Top 15 DIY Kitchen Design Ideas and Costs

Ready to create a kitchen that will really impress with its versatility, design and style? If so, our DIY home improvement guide to kitchen renovation and remodeling projects will be a great starting point for you! 🙂

Your kitchen may be the most important room in your home this year! It is a now a multipurpose space for working from home, connecting with family, entertaining, and is the heart of a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. Kitchens have anywhere from a 60%-100% return on investment, assuming you make the right choices. 😉

Whether you’ve got a micro-loft or mansion; your kitchen has to look great and function efficiently. So what’s trending in the latest kitchen design? Which kitchen remodeling projects deliver the best value? Which projects can be tackled by a crafty DIY enthusiasts? How can you get the most out of your renovation budget?

What will you do to make your kitchen amazing this year?

Getting Started Planning your magnificent kitchen makeover starts with:

  1. Clearing out the old to create a clean slate
  2. Getting up to date on emerging design trends
  3. Deciding what you want your kitchen and remodel to do for you
  4. Creating a budget
  5. Visualizing your new look

According to 150 Points Remodeling Decision Engine, a kitchen remodel can run from as little as $7,000 to over $45,000. The average spent is $20,000. Hanley Wood 2017 Cost vs. Value Report estimates an upscale kitchen remodel can run up to $120,000, with a 60% plus return on investment when it comes time to sell.

A Realtor survey and accompanying Return vs. Joy report and info-graphic ranks both a kitchen upgrade, and complete kitchen remodel as delivering some of the highest ‘Joy Scores’ at 9.4 and 9.8 respectively. This makes it one of the best rooms to makeover if you’ll be staying there for a while.

Did you know: If you are planning on selling your home any time soon, you should know that a kitchen can instantly make or break a home sale.

So what’s in, what’s out, and what are the hacks for a higher ROI remodel project?

15 Kitchen Upgrade Ideas

1. Countertops

Contemporary Kitchen - soapstone countertop By Bay Cabinetry Design Studio

Aside from cabinets, kitchen countertops can be one of the largest investments in this space. It is also one renovation item that few property owners should ever consider taking on themselves. So calculate in installation at around 20% of your total costs.

However, do note that there are many online and in-store design and concept visualization services and tools that can be leveraged for free. These can be used even if you purchase your materials somewhere else, or find your own contractor for the install.

For the fashion conscious, a kitchen island and countertops should be covered with quartz or quartzite, not the common granite. For those on a budget and who are more green minded, consider recycled countertops, butchers block from sustainable forests, or concrete.

Cost: Countertop costs can range from around $15 per foot for laminate to $140 per foot for quartz.

ROI: New countertops may not add much tangible value to your home, unless the previous ones were damaged or dysfunctional. However, they will make you feel a million times better about your kitchen, and can absolutely make a world of difference in real estate for sale ads, and when showing a home for sale.

2. Kitchen Islands

A-marvelous-kitchen-traditional-style The kitchen island is now easily the most important feature in a home. It makes or breaks real estate advertising and sales.

If truly amazing is a must; then go all out with a unique kitchen island. Double it as an entertainment bar and pro serving station by building in a bonus sink, cooling station for garnishes, wine, and making fresh sushi. Or add heat lamps and a warming drawer to keep brunch hot and fresh, and your plates up to par with restaurant quality.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association also reports that “desk or home office space has been created in a majority of new kitchens being designed by their members — approximately two-thirds of them. This space is also likely to include a docking station for recharging mobile devices.”

The basics of a kitchen island are the cabinets, and countertop. Size and quality of materials are the biggest variables, followed by installation. Use the cabinet and countertop costs in this report to calculate a rough estimate for your custom island. Alternatively; inexpensive portable kitchen islands can be found from IKEA from $400 to $500.

Cost: $400 to $3,200

ROI: Adding an island may not increase your home’s appraised value, but it will definitely make a massive difference in appeal. You’ll love using it. Prospective buyers will be drawn to your home listing, and given the importance of the island today it could absolutely generate higher purchase offers and create bidding wars over your property.

