If you haven’t already, most homeowners can probably agree that if they had their choice of rooms to renovate, a kitchen remodel would probably be on the top of their list. We spend so much time in our kitchen, whether it be cooking for the family, snacking, helping the kids with homework, or entertaining. But why do they have to be so darn expensive? The cost (or assumed cost) can be a huge deterring factor in some people taking the steps to change a room they hate into a room that brings joy, beauty and functionality to their homes and lives. In this article, I’ll show you that the $50,000 kitchen remodel ideal is not always the case, and that you can do a kitchen remodel on a budget – any budget. As a Millennial with limited funds, my husband and I moved into a home that needed a complete gut renovation. The stress of thinking of how to pay for it made me get creative in how I would get the look I needed for a price we could afford. While it took us a year, we now have an amazing looking kitchen that cost us a total of about $2,500. Here are some of the ways to accomplish a kitchen remodel on a budget in your own home.

Every Kitchen Remodel On a Budget Needs Priorities

In order to do your kitchen remodel on a budget, you’re going to have to prioritize your wants and needs. What is most important to you? If you MUST have granite or quartz countertops, you’re going to have to get creative with your cabinets or tile. If you think you can’t live without custom cabinets, your countertop budget is going to need to take a hit. We all have things that are important to us, and figuring out what yours are will help the process go smoother and stay on budget. bigstock_83103200_Female-Hands-Framing-Custom-Kitchen-Design-Drawing-and-Photo-Combination.

A Kitchen Remodel Can Be Done In Stages

Another misconception often shown on your favorite HGTV show is that if you want a kitchen remodel, you should just knock it out all at once. While that may be ideal, it’s not often feasible. A kitchen remodel on a budget could need to be done in stages. Keep in mind that you can’t get new countertops until your cabinets are in place, so typically if you are buying new cabinets, this must be the first step. It’s also difficult to live without a countertop, so you will most likely want this done next. Tile, shelving, and fixtures can be done last as long as you have something to use in the meantime. If this is the way you need to structure your remodel, get a plan together. Put it on the calendar and honor your commitment to it.

Be Patient. Shop Surplus.

As a surplus store, we get new items in on a weekly basis that are offered at a huge discount. These products could have been discontinued or have not met the exact color standard of the manufacture, but are 100% quality and unused products. However, when they’re gone, they’re gone. You can save a lot of money by stopping in often and seeing what new surplus products are available for your remodel. If you are patient, it can really pay off.

How to Save On Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are most likely you’re #1 expense in a kitchen remodel. But, it doesn’t have to be expensive. For a kitchen remodel on a budget, you need to save on cabinetry. You have several options here. First, determine if your cabinets can be salvaged and upgraded, or if they need to be replaced completely.

Outdated Cabinets:

If your kitchen cabinets are simply outdated, consider painting them instead of replacing. You won’t believe what a good coat of paint and some new hardware can do to the look of kitchen cabinets. Sometime you can play into the retro feel of your old cabinets and make them fit right in after a facelift. Some crown moulding can also go a long way in upgrading the look of your cabinets as a whole for a relatively low price. Building a “box” on top of 36″ cabinets and adding crown on the top, then painting the box, can give the look of ceiling height cabinets as well, which is another high end look that you can achieve for less.
Image courtesy of Sugar Bee Crafts

Image courtesy of Sugar Bee Crafts

Un-useable Cabinets:

Go stock. Some people want custom. In that case, prepare to spend more. But if you’re flexible, this is the way to go. Our In Stock Unfinished Alder cabinets is what I choose, and I am such an advocate! At about $67/lin. ft, the price is unbeatable. They are a classic shaker style and can be painted or stained any color your heart desires! I chose robins egg blue, which would have cost me a fortune if I had wanted custom cabinets in that color. You can easily update the in stock shaker cabinets with some glass doors for a high end look. Ask us about how to do this in store! Our Honey Ash are a raised panel, and I think they look awesome painted a white or grey. Going stock doesn’t mean bland or boring. You can still put your personal touches on these cabinets to make them your own. Kitchen Remodel on a Budget

New Cabinet Hardware For a New Look

Cabinet hardware is one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to give your kitchen a facelift. Check out the difference from the simple hardware change below. Many older kitchens have noticeably older hardware styles. Update them and see the immediate difference! Cabinet hardware Upgrade

Floating Shelves Vs. Upper Cabinets

Floating shelves are a hot trend right now, but I feel that they will always look good and stand the test of time. Many people opt for floating or open shelves as opposed to upper cabinets. This can save you big money! You can make the shelves yourself or purchase them for a much lower price than a cabinet. Make sure you have dishes that you’re ok to have on display, or just buy some that go with the feel of your kitchen for a great statement in itself! That’s how to do a kitchen remodel on a budget! floating shelves

Bargain Backsplash

Wallpaper Instead of Backsplash

For a kitchen remodel on a budget, you need to save on backsplash. Some people will be morally opposed to this, but I happen to love wallpaper. You can get a very eclectic look by opting for wallpaper instead of backsplash, or in addition to it. You may spend a small amount on backsplash for the area right next to your countertops, but go for a dramatic look by taking the wallpaper to the ceiling instead of going to the ceiling with your tile. wallpaper backsplash


Another way to save on backsplash is to use bead board. This classic, cottage or farmhouse look may not work for everyone, but if you like it, it can offer huge savings. Its easy to install yourself, too! Beadboard Backsplash

Subway Tile

Ceramic subway tile is another great bargain backsplash option. This elegant, classic tile will always be in style and goes with virtually every design taste and cabinet design. At about 30-40 cents per piece, it is a great value. You can definitely install it yourself, although for large spaces it can take some time. Smaller spaces are a breeze in my opinion.

DIY Tile Installation

If you want to save some money, learn to install your own tile. You can rent wet saws from home depot for about $70 a day. Do your research and learn how to use it before you rent so that you’re not paying for the machine while you’re still learning the basics. A mesh back tile or subway tile would be the easiest to install, although you may want to stay away from intricate patterns like arabesque. Although it is a mesh back, it’s not too easy for a new DIYer. Check out this video on how to install subway tile backsplash.

Creative Kitchen Countertops

Countertops are your other big expense. Get creative with these countertop solutions.

Butcher Block Countertops

While butcher block countertops CAN get expensive, you can find some very affordable wood countertop options that will cost less than granite (in most cases) and quartz that will add some serious character to your home. butcher block coundetertops

Laminate Countertops that Imitate Marble or Granite

Laminate countertops are your most affordable countertop option. The technology has greatly improved in their manufacturing and you can get laminate that looks like marble or granite. If you don’t care about stone, go for the same look at a lower price. laminate countertops

Prefab Granite (Prefabricated)

At Builders Surplus, our prefab granite countertops start at $39.99/sq ft. Fully Installed! That is more than a 50% discount from most granite countertops. Prefab granite countertops works for MOST kitchen layouts. See if this is an option for you! There are 8 colors to choose from that will give you the high end look for less!

Concrete Countertops

Your price on concrete countertops are going to heavily depend on the contractor you find to do them. The majority of the cost involved is labor. Shop around and find a contractor that will do it at a discount, and concrete countertops become a very attractive option for a pretty affordable price! They are also extremely low maintenance and durable. Concrete Countertops We hope this has helped you realize that a kitchen remodel on a budget is possible! What options will your consider for your kitchen remodel? Let us know in the comments below!
Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Allie Bloyd

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