Large or small, old or new, the kitchen performs as the heart of every home. Frequently used and often abused, the kitchen is usually the one room homeowners would like to update. In fact, according to Remodeling Magazine, 47% of homeowners choose to remodel the kitchen after buying a home. Kitchen-remodeling projects can be expensive (the average mid-range, minor kitchen remodel cost $18,527 in 2013) and time consuming. However, many are unaware of the fact that minor kitchen updates can be completed easily and within a tight budget. With a limited budget, say $500 or less, one can bring a huge difference in their kitchen.
Best kitchen remodeling projects to do for $500 or less
Paint: A fresh coat of paint is the best remedy to make the walls of the kitchen come alive. It is an easy DIY project and inexpensive. A gallon of paint will cost about $30-$40 and covers about 350 square feet (Paint: 350 sq. ft. per gallon, Primer: 200 sq. ft. per gallon). Use this handy paint calculator to buy the right amount of paint for your kitchen. Whether you choose a crisp and clean white or choose an accent color, your kitchen can get a brand new color scheme in a day. Quick tip: Not sure which color to choose? Bring a sample of your color inspiration (like a cabinet door or decorative item) into the paint store and have your paint specialist do a color analysis to find the exact match. Still not sure? Choose a color 2 shades lighter than the match.
Refresh cabinets: Instead of replacing the cabinet, you can choose one of two cost effective solutions: updating or refinishing. Replacing the hardware of the cabinet is the cheapest way to give an updated look and feel to tired old cabinets, as the hardware items does not cost much. A new coat of paint will give a much bolder update to the cabinets. Professionally refacing and refinishing cabinets costs about $2000 – $3000 but you can do this yourself for a lot less. Quick tip: to avoid having to drill more holes in your cabinets, bring in your old hardware and have the hardware store professional help you find the same size piece for your cabinets.
Renew countertops and floors: Renewing countertops and floors can bring dramatic impact on the appearance of your kitchen. Resurfacing companies, that specialize in placing a laminate-like material over your existing surface, run about $3-$7 per square foot. The cost to refinish or resurface floors vary widely depending upon the material. Wood floors can be sanded and refinished either as a DIY project or professionally. Quick tip: counter surfaces are generally lighter in color than floors, and flooring is generally the same color, or lighter color than the cabinets. Always compare all three surfaces together before making a final decision.
Add backsplash: Giving a splash to your backsplash is a relatively cost effective and easy way to transform the look of your old kitchen. The expense incurred depends on the style, type of materials, size of backsplash and the method of installation. You can do the update yourself or hire a professional. If this will be a DIY project, consider using a material that is easy to apply and easy to cut around electrical outlets. Browse projects to get a sense of what colors and styles would best update your kitchen. Quick tip: backsplash tile or detail should either be 4″ above the countertop or extend from the countertop to the under surface of the overhead cabinet.
Kitchen sink makeover: Without the service of a plumber, you can easily replace the faucet on your sink, within an hour. However, the cost depends on the quality and features of the faucet, which can fall anywhere between $150 and $500. If you are ready to spend more time and effort, then you can replace the whole sink, within $500. Quick tip: to avoid bringing home the wrong size faucet, remove your old faucet, create a template of the holes using paper or cardboard, and bring the template to the store with you.
Accessories: Picking up new appliances may break your budget, but you can get a number of new and attractive accessories under $500. Introducing new colors and styles with decorative cups, bowls, towels and artwork can act as a focal point in your kitchen. Quick tip: if you’re unsure of changing direction in your colors or design, start small with one or two big statement style-changers. Then fill in with new, but neutral, items that help tone down the more colorful pieces.
To find an interior designer who can work within your specific budget, look for one on Porch.
Top image credit: Alison Whittaker Design