3. Upgrade Kitchen Cabinets – DIY Option!

traditional kitchen with maple cabinets and colorful pendant lights Many property owners will find that they can get away with simply upgrading current cabinets, rather than splurging on brand new ones.

According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association this part of the kitchen can soak up as much as 30% of the total budget. So this is a great place to save big. Think refinishing or replacing cabinet doors and hardware. To really take it to the next level visually (without breaking the budget) consider smart under cabinet ambient lighting, and tablet holders for an affordable, but hi-tech look.

Cost: $200 to $5,000+

ROI: 70% +. The ROI on making existing cabinets look brand new can be huge. You can essentially get a brand new kitchen at the fraction of the cost. Expect to get virtually all of your money back in a sale or lease.

4. Replace Kitchen Cabinets – DIY Option!

black cabinets and stainless steel appliances Installing kitchen cabinets is another major task which most DIY enthusiasts will be glad they hired out for, instead of tackling it themselves.

Via BiggerPockets some real estate investors are reporting that Ikea kitchen cabinets have worked just fine for them. Individual cabinet doors from Ikea start around $10 to $100. However, these can be a contractor’s worst nightmare. They reportedly arrive in many boxes, with many parts. Think of it as a kitchen sized Rubik’s cube. That can destroy your budget if your installers are working by the hour. Alternatives include purchasing stock cabinets from home improvement stores, semi-customizing stock cabinetry, and fully custom built cabinets. Individual stock cabinets may start at under $100 per piece. The sky is the limit for high quality custom carpentry and exclusive materials.

modern-kitchen-design Hot kitchen colors include black, white, and retro pastel colors. HGTV says “gray is the new white.”

Cost: A new set of cabinets can run from $1,200 to $18,500+

ROI: Up to 70%. There is really no tangible home value difference between low end and high end cabinets. The return is in the personal enjoyment, and in the appeal and emotional value which can drive more, and higher offers when marketing a property for sale.

5. New Kitchen Appliances- DIY Option!

New kitchen appliances can make a massive visual difference. The best part of making an investment in new appliances is that you can take them with you when you move. New energy efficient and smart appliances can help owners and renters to cut energy bills, reduce grocery bills, enjoy more productivity in their lives, and live more environmentally friendly. Top of the line fridges can now run tens of thousands of dollars. Note that many of their top tech features still require manual input. That means they may really be most productive for those with a housekeeping staff to operate them. In terms of style; stainless steel is heading out, and colored appliances are back in. Note that those simply staging homes for sale can often rent appliances short term for showings. Look for appliance outlet stores and special sales days to get even more out of your budget.

Cost: $400 to $50,000+

ROI: 100%+. The return here is really a matter of the personal use you get out of them. However, with energy savings and portability property owners can find they see all of their investment returned, and more.

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Top 20 Outdoor Kitchen Designs and Costs

If you like cooking at home, then you surely know how hot, steamy, and smoky that kitchen can get! But what about cooking at an outdoor kitchen?

Yes, indeed, you can absolutely cook outside, at an outdoor kitchen, as well as have way more fun while you are at it!

But what if you don’t have an outdoor kitchen? Let’s build one! Warning, you are about to delight your eyes with 20 beautiful and fully functional outdoor kitchen designs to help you get your imagination going! 😉

Small outdoor kitchen near the pool

Did you know? Outdoor kitchens are quite a trend in areas with warm weather all year round. Cooking takes a lot of time and you can make it more pleasant by cooking outside. If you’re curious, take a look at the following 20 outdoor kitchen designs. But first, let’s talk about the costs involved in such a project.

How much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?

Outdoor kitchens can cost anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars all the way to $50,000 and even $100,000. The main costs involved in designing and building an outdoor kitchen revolve around the following:

  • design work that starts at $400.
  • shade structures
  • appliances
  • landscape lighting in and around the kitchen
  • patio installation
  • the framework of the kitchen
  • utility requirements like drains, electrical lines and natural gas piping.

