You don’t have to save up the cost of college tuition before you make improvements to your kitchen. There are several upgrades you can make with a small budget, and your options grow with every extra dollar you can invest. Check out these tips for upgrading with as little as $100 and as much as $20,000.


The Every-Little-Bit Budget: $100-$1,000

With a small budget, you can fix up cosmetic details that will instantly impact your daily kitchen experience.

A simple coat of paint can completely change the look of the space. According to the HomeAdvisor True Cost Guide, it costs $400 to $800 to have a pro paint an average-sized room. A single wall? As little as $100.

A backsplash is an update that you will notice every day as you prep, cook and clean. A small ceramic or stone backsplash can cost as little as $600. And there are also peel-and-stick wall coverings that you can install yourself for less than $100.

Other easy changes include new window treatments, updated lighting, modern plumbing fixtures, and trendy hardware for your cabinets and drawers.


The Budget to Raise Home Value: $1,000-$10,000

A budget of this size allows for substantial upgrades to vital kitchen components.

For a fraction of the price of a brand-new set of cabinets, you can have your existing cabinets refinished and transform the look of your whole kitchen. Cabinet refinishing involves removing old finishes from cabinets and applying a new paint, stain or varnish. It costs an average of $1,500 to $3,500.

Another way to give your kitchen an instant facelift is to replace your countertops. Depending on the size and material you need, new countertops can cost between $2,000 and $4,000.

Other improvements to consider in this budget range include sink upgrades, new appliances and storage enhancements. And for $3,000 to $4,000, you could have a kitchen island professionally installed.


The Kitchen Makeover Budget: $15,000-$20,000

If you have a makeover-sized budget, you can make a number of upgrades that will make for a nearly brand-new kitchen.

Flooring installation costs an average of $1,500 to $4,500. With a budget this size, you can get any number of beautiful materials for a small slice of this makeover budget. Add in a high-end countertop and you’ll be miles closer to an unforgettable kitchen.

And if your appliances look — and perform — dated, think of the money you could save if you upgraded to energy efficient products. According to Energy Star, old refrigerators use two times the energy as products with their rating. And Energy Star-rated dishwashers are 12 percent more efficient than their standard counterparts.

You could also pull dysfunctional or worn-out cabinets and replace them with a custom set that better suits your needs. Then, once you’ve committed to the biggest-ticket items, you can have some fun with details like lighting, backsplashes, faucets, hardware and sinks.

Whether you’re starting with a few small details or tearing your kitchen down to the studs, you can make big changes in the next year with a budget big or small. To make the most of every dollar, get in touch with a kitchen remodeling professional. They can guide you toward the best materials, the right order of work and the latest trends, technologies and products.


Lauren White is a reporter for HomeAdvisor, an online marketplace connecting homeowners with trusted service professionals to complete home projects. Visit


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