Renovating your kitchen is a great way to add sparkle to your home or improve its appeal to potential buyers. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most expensive rooms to redo, costing between $100 and $250 per square foot on average, according to HomeGuide. The national average is $16,600, with a range of $12,800 to $21,200. But big, big-space projects can run into the six figures, and even a minor kitchen renovation could cost at least $10,000.
While many kitchen renovations cost thousands of dollars, yours doesn’t have to. There are plenty of frugal ways to remodel a kitchen that’s both functional and beautiful.
Of course, there are limits to what you can do on a budget. But many home improvement experts point out that moderately DIY homeowners with just a little cash to spare can make a big difference in their kitchen. And if the job looks good, you’re adding equity to your home, says Erin Davis, owner and chief designer of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, Oregon.
Here are eight kitchen remodel ideas that cost $1,000 or less.
Add smart features
The kitchen is often considered the focal point and heart of the home. It’s also a place where people often gather during the holidays, to chat with the hard-working hosts (and get their first chance to eat).
Upgrading your home with smart features is a great way to remodel your kitchen on a budget, advises Bailey Carson, home care expert at Angi. “Think smart lighting or a cooking entertainment system [and entertaining] so much more fun.
There are apps that run “smart” ovens and other appliances. A set of under cabinet lights that work with Alexa, Echo, Google, and Siri cost less than $60. You can get a Dash Wand that works with Alexa and Amazon Fresh to find the nearest restaurants or order groceries costs $20, or get a Dash Button for $5.
Consider upgrading your smoke detectors to a Wi-Fi-enabled Google Nest. A single wired smoke and carbon monoxide detector costs around $120, while a battery-operated 3-pack will cost around $350.
Cabinets can dramatically change the look of a kitchen. New cabinets are expensive, but most DIYers know that redoing cabinets is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to revamp a kitchen.
A simple tip: add or replace hardware on existing cabinets. “You can often trade in your entire home’s hardware for less than a few hundred dollars,” says John Maxim, a Salt Lake City-based home flipping and home improvement expert. “Black and gold hardware is both trending in new homes,” by the way.
Regardless of the hue, “the hardware is like jewelry for your cabinets,” Davis says. “You’ll be surprised how different your cabinets look with updated hardware.”
Another quick-fix cabinet option: refurbish them instead of replacing them. The easiest way is a new paint job; As long as they are in good condition, most cabinets, even laminate ones, can be painted if you use a strong primer. This will brighten them up considerably, which in turn will transform the room. Supplies should cost less than $100. But before painting, it is important to prepare. Remove cabinet doors, cover or remove hardware, and be sure to sand off old paint.
Another kitchen remodeling idea for cabinets that doesn’t require as much work and preparation is to have your cabinets resurfaced. “Depending on the size of your kitchen, you can custom order new doors and all of your cabinet exteriors in a new style and color, instead of just painting over cabinets whose style you don’t like,” explains Teri Simone. , chief kitchen designer for Nieu Cabinet Doors.
If you’ve ever thought your kitchen could look better in a different light, you might be onto something, according to Davis.
“It’s amazing what a great light fixture can do in a room,” says Davis. “Just swapping out new fixtures in existing locations is the most affordable solution. Another great idea is to add recessed lights in a kitchen to improve overall lighting.
Maxim agrees. “Lights can transform an older looking home into a whole new one” when you replace old fixtures with more modern options.
Davis says most homeowners can change fixtures fairly quickly on their own with some basic instructions. But adding recessed cans can get a bit tricky for a novice. Each high-quality recessed light installed by an electrician should cost around $125 to $300, which includes materials and labor. And if you don’t feel comfortable doing anything electrical yourself, Davis says it’s possible to hire a good electrician for up to $100 an hour.
While you’re at it, take a look at the light switches. Outdated outlet covers – especially old egg-colored outlets – are an easy and inexpensive kitchen swap. Even if you swap out all the switches and outlet covers in your house, it should only cost about $100, advises Maxim.
Renew counters and floors
New countertops and floors will likely test your kitchen remodeling budget and your handiwork. But if you’re up for it, either of these changes can have a dramatic impact on the look of your kitchen.
Peel and stick floor tiles are a great solution for the novice DIYer, at $1 to $5 per square foot. They come in many colors and styles so you can add personality and fun to your kitchen.
When it comes to countertops, you have even more options – without resorting to expensive, professionally installed stones like granite or marble. “A countertop epoxy kit [can help you] get those coveted DIY-style marble countertops,” says Simone. Although some prep work is required, a kit will set you back $200 or less.
If you prefer butcher block countertops, Maxim recommends checking out your local ReStore or other building material reuse location. Used hardwood countertops cost around $99 each, “are very fashionable and look super clean”.
Likewise, Davis points out that you can install laminate countertops over existing countertops. Hardware stores sell counters for as little as $45 per section. And if you’re looking for an installation tutorial, experts say you can find plenty of quality presentations on YouTube. Remember to keep a laptop or tablet handy for reference.
Buy (almost) new household appliances
Replacing kitchen appliances can be a real budget headache. But if you’re willing to accept minor imperfections, it’s possible to pick up a major new appliance for less than four figures.
Big box stores like Lowe’s have a “scratch and dent” section; other companies, like ReStore, focus solely on selling cosmetically flawed (but functioning properly) devices at very low prices. Scratches and dents prevent retailers from selling these devices at full price; however, from an operational/structural point of view, these are brand new products.
Keep in mind that even budget-priced appliances like dishwashers or stoves would likely need to be installed by a professional, which could add a few hundred dollars to the bill.
Add a backsplash
You might not think the wall space behind your sink has much design potential. But the truth is, adding (or upgrading) a backsplash is one of those little changes that can have a big impact.
The cost of this kitchen remodel idea depends on the type of tile and the size of your kitchen. White subway tiles, for example, can cost as little as $0.15 per square foot; something like slate, $5 a square foot; metal or glass, $25 to $30 per square foot, according to HomeAdvisor. Additionally, you need to consider the price of grout, which can cost up to $80, and sealer, which could cost you up to $50 more.
You’ll need to block out a day to get the job done, or two days if the tiles need a grout job. But the good news is that you don’t have to be a tiling expert to install a backsplash. Many hardware stores run free weekend classes that show you how to complete these projects.
You can also do a “peel and stick tile backsplash for a quick and affordable update,” advises Simone. A 12 square foot box of backsplash tiles will run you $60 or less, depending on the brand and design.
Install floating shelves
“Want to display some of your favorite items or display dry goods in glass jars?” Simone asks. “Consider taking down some of your upper cabinets and installing simple floating shelves.”
There are a wide variety of floating shelves to choose from. You can pay as little as $20 for a set of two pre-cut pine shelves, or as much as $250 or more for hardwood butcher block shelves.
As a bonus, “it will make small spaces feel less cramped and give you something to accessorize,” Simone says. However, if you choose this budget kitchen remodel idea, be sure to anchor your shelves to studs, so they can support the weight of glass jars or your favorite cookbooks.