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5 Ideas for a Kitchen Remodel on a Budget

Want to remodel your kitchen but are worried about the costs? In today’s guest post, Tim Smith from Modernize.com shares ways to get the kitchen look you desire while keeping costs low.

kitchen remodel on a budgetWhile everyone may dream of creating their ideal kitchen, a massive overhaul is often too expensive to consider for most people. However, budgetary constraints do not have to keep you from finally having your dream kitchen. Instead, you just need to think about a big remodel in little ways.

Doing a Kitchen Remodel on a Budget

To get started, here are five simple tips to make your big kitchen remodel a success little by little.

Focus on problem areas

When doing a kitchen remodel on a budget, it is important to set priorities. While there are a lot of things you may want to change, focus on the things that are most pressing.

If your countertop is broken or out of date, think about putting most of the budget toward that. Alternatively, you may need new appliances or updated flooring. You will probably only be able to splurge on one or two areas, so be sure to make them count.

Give your cabinets a makeover

Cabinets are one of the most expensive parts of any kitchen. If new ones are too costly, you still have options.

Consider refinishing your cabinets or adding a fresh layer of paint. There are also moldings you can put on the top of your cabinets or other decorations that can be added artfully to the fronts. Changing the hardware can have a dramatic impact on the overall look of your kitchen. You could even try taking off the doors and going for an open concept.

Bring in new pieces

Kitchens have a lot of built in pieces, so many people fail to think about how furniture can enhance the space. While a new table or chairs can definitely give the room a new look, remember to think of other pieces as well.

Shelves and racks can be great additions, and adding portable islands can contribute form and function. When it comes to furniture, consider mixing and matching. A new set of chairs can be expensive, but collecting eclectic pieces from used stores can be a great way to add personality to your kitchen without breaking the budget.

Splashes of color

No matter what your budget is, a new coat of paint can go a long way. The color on the walls will define the overall mood of the room. When money is tight, pick a color that complements other parts of your kitchen. This way, you can get all the benefits of a new color without having to change everything. It may even be possible to save more money by simply repainting one wall as an accent to the overall design.

Style over substance

If you have a tight budget, focus on adding in stylish details. For example, try installing a backsplash. Consider putting up new curtains or adding a new rug. Buy vases or bowls, or look into sleek countertop appliances. A few pieces of art or a new light fixture are also great choices.

These things may seem small, but when put together, they have a dramatic impact.

Editor’s Questions: Have you recently done a kitchen update or remodel? How did you keep costs low? What was the coolest change/addition you made? What is your best tip for doing a kitchen remodel on a budget?

Original image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

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  1. My husband wants to renovate our kitchen, and I think it is time to as well. Thank you so much for discussing the importance of making sure you set up an appropriate budget. It makes understanding that taking the time to do this can help you prevent spending more than you need as well as making the most out of your materials.

  2. Wow, Incredible Kitchen remodeling on a budget. your article is very informative and useful for me indeed.Thanks for sharing us.

  3. Don’t get me started on remodeling! Its really that much more difficult than building a new one because pretty much everything is set. I like that you can choose different colors though. Given that everything from waffle maker to cappuccino maker are stainless steel, you can quickly turn a blue kitchen into a red one and the steel polish will just go along with it.

  4. I guess I never thought about just refinishing our cabinets, that would save us a bunch of money. Although, they are pretty outdated so it might be best to just have them replaced anyways. I’ll have to talk to my husband about this tonight, he’d be able to help me out with a few details.

  5. Deciding to remodel the kitchen can be very expensive, so it is definitely important to set priorities when working on a budget! The great thing about doing a remodel is how a simple new wall color or new furniture can really go a long way in remodeling! Great tip on here!

  6. The kitchen seems to be the place most remodels happen. My wife and I want to remodel, but what we worry about is the price of remodeling! I like how you talked about just using a new coat of paint, and just painting a few things. That is a great way to remodel for cheap.

  7. My husband and I really want to remodel our kitchen, but we’re definitely going to stay on a budget. To do that, we are only going to do one project a month instead of doing it all at once. One of the first things that I want to do is work on my cabinets. We understand that they can be costly, though, and so we’re thinking about getting rid of them entirely and replacing them with shelves. Do you think that shelves are less costly than cabinets?

  8. Kitchen remodeling is very expensive so it is very important for home owners to have a budget!I’m glad that you shared your article! We remodeled our kitchen a few years ago with a low cost option and it makes a big difference to the kitchen. We only choose white color to complement the entire part of the kitchen, then we save money.

  9. Thanks for all the information and tips on kitchen remodeling . I think homeowners should have a realistic budget. There are too many instances when people want to build something bigger than they can afford. Keeping a want and a need list is a good idea as well. If only get the basics at first, then add on the extras in a few years.

    • “…a realistic budget…” You nailed it Adam…that is so key. It’s excited to remodel but you can’t get carried away by it. Unfortunately, that’s easy to do (get carried away).

  10. I have a set budget that I can use for remodeling my kitchen, so these suggestions for changes that I can afford will help give me a good idea of what I should work on. Adding stylish details to my kitchen seems like a great way to improve how it looks. I feel that my cabinets need to be updated, so doing that and adding a backsplash could make my kitchen look better.

    • I agree Judy that having a set budget is key. Kitchens are one of those remodels that can quickly get out of hand. Have to exercise discipline to stick with what you said you were going to spend.

