How to Renovate Your Kitchen On a Budget - Caviar Kitchen & Stone

How to Renovate Your Kitchen On a Budget

Should you hire a professional for your next kitchen countertop installation? Consider these factors to decide whether to hire or do it yourself.

Does your kitchen desperately need a facelift? Do you feel discouraged after seeing the price tags attached to the brand-new kitchen cabinets you want?

If so, it’s time to think about a budget renovation! What areas can you save money on by doing it yourself? Which ones are best left in the hands of professionals? Knowing where to put your money will become apparent when you set a budget and decide on your non-negotiables. You may choose to replace that leaky appliance even if it means less money for new cabinets.

Here’s what you need to know to save money on your kitchen renovation. 

1. Create a Layout of Your Dream Kitchen 

What does your dream kitchen look like? Putting this image on paper will help turn your vision into a reality. 

If you’re happy with your kitchen layout, all the better! This means your kitchen renovation costs will be smaller. For instance, knocking down a wall or running new electrical wiring can cost thousands in labour and materials. Moving plumbing for the dishwasher, sink, and refrigerator will also add to that final price. And, unless you’re a plumber, these are tasks that need to be left in the hands of professionals

Now, if the layout of your kitchen is the problem, and you want to move appliances around, you’ll need to budget for this extra expense. You could also keep the cost down by finding alternatives. For example, instead of buying a brand-new oven, repair your current one. Or, you could opt for tile countertops as opposed to marble. 

If you have a galley-style or corridor kitchen, you have limited space to change things. It’s usually difficult to make changes unless you’re fine with spending quite a bit of money on significant alterations in your home structure. If you have a one-wall kitchen layout, then you could always add a kitchen island to give you more prep space and storage. 

2. Set a Budget 

On average, the cost to remodel your kitchen will cost $27,828. Of course, the final price depends on the size and style you’re going for. If you have the money to spend on a complete renovation, you’ll save time, energy, and frustration. A team of experts will be in and out of your space, giving you a brand-new kitchen in a matter of days. 

However, if you don’t want to spend anywhere near this amount, you need to think outside the box. Begin by setting a realistic budget. As you research through material and labour costs, you’ll realize what you can afford. It’s easy to say, “I want to spend $10,000 on my kitchen remodel”. However, sticking to this budget is easier said than done. To help stay on track, break down your expenses. How much are you willing to pay for appliances? What about countertops? Cabinets?

Break down your budget accordingly. For instance: 

  • 35% will go towards cabinets 
  • 25% will go towards appliances
  • 5% will go towards fixtures 

Don’t exclude labour, as it will take about 20-35% of your budget. 

3. Decide What You Can and Can't Do Yourself 

This is the part where you’ll need to be honest with yourself. While anyone can learn how to remodel areas of the kitchen, it requires hard work, dedication, commitment, and patience. 

The best (free) places to learn how to conduct common home improvement projects include: 

  • YouTube tutorials
  • Home improvement blog sites
  • How-to classes offered by local hardware stores
  • A friend or family member with expertise in home improvement

Take a look at your dream kitchen layout and pinpoint the areas you can handle yourself and those you’ll need to seek expert help for. Here’s a quick list of the tasks you may be able to tackle yourself:

Paint the Walls 

A fresh coat of paint will transform your kitchen. If you love your white walls, but they’re stained with dirt, oil, or Crayola (courtesy of your toddler), you’ll want to clean up the space with a fresh coat of paint. A few of the materials you’ll need are some quality indoor paint, rollers, painter’s tape, and a painting tray.

Pro Tip: If you have a small kitchen, opt for a lighter colour. Dark colours like navy or black will make the space feel tighter. 

Flip the Cabinets

The cabinets are a huge part of your kitchen renovation project. New cabinets will completely transform your space, but as you can probably tell from your research, they’re among the most expensive parts of a kitchen remodel. 

A few budget renovation options include: 

  • Replace cabinets with shelves. Open shelving units will make your kitchen look more open, hence larger. They’re much cheaper than traditional cabinets and come in a variety of styles, colours, and materials. A great way to save money is by mixing and matching shelves and cabinets.
  • Reface cabinets. Consider keeping your old cabinets but replacing the doors. When doing a refacing project, everything stays other than the front. That includes doors, drawer fronts, hinges, and hardware. You can treat the cabinet boxes and facings with a new veneer or laminate with your choice of colour or stain.
  • Paint your existing cabinets. Sometimes all cabinets need is a little sanding down and repainting to look brand new. Wooden cabinets will always be beautiful, but if you want to try something different, try painting them! This offers a nice way to add personality to your area while keeping costs down. 
  • Switch out the hardware. This small change will make a huge difference in your kitchen renovation. Change the hardware to match or complement your kitchen’s new theme. You can fill in existing holes with wood filler, let it harden, and then install the new hardware. This will change the entire look and make your out-of-date cabinets sleek and stylish.    
  • Install moulding. Although this seems small, don’t underestimate the power of details. Add moulding on cabinet tops to add visual interest and character.  

