Kitchen resurfacing checklist

Looking to spruce up or even sell your Atlanta home? Instead of completely replacing your cabinets and . . .

Looking to spruce up or even sell your Atlanta home? Instead of completely replacing your cabinets and fixtures, a kitchen resurfacing checklist might just be a big help. Here's a simple one to help you get ready for the day when the contractor you choose to do this project shows up at the front door.

First of all, making the choice to hire a contractor or refinish or resurface the kitchen yourself is a fairly easy one.

How handy are you? What is your budget? What's the scope of the project?

If you're capable enough to replace hardware and add a few coats of paint, even that little bit will help, especially when showing your kitchen to a prospective buyer. But to maximize the value and appearance of your kitchen, it's best to leave the job to a kitchen resurfacing professional.

Research shows that refinishing kitchen cabinets and countertops is not only a money and time saver, but homeowners can usually count on recouping most of the total cost--sometimes even more.

When you're ready to make the plunge, keep these simple tips in mind and try to have all your DIY work done before the professional gets underway.

Choosing Materials: The top reason homeowners decide to refinish kitchen cabinets and countertops is age and appearance. Light, open, easy-to-clean and modern is the mantra today. Open shelving is a popular trend in kitchens these days. Solid colors, especially white or light-colored wood grains, are most popular cabinet choices, and granite counters are easy to maintain.

Preparation: Before the contractor arrives, empty all cabinets and clear all countertops of food, cans, bottles and personal items. No one likes a messy kitchen, and contractors appreciate it when the dirty jobs are done before they even get there.

Protection: Cover furniture and floors in adjacent rooms. Most contractors have the capability to do most of their prep and finishing work outside the home. But it's inevitable that some details can only be accomplished in the workspace itself. Having access to an open patio area or driveway is most favorable and convenient.

Be there: While kitchen refinishing pros need access to your home, they don't necessarily appreciate homeowners who hover over them, getting in the way and wasting time. Let them do their job, even if it looks like they are tackling tasks in a way you wouldn't think of. They do it every day and have many time-saving methods that look messy and might be noisy, but are, ultimately, the right way to go.

Lastly, sit back, brew a cup of coffee and enjoy the look of your "new" kitchen. Refinishing is a win-win situation for homeowners and contractors. It's easier, less expensive and helps the economy by keeping contractors steadily employed on smaller jobs.

Hopefully, this simple kitchen resurfacing checklist will get your home sold faster, or help you enjoy the new look yourself.

Now, about that bathroom...

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