Flipping Houses

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

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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.

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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.

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.

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

Let’s talk in the comment section below.

Chad Emery analyzes the home improvement and construction industries for Fixr, a website that educates and empowers homeowners to make the best decisions about t...
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    Ngum G. Investor from columbus oh
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I am a newbie and this post really got me thinking about the endless remodeling possibilities. I am at the beginning of my real estate journey, and I can't wait to finally buy my first property.
    Mark F. Rental Property Investor from Bergen County, NJ
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I would never install a garbage disposal on a rental unless it was in the lease for them to repair it. Its like a ceiling fan or a dishwasher. Another non necessity that is just begging to become a service call.
    John Murray from Portland, Oregon
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Garbage disposal is a great idea, the cost can vary such as a new circuit. Permit, materials and labor will run up to about $500-$700. You can do a quick and dirty by tapping the dishwasher circuit but dat ain't right. New counter tops, demo and install you are in the ballpark for laminate, granite or quarts a bit more. Recently I did a galley kitchen for about $2200 and the contractor installed the quartz with plywood on new level cabinets. If the cabinets are out of plumb, elevation and draw clearance the labor will increase. Flooring could be complex, if mid century the adhesive contains asbestos as well as some of the flooring materials. I did one recently, did all the asbestos demo and had a contractor install sub floor and vinyl and was about $1800 (galley kitchen). If the contractor has to do asbestos remove all add at least $2000. A quick and dirty floor is vinyl plank but the elevation increases and may look a bit odd. That transition looks like a speed bump. The quick and dirty cabinet paint job, paint the counter tops with rustoleum and put another layer of vinyl over that battle ship linoleum will do you for about 5 years and then flip it when the time is right.