The average reported cost for building an outdoor kitchen is a bit over $9,000, most homeowners spending between $2,700 and $16,000. What does this sum cover? Well, for starters, there’s the center piece of most outdoor kitchens: the grill. Some families spend thousands of dollars on a fancy grill. A decent one costs at least $1,000 while high end products can be sold for up to $15,000. Don’t forget to purchase BBQ equipment too. Another important appliance is the fridge. A quality refrigerator starts at $500, but some people opt for a beverage cooler instead.

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Top 10 Green Home Improvements Plus Their Costs – DIY Green Living Ideas

In today’s fractured world it is next to impossible to find one thing on which everyone agrees, but Eco-friendly home improvement choices are one of them. Green is good. Good for the planet. Good for our health. Good for the future. Green remodeling means energy efficiency, resource conservation, and a healthy indoor environment.

But some Eco-friendly home remodeling upgrades, whether DIY or done by a pro, make more sense than others. Cost is always an understandable concern. Many green choices will eventually pay for themselves many times over in long-term cost savings and increased resale value of your home. Others will never justify the increased upfront costs. Let’s investigate…

1. Green Flooring

Options abound in the selection of Eco-friendly flooring. Sustainable wood choices like bamboo (actually a grass) make attractive flooring substitutes to oak and maple. No one likes to cut down trees unnecessarily and wood flooring is also available from reclaimed wood that spent its previous life as barn siding or kitchen cabinets.

reclaimed-wood Image credits: Jetson Green

This wood lends a unique look to your flooring, but expect to pay from $10 to $15 per square foot for your one-of-a-kind reclaimed wood flooring installed.

Cork flooring is an Eco-friendly alternative to wood flooring. Ground-up bottle-stoppers are reformulated for flooring that is warm, lasts for generations and great for spills from little kids.

cork-floors-kitchen-westlake-residence Image Credits: Cornerstone Architects

Compared to reclaimed wood, cork flooring is a significantly less-costly, albeit not as stylish, economical alternative. Expect to pay from $4.50 to $6.00 per square foot of cork flooring installed.

And while you are making over your flooring, do not overlook the plywood underlayment – choose plywood that employs soy-based adhesives rather than traditional urea-formaldehyde. Your home environment will immediately become healthier without the toxins that adhesive leaks into the interior air. A 3/4-inch thick sheet of 4 x 8-foot formaldehyde-free, soy-based assembled plywood will run about $50.

2. Decks: Green Flooring for Outdoors

hardwood-deck Ipe Hardwood Deck by: SD Independent Construction

Don’t forget to go Eco-friendly outside as well as in. Composite decks formed from wood waste and recycled plastic will outlast pressure-treated wood, will never need staining and preserving, will clean easily, will not crack and will never leave a splinter in your toe. The downside will be the upfront costs, but expect future buyers to look kindly on that long-lasting, maintenance-free outdoor space. A pressure-treated wood deck typically clocks in at around $15 per square foot, while decks fabricated from composite materials start in the neighborhood of $35 per square foot.

3. Cool Roofs

Dark roofs make houses hotter, light roofs make houses cooler. To achieve these benefits companies can coat your roof with reflective materials, some of which are applied like paint, sprayed directly on the surface of an existing roof. Of course, this is a one-season solution. Energy conservation wizards are currently working on tiles that will go from light to dark as needed – they can cut the sunlight absorbed into your house by 80% when they are white and slice heating costs by 20% and more when they turn black. You can find a cool roof coating formulated with acrylic polymers, resins, fillers and titanium dioxide pigments for about $100 for a 4.75 gallon container

If rather than applying it yourself, your would prefer to hire a professional, expect to pay anywhere from a few to several thousands of dollars to properly apply liquid roof coating. You should know that most liquid roof coatings are only suitable for durable membrane-based flat roofs and aging metal roofs.

