Cheap Kitchen Remodel Tips

6 min read

We store food there. We prepare meals there. And during parties -- for some reason that I've never understood -- we all hang out there.

In the kitchen.

Face it, without an operational kitchen our home would be no more than a box in which to sleep. Sociological perspectives of the kitchen aside, from an infrastructural point a view, the kitchen is the one place in our homes where electricity, water, and food gather to play nice and enable us to feed our families. When they don't play nice...bad things happen. So, it stands to reason that the first of our five cheap kitchen remodel tips starts with the basics.

5. Is your plumbing and electrical up to the task?

You never know what's behind those walls!

I can guess what you're thinking: "Dave, this is supposed to be the five cheap kitchen remodel tips, and right off the bat you're talking about plumbers and electricians," you say."And they're the most expensive trade folks in the home improvement world."

And if you're one of those people who get particularly excited about what people say on the internet, you're probably adding a modifier like "dork" or "idiot". Well, here's my point: Especially if you're going to add additional appliances like a warming oven or under-counter lighting, make sure your existing electrical system is up to the task. Same with plumbing. An extra bar sink may not seem like much, but there's nothing worse that having to rip out new surfaces just to go back into the wall to fix a problem.

4. Don't move walls or roof lines

Are you those kinds of parents who tells their kids it's okay to color outside the lines? Well, good. You'll likely have a pretty well-adjusted creative genius. But when it comes to kitchens...stay inside the lines. It's understandable when homeowners want to move walls to remodel the kitchen. But when you move walls and change roof-lines you are going to pay dearly. Try to work within your existing space, and find ways to make the most of your room.

3. Tile the backsplash

While tile can be expensive, the area of the backsplash is small...usually not more than 40 square feet. You'll have a lot of color/texture choices to tailor-make your backsplash to your tastes, and you won't break the bank. Normally you would have to use concrete-infused backer board, but if it's a small area you can often get away without it--saving time and money. Don't omit this step if using granite or marble -- that stuff is heavy!

2. Paint an accent wall

If you can determine the shade of existing kitchen walls, pick one wall and paint it two shades darker. It's a great cheap kitchen remodel project because it will add contrast and depth to your kitchen for less than $100.

1. Keep your cabinets.

It pays to set up a separate painting area that's dry and dust-free

If you've done your homework you knew this would be number one in our five cheap kitchen remodel tips. Because changing cabinets commonly soaks up 30-50 percent of the total cost of a kitchen remodel. And in many cases your existing cabinets are made of higher quality wood that many new cabinets. There are several options: You can sand, prime, and paint your existing cabinet fronts and doors. Staining them is a better option, because stain tends to wear better and doesn't chip like paint. Or, get rid of the doors completely and paint the bases. A popular design trend lately is to paint the uppers a darker color and go wacky with color on the bases. Now, if keeping your kitchen warm is an issue, we can use a cabinet to hide a very effective heater.

The problem with using the phrase "cheap kitchen remodel" is that it's a relative term. What you think is cheap kitchen remodel may seem outlandish to your neighbor. Our friends at HomeAdvisor have a handy chart where you can determine what is considered an "average" costing kitchen remodel, and that could help you determine if this is a project you want to start, or a kitchen you can learn to live with.