When you’re trying to budget for a kitchen remodel, you can spend different amounts of money with different results. A limited budget — one of $1,000 or so — will require a lot of work on your part; and you’ll want to focus on small improvements rather than major renovations. A bigger budget — up to $10,000 or so — will allow for some work to be left to the pros; but it’s still unlikely that everything in the kitchen can be renovated.
Did you know that most homeowners in the U.S. reportedly spent between $18,000 and $27,000 in total project costs to remodel their kitchen? If that sounds too steep, here is a comparison of a $1,000 kitchen remodel versus a $10,000 kitchen remodel:
One thousand dollars won’t go far in renovating your kitchen. That’s because professionals who work in cabinet refinishing, flooring replacement and painting will quote at least $400 to $700, which will eat up the majority of your budget. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Focus on the important areas: Keep elements that are in good condition — your cabinets, flooring, or countertops, for example — and focus on aspects that are in serious need of repair or updating. Maybe you need to update lime green cabinets reminiscent of the 50s; maybe you need to replace a few chipped tiles in your floor. You can make small changes with a big impact without spending a fortune.
- DIY, DIY, DIY! You’ll need to do as much of the remodel work around your kitchen as possible to stretch your budget. Watch home improvement shows and online tutorials, read books; do whatever it takes to get the know-how. But never approach doing electrical, plumbing or structural work in the kitchen yourself. These tasks are dangerous and should always be left to professionals. Try your hand at painting, laying tiles, sanding or putting in a backsplash — it’s a great way to learn; and it saves you money while revitalizing your kitchen.
- Don’t do everything at the same time: Since you’re on a limited budget and doing a lot of the work yourself, you can break the project into phases over weeks or weekends. This gives you time to rest and see how things are progressing. If you do everything at the same time, you might spend more than you’d like or create a daunting mess in your kitchen. Phasing your project will make it more manageable.
Some common projects to tackle in a $1,000 kitchen remodel include:
- Painting the walls and ceilings
- Adding a decorative backsplash
- Refinishing or painting your kitchen cabinets
- Replacing your floor with ceramic tile
- Installing LED lighting
Remember: Practice safety when doing your kitchen remodel to avoid paying medical bills on top of any remodeling work.
With a bigger kitchen remodel budget, you have some room to hire professionals to help with the renovations. This doesn’t mean you can completely gut your kitchen and start from scratch — that’s more of a $45,000 project — but you can make a few major changes.
Here are some recommendations for a $10,000 kitchen remodel:
- Do some DIY: Since labor will be a major factor in the cost of hiring a professional, try doing some of the work yourself. Maybe it’s tiling a backsplash or painting some of the cabinets or walls — the same things you’d do in a $1,000 kitchen remodel. Some of the money in your budget will go towards materials, but you’ll spend far less than you would to hire a professional.
- Don’t move the major appliances: Keep your dishwasher, sink and oven/hood where they are — even if you’re doing major renovations. Moving them will involve not only labor, but also the cost of installing plumbing and electrical wires in the new locations. This time and money would be better spent on other projects around the kitchen.
- Are your cabinets worth replacing? Unless your cabinets are moldy (if made from wood), so worn down they’re about to fall off the wall, or otherwise past the point of repair, consider updating instead of replacing them. You can stain, paint, refinish or reface them for a fraction of the replacement cost and they’ll look almost brand new.
- Make smart appliance investments: If you decide to replace any of your appliances, first consider whether you really need stainless steel. It can be scratched, stained and easily marked by fingerprints. Also consider investing in energy-efficient appliances for what they’ll pay back on your utility bill over time.
Some projects homeowners can do for a $10,000 kitchen remodel include:
- Painting walls
- Painting, refinishing or refacing the cabinets
- Hiring flooring contractors to install new flooring
- Hiring a countertop professional to replace your counters
- Replacing one or more of your appliances
- Installing LED lighting
Whether you hire a professional for one or more of your projects, remember that you can help with part of the project to help cut down on costs. It’s educational and it helps to get the project done faster — so you can be back in your kitchen, cooking and enjoying time with your family.