5 Tips for Planning a Kitchen Renovation on a Tight Budget

Change is as good as a holiday, and renovating your home to give it some new life certainly can cost as much as a family getaway. Luckily, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to renovate one of the busiest room’s in your home – the kitchen. 

According to a study on Home Renovation Trends, Australians spent an estimated average of $20,000 on kitchen renovations in 2019 with this family-focused area being the most popular room to renovate. However, the study also noted that a basic kitchen renovation could start around the $10,000 mark, a far more reachable goal for those looking to upgrade their home without breaking their budget. So, why such a huge variance? Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can save on your renovation while still getting the kitchen of your dreams.

Plan, Plan and Plan 

The first step in your renovation journey starts way before the plumber and electrician even set foot in your home. When you’re looking to renovate, the best thing to do is ensure you have a solid plan in place so you can achieve your vision. 

According to studies, the construction phase of kitchen renovations in 2019 averaged between 2.4 and 5.7 months while the planning phase took around double this amount of time, taking an average of 11.1 months. Don’t rush this stage of the process. Take your time to explore what design options are right for you, do your research on what materials you want to use in your new kitchen, and, if you plan to hire contractors to do the bulk of the heavy lifting, shop around to find the right renovators for your project. 

Search online for specialists in kitchen renovations for expert opinions on all things related to your upgrade. Companies such as Kitchen Capital can assist in your entire renovation, from the design process to installation, so don’t be afraid to get some expert advice to help you create your dream kitchen. 

Be Smart About Plumbing and Wiring

While it may be tempting to change around the position of your big appliances, such as your stove and dishwasher and maybe even the kitchen sink, moving these items can add to your bill in unnecessary ways. Calling in a plumber to move piping and an electrician to install a new stove outlet are major expenses that you should avoid if at all possible. 

Leaving your plumbing and electrical outlets where they are can save you money and allow you to spend more on other aspects of your new kitchen.

Search for Specials and Buy in Bulk

Now that you’ve torn out your old, worn-out and outdated cabinetry and flooring, you may be tempted to splash out on some fancy new tiles and countertops. A smart renovator will avoid such a temptation and instead be on the lookout for deals and specials on various materials that can be used to equally great effect. 

Consider the materials you use carefully, as your budget can easily be blown just on those fancy tiles you saw at your local DIY store. Vinyl flooring may once have been best known as the bargain option for decking out drab rooms and corridors but, thanks to increases in the quality of the material, it can now be seen in a variety of places including high-priced condominiums. 

Luxury vinyl comes in a variety of colours and designs and is both versatile and long-lasting. Vinyl is cheaper than most ceramic or porcelain tiles, which require a skilled tradesman to install to perfection, so not only can you cut down on the cost of materials by choosing vinyl, but you can also cut down on labour costs by installing it yourself. 

Once you have chosen your flooring material, the next step is to decide what is going on the walls of your new utility room. Wall tiles, just like floor tiles, can easily consume a huge portion of your budget. Instead of absorbing that cost, you could opt for something like an acrylic backsplash for above your counters. Not only is this material more affordable than tiles, but it is also easy to clean.

Choosing the right materials, which you can potentially use in future renovation projects, will also allow you to buy in bulk which should bring your cost down in the long run. 

Choose Price Over Prestige

Choosing the right materials doesn’t end at your flooring and wall options; custom kitchen cabinets can cost upwards of $15,000 depending on what materials you use as well as whether you opt for ready-to-assemble units or custom-made cabinets. 

When it comes to materials, your cabinets don’t need to be made from expensive, hand-varnished wood that costs an arm and a leg. Laminate is one of the most inexpensive finishes for cabinets, but there are other options if you prefer something a little more high-end that won’t ruin your budget. Stainless steel is a cheaper option than wood and it can give your room the look and feel of a professional kitchen. It also doesn’t expand and contract when exposed to moisture, making it a good fit for use in the kitchen. 

If you do prefer the look and feel of wood, and you want to bring some natural warmth into the room, consider using plywood. Plywood boards are comprised of layers of woodpile glued onto each other for stability. You can find plywood in a variety of wood types such as softwood, hardwood, tropical, marine and even decorative so your decor options are numerous. 

When it comes to countertops, there are several relatively inexpensive options to choose from that can look just as stunning as marble. Laminate coverings come in a range of different designs with many of the popular options choosing to mimic wood or stone. In terms of durability and ease of cleaning, solid-surface acrylic countertops have seen a surge in popularity thanks to their scratch and stain-resistant properties. 

Shop around at your local hardware store for other affordable options for your cabinets and always be on the lookout for sales and specials on stock that may be end-of-life or just needs to be sold to make room for something fancier. 

DIY as Much as Possible 

One of the costliest aspects of most renovations is labour. While you may have to hire professionals for the electrical and plumbing work (this is not only advised, but recommended), you can complete some of the work yourself to save money on your build. From assembling your own cabinets rather than opting for a custom installation to tiling your floors with the vinyl tiles you picked up at a bargain, and even the initial tear down and demolition work, if you can do the work yourself, then you will be able to spend more on those must-have appliances and other aspects of your kitchen. 

It must be said that if you are not handy on the whole, sometimes it is better to budget for that labour as bad DIY can have a major impact on the look and feel of your kitchen, and the last thing you want is to have to call someone out to fix your mistakes after it is all supposed to be complete. 

Renovating any room in your home can be a time-consuming and expensive affair; however, there are always ways that you can make your build fit your budget. With a bit of planning, and the right materials, you can build the kitchen of your dreams without having to sacrifice on other aspects of your life. 


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