Wednesday, May 7, 2014 / by Teresa DiPeso
Looking to redo your space but lacking the funds? You can actually get a whole new look without a big hassle - or a big expense. With some tips and tricks and some effort on your part (and maybe that of a few of your friends), you can fix up almost any space for under $500. Today we're going to concentrate on the area that most frustrates those who don't have designer digs: the kitchen.
"The average cost of a mid-level kitchen renovation is $35,000," said HGTV. "But all is not lost for the budget-minded homeowner. For $500, the clever do-it-yourselfer can give any tired-looking kitchen a makeover without having to replace a single cabinet or appliance."
Nothing is easier for the DIYer and nothing makes as big of an impact at a reasonable cost as a new coat of paint. "Painting is the most cost-effective way of giving your kitchen a facelift," sad HGTV. "For less than $100 in paint and supplies, a thrifty homeowner can transform the look and feel of his or her kitchen in a weekend."
If your cabinets are grimy, old, ugly, or all of the above, you can paint them too. Of course, the effort involved here is not small. Sanding, priming, more sanding, painting, more sanding, and all the cleaning you have to do in between to get up all the dust is no easy feat. But the payoff can be great - if you do it right.
"Before you paint, it's important to prep," said Bankrate. "Remove the doors from the cabinets, cover the hardware or remove it, and be sure to sand away old paint."
If you want to cut down on the prep time, try a product like Cabinet Transformations, which allows you to eliminate the tedious sanding step.
Another way to update/upgrade your cabinets is by adding some jewelry. Adding hardware can give the cabinets a fresh look. So can adding molding. If you can use a table saw (and properly calculate angles for mitered corners, you can add molding to the top of your cabinets that can transform the look and give your kitchen a custom touch.
New appliances can give you a big bang, but also cost big bucks. If you need a new stove, microwave, or dishwasher, you may be able to score big at an outlet store or by buying something that isn't perfect.
"Changing an appliance will push the outer limit of any budget," said Bankrate. "But if you're willing to accept minor imperfections, it is possible to pick up a new appliance for less than $500. You can update appliances by going to a 'scratch-and-dent' store where they sell new appliances at a steep discount due to minor cosmetic flaws. The term refers to cosmetic blemishes that preclude retailers from selling the appliances as new, but when it comes to functionality, the buyer is getting a new product."
If you're not ready to take the plunge with new appliances, add a flashy new look by redoing your backsplash.
"A relatively easy and inexpensive update is to install or replace a tile backsplash," said Consumer Reports.
"The average cost is about $3 to $5 per square foot, though decorative inlays and trims can cost more. Experts say this is a relatively easy DIY project depending on the material and the intricacy of the pattern. Whether you do the job yourself or hire an installer depends on the state of your existing backsplash and how much time you can commit to the job."
That scratched-up, too-small sink is also a good candidate for an inexpensive makeover if you have some good skills - or are owed a favor by someone who does. "You don't have to be a plumber to give your kitchen sink a makeover, but
you do have to be somewhat handy," said Bankrate. "You can replace the faucet on your sink rather easily in about an hour.
"Depending on the quality and features of the faucet, you could spend anywhere between $150 and $500.
A more dramatic option, and one that requires a little more muscle, is to replace the whole sink. The project will take a few hours, and it should run you between $250 and $500 for a new sink."
Looking for more ideas? Check out this DIY Network video.