Kitchen remodeling without breaking the bank

Tips for a do-it-yourself update

Q: I would like to update my kitchen without spending a fortune. I've bought a gas cook top to replace the electric one now in place. Here are my questions: 1.) When I have the new cook top installed, will they just set it in place so that I can take it out again temporarily when I have new countertops installed later? Or should I wait to have it installed until I'm ready to replace the countertops? 2.) Do you know of a source of information on all the types of countertop materials available? I want to compare costs and relative degrees of resistance to chipping, staining, scratching, etc., and ease of upkeep of less expensive solid surface materials. 3.) My cabinets are stained a medium-brown color. Can I bleach them so I can re-stain them a lighter color? A: You've set out quite a project for yourself, but we're confident you can do it. The most important thing is to do it in the proper sequence. Start with the cabinets, then the countertop and finally install the cook top. By al...