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Of all the rooms to renovate, the kitchen is often the most exciting. Creating a kitchen space that’s both beautiful and functional is gratifying – but it’s still definitely a challenge. Add in budgetary requirements, and now you’re playing a four-dimensional chess match. Potentially rewarding, potentially a massive headache.
So, before you start dreaming about Edison bulbs and marble countertops, read our tips for kitchen renovations on a budget. With a bit of careful planning, you can have the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of, as well as having a bit of fun along the way.
First thing’s first: set a budget. We know, we know, it’s not the ‘fun’ part. But the cost of renovations – and especially kitchen renovations – can easily balloon out of control. As you can see from our tips for wrangling renovation costs, a budget is a great idea.
Figure out what you can afford and stick to it. Remember to track your spending as you go, so if you find a great deal on tiles, you can spend a little more on labourers. Be disciplined from start to finish and your wallet will thank you!
Like we said in our list of tips for renovating a laundry on a budget, do your best to leave the plumbing and electrical work intact. You may want to move your dishwasher to the other end of the counter, but changing the internal structure of your utilities can become prohibitively expensive.
Instead, aim to keep your main appliances where they are, then build around them. With a bit of creative thinking, you can still transform your kitchen without calling in an army of plumbers and sparkies.
Don’t feel like you need to aim for the top of the line with everything you buy.
These days, there are a wide range of affordable materials that look just as good as the real thing. Do your research and spend some time looking around; you can find synthetic flooring, tiles and splashbacks that can be as good as the real thing.
That being said, if you can afford to drop some cash on your new kitchen’s centrepieces, it’s often worth it in the long run. A stone or timber countertop for a kitchen island is a durable option that can add some serious value to your home.
For more information on where to spend and where to save, check out our guide on sensible renovation spending.
Kitchen renovations can become expensive when you start ripping the room’s guts out. Rebuilding cabinets, pulling out drawers, retiling walls and floors – a lot of people think it’s the only way to breathe new life into the room.
The smarter way to stick to your renovation budget is to resurface. In most cases, the actual hardware is still working fine, so you can simply replace the front panels of your cupboards, drawers and cabinets. The layout will remain the same, but the appearance will be completely refreshed. It’s also much cheaper to resurface kitchen tiles than to replace them completely.
And, as always – never underestimate the effects of a slap of paint here and there. It’s something you can do yourself to instantly elevate the entire room.
Give your kitchen a makeover, not full reconstructive surgery.
You spend so much money on good china, decorative bowls, beautiful utensils – why keep them hidden? One of the easiest ways to add a little practical pizzazz to your kitchen renovation is to let all of your goodies sit proudly on some open shelves. No more digging through drawers to find the right lid, and no more hiding the glory of your favourite serving spoons. Win-win.
It’s easy to get caught up in aesthetics, but sometimes the most important changes you can make to a kitchen are the ergonomic ones. Little additions like soft closing hinges and drawers can add a real sense of sophistication to your kitchen, without breaking the bank.
Ready to get started? Check out our guide to financing your home renovations.