Consumer Reports says- “The average for a midrange major remodel comes in at more than $57,000, while an upscale redo with all the trimmings costs a whopping $110,938.”

It’s no wonder why so many shy away from remodeling their kitchen.

Consider this; According to Remodeling magazine’s annual analysis of cost versus value, “A kitchen face-lift will return more on your investment than any other improvement made in your home.”  The key is doing it wisely.

Transforming your kitchen is like putting money in your bank except you enjoy the benefits of an improved kitchen. No need to feel guilty,kitchen renovations are not just a splurge. Kitchen upgrades are a sound investment, in most cases a kitchen upgrade will add 2-4 times the cost of the upgrade to the value of your home. Spending money on the “right things” and listening to an experienced professional will save you thousands.

So how much does a kitchen remodel generally cost?

The pricing really depends on the scope of the project.

Your kitchen upgrade project doesn’t have to break the bank. Making good decisions and avoiding needless expenses will save you thousands of dollars, while still giving you the function and style that you want. Here’s a 6 tips that can make a difference.

1. Don’t Replace Reface

Provided the cabinets are structurally sound and your layout is practical, you can spruce them up with a fresh coat of paint or reface them. Improve your cabinet capacity with inexpensive cabinet organizers. This gives you the ability to focus on the aesthetic details that will make your kitchen stand out. Applying crown molding to the top of cabinets and light rail to the bottom of the cabinets gives them a finished look.

It’s also considered green building, if you care about that sort of thing.

2. Add or Update an Island

Whether it’s a permanent unit with furniture-style looks or a small portable one on casters, an island adds work and storage space. The style should complement your cabinets, but it needn’t match exactly. A wood island can add warmth to a white kitchen, and a painted finish can inject color into an all-wood one. Be sure that there is at least a 42-inch clearance around the island to ensure easy access and smooth traffic flow. Prices start around $150 and go up depending on the style and finish you choose.

Already have an island? Try applying a decorative bead board panel and a baseboard to make the island look like a piece of furniture.

3. Update your Kitchen with a New Backsplash

Visually prominent but small enough not to need much material, the wall space above the counter or between the top cabinets and the counter is a great place to add color or contrast. Paint is the simplest and cheapest option for making over a backsplash. Tile—ceramic, colored glass, or stone—costs $10 to $40 per square foot installed. Or use stainless steel, at $100 to $150 per square foot installed, to complement stainless appliances.

Sticking with classic styles will keep you happier with your kitchen longer and, if you ever decide to sell it makes it easy for the next person to add their style.

4. Change the Surfaces

Replacing or adding countertops, sinks, faucets, and flooring were some of the most popular projects to add style to a kitchen.

Laminate countertops can cost as little as $550 for an average-size kitchen, and trendy but tough quartz starts at $2,800.

Add an engineered wood floor for $8 per square foot. No need to go for exotic materials for your sink, we have found that thinner stainless-steel sinks resisted dents, stains, scratches, and heat as well as thicker, more expensive ones. Faucets costing between $80 and $600 and have very few differences, so find a style you like and get a faucet with a lifetime warranty that covers leaks and stains.

Countertops: Tricks of the Trade

Mix and match. Use expensive materials on small, eye-catching areas, such as an island, and a lower-priced material elsewhere. But check whether the store requires a minimum order. Although the color and pattern will vary by piece, a visit to the stone yard can turn up pieces that work together. You can also save by using ¾-inch-thick stone rather than the typical 1 ¼-inch.

Decorative edges, such as bevels and ogees, add style but cost an extra $10 to $50 per linear foot.

5. Make Your Lighting Shine

Lighting makes a kitchen more inviting and safer. Under cabinet fixtures are the best source of task lighting, and they can be purchased for $200 in an average-size kitchen. Update ceiling-mounted fixtures, especially dated fluorescent boxes, with a pendant lamp or track lighting.

6. Refrigerators: Get Style for Less

If you plan to change your refrigerator don’t splurge on cabinet depth or built in appliances. Cabinet-depth models are a compromise: Shallower than standard fridges and usually cost twice as much. Pulling a cabinet forward and adding full size side panels can give you the built in look for a fraction of the cost.

Forgo extended warranties. Surveys show that fewer than one in five refrigerators were repaired in the first three years. Even if your fridge needs fixing during that period, the repair is likely to cost no more than the warranty.

The best piece of a advice that will save you the most time and give you the best value is; talk to an expert. They can help you avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that don’t add value to your project.