5 Simple Kitchen Projects That Cost $1,500 or Less

5 Simple Kitchen Projects That Cost $1,500 or Less

4 min read
Chad Emery

Chad Emery is an analyst at FIXR and contributes to indoor and outdoor cost guides and cheatsheets for various remodeling and renovation projects. These resources help current and future homeowners find solutions for their short- and long-term needs and goals.

As a home improvement industry analyst, Chad compiles data from various sources and finds stories in the data that provide insight into different aspects of the home improvement market. Presenting the data in an approachable and accessible way allows homeowners and industry experts to draw their own conclusions and make informed decisions in a competitive and evolving market.


Most recently, Chad’s data analyses and visualizations have been published on the FIXR blog. He is also a contributor to the BiggerPockets Blog and looks forward to sharing his experience and knowledge of the home improvement industry with the wider BiggerPockets network.


Chad earned a BA in Media Communications from Webster University in St. Louis and an MSc in New Media from Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Brussels, Belgium.



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Kitchens remodels are far and away the most popular type of home improvement project undertaken in the U.S. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, kitchens make up about 78 percent of all projects.

But projects don’t need to be big to qualify as an improvement. In fact, according to Remodeling Magazine, it’s cosmetic and minor kitchen remodels that turn the biggest ROI. And those can be of nearly any scale, as well, from a simple yet effective improvement to something much bigger and dramatic.

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 that it’s time for an update, but the money isn’t there for a full-scale remodel, take a look at these five projects instead.

Update Or Replace Your Countertops

Countertops take a lot of abuse every day, which can mean that they look older than they really are very quickly. This is particularly true if you have a laminate countertop; it can look stained or scratched after just five to 10 years, meaning that you need a new one.

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 $1,200, giving your kitchen a fresh new look.

Related: 5 Remodeling Materials I Swear By (Perfect for Flips, Rentals—You Name It!)

Renovated and staged kitchen

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.

Storage can take on a lot of different styles, which can meet the needs of any space. Have open walls? Consider installing some long shelves. Have a kitchen island? Consider a pot rack that you can hang above it.

You can also increase storage by adding organizers to the cabinet space you already have. By making sure every inch of your cabinetry is designed to hold the most items, your space can be much more functional and attractive to any prospective buyers or renters.

It’s possible to purchase a lot of storage and organizational items for your kitchen for well under $1,500. In fact, new shelving, a pot rack, and some organizers can all be found for about $500 in most areas.

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 in the reach of a DIYer, so you can save even more.

If you opt for a professional painter, the job should still come to less than $1,000, even if you splash out on some new hardware to match the paint job.

Newly repainted cabinets will stand out to any prospective buyer or renter, and white cabinets are often the most popular, making this a good choice. White cabinets will also help brighten a dark kitchen, which can make it feel more spacious, as well as modern and sleek.

Related: The 5 Best Home Renovations to Increase Your Property Value

Install a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals bring convenience and efficiency to any kitchen, and installing one could make your kitchen a lot more functional and user-friendly. Disposals are quick and easy to install, and they come in many sizes and horsepowers to accommodate differently-sized kitchens and family needs.

With a disposal, you can cut down on the amount of food waste going into the garbage, which can help cut down on odors, as well. They’re also simple to use, and help make dinner prep and clean up easier.

Best of all, purchasing and having a disposal professionally installed costs about $300 total, giving you a lot of money left in the budget for other upgrades.

duplex up down basement

Put in a New Floor

Kitchens see some of the highest foot traffic in the home, so the floor tends to take a beating over time. Old, dingy kitchen floors can really lower the appearance and the value of the entire kitchen, so replacing them can make a significant long-term difference.

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. A new kitchen floor made of VCT should cost around $1,200 on average and will really transform the room.

Update Your Kitchen Today

Kitchen renovations and remodels don’t have to be expensive, labor-intensive projects. Minor updates can make a significant difference to the efficiency and appearance of your kitchen, and when executed well, this can help sell or rent a property quickly.

With a small budget, planning and creativity are key in order to avoid spiraling costs and 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. Update your kitchen today to increase its value and its livability at the same time.

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What do you think are the most wanted or beneficial upgrades to make in a kitchen?

Let’s talk in the comment section below.