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The kitchen is the most popular room to remodel, but sadly, it is not the cheapest. One way to offset those costs is by completing the work yourself. Despite its high traffic, there are plenty of kitchen remodeling projects homeowners can accomplish without the help of a professional. If you want to shed some costs and transform your kitchen, continue reading to see seven easy DIY projects perfect for any kitchen remodel.
The Benefits of Kitchen Remodels
Before you begin your kitchen remodel, you have to know why you are remodeling, expecially when time and money are at play. Homeowners redo their kitchens for a variety of reasons; some just want a new look, some are planning to move, some can’t deal with their tile floors and others just want more functionality. However, when we talked to homeowners across the country, three dominant reasons became evident.
Homeowners remodel their kitchens to:
- Increase the value of their home
- Add different designs
- Install more storage or make it more convenient
To see how a kitchen remodel can accomplish all three, please see the Benefits of Kitchen Remodels.
1. DIY Kitchen Countertops
Kitchens almost always start and end with the countertops. Homeowners tend to shy away from working with expensive features (like their countertops), but as you will see, installing your own kitchen countertops is a job anyone can handle.
After you decide on your material, know the dimensions and have your counters cut (by the manufacturer), all homeowners can follow the steps below. For a more detailed description, see How To Install Kitchen Countertops.
- Double check that the counter size and cuts are perfect
- You should add the sink before you install the counters (sink hole should be cut)
- Place countertop on workstation with plenty of space
- Drill a hole for the faucet and the brackets
- Add silicone around sink hole (ask countertop manufacturer what silicone or adhesive they recommend)
- Add the sink to the countertop
- Place countertop in desired location
- Seal all spaces with colored adhesive (match the countertop)
- Connect water lines
2. How To Install A Sink
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There are those homeowners who grow tired of looking at the same kitchen sinks for years and years. Much like the kitchen counters, all it takes is careful precision and a steady hand.
If you are installing a new sink, you will need to cut a hole in the countertop (just as we did above). The sink manufacturer should provide a cutting template. Just like the counters, install the faucet and waste line to the sink before the sink is secured in the hole (much easier).
Use the following steps to install the sink:
- Turn your sink over on your countertop in the desired location
- Trace around the sink
- Drill four holes at the corners of the sink placement
- Use a jigsaw to cut from corner to corner
- Check that the sink fits inside the hole
- Seal the cut edges of the countertop with a preservative primer
- Put the faucet in the sink and install the hoses as well
- Install the waste line as the instructions show
- Add a layer of adhesive on the counter where the sink will sit
- Some homeowners add retaining clips around the edges of the sink at this time
- Once you put the sink into place, tighten the clips if needed
- Connect the faucets and waste lines
For a more detailed description, please see our friends over at the DIY Network.
3. DIY Kitchen Cabinets
Much like the counters, homeowners tend to shy away from installing their own kitchen cabinets. Fortunately, installing kitchen cabinets is just as easy as hanging a TV or large painting. As long as you have a plan and know where the studs are, you can install your kitchen cabinets without a professional. See a quick overview of the steps below or check out How To Install Kitchen Cabinets.
- Measure and find studs in the wall (mark them)
- Hang a support board (so you don’t have to hold the cabinet as you install)
- Remove cabinet doors
- Attach adjacent cabinets together
- Attach kitchen cabinets to the wall with the drill
- Install base kitchen cabinets using the same steps
4. Paint Kitchen Appliances
One of the cheapest and quickest ways to transform your kitchen is by giving it a fresh coat of paint. While the average price to paint an interior room is $1,655, you can drastically reduce the overall cost by completing the job yourself.
If you choose to go bold, we highly recommend consulting a professional first. Interior design pros know what colors work in what rooms. If you’re looking for a smaller job, painting kitchen appliances could have the same design effect and yet, take half the time. Most major appliance manufacturers offer paint, panel kits and other fix-ups on their websites. With these kits, you could redo your refrigerator, oven or dishwasher.
Whether you want a fresh look for your home or are planning to sell it in the near future, a coat of paint inside the home will make the space look newer, brighter and even a little more spacious. See how you can change the entire look of your kitchen with paint at DIY Tips for How to Paint Kitchen Appliances.
5. DIY Tile Backsplash
The backsplash has become the new necessity in kitchen remodels across the country. Backsplashes can give dull or small kitchens that wow factor we all seek. They come in a wide array of designs, matching your traditional, rustic or modern kitchen. As long as you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, you can install the backsplash yourself.
Follow the steps below to install your own tiled kitchen backsplash:
- Measure the distance between your top cabinet and your countertop
- Grab your tiled backsplash and cut it to match the distance you just measured
- Remove the outlet covers on the wall
- Clean the walls to remove all oils, grease and marks
- Place your tile on the wall in the desired location
- Carefully add the bottom row of the backsplash, starting with the left–hand side
- Make sure it is straight and even before moving forward or applying pressure
- To add the grout, cut the edge of the grout bag and evenly distribute it with an evening tool or a floater
- Apply grout to the backsplash in a diagonal pattern
- Then, push the grout into the joints going the opposite direction
- Make sure there is grout in all joints
- Use a damp sponge and clean all the grout and joints
6. Clean Grout on Tile Floor
Speaking of tile and grout, a terrific way to update your kitchen with little to no cost at all is by cleaning the grout on your tile floor. The visible grout lines made from water, sand and cement absorb grease and dirt faster than tiles. As a result, it may discolor quickly, resulting in an ugly design for your kitchen floor.
The savvier DIYer would create his or her own grout cleaner from any combination of baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or (oxygen) bleach. As an extra precaution, only use bleach if you have light-colored grout. However, the safer bet would be to buy a special pH-balanced product from a flooring company to protect against discoloration.
Depending on the chosen cleaner, it’s always best to let it sit within the grout for a few minutes before scrubbing it in. If you’re using a combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, let the peroxide settle before hitting the scrubber.
After pouring a healthy amount of cleaner and letting it sit, gently add your baking soda (if you're using it). Then, use your toothbrush or specialty brush and rub away the dirt. Don’t be afraid to use some muscle. Most homeowners ignore their grout for months, if not years, so a good amount of grease and dirt could be hiding.
To finish off the process, see How to Clean Grout on Tile Floor.
7. DIY Fixes for the Refrigerator
Food is the main reason we enter and leave the kitchen, but if your fridge is on the fritz, the kitchen loses all purpose. Luckily, homeowners can fix some of the most common refrigerator issues.
The most common problem fridges face is leakage. A range of issues could cause a refrigerator to leak, but the most common culprit is a loose gasket. A refrigerator gasket is the flexible elastic strip attached to the outer edge of a refrigerator or freezer.
When the gasket is loose, your refrigerator has to work that much harder. A fridge that runs excessively will build up extra condensation on the coils, which can cause a leak. Check the rubber door seals on your fridge and freezer to make sure you're getting a proper seal. If you find a problem, wash the seals with warm water and soap and apply a thin film of lubricant (petroleum jelly works best). If this doesn't solve your problem, you may need to replace the gasket.
For other common refrigerator issues and solutions, please see How To Fix 3 Common Refrigerator Problems.
Do not let kitchen remodeling scare you. These jobs may sound stressful, but as long as you have a step-by-step guide and the patience to complete the job correctly, your kitchen can look as good as new before you know it.
Looking for a few easier projects? Our friends at BuzzFeed found 30 insanely easy DIY tricks to improve your kitchen’s functionality.