Almost any renovation budget can be stretched—even one that’s $2,000. That’s how much money young homeowners are setting aside for their home improvement projects in 2021, according to a new survey from marketing firm UpSwell. People in the 18-to-29 age group (a mix of Gen-Zers and millennials) said they’d be spending approximately $2,240 on fixing up their spaces this year. It’s a modest number when you consider the average cost to replace kitchen cabinets alone is $5,100, but the possibilities are (almost) endless if you’re willing to get creative. Here are four ways we’d make the most of a 20-something’s remodeling budget.

Bring a Dated Backsplash Back to Life

gray and white bathroom vanity
Photography by Amy Peters

Canadian design blogger Amy Peters saved major dollars in her bathroom reno by painting her existing glass vanity backsplash tiles white using a product called Beyond Paint, which bonds to challenging surfaces—no primer necessary—and costs $50 per quart. 

Create a New Dish-Washing Station 


On average, switching out the sink will total around $450 (with labor), and the job will typically take about four hours. If you want to go above and beyond, do like Shea McGee and add a drip-edge detail to an under-mount one (it catches any spillage and protects cabinetry). 


Hack Built-Ins

white modern bookcases
Photography by Elise Joseph

After being quoted $3,000 for floor-to-ceiling living room bookcases, Elise Joseph purchased five of IKEA’s Billy bookcases, some 3-by-4s, and caulk and DIYed the project for $500 total. 

Carve Out a Mudroom

light filled foyer
Photography and Design by This House 5000

To make her entryway feel like its own room and not just a place to drop coats and keys, This House 5000 blogger Elena Lohse bought a stock French door from Home Depot for $135 and a $60 fogged-glass one from her local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

You decide what’s next with the cash you have left over.