A kitchen remodel is perhaps the most expensive project in a house, other than a room addition.  And financing this type of renovation is tough, especially if you are like me.  I don’t ever want to take out a loan for renovation, so I have only one choice – it has to be done in increments.  A Kitchen remodel on a budget requires very specific steps and a lot of research for materials and pricing.

Kitchen Remodel on the Cheap

1. The initial step is some serious research relative to what kind of kitchen remodel you want ultimately.  You will need to select everything from floors to lighting, from appliances to counter tops, sinks, faucets and cabinets, even down to the hardware.  Get pricing estimates for everything you want to do.

2. Set a timeline for completion.   A Kitchen remodel on a budget requires knowing what you can afford now and how you will save for the expenses you anticipate down the road.  My remodel took three years, and I may not be finished yet.

3. Figure out which kitchen projects you can complete yourself and which will require more skilled tradesmen.  The more you can do yourself, the better!

4. Begin with the thing that bothers you the most.  With me, it was the cabinets and drawers.   I hated them but did not have the money for new ones.  My answer was paint.  This was a big project, and it took a few weeks, working evenings and weekends.  Basically, I deep-cleaned the wood and then rubbed it all with fine steel wool to produce a surface to which paint would adhere well.  Painting was the easy part, and I love the two-toned result I achieved!

5. Within three months, I had saved the money for new flooring and to use a skilled handyman to lay it.  Choosing porcelain over ceramic saved me a lot.

6. Saving for new counter-top was hard, because I wanted Silestone, and that is a bit pricey.  And it took 6 weeks for it to be delivered and installed, along with new sinks and faucets I had selected.  It was worth it!

7. Back-splash tile was another DIY project, but I found an inexpensive 1″ square glass tile in sheets and a self-sticking product to attach it to the walls.  Grouting is not fun – be prepared.  I started at 5 p.m. and finished about 2 a.m. with a final washing to do the next day.

8. Cabinet hardware, inexpensive but very cool lighting, and final painting of remaining wall space were all easy, inexpensive and non-labor intensive tasks.

I have also replaced appliances and installed a microwave above my range, to give me added space, but I am not finished.  Now, I want a new dining set that will be compatible, and I’ll be saving for awhile to get the one I really want.

For a kitchen remodel on a budget, consider the following:

  • Don’t settle for something you don’t really like.  If it takes time to save enough, so be it!
  • Do everything that you can by yourself – it leaves more money for the pricey things you want.
  • Get help and suggestions from friends – you can always reciprocate!
  • Be patient – unless you are preparing your house for a sale, what’s the rush?  You’ll be happier without credit card bills to pay!