Pro Tip: If you decide to buy new cabinets, you may still be able to save some money if you assemble and install them yourself. Look for ready-to-assemble options. Your style and choices may be limited, but if you find a design that fits, you will save money, time, and energy. 

Countertops and Backsplash 

Natural stone countertops like granite and quartzite are beautiful for your kitchen but not so great for your pockets if you’re looking for budget countertops. The average cost per square foot is up to $175 or more. Fortunately, there are other high-end countertop materials that will give you the look you want without costing you an arm and a leg.  

Some options include: 

  • Tile. There are different types of tiles, including ceramic, porcelain, glass, cement, and marble. Ceramic and porcelain are the cheaper options and come in many shapes, colours, and sizes. This allows you to create your own custom look. Marble is on the more expensive side. The average cost per square foot is $20 to $70.
  • Butcher block. This is created by gluing long cuts of wood together in strips for a countertop. Some options for wood are maple, walnut, oak, cherry, and red oak. The average cost per square foot is $50 to $100.
  • Solid surface. These countertops are made of mineral dust mixed with resins and pigments to mimic the appearance of natural stone. They’re affordable alternatives to granite or quartz and are easy to install. 

In your search for budget countertops and backsplash, ask for word-of-mouth recommendations. If you have a friend or relative that recently renovated their kitchen, they may have some tips for you.


The backsplash of your kitchen is often the focal point. It protects your walls from oil splashes and saves you time from having to repaint areas on your wall. However, the installation process of backsplash can be pricey if you go with materials like stainless steel or ceramic tile. Luckily, some alternatives are lighter on your budget renovation without compromising your kitchen’s aesthetics. Some options are:

  • Beadboard
  • Shiplap
  • Moisture resistant wallpaper

While you won’t get the durability stainless steel or ceramic backsplash brings, they will create a unique design element in your kitchen. If you are set on a certain material that may be pricey, focus on only putting it behind your stove and sink to cut back on materials.  


There are dozens of options when it comes to new flooring. Fortunately, prices vary when it comes to materials. And, if you have an experienced friend to help, you can install the new flooring yourself. The prep work is fairly easy but differs depending on the type of flooring you want. 

You’ll have the option to replace your entire flooring with new ceramic tile or hardwood flooring. However, a more budget-friendly option includes painting and stencilling over existing floors. Browse through stencils online or in home improvement stores. For durable results, use polyurethane-based porch and floor enamel. Polyurethane-based paint is a durable, high-resistant coat that has antifungal properties.

Repair Your Appliances

There are many ways to make things look new. In the past, taking appliances to the dump was a common option, but today many of us enjoy the challenge of flipping an old appliance. The ability to repair your appliances will depend on your skill level. Hiring someone to fix it will also cost less than buying a new one. So, unless you absolutely need a new microwave, refrigerator, or dishwasher, consider repairing it.

If you absolutely need a brand-new appliance, check out the dent and scuff aisles of your local appliance store. Retailers are unable to charge the full price for these appliances, so they will sell them at a discount price which could end up being a good amount of savings on your budget renovation. You may get lucky and find a model with small imperfections at a great price. Also, keep in mind that retailers can’t sell an appliance if it’s faulty. They’re typically in this aisle for aesthetic reasons.

5. Get to Work! 

Now to the fun part. It’s time to get the home renovation process moving! To lift some weight off your shoulders, ask for help. Family and friends are likely to help you out, especially if there’s something in it for them (pizza, anyone?). 

For areas where you’ll need to hire a contractor, be sure to schedule a consultation. They’ll be able to guide you through the renovation project and suggest you do certain things before others. You don’t want to replace your new cabinets only to find out plumbing repairs needed to be conducted prior. To streamline the process, make a list of things that need to get done before others.

For instance:

  1. Plumbing
  2. Painting
  3. Floors
  4. Kitchen Cabinets
  5. Budget countertops
  6. Appliances
  7. Hardware
  8. Backsplash

6. Finishing Touches 

Finally, let’s go over the finishing touches of your kitchen renovation project. These are the areas that aren’t necessary but will bring together the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. Here’s what you should consider: 

  • Linens. Add some pretty curtains and a matching rug to your kitchen space.
  • Lighting fixtures. Do you prefer recessed lighting, chandeliers, pendants, or ceiling lights? The possibilities are endless; go with a style that fits your space.
  • Plants. Adding greenery will brighten up the kitchen. The right plant will be beneficial to you and your environment. If it’s your first plant, or you’re a very busy individual, be sure to go with one that requires little maintenance. You can also add plants that are pretty to look at or plants that provide you with kitchen ingredients. Place these plants on your windowsill, open shelving unit, or hang them from the ceiling!

Start Your Home Improvement Project Today! 

A kitchen remodel can easily get expensive; however, keeping these tips in mind will help keep costs down. Begin by creating a layout of your dream kitchen and setting a budget. Then, pinpoint what you can do yourself and what requires professional help. As you’re working through the remodels, take breaks and seek assistance when needed, whether that’s an experienced friend, YouTube tutorial, or contractor.

Make your money stretch with these budget renovation tips. And, if you prefer to leave your kitchen project in the hands of experts, book a consultation with Caviar Kitchen & Stone today.