Energy Efficient PVC membrane on a flat roof PVC roof by: New England Metal Roof

If you have a flat or low-slope roof that is starting to show the signs of age and may thus require replacement soon, then consider installing one of the following membranes; white, energy-efficient PVC and TPO membranes, or white EPDM rubber roof. Expect to pay from $4.50 to $6.00 per foot for EPDM rubber membrane installed. PVC or TPO will cost $5.50 to $7.50 per square foot installed.

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Corrugated Metal Roofing vs. Standing Seam – Pros & Cons, Plus Costs

Back in the day, metal roofing was used to cover homes, barns, commercial roofs, factory buildings, and churches before asphalt shingles were even invented. Metal was solid, affordable, and durable roofing material.

green-standing-seam-metal-roof

Nowadays, metal roofing is enjoying some impressive resurgence in popularity and demand, whether it’s standing seam, corrugated metal sheets, or ribbed metal panels. Corrugated metal panels are often used in commercial and low-end residential applications, but standing seam is becoming a lot more prominent and extremely popular in high-end residential and commercial retrofits and new roof installations. Both of these systems have their pros and cons that must be considered before deciding which particular system will best suit your needs.

From Metal to Corrugated Galvanized Iron Sheets

Metal, namely copper, has been used as a roofing material since about 970 BC. Corrugated metal panels were invented the early 1800’s. It was the “new and improved” metal roofing system featuring wavy or ribbed panel profile. Corrugating the sheets of metal, which was hot-dip galvanized iron at the time, increased their strength and longevity.

installing-corrugated-metal

During the installation, corrugated metal panels are overlapped by one or two ridges, through-fastened onto the roof deck or frame, and commonly sealed with caulk (in between the corrugated panels at the point of overlap) to keep rainwater and moisture out. Needless to say caulking is the least permanent part of the corrugated metal roof.

corrugated-metal-roof-on-a-house

Standing seam metal roofing became the “new and improved” roofing option in the mid-1900’s. The “standing” or raised seams made the durable roofing material even more weatherproof. The ridges that run the length of standing seam metal roofs are the seams between the metal panels. Bending the panel edges up to a height of ½ to 1 ½ inches, then folding them over makes standing seam metal roofs more weatherproof. The raised seams force rainwater and moisture to run down off the roof in the “channels” between the seams instead of working its way between the metal panels.

Difference in Price

While the cost of corrugated metal will be similar to asphalt shingles, standing seam featuring improved design, thicker panels and better warranties can seem very expensive in comparison. With standing seam, materials and installation costs will be roughly two to three times the cost of corrugated metal or shingles. However, with standing seam, you’re not going to have to buy another new roof for a very long time, if at all. Either corrugated metal panels with exposed fasteners, or standing seam metal roof with concealed fasteners will last significantly longer than asphalt. Hence, either system can be a smart investment in your home.

  • Corrugated metal roofs are significantly cheaper (their cost is similar to the cost of architectural asphalt shingles.) and run about $300 to $400 per square (100 square feet) installed. The material is less expensive and the panels are easier to install, which saves on labor costs. However, the additional maintenance expenses and the need to stay on top of it should be figured into the decision. It is definitely not an “install it and forget it” type of roof.
  • Standing seam metal roofs are considerably more expensive and run about $900 to over $1000 per square to install. The material is more expensive and the panels are much more difficult to install. A very steep roof and a roof with lots of dormers and valleys will jack up the price higher. A specialty metal roofing contractor with experience in standing seam should be hired to do the installation.

    The installer should know what he is doing before taking the job, and what he is getting himself into if he does take the job. It will probably mean spending about $1000 per square (100 square feet) on standing seam installation, but you will save money in the long run.

