You don't have to save up the cost of college tuition before you make improvements to your kitchen. There are several upgrades you can make with a small budget, and your options grow with every extra dollar you can invest. Check out these tips for upgrading with as little as $100 and as much as $20,000.
The Every-Little-Bit Budget: $100-$1,000
With a small budget, you can fix up cosmetic details that will instantly impact your daily kitchen experience.
A simple coat of paint can completely change the look of the space. According to the HomeAdvisor True Cost Guide, it costs $400 to $800 to have a pro paint an average-sized room. A single wall? As little as $100.
A backsplash is an update that you will notice every day as you prep, cook and clean. A small ceramic or stone backsplash can cost as little as $600. And there are also peel-and-stick wall coverings that you can install yourself for less than $100.
Other easy changes include new window treatments, updated lighting, modern plumbing fixtures, and trendy hardware for your cabinets and drawers.
The Budget to Raise Home Value: $1,000-$10,000
A budget of this size allows for substantial upgrades to vital kitchen components.
For a fraction of the price of a brand-new set of cabinets, you can have your existing cabinets refinished, and transform the look of your whole kitchen. Cabinet refinishing involves removing old finishes from cabinets and applying a new paint, stain or varnish. It costs an average of $1,500 to $3,500.
Another way to give your kitchen an instant facelift is to replace your countertops. Depending on the size and material you need, new countertops can cost between $2,000 and $4,000.
Other improvements to consider in this budget range include sink upgrades, new appliances and storage enhancements. And for $3,000 to $4,000, you could have a kitchen island professionally installed.
The Kitchen Makeover Budget: $15,000-$20,000
If you have a makeover-sized budget, you can make a number of upgrades that will make for a nearly brand-new kitchen.
Flooring installation costs an average of $1,500 to $4,500. With a budget this size, you can get any number of beautiful materials for a small slice of this makeover budget. Add in a high-end countertop, and you'll be miles closer to an unforgettable kitchen.
And if your appliances look — and perform — dated, think of the money you could save if you upgraded to energy-efficient products. According to Energy Star, old refrigerators use twice the energy as products with their rating. And Energy Star-rated dishwashers are 12 percent more efficient than their standard counterparts.
You could also pull dysfunctional or worn-out cabinets, and replace them with a custom set that better suits your needs. Then, once you've committed to the biggest-ticket items, you can have some fun with details like lighting, backsplashes, faucets, hardware and sinks.
Whether you're starting with a few small details or tearing your kitchen down to the studs, you can make big changes in the next year with a budget big or small.