Maintaining your existing plumbing is an excellent way to reduce costs. You can still invest in new appliances, sinks and faucets as long as you install them in the current plumbing positions. If your remodeling design requires the installation of new pipes or you're changing your kitchen's floor plan, be prepared to pay a plumber for labor and the necessary plumbing parts.
Then there's the cost of flooring, which is between $1,400 to $5,000 and highly dependent on the material selected and the overall square footage. While vinyl is an excellent option in terms of affordability, it does not add much value to a home. In comparison, granite and hardwood flooring will increase value, but at a higher cost. While wood floors are popular, most remodelers don’t recommend having them in your kitchen because they are so susceptible to moisture.
Case in point: Photographer and designer Erin Kestenbaum transformed her kitchen as part of this fall’s One Room Challenge and thoughtfully included enhanced storage space. Kestenbaum’s creative solutions included vertical tray storage above the fridge, a narrow drawer for oils and spices by the range, and a coffee bar built into a full-height cabinet. "I love designing upfront ways to hide the clutter and appliances that, without a home, will inevitably end up on your countertop occupying space," she says.
When you're working with $15,000 to $30,000, you can leave more work to the professionals instead of doing it yourself. This might include refinishing or refacing your cabinets, painting the walls and ceilings, installing new lighting and rewiring some electrical work. You can also focus on replacing your flooring, if it's particularly worn, and look at more high-grade countertop material like stone (granite, Corian, Formica). You might be able to invest in custom cabinets, move some plumbing, or have an island installed in this price range, but you might have to compromise on other upgrades in the process.
Minor remodels aim to preserve the kitchen’s existing footprint while refreshing its overall appearance and usability. The significant changes are usually budget-friendly fixes like painting the walls, adding new flooring and buying energy-efficient appliances, since the customer isn’t selecting top-of-the-line materials or products. Cabinetry is often a lofty expense, but minor remodels opt for money-saving measures like refacing the existing cabinets or selecting entry-level cabinets, which are mass-produced and ready-to-install.