    An improperly installed standing seam roof will require additional investment to repair and installation defects in the future, when it fails. Your installation will also cost significantly more if you have to find another roofer because the one hired originally got frustrated and walked off the job. 😉

Difference in Materials

Standing seam metal roofs are a little more heavy-duty than corrugated metal roofs due to the thickness of the roofing material. While on the surface this difference in thickness may seem insignificant at first, but it is worth considering.

corrugated metal panels

  • Corrugated metal sheets are commonly made from 29 or 26-gauge steel (typically G-60 or G-90 hot-dip galvanized steel), also referred to as G-29 or G-26. It is slightly thinner than standing seam.
  • Standing seam metal panels are usually 24 or 22-gauge (G-90 or Galvalume steel), also referred to as G-24 or G-22. It can occasionally be 26-gauge, but that is as thin as it gets.

This difference in thickness is part of the reason for the difference in price between corrugated metal and standing seam. The thicker material used in standing seam panels costs a little more than the thinner material commonly used in corrugated metal sheets.

standing-seam-panels

Difference in Coatings

Most corrugated metal roofs are resilient and rust-resistant, but standing seam is even more so.

  • Corrugated metal roofing sheets are usually made from steel that is “galvanized” or coated with zinc. This zinc coating gives the steel that dull, silver color before it is painted. It also makes the steel resistant to rust and corrosion. Corrugated metal sheets are also available in aluminum and Galvalume steel, but these materials are more expensive.
  • Standing seam metal roofs are commonly made from a material called Galvalume which is steel that has been “super-galvanized.” This super-galvanizing coating is an aluminum-zinc alloy. Galvalume is roughly twice as resistant to rust and corrosion as the steel used for corrugated metal roofing because of this special galvanizing process.

This slight difference in the protective coating is figured into the higher price of standing seam material. Yes, it is a little more expensive, but it offers twice the resistance to rust and corrosion resulting in a much longer-lasting and durable roofing system.

Looks and Aesthetics

Corrugated metal roofs and standing seam each impart their own “look” onto a building. Which looks best is really a matter of opinion. They are both available in a wide range of colors.

  • Corrugated metal roofs have a less formal look. The ridges are closer together and usually soft and rounded. There are corrugated metal panels available with sharp corrugation lines rather than soft waves, though.
  • Standing seam metal roofs have a slightly more formal look. The raised seams are 1 to 1 ½ feet apart and look like sharp, straight ridges. A darker standing seam metal roof looks almost like a pinstripe suit.

standing-seam

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Tesla Solar Roof Vs. Apollo and Dow Solar Shingles

There is a hot, new trend: BIPV solar shingle roofs. Basically, you replace traditional shingles with building integrated photovoltaic solar shingles that comprise the roof and convert solar energy to electricity. Architects, designers and builders have already been using some form of solar shingles form Apollo by Certainteed, and Dow Powerhouse, which has recently closed their doors, thus creating an opportunity for new market entrants.

But, with the recent update on the upcoming roll-out of Elon Musk’s Tesla Solar Roof, a possibility of fully-functional and 100% building-integrated (not hybrid) PV solar shingles roof is just around the corner! 🙂 Let’s talk a bit about the latest developments in the solar roofing market.

How Dow Chemical Paved the Road for BIPV Solar Shingle Roofs

In 2011, Dow Chemical has disrupted residential solar power industry by unveiling their daring and innovative solar shingles product — An elegant, roof-integrated alternative to the “old-school” bulky crystalline PV solar panels for residential roofs.

Dow’s PowerHouse BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics) solar shingles were remarkably appealing, and in some sense, easier to install than traditional PV solar panels. However, after just five short years Dow is getting out of the solar shingles business. They have decided to no longer manufacture and cease selling their break-through PowerHouse solar shingles.

solar-shingles-roof

So, does that leave homeowners with only a single option for solar power; to have the bulky paneling installed on their roof (which often requires drilling holes through shingles to bolt the panels onto the roof, and then relying on lots of caulk around the holes in shingles for water-tightness)? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding no. That is where Elon Musk with his version of Tesla Solar Roof wants to come in and fill the vacuum created by Dow exiting the solar roofing industry.

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