7 Affordable Kitchen Upgrades

It's no secret that a drab looking kitchen can make your house look less than welcoming, leaving you struggling to muster up enthusiasm for entertaining or even for cooking everyday meals. While the average kitchen remodeling project costs $56,768 as of 2015, there are countless ways to update your kitchen for a fraction of this price. You could work with a local home improvement contractor, who will tailor your remodel to your budget and wish list, or tackle small kitchen projects individually either on your own or with the help of a professional. Check out these seven ideas for refreshing your kitchen without breaking the bank.

  1. Cabinet Upgrades -- If your budget is very low, consider painting or staining your cabinets yourself to dramatically change the look of your kitchen. The process is labor-intensive, but can be completed for just a few hundred dollars worth of paint/stain and supplies. If you can shell out $1,000 to $3,000, call in the pros to reface your cabinets with new laminate. This is a great option if you have cabinet doors or corners with chipped or peeling edges.
  2. Paint Laminate Countertops -- While granite and other solid surfaces last for decades, laminate countertops often need some TLC after a much shorter period. Consider painting laminate to give it a fresh new look and hide scratches, or use special products designed to make laminate look like granite. You could also have a contractor come in to replace missing or cracked edge banding to refresh damaged countertops. 
  3. Paint Walls -- There's no cheaper or easier way to brighten up your kitchen than investing in a new coat of paint. Best of all, this project will dramatically change the look of your space, and it's a project almost anyone can tackle, even on a tight budget.
  4. Swap your Backsplash -- Give your kitchen a whole new look by upgrading your backsplash. Ceramic or glass tiles are surprisingly cheap, and you can always pick a few fancier tiles to use as an inexpensive accent or border. If you hate the look of tile, paint the wall between the countertop and cabinets a bright color, then screw sheets of clear plastic over the wall to protect both drywall and paint.
  5. Replace Hardware -- For a subtler change, replace old cabinet handles and drawer pulls with newer versions that fit the style of your kitchen. If you can afford it, pick new faucets for your sink with a matching finish to go with your new hardware. 
  6. Upgrade Flooring -- Forget expensive hardware or tile; save money in the kitchen with laminate or vinyl floors. Modern versions of these products are durable, and many are designed to mimic the look of more expensive materials like wood or natural stone. You can find laminate for as low as $0.78 per square foot, while vinyl rings in between $1 and $2 per square foot
  7. Accessorize -- Your tastes in style when you installed your kitchen might not match your current tastes. If you can't afford any other upgrades, you can still make your kitchen more inviting simply by using accessories to make it your own. Swap old curtains and dish towels for a fresh style, or paint over dated wallpaper borders that you no longer love. Consider adding a small chalkboard or whiteboard to organize family activities, and add life with a vase of fresh flowers.

If you need a professional's help, visit a company like Latocha Builders & Renovations Inc.