How to Create Your Dream Kitchen on a Budget


In terms of home renovations, kitchens offer one of the highest returns on investment. Homebuyers prefer modern, updated kitchens and are willing to pay more for them. But really, who doesn’t want a beautiful, functional kitchen? Most families spend more time together in the kitchen than in the living room. Anyone who has watched home renovations shows or flip through design magazines knows that investing in a kitchen renovation is almost always a good idea. They also know that it can get very expensive.

You start off with a limited budget in mind, but you dream of modern appliances, tons of cabinet space, and wide countertops. When you add the cost of labor and materials, the original number seems impossible to stick to. We’re here to tell you that it’s not. You can get that perfect kitchen on a budget, and we’re going to tell you how.

Set Your Goals and Make a Plan

If you look up the average cost of a kitchen renovation, you’ll find that in the United States, at least, it’s about $20,000. With staggering figures like this one, it’s easy to get intimidated and abandon all plans. It doesn’t have to be like that. If you examine the costs and set some priorities, you’ll know where you have to cut costs and where you can splurge.
Set Your Goals and Make a Plan
Let’s take a look at some typical kitchen remodeling expenses. First, you have to consider labor and materials. Unless you plan to do the work yourself, you’re going to have to pay professionals to install your plumbing fixtures, tiles, floors, cabinets, countertops, etc. You can start by looking up contractors in your area, reading their reviews, and asking them for an estimate.

Now you have to consider the materials. Look up prices for flooring and tiles and analyze the pros and cons of different options. Then you can move on to countertops and cabinets. Next will be the lighting. Lighting is often overlooked but, depending on how much rewiring you’ll need, it can get pretty expensive. Lastly, you’ll want to look at appliances and see what price range you can afford. We’re saying lastly because appliances can be easily changed and don’t require as much labor as the other upgrades. We’ll discuss it in more detail further down in the article.

Keep the Same Kitchen Layout

The easiest and most effective way to save money when renovating your kitchen is to preserve the original layout as much as possible. If you’re restructuring your kitchen, you’re going to need to allocate a large portion of your budget to the extra materials and labor. You’re going to have to tear down the cabinets, redo the floors, change the plumbing, and adjust the electrical wiring and so on. Furthermore, you’ll lose access to your kitchen for a long time so you’ll be eating a lot of takeouts which also increases cost.

If you keep everything in the same place and you’re just swapping old flooring for new flooring, old cabinets for new cabinets and getting new appliances, it will cost less, and you can do it gradually. This means that even if you decide to go over the initial budget, it will be because you decided to. You won’t be forced to do it by unexpected costs and have to max out or credit cards or borrow from your friends.

Look for Ex-Display Kitchens

Ex-display kitchens are an absolute bargain. You’re essentially buying a second-hand kitchen that’s never actually been used. You can search online and find many websites selling them with considerable discounts. They’re fully inspected and in great condition. Remember that they’ve never been used, just displayed, so you’re buying a second-hand kitchen at second-hand prices but without the second-hand scuff marks, scratches, and moisture rings.
Look for Ex-Display Kitchens
The websites provide the dimensions so you can slide them into place without changing the layout. At most, you can hire a kitchen fitter to make some small adjustments. They’re also already assembled, which means less work for you.

Mix and Match Budget and Expensive Items

We’re back to priorities. If you want to get that look you’ve been dreaming of on a budget, you can mix and match expensive and more affordable items. For example, let’s say you want to get a kitchen island. You can invest in a pricier, high-quality worktop for this area and use a more cost-effective worktop for your other units. You can also mix and match closed and open storage since open shelving is less expensive, but done properly can make your kitchen look like it’s right out of design magazine.

Another idea is to repurpose furniture from other rooms or second-hand stores. There are so many DIY tutorials online that you can make your own statement pieces without the hefty price tag.

When it comes to appliances, it’s harder to cut corners, but you still have options. You can rent to own appliances, and there are always special offers. You just have to be patient and keep an eye out for sales. The advantage is that appliances can be easily changed so you can do it little by little. Maybe you’ll need some help with big items like fridges but for microwaves, coffee makers and blenders you can do it yourself, so there’s no need to hurry and buy everything at once.

Get Creative with Tiles

Kitchen backsplashes don’t have to be expensive, but they can make a big impact. Since they can cover a lot of area and beautiful tiles can get quite pricey, you’ll want to use them sparingly and mix them with plain, less expensive tiles to give your kitchen that artisan look. You can even mix inexpensive plain tiles in different tones to give the space more characters.

If you prefer a more modern, industrial aesthetic, you can find stainless steel and glass backsplashes. They’re easy to clean, and with enough research, you’ll discover companies that sell them at a fraction of the cost you’d expect.
Get Creative with Tiles

What About the Kitchen Sink?

After you’ve made your plans and picked out a few items on special offer, you may realize that the kitchen sink doesn’t match anymore, so you have to change it. The style also depends on how much space you have available. Sinks are usually easy to mount, but you’ll have to choose between different materials.

Stainless steel is the cheapest option and requires very little maintenance. Composite sinks are the more trendy option right now and might go better with what you have in mind. They can be expensive, but they’re very durable, can withstand high temperatures, and come in many different finishes. You may choose to splurge here.

Ceramic sinks are more popular with period homes, and they’re not as low maintenance. They’re prone to chipping and staining but, when properly cared for, they can also be quite durable.