Budget Kitchen Remodels: How To Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget


How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget

Sick of your kitchen but tight on funds? Don’t worry – you don’t need a six-figure budget to get a beautiful kitchen. 

If you’re smart about your remodel, think carefully through each step, or even do some DIY, you can absolutely remodel your kitchen on a budget.

It you’re wondering how to do a budget kitchen remodel, or looking for kitchen remodel ideas on a budget, or how to DIY your kitchen remodel on a budget, you’re in the right place! 

Read on to learn everything you need to know.


What is considered a “budget” kitchen remodel?

The size of your kitchen is obviously a very important factor in determining the cost of a kitchen remodel. If your kitchen is less than 70 square feet, you could remodel for less than $5,000. This goes up to $60,000+ for a large kitchen of more than 200 square feet.

If you are doing a full kitchen remodel – that’s replacing all your cabinets with good quality new ones, redesigning your layout, new countertops, flooring, sink, and appliances plus redecorating – most budget remodels cost around $15,000 - $25,000. 


What is the average cost to remodel a kitchen?

There are choices at all budgets for kitchen remodels. The average cost for an upscale remodel was $131,510 in 2019. The mid-range average cost was $66,196 and budget kitchen remodels were $22,507 on average. 

According to Moving.com, the average spent on renovations was $25,047, with most renovators spending between $13,160 and $37,011. Renovations are typically less involved than a remodel, so this may be a good choice for you if you’re on a budget.

How much does it cost to remodel a 12x12 kitchen?

A 12-foot by 12-foot kitchen, which is average for a small to mid-sized house, will typically cost between $20,000 and $40,000.


How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen by yourself?

If you have the time needed for planning, fitting, and redecorating, it is possible to remodel a kitchen by yourself. You would have to give a great deal of thought to creating your kitchen plan and also have some skill with cabinet making. Plumbing and electrical installation require the proper knowledge to be safe and efficient so you may have to employ a licensed contractor.

Leaving out costs for design, installation, and labor, an average for the cost of doing a kitchen remodel by yourself is around $16,000. The kitchen cabinets will obviously be the largest expense, on average $6,670.

Remember that when you DIY you may save overall on costs, but you will also lose the quality of a professional finish. You may not save as much as you planned as it will be more difficult to keep to a fixed budget. There may be some unforeseen difficulties and costs, so only embark on a project like this if you’re already pretty handy!


Pros & Cons of Planning Your Own Kitchen Remodel


The advantages of planning your own kitchen remodel will all be financial. If you have skills you can use instead of employing someone else you can save money on labor.

It will also be easier to control costs. Even the nicest contractors are trying to make a good living.

You can have total control. If you want the control to pick up your project and put it down again, such as replacing your upper cabinets before your lower, or doing the flooring a few months after the rest, then DIY may work best for you.



The kitchen is not a good place to cut corners on quality. If it is not a really good finish it may have a negative effect on the resale of your house.

There are also many difficult aspects such as plumbing and electricals which need to be completed to a high standard for safety as well as efficient functioning.

After putting a huge amount of work into your DIY budget kitchen remodel you may be a bit disappointed with the overall finish which will still have cost you thousands of dollars.

Be realistic about your own skills before you start!

How can you remodel your kitchen on a budget?

You can remodel your kitchen, even on a tight budget, by doing all the work yourself and by working with what you have in your existing kitchen as much as possible:

  • Instead of completely replacing your cabinets, you might be able to re-paint them with specialist paint or just buy new doors. Some of your wall cabinets might be replaced by open shelving.
  • If you buy cabinets, get ready to assemble units.
  • Look at your appliances to see where you might re-use or repair them.
  • Look for second-hand kitchen cabinets or appliances to reduce costs.
  • Do your best to keep the layout of your plumbing and electricals to save money on professional costs.
  • Do as much of the work as you can yourself. You should be able to re-decorate, but also choose flooring, tiling, lighting, and countertops that you can update yourself.


Why do kitchen remodels cost so much?

The cost of a kitchen remodel quickly mounts up. About 30% of the cost is down to cabinets and hardware. Even the most reasonably priced kitchen units add up when you see how many you’ll need. You can expect about 17% to go on installation unless you do it yourself and 14% on appliances.

Other costs mount up with countertops and flooring plus design fees, lighting, and plumbing plus decorating – if you start a DIY project you’ll understand why very quickly!


Can you remodel a kitchen for under $15,000?

That depends – if you’re a small home or apartment, your $15,000 will likely stretch pretty far, but if you’re talking about remodeling the kitchen of a 3,000 square foot home in Texas, you’re not going to get very far!

