5 easy and affordable projects to improve your kitchen

Kitchens remodels are by far the most popular type of home improvement project done by homeowners. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, kitchens remodels make up over 70 percent of all projects.

For homeowners and landlords on a budget, you’ll be pleased to hear that with just $1,500, there are several ways that you can boost your kitchen’s value and improve its looks and function. If you’ve been thinking about updating your kitchen and you’re on a tight budget, here’s some ideas that can help.

Replace Your Countertops

Countertops take a lot of abuse every day, which means that they can look older than they really are especially if they are laminate countertop. Same as old Corian countertops can start to sag over time or tile countertop can really date your property.

Laminate countertops have come a long way in terms of style and appearance. They can resemble the look of stone, and you can even undermount a sink with them, as well. Best of all, you can install a new laminate countertop for under $500, add a backsplash and your kitchen will have a fresh new look.

Increase Kitchen Storage

No matter how good a kitchen looks, if it isn’t functional, then it isn’t going to make anyone happy. One way to boost your kitchen’s function and value is to make sure you have enough storage. Have open walls? Consider installing some long shelves. Have a kitchen island? Consider a pot rack that you can hang above it or just add organizers or pull-outs to the cabinets that are already there. This can really add functionality for perspective renters or buyers.

It’s possible to add a lot of storage and organizational items for your kitchen for well under $500.

Paint Your Cabinets

Compared to replacing or refacing kitchen cabinets, repainting is the least labor-intensive and most cost-effective option to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. Repainting is significantly cheaper because it involves fewer materials, and it’s often a project that you can do yourself and you can save even more.

If you opt for a professional painter, the job should still come to less than $1,000, but don’t forget to change your cabinet knobs and hardware to complete the project.

Newly repainted cabinets, especially white, will stand out and will also help brighten a dark kitchen making your home more appealing to any prospective buyer or renter in addition to making your kitchen look more spacious and modern looking.

Install new light fixtures

Light fixtures can add a nice touch to any kitchen remodeling project. New LED light fixtures, most of the time, are easy to install and can be done by anyone willing to turn off a breaker at the main electrical panel. Most LED lights now have a brightness selection switch allowing you to choose the warmth of the light you wish to display. Replace old canned light with LED or add new pendant lights above an island to really make a statement.

Most of the lights fixtures can be purchased for less than $500. Add the cost of a professional to install these fixtures for about $500 total, giving you a lot of money left in the budget for other upgrades.

Put in a New Floor

Kitchens floors tends to take a beating over time due to the high foot traffic in the area.  Old, dirty or dinged up kitchen floors can really lower the appearance and the value of the entire kitchen, so replacing them can make a significant impression.

A good choice for redoing a kitchen floor on a budget is to go with VCT, or vinyl composite tile flooring. VCT is really tough and durable, and newer options can make it look like wood. It installs fast and is easy to keep clean in a busy kitchen. Definitely a project a homeowner can take on. A new kitchen floor made of VCT should cost around $4 per square foot or less so $500 on average. This alone will really transform the room.

Kitchen renovations and remodels don’t have to be expensive, labor-intensive projects. Minor updates can make a significant difference to the efficiency, look and appearance of your kitchen.

So what are you waiting for?  With a small budget, careful planning and creativity are the only requirements in order to avoid endless frustrations. Make sure that you pay attention to your kitchen’s needs and choose the things that will make the biggest impact on both its function and its appearance. Not to mention it will help sell or rent a property quickly.

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