How to Remodel a Kitchen On a Budget
Wondering how much a kitchen remodel costs? Get your fainting couch ready because, the average kitchen remodel costs a staggering $20,301 — roughly the same price as a brand-new Honda Civic. And a major kitchen remodel can cost over twice as much, with an average price tag of $50,000.
Putting down that much money on a new kitchen is worth it for some. But others aren’t interested in splurging on high-end updates. Luckily, putting your kitchen remodel on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style.
Refresh Rather Than Replace Cabinets to Save Money
New kitchen cabinets are invariably expensive and contrary to the entire notion of a budget kitchen remodel. In general, all tear-out-and-replace projects are much more expensive than projects that keep a majority of the materials, and cabinetry is a prime example. It is also more eco-friendly to avoid landfilling tons of flooring, glass, laminates, plastics, and other materials that take centuries to degrade. There are several good options that won’t require new kitchen cabinetry:
- Painting your kitchen cabinets is the classic method of refreshing the outside shell of your cabinets.
- More expensive than painting, kitchen cabinet refacing adds a new wood or thermofoil veneer to the outside of the cabinets and entirely replaces doors and drawer fronts.
- If you are replacing your cabinets, think outside the box. Cabinets are usually less expensive when they are partially constructed from MDF.
- If you don’t mind putting together your cabinets, you can look for RTA (ready to assemble) kitchen cabinets.
One way to limit the use of expensive wall cabinets is to install some open shelving. Result: an airy feel, almost like that of a commercial kitchen.
Use DIY Kits to Update the Lighting
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to update your kitchen is to use a recessed lighting conversion kit — no electrician required.
The kits only cost $15-$20 each and are a cinch to install, even for DIY newbies. The parts screw right into the recessed light, a brace holds the new light fixture in place, and a decorative cover hides the recessed light.
In about 15 minutes, you’ve got dramatic new kitchen lighting.
New flooring for a mid-range kitchen typically costs $1,800 to $2,800. Here, again, the price varies depending on the material you use. Sheet vinyl can cost as little as $1,000, while hardwood – a popular choice for modern kitchens – costs around $4,000.
If your budget won’t stretch this far, here are a few cheaper flooring options to consider:
- Just Clean Sometimes, a good cleaning is all it takes to get old tile floors looking like new. If yours is so filthy that mopping it no longer has an impact, you can have it professionally cleaned for around $450.
- Look Underneath. If your kitchen has hideous old vinyl flooring, it could be worth peeling it up and having a look at what’s underneath. Sometimes, buried under the layers of cruddy vinyl, you can find perfectly good hardwood floors that only need to be refinished. That’s a job you can have done for around $600.
- Use Peel-and-Stick Peel-and-stick vinyl tiles are easier to work with than sheet vinyl, so installing them is a fairly easy DIY job. If your floors are reasonably undamaged, you can apply the new tiles directly over the old flooring. You can buy peel-and-stick tiles at home centers for around $1 a square foot.
Paint the Floor. Believe it or not, it is possible to paint over old vinyl flooring. Clean the floor well, and scuff it lightly with sandpaper. Then roll on a coat of primer and paint it with tough “porch and floor” paint. Optionally, you can add a coat or two of water-based polyurethane to protect it. You can choose your own color and add patterns like stripes, checks, or stenciled designs. You can transform an entire floor this way for about $100.
Outdoor Kitchen Designs for Ideas and Inspiration
Outdoor kitchens typically include a prep and cooking area, some storage, and either a bar or dining table seating. These elements are a good start for the budget-conscious because they don’t require utilities like gas, electric or plumbing.
Outdoor kitchens can get expensive, and there are a few elements that may push your budget over the edge. Adding anything that requires a contractor or professional, like electrical or plumbing, will add up quickly. Avoid this by positioning your outdoor kitchen near an entrance or in close proximity to a water hose for easy access to kitchenware and cleanup. Opt for a propane tank or charcoal rather than installing gas lines to your grill or cooktop. And look for items that are portable so you can take them with you if you decide to move