Kitchen  /  February 20, 2020

Tips for Remodeling a Kitchen on a Budget

Looking for a big upgrade to your kitchen on a little budget? Though the average kitchen remodel costs a startling $25,033, there are ways to achieve the Pinterest-worthy kitchen you’re looking for, for a lot less. 

Here are a few simple tips and tricks to help your reinvent your cooking space on limited funds: 

7 Smart Tips for Tackling a Kitchen Remodel on a Budget

1. Pick one big, must-have update, and budget around it

Most everyone has at least one must-have item in their dream kitchen. But if yours is eating into your budgeting plans, try to recenter your kitchen remodeling strategy around it – many modern kitchen looks can be achieved for a lot less than you think. 

If you are dying for a new set of stainless steel appliances, but don’t have the budget to add a pretty subway tile backsplash behind it, invest in the appliances and try painting or using a tile-mimicking wallpaper to accomplish the sleek, modern look for the time being. Add a few green plants and natural wood decorative accents and you’ll be set. 

You can always revisit your updates down the line, while achieving the modern feel you’re looking for right now.

2. Use peel-and-stick backsplashes or wallpaper

If you don’t want to shell out for new paint or real tile, opt for eye-catching peel-and-stick wall accents. There are plenty of options available online – some offer the 3D pop of colored or glass tile, while others convincingly mimic the ever-popular farmhouse shiplap look. 

These accents are usually extremely easy to install, and with many options available at less than $1.00 per square foot, you’ll be able to give your kitchen a fresh look for less with ease.

3. Swap out light shades instead of entire fixtures

Switching up the shades on your kitchen lighting is a simple but powerful way to change the look of your cooking space. If you’re going for a warmer look, switch stark white shades for yellow or red ones. 

For a modern, open feel, ditch the lampshades altogether and opt simply for decorative Edison-style lightbulbs.

Pro-Tip: When it comes to kitchen island lights, it’s important to pick the right size pendants for your island and overall kitchen space. Once you’ve chosen your pendants, you’ll also want to make sure the wire is at the right height for your ceilings – if you need help adjusting this, call an electrical professional to have it done properly.

4. Upgrade hardware instead of your entire cabinet

To breath life into your old cabinets, install new hardware with a modern finish instead of replacing them. To make sure you’re buying the right size hardware, unscrew a few of your existing knobs or drawer pulls and take them to the hardware store with you. 

Don’t want to buy all new hardware? Spray paint your existing hardware for an affordable yet stylish update (black-painted hardware looks stunning on white-painted cabinets). 

Pro-Tip: While you’ve got your hardware removed, add a coat of paint to your cabinets to freshen them up – this is much cheaper and easier than refinishing or replacing them. Need help? Call a painting professional for an expert’s touch. 

5. Choose a floating floor to install over your existing one

If your existing floor is level and in good shape, but just doesn’t match your style anymore, opt for floating click-lock flooring to save money on flooring removal. 

Several kitchen flooring options can be installed over existing, level surfaces, including laminate or luxury vinyl planks (which are both incredibly budget-friendly flooring materials). These planks are designed to simply sit, or float, on top of the existing surface without the use of adhesives or finishing nails. 

Pro-Tip: Depending on the condition and material of your existing flooring, this may not be an option for all homes – consult a flooring professional to help gauge whether this can be done in your kitchen. 

6. Opt for battery-powered under-cabinet lighting

Remember: no one will ever see your under-cabinet lighting. Ever. So if you want to shed some light on your working kitchen areas without shedding too much cash, opt for stick-on, battery-powered under-cupboard lights to save a little more on your kitchen remodel. 

The best part is that you can always remove the lights and install fancier, hardwired options down the line. 

7. Don’t DIY major installations

Lastly, while it may be tempting to cut corners on flooring, cabinet or countertop installations, DIY-ing this type of work is an easy way to wind up in the red on your remodeling project. 

Improperly installing flooring or other kitchen features can result in a damaged subfloor and ruined materials.

The worst part? If you have not followed your installation instructions to the letter, you can void the manufacturer’s warranty, meaning you’ll have to pay for all of your flooring, cabinet or countertop materials all over again

Additionally, there are a number of important housing codes to pay attention to when updating your kitchen. 

For example, permanent kitchen islands are usually required to have electrical outlets installed within the island – this is to prevent cords on kitchen appliances from being run across walkways, which can be dangerous if pulled down by a pet or child.

If you violate these codes by DIY-ing an installation, it can make it difficult to sell your home down the line, or worse, put your family in danger. 

We cannot stress this enough: do not DIY major kitchen installations. You’ll save more money in the long run by hiring a remodeling services professional to do it right the first time. 

For help with your kitchen remodel, call the experts at Handyman Connection

While some things can be DIY-ed, being realistic about your handyman skills can be crucial to saving money in the long run. Whether you need help reaching and switching your light shades or want a full flooring installation for your new kitchen, Handyman Connection can help. 

With locations across the United States and Canada, we’re your local connection to the top home maintenance, repair and remodeling craftsmen in your area and we’ll help you get the job done right the first time. 

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