Wednesday, April 10

Kitchen Revamp on a Budget

You guys know we've been slowly working on our kitchen remodel for over 2 years. But you probably don't know that before B came into the picture I worked for a kitchen & bath design firm. I was an assistant (not an actual designer) but I put together my fair share of estimates. So I have a pretty good understanding of just how much a full kitchen remodel can cost. And holy moly, it can cost a lot. Even the lower end remodels start at thousands of dollars. When we bought our home, we knew that was something we just wouldn't be able to do. Probably not ever. :) Which is why we've been doing so much DIY work in our kitchen. We still want to end up with a space we love, but on a much more reasonable budget! Today I just wanted to share a couple simple tricks that have saved us a load of $$$ on this project.

Work with what you have. We kept as much existing cabinetry as possible. The floors were almost new and in great shape so they stayed. We kept the layout of the major appliances so we didn't have to rework all the plumbing and gas lines.

Used is cheaper than new. We've bought quite a few things second-hand to cut down costs. Our dishwasher was from Craigslist, the fridge was an estate sale in town, even the bamboo blinds came from a yard sale! We've also had good luck shopping sales and clearance racks (which is how we got our $300 farmhouse sink for $40)

Don't rush things. Going slowly, as painfully tedious as it is at times, has actually helped us keep things affordable. We wait until we find things for a good price. If we don't have the money to buy something outright, we we wait until we do so we don't have to go into any debt for the project.

DIY as much as you can. Of course, doing something yourself will generally be cheaper than hiring a contractor to help! We've done everything from building new cabinets, to pouring concrete countertops, to painting, to installing our dishwasher. Just keep in mind that some things are better left to the professionals. Things like electrical work and plumbing can be a big mess (and plain old dangerous!) if you don't know what you're doing. We've been fortunate enough to have friends and family who are contractors who have been able to help us out with all these things, and even teach us to do them ourselves in the future!

Here's a (very) rough breakdown of what we've spent so far. There is some guestimating involved - I'm not up for receipt hunting today. :)
 Total(ish) - $2,171

It's certainly not pocket change (and part of the reason it's taken us so long) but it's been doable. And we are so close to having an amazing kitchen! So how about you guys? Anybody else tackled a kitchen remodel on a budget?


  1. We are currently rehabilitating a barn and converting it into a house (DIY style). We are in the process of hunting down appliances for the kitchen. I have found a brand new, never used flat-top stove on Craigslist. The person who is selling it bought a new house and the previous owner had put in brand new white appliances before moving out. The new owners want stainless appliances so they are selling the brand new ones that came with the house. I am going to look at it today and we will pick it up this weekend if we purchase it. This will save us about $200 off the price of the same model new at Home Depot.

    We are also using old cabinets that came out of my in-laws' house when they remodeled some years ago. They will need some updating but are free, which is much cheaper and easier than buying new ones or building new ones ourselves.

    I am super impressed with your kitchen sink find. I hope I have some luck like that. I think your kitchen looks great. I keep watching your blog for your great updates and I see your new posts on my Blogger dashboard.

    1. Oh wow, what an exciting project! I would LOVE to rehab something like that someday. Thanks for sharing your tips. Reusing the cabinetry was such a great idea. That will save a ton of money! Good luck with the sink hunt. :) And thanks for commenting!