Five Frugal Tips for Kitchen Remodeling

Dec 15, 2014

We recently renovated a condo on a very tight budget. I started watching all of the HGTV shows to get ideas for ways to make the kitchen look good without spending a lot of money. I didn’t end up using many of the tips that I wrote down from asking friends, watching those TV shows, and reading books, but I thought that I would share them with you. Your kitchen is the most important room in your house. Selling your house hinges on the look and functionality of your kitchen. So, it’s in your best interest to start thinking about updating your kitchen if you ever think about selling the house or increasing its overall value.

  1. Paint the cabinets and replace the hardware. Your biggest expense will be replacing kitchen cabinetry. It can run anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 to replace the cabinetry. If you really want to save some money, paint the cabinets a nice neutral color and buy updated hardware such as brushed nickel with a sleek, modern style. You’ll be surprised at what this simple job will do for your kitchen.
  2. Use granite tiles instead of a full slab of granite for the countertops. I inspect houses all the time for insurance claims, and I’ve seen numerous kitchens with granite tiles Use a dark granite with dark grout, and you won’t even see the grout lines from far away. I think it’s a great alternative to a full slab of granite for a fraction of the price.
  3. Use vinyl or sheet metal for a sleek, modern back splash. Tile back splashes are expensive because of the labor and the decorative tiles. You can create a modern look with a custom pattern vinyl back splash or a sheet of metal to match stainless steel appliances.
  4. Look for scratch and dent stainless steel appliances. If you search long and hard enough at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Sears, they’ll have scratch and dent appliances out for sale. You can find these appliances with scratches or dents in areas that will normally be hidden! If the dent or scratch is on the left or right side of a refrigerator or range, typically they will be hidden by cabinetry or walls. We did use this tip ourselves. We went to Best Buy, bought an open item side by side refrigerator that was stainless steel for $699. then, we got an open item stainless steel dishwasher for $279! We paid full price for the microwave and range, but the savings from the refrigerator and dishwasher was about $500.
  5. Update the light fixtures. Updating the light fixtures is always an inexpensive way to give your home a fresh look. We replaced the ugly fluorescent lighting with track lighting for about $50. Fluorescent lights are a thing of the past. Install warmer lighting to your kitchen for a nicer feel to the kitchen.

It was fairly simple, but we built the kitchen in my condo for under $5,000.

Remodeling doesn’t have to a costly endeavor. Do the projects that you can do on your own and contract out the more complicated projects. Also, do your own demolition. Contractors charge a lot of money to destroy things, and it doesn’t take a general contractors license to rip out cabinetry and flooring. If you have any other questions for me about remodeling in the kitchen, bathroom, or other areas of the house, we gutted our condo and started over from scratch, so feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to bounce ideas back and forth to help you save money on your remodel.