Rather than replace, renovate
In a shaky economy, expensive remodels seem as outdated as excessive lifestyles and easy credit. Homeowners who want to make improvements that make their home more livable and attractive without breaking vows to stick to a budget have options.
Anyone who’s spent hours on their hands and knees trying to turn their black grout back into the original tan color that matched the tile so well may be tempted to tear it out and replace the whole floor. A local company called Kick the Bucket offers an alternative.
“In most cases, (the grout) just needs to be cleaned,” said Jerry Lange, partner with Kick the Bucket, which specializes in restoring tile, grout or any hard surface.
Kick the Bucket uses a powerful machine that blasts water out at 1,200 psi and also sucks it back up so homeowners don’t have a sloppy mess.
Kick the Bucket doesn’t have a standard rate, but does offer in-home estimates. The company will clean large commercial kitchen floors and much smaller projects, such as tiny bathroom floors.
In addition to tile flooring and countertops, the company tackles any hard surface, both interior and exterior.
Now that your floor is looking better, maybe it’s time to move on to the cabinets. Yes, it would be nice to remodel the entire kitchen because those bleached oak cabinets make you think you’ve been transported back in time every time you step into the kitchen and your old dishwasher wastes water and electricity.
Consider refacing the old cabinets rather than replacing them. C.J.‘s Cabinets has been in the business for 30 years and knows when a cabinet is good for another 15 years and when it needs to be replaced.
“I go in and look at the kitchen,” said Bill Johnson, with C.J.‘s Cabinets. “If the box is still good, we take the old door front and the drawer front off and give them away. We apply a quarter inch of veneer to the face frame of the cabinet, order new drawers and new drawer fronts and we replace the doors.”
C.J.‘s Cabinets uses a Salt Lake City cabinet manufacturer for the veneer products, cabinet fronts and drawers, which means if a kitchen remodel needs a combination of old cabinets and new cabinets, getting a perfect match isn’t a problem. Johnson can order different types of wood species, in 28 different door styles and a variety of stain colors, giving customers thousands of different choices.
“This works really well for people who put granite on the countertops,” Johnson said, adding that granite looks good for a lifetime, but cabinets start to look worn after a decade or two.
Johnson can install countertops or take on complete kitchen remodels. He can work as the general contractor for the project. He estimates that homeowners save about 40 percent of the typical cost by refacing cabinets rather than replacing them.
In the bathroom, replacing rather than refacing may be the way to keep a bathroom functional over the long haul. Walk-in bathtubs and walk-in showers are both more user-friendly than a traditional bathtub as homeowners age. Both Rocky Mountain Re-bath and Tile Meister offer bathroom conversion products that give people more functional baths and showers.
“We can replace tub and shower walls or shower doors in one day,” said Randy DiDonato with Tile Meister. “We can change the tub to a shower in one day or change the shower to a tub in one day.”
Tile Meister uses a luxury bath acrylic material with an anti-microbial protection. Rocky Mountain Re-bath uses a solid surface polymer material that was developed for bathroom use. Both options give a fresh look to an old bathroom.
Whether homeowners want to update their homes to make them more livable for the long haul or to make them more sellable in the short run, they can be done without letting go of the budget or spending months on the project.