The best way to know what a remodel is going to cost you is to do your research and get some quotes. Our affordable design service can help you map out your kitchen remodel and our designers can work with you to remodel your existing kitchen layout.

If you definitely don’t want to DIY your kitchen (like most people after a little research!), you can get a fully-custom kitchen for a fraction of the price you would elsewhere. Skipp customers typically save 40% on their remodel, so if you want to save money but have a Instagram-worthy kitchen, it’s time to reach out to us!


6 Tips on How to Save Money during a Budget Kitchen Remodel

  1. Have a good design plan for your kitchen however small it is. Take your time to look at lots of options.
  2. Use materials that look good without breaking the bank.
  3. Do as much of the work as possible yourself while maintaining the quality of finish.
  4. Keep the same basic layout of your kitchen to use existing plumbing and electricals.
  5. Set a realistic budget in advance and stick to it.
  6. Keep an eye on local marketplaces for high-quality kitchen parts you could use if you want to DIY your kitchen.


How long will it take to remodel your kitchen on a budget?

Figuring out how long it will take to remodel your kitchen depends on your kitchen size. It’s worth taking plenty of time in the design process so the actual work will go smoothly and there will be less time when you are without a functioning kitchen in your house. (Takeout meals should not be a major part of your budget!)

A simple DIY renovation may take a weekend in a small house where all you’re doing is changing the cabinet doors and backsplash, but most will take 2-6 weeks.


When does it make sense to remodel your kitchen?

There are several reasons why people decide to remodel their kitchens which are often to do with practical problems when using the kitchen. These could be a lack of flow, poor lighting, insufficient or badly organized storage, too difficult to keep clean.

Other factors can be changing family needs, the kitchen falling into disrepair and simply needing an upgrade, or even just that you hate the way it looks!


Skipp not only helps you through the difficult design process, but we can also help you keep to your original budget and we provide support for DIYers. You could benefit from our specialized technology in the planning process, with access to designers plus expert input at a fraction of the usual remodel costs!

If you need a DIY kitchen remodel on a budget we’ll help you save around 35% of the cost by supporting when you do your own labor. Your ideas will be checked by experts and you will have the benefit of our experience. You can get your dream kitchen and still keep to a tight budget. 


What is the least expensive way to remodel a kitchen?

A kitchen remodel can be a very expensive project depending on what kind of features you include. If you include all new kitchen cabinets, new flooring, lighting, appliances, and countertops, your kitchen remodel could easily climb to $60,000 or more. 

The most expensive part of any kitchen remodel is usually the cabinets. If you go with all custom made cabinets, then the total cost of your kitchen renovation will be much higher. 

Another big expense could be what kind of countertops you go with. If you go with all granite countertops made from a rare granite composition like Blue Bahia or Altair, you again can really see the cost of your kitchen remodel skyrocket. 

But, what if you are not looking for something overly fancy and you are looking to keep costs to a minimum? There are several ways you can keep the overall cost down for a full kitchen remodel. Let us take a look at a few of those ways.

  1. Shop for budget countertops: You can save money on countertops by choosing to purchase them from a discount granite shop or a home improvement store, rather than purchasing them through a designer. Home improvement stores often have clearance sales or steep discounts on countertops when they are trying to make room for new inventory. You can also explore cheaper countertop materials like Quartz. If you are handy enough, you may be able to save some money by removing the old countertops yourself. The demo work might be something you can do, but you may want to leave the installation to professionals. 
  2. Update kitchen cabinets: Instead of replacing your kitchen cabinets, you could consider upgrading them with some sanding, re-staining, or even a new paint job. You will be amazed at what a sand-job followed by a new coat of stain or paint can do for your kitchen. If you paint your cabinets, and you are looking for a dramatic change, go with a bold color. You can also replace all the hardware on the kitchen cabinets to give it a new look.
  3. New wall paint and curtains: Walls painted with a new color and adding fresh curtains can create a lot of change for relatively little money. 
  4. Upgrade kitchen sink and backsplash: You can always install a new kitchen sink that is more modern and sleek looking as well as add in a backsplash if you do not have one. A backsplash can add a level of sophistication to any kitchen. You may also be able to paint an existing backsplash to reinvent its look.
  5. New appliances: You’d be surprised how different a kitchen will look with all new appliances. In addition to improving the overall appearance of a kitchen, new appliances may save you money in the long run. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances to save money each month. 

Even doing one of these five upgrades to your kitchen can make a huge difference, but doing