10 Ideas for a kitchen remodel on a budget [2023]

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You want to save money on your kitchen remodel. I’ll walk you through 10 hacks you can use to save money. For example, do the demo yourself, save on work and sell everything you don’t need. Number 8 is super simple, but we often don’t use it.

ideas for a kitchen remodel on a budget

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen and want to save money, here are 10 hacks to consider:

  1. Refresh your cabinets with paint or refacing
  2. Keep the same layout to avoid costly plumbing and electrical work
  3. Do some of the work yourself, like painting, tiling, or installing flooring
  4. Consider the cost of your time before deciding to do the work yourself
  5. Look for ready-to-assemble cabinets to save money
  6. Consider using free-standing appliances instead of slide-ins
  7. Refurbish old appliances or buy used ones to save money
  8. Always ask for a discount from contractors, stores, and providers
  9. Demo the existing kitchen yourself to save on labor costs
  10. Sell everything you don’t need to recoup some of the value and save on disposal costs.

I hope these hacks help you save money on your kitchen remodel project. Let me know in the comments which hack you found most useful.

1 Refresh your cabinets

New cabinets can make up almost half of the renovation budget. Instead of replacing your cabinets, refresh them. There are two ways you can breathe new life into your cabinets.

Paint your cabinets. Paint and supplies don’t cost much. The process of sanding, priming, and painting can take time, but almost anyone can do it.

The second option is refacing the cabinets. In the refacing process, the cabinets get a new veneer on the outside. You can do the same with the doors and drawer fronts or replace them completely. Refacing is beyond most DIY capabilities. But even when professionals do it, it’ll be cheaper than getting all-new cabinets.

In both cases, you can improve the look even more with new hardware. The result can be something completely different from what you have now.

2 Keep the same layout

Keeping the same layout when remodeling your kitchen will save you money on several fronts. The main savings come from plumbing and electricity. If you don’t have to change the plumbing and can keep the power lines and outlets where they currently are, then you don’t have to hire expensive specialist contractors for those jobs.

kitchen remodel on a budget savings

But if you have to hire special contractors, check out tip number 8 on how to save even then.

As an extra, the same layout may also let you keep your flooring. If the floors are up to your standards or you can improve them with minimal cost.

3 Doing the work

You can remodel your kitchen as a full DIY project. But you can do some of the work even if it’s not a DIY project. Here’s what you could do yourself.

Interior painting is easy to learn, even if you are doing it for the first time. If you mess up, the mistakes are easy to fix with another layer of paint.

kitchen remodel on a budget project

Tiling is more delicate work. You have to get all the lines straight, level, and the same width. It’s more complex than painting your walls, and the mistakes are harder to fix once the tiles have been set.

Flooring installation is easy. If you are a beginner, you can get it done with the help of a knowledgeable friend or online videos.

Changing outlets and lights is something you should do only if you know what you are doing. In most cases, touching wires is not the best idea. You should be absolutely positive there’s no current in the wires. The work itself is easy, and you can get it done in no time. Make sure you turn off the electricity from the fuse box, and it really is off.

Hanging drywall is another relatively simple task you can do yourself. You can do it alone, but it would be easier with the help of a family member or a friend.

The last thing when working with walls and floors would be to install baseboards and other trim. In many cases, it’s as easy as putting stickers on the wall.

Now for something completely different.

4 Not doing the work

Before you start to save money with your manual labor, do some back-of-the-envelope calculations about how much time it will take you. Can you do something more productive with that time? How much will the mistakes cost you?

kitchen remodel on a budget time

If you are a person who can charge 100 dollars per hour and your construction worker only asks for 50, then you should not do it yourself. In this case, you could go out with your friends for the evening, pay for everything, and still save money!

5 Assemble and install your kitchen cabinets

If you need new cabinets, look for an option where you can assemble them yourself. It will not take you a lot of time to install a ready-to-assemble cabinet set. Make sure you plan how to match existing cabinet sizes to your kitchen, especially if you have non-standard angles.

There’s a huge variety of ready-to-assemble cabinets in online stores, home centers, and big retailers like Home Depot or IKEA. You get the cabinets in flat packages that are easy to transport. Usually, everything you need for assembly is in the package.

If assembling the cabinets seems too much work, then some retailers offer pre-assembled packages. The same cabinets are shipped to you in an assembled form. You would pay extra for the work and for transportation as the assembled cabinetry would require a lot more space.

Ready-to-assemble cabinets can save you thousands of dollars.

The most expensive option is to get a new set of custom-made kitchen cabinetry. But even then, you can save some money by installing the assembled custom cabinets yourself.

6 Free-standing appliances

One hack that works well with ready-to-assemble cabinets is to use free-standing appliances. Slide-ins are nice and have a cleaner look, but free-standing options can save you hundreds of dollars per item.

It’s also much easier to find deals on free-standing sets during holiday sales like Black Friday and others.

7 Refurbish the appliances

The greenest way to live is to fix everything you can and not send anything to a landfill. You can clean and repair almost any damage to your appliances. You can find spare parts for many items online with simple-to-follow instructions on how to fix them.

kitchen remodel on a budget repair

Everything you can reuse saves you hundreds of dollars. The total can easily be in the thousands.

But that’s not all!

You can get appliances on online marketplaces like Facebook and eBay at a price that’s just a fraction of the cost. Sometimes even for completely new products.

8 Ask for a discount

Your kitchen remodel is a big project. You have a lot of different contractors working on various tasks, from plumbing to installing kitchen cabinets.

Ask for a discount on anything you buy. It doesn’t matter if you are talking to someone directly or replying to an email. Tell them, “X dollars is a lot of money. We have to think about it.” Then wait for a few days. Sometimes they will answer immediately that they could reduce the price. Or it may take a day or two.

But if they don’t come back with a lower price, ask directly, “What can you do to lower the price?” Always talk to several providers so you can compare prices and find the best deal.

9 Do the demo yourself

Another job that requires almost no skill is to demo the existing kitchen.

You need a stick of dynamite and a fuse.

No, no… you don’t have to take the word literally. You don’t demolish your kitchen. Your goal is to ensure that everything that you will replace will stay in perfect condition. This will come in handy in our last step to save money.

Clean everything, fix, and repair if needed. Package and store all items that have any value. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. Now move on to our next step to get some money back.

10 Sell everything you don’t need

Do you think your old cabinets could furnish a corner in the landfill? For someone else, they may be exactly what they are looking for. You can sell almost everything and recoup some of the value you initially paid for those items. Check out online marketplaces Craig’s List, Facebook Marketplace, and others.

Even if you end up giving some of the items away for free, you will save on the time and cost of delivering them to the landfill. At the same time, you are saving the environment and helping others.

Each of those tips can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. But some are easier to do than others. The easiest hack is to ask for discounts from every contractor, store, designer, and the provider you work with.

The second easiest budget hack is to sell everything you remove from your old kitchen. You get the resale value, and you don’t have to worry about how to dispose of the old clunky items from your kitchen.

Let us know in the comments how you have saved money on your kitchen remodel projects.

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar photo
    Jessica Reynolds

    I absolutely love the idea of refreshing your cabinets instead of replacing them. I never realized how much money could be saved by simply painting or refacing them. Thank you for this idea!

    1. cropped ariel path
      Ariel Path

      You’re welcome! Refreshing your cabinets is a great way to update the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. Another way to save money on cabinets is to look for pre-assembled or ready-to-assemble options, which can be much cheaper than custom-made cabinets. Have you considered this option?

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