budget. What methods you have to choose from vary according to the kind of changes you need.
Kitchen remodeling changes fall into one or more of these categories: Structural, Functional and External.
Structural changes are big ticket items that can make a big difference. Examples include: opening a kitchen to another room, or installing a ramp or a skylight. These significantly affect visibility, available space and ease of use.
Smaller structural changes like replacing decayed/damaged wood, adding a cabinet, or installing railings are on the more affordable end of this scale. If you do not need to open any walls or windows or make any repairs, you can keep your resources for the next step.
Functional change affects how your structures (like your cabinets or space) work, without changing their shape. Smaller changes to improve accessibility are done here. Functional changes would be things like adding or removing doors, or switching to extending drawers instead of stationary shelves.
External changes affect the outer look of your cabinets, counters and walls and is where you will have the most options and flexibility. With a wide range of both natural materials and high quality imitations, there are many ways to get the appearance you want. For example, new and custom kitchen cabinetry are at the high end of costs, and cabinet refacing is the most affordable. You can blend methods and instead of replacing with stock cabinets, you could combine refacing and custom work, by using refacing for most of your kitchen cabinets and adding a new custom corner or display cabinet.
When it comes to the exteriors, the value is in durability. Long warranties are a good indicator of a strong product.
This is a good time to start getting estimates.