Creating a functional, up-to-date kitchen increases the value of your home and makes everyday kitchen activities such as cooking, entertaining, and sharing meals with your family more enjoyable. The old real estate agent adage that “the kitchen sells the house” may still hold true, but there’s no reason to wait until you’ve put your home on the market to consider remodeling your kitchen.
Many people think that renovating a kitchen is expensive and time-consuming. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost to completely renovate a 200 square foot kitchen is $64,000. This price includes wood cabinets, island, laminate countertops, standard sink and faucet, new appliances, lighting, and flooring.
Thankfully, many people don’t need a major renovation, just a small renovation to update their kitchen. If you’re looking to renovate your kitchen on a budget, here’s how to renovate your kitchen without spending a fortune, and some tips to keep your remodel on track.
Note: The first half of 2021 saw unprecedented labor shortages as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with this, demand for materials and construction-related jobs is also rapidly increasing. As a result, material prices may be higher than those reported in this article and lead times may be longer than usual for both labor and materials.
(Note: All details and prices are accurate at time of publication and subject to change.)
1. Add color with paint
One of the cheapest ways to quickly transform a room is with paint. It’s also a versatile medium that can be used in creative ways. Painting instantly brightens up your kitchen and makes it feel like new. It’s an easy way to bring trendy color into your space, as long as it coordinates with your cabinets and flooring. Choose neutrals for a fresh look. Keep in mind that neutrals cover a variety of exciting and chic shades.
2. Refresh your cabinets
Average cost of stock kitchen cabinets $75 to $400+ per installed linear foot. Custom cabinets cost more. However, if your cabinets are structurally sound, you can easily update them using a few simple tricks.
- Deep clean: Cabinets collect dust and dirt. A thorough cleaning to remove dirt and debris will instantly brighten up your kitchen.
- paint: Sometimes all you need to make your cabinets look modern and new is a fresh coat of paint. You can’t go wrong with an all-white cabinet, but warmer tones and green are the trending cabinet colors.
- replace the door: If your cabinets are in good condition, spruce them up with new doors. You can get a new door from a furniture store, or you can hire a carpenter to build you a new door. Get a whole new look for a fraction of the price.
- Change hardware: Accessories always make a difference. Update handles and knobs for an inexpensive facelift.
3. Repair the sink grout
Over time, the grout lines around your sink can become darkened or damaged. If parts of your grout are crumbling or cracking, it’s best to have it repaired by a professional.Fixing some areas of damaged grout is easier than installing a new sink and costs approximately $200 to $400 per case project. The price increases depending on the amount of grout to be fixed.
If the grout is in good condition, give it a good cleaning using baking soda, vinegar, and a brush.Professional cleaning is expensive $1 to $3 per square foot.
4. Replace the faucet
Depending on your DIY skills, replacing an old kitchen faucet with a new one is an easy and cost-effective repair. The entire sink will look new, especially if you refresh the grout around the sink and paint the cabinets. Most faucets are easy to install, but you must be comfortable turning off the water supply and basic plumbing tools.
However, if you hire a professional installation, a plumber can easily replace your faucet within an hour. Faucets are a popular trend in the home, with their professional style and smart features that allow you to turn water on and off hands-free.
5. Add a backsplash
A backsplash is a functional and attractive addition to your kitchen. Protects walls along with countertops and the wall behind the stove. It also adds a pop of color and interest to your kitchen. Adding a backsplash is an inexpensive DIY project for handy homeowners.
Backsplashes can be made from a variety of materials, including shiplap, tile, peel-and-stick wallpaper, metal, and stone. Cost and labor vary depending on the material. Subway tile is a popular and classic choice, but bold patterns and unconventional materials like mirrors are also becoming trendy options.
6. Replace light fixtures
Replacing outdated fixtures will make your kitchen look more modern and maximize visibility of your work area. Don’t limit yourself to just the main ceiling fixtures. Task lights, such as undercabinet lights, illuminate dark areas in your kitchen and brighten up every part of your kitchen.
Installation is easy and relatively inexpensive. LED lighting is a popular choice for builders and homeowners because it emits less heat, lasts several times longer than incandescent light bulbs, and uses a fraction of the energy. The more light your kitchen has, the larger it will feel and the more airy it will be.
7. Upgrade your pantry cabinet
Don’t leave your pantry outside during renovations. This aspect may not be very visible, but a functional pantry will keep the heart of your home running smoothly. Start by clearing out your existing food storage space, then start organizing.
You can enhance your pantry with custom shelving, lighting, and labels to ensure everything is easily accessible at all times.
Here we have reviewed the best models from the best brands and rated the top 5 that meet the needs of the most homeowners.
Other modding tips to keep in mind
1. Get organized
An organized space allows you to work more efficiently and assess what needs to be done. Before you start remodeling your kitchen, clear out your countertops and get rid of appliances and dishes that are taking up valuable space. Reducing clutter will instantly make your kitchen feel larger and more open.
2. Maintain floor plans to save time and money
Leave the existing plumbing and utility layout in place unless required. Moving appliances like sinks and stoves requires the help of a professional plumber or electrician. This can significantly increase the cost of your kitchen remodel.
3. Match your home appliances for maximum aesthetic value
It’s better to match all the appliances in your kitchen than to make your upgrades stand out from the rest. Choose a suit in a solid color, such as black, white, or stainless steel. Having your appliances suit the same color will give your kitchen a cleaner, more cohesive look.
4. Shop wisely
Big box stores and custom kitchen remodeling stores aren’t the only places to buy branded appliances, cabinets, and other high-end materials. Ask locally about other similar reuse locations where contractors and builders donate excess inventory or sell it at a discount.
For a small kitchen renovation, the ROI is 81.1%, updating your kitchen can increase the value of your home. However, you don’t have to do a major overhaul or take out a home equity loan to make small but impactful improvements.
The key is to set your priorities and budget. Save money by tackling simple DIY tasks like painting or replacing hardware, and hire professionals to take care of electrical and plumbing elements. A small kitchen renovation will make your space more marketable and a fun place to cook and eat.