  11. Keeping your budget to something you can afford is a really important. You want to make sure you are able to eat and such while your kitchen is being redone. Going out to eat everyday can be fun, but sometimes it’s good to have something that you had premade before the renovation started.

  12. Silas Knight says

    I definitely agree about the splash of color. Re-painting can give the kitchen, or any part of the house for that matter, a totally new look. We had our kitchen painted a sea-blue, and it looks great!

  13. We saved a bunch of money on our remodel by having the contractor sand and paint our cabinets! My husband wanted all-new custom cabinets. But that probably would have put us over-budget.

  14. Thanks Brian for these great article. We just moved in to our new house and honestly I’m having a hard time to remodel my kitchen especially now that I have limited budget for it. I really learned a lot from your article. Thanks for sharing.

  15. bryan flake says

    My wife has never had an island in the kitchen in any house we’ve owned. This home is big enough, but doesn’t have one. It would be a fun birthday surprise to give her an island in the kitchen. Who is a great resource to consult with about making an island?

  16. Thanks for sharing that idea. Budget is a very important factor in remodeling house. I agree with you that it is very important to focus on problem areas so you can fix it first.

  17. Renovating or remodeling your home is a sure way to increase the value of your home and property.

  18. The first tip about deciding your priorities and then sticking to them is crucial, but often forgotten during remodels. When on a budget, you won’t be able to fix everything about your kitchen you don’t like, but by focusing on the biggest problems, you can better achieve the remodel you want for the price you can afford. Things like cabinet doors and resurfacing appliances can make the most significant difference appearance wise.

  19. These are great ideas for my kitchen make-over. I’m planning to add some colors to my kitchen cabinets and my friend says the vibrant colors give off a good homey-feel to the kitchen where most of the family bonding happen.

  20. Emily Merrell says

    I guess I never considered bringing in new pieces into my kitchen. I think that it is a really great idea since I have the space. I have always wanted to put in an island counter in the middle of the room. I just have to figure out how to redo the flooring to match it.

  21. Thanks for sharing these ideas. I have to agree that it is important to focus on problem areas. It wouldn’t be smart to renovate areas of your kitchen that have been doing just fine. In fact, I would make repairs before I thought about renovating anything else.

    • The tricky thing for me is not getting carried away. You start on one thing and that leads to the next which leads to the next thing…Next thing you know you are redoing things that didn’t really need it to make the kitchen look absolutely perfect.

  22. Hey, Good ideas for kitchen remodeling, I think your ideas very useful to my kitchen remodeling. And I have some ideas for kitchen remodeling if you don’t mind then I suggest you.

    1. Paint the wall : Paint is one of the simplest, cheapest ways to update your kitchen. If you have a bold retro color, you will probably need to prime the walls before you can apply a new color

    2. Add a new floor : A relatively inexpensive way to update the look of your kitchen is by ripping up the tiles and installing linoleum or laminate floors. These floors are durable, easy to clean, and can be installed without professional help.

    3. Replace cabinet doors : If you have recessed-panel doors, you can even remove the center panel and insert glass to open the cabinets up, giving your kitchen a more modern look.

    4. Recycle old pieces of furniture : You may need to refinish the pieces before they will be suitable for use in your kitchen, but a fresh coat of paint and a glossy sealant can transform them quickly and cheaply.

  23. I think I came across this blog post just in time. You just saved me some big money! Thanks… 🙂

  24. Nicole Morrell says

    I am thinking about remodeling my kitchen and creating a list of kitchen remodeling suggestions to create the best one for me. Budget is always an issue when it comes to remodeling and these 5 tips are precious as gold. 🙂

  25. These are great tips of yours, I agree that doing a makeover you should focus on the problem area because it is really the center of renovation. Thank you for sharing this one.

  26. Refinishing your cabinets is a lot cheaper than buying brand new ones. Heck, even just buying new hardware makes a big difference.

    Another option is the fake granite countertops they now sell. They are like a bath fitter bath, as they go over top of your exisiting cabinets.

  27. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says

    Planning to repaint my kitchen cabinets with red or black paint. I kinda feel like I am fed up seeing the color white. This is to set up a new mood or to make it lively especially for Christmas. And, I am bringing some news pieces into it and will decorate for the season.

  28. We have been wanting to repaint our cabinets. Sometimes they just need a fresh coat of paint to liven’ things up.

  29. We are about to finish our kitchen budget remodel. We sanded and painted the kitchen cabinets. Only spent about $150 for that. We are about to install new pulls and knobs ($100). We bought the most affordable nice ones from home depot.

  30. A timely post for me as we have begun to thinking about a kitchen remodel, all great tips unfortunately for us our cabinets are so old it looks as if we will have to fully replace.

    • Cabinets might not be as costly as you think. We recently redid a small kitchen in one of our rentals and bought all our cabinets and countertops at Lowes. They weren’t top of the line cabinets, just the items they keep in stock. The purchase and installation was reasonable in my opinion (under 5k).

  31. I sanded and restained every single one of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets when we bought this house. It literally took weeks but only cost around $20 for stain, sealant, and sand paper. It looks awesome!

    • We repainted the cabinet facing and doors in our current house when we moved in. Plus we added new hardware and a few decorative trim pieces. Really made an improvement for the small amount of money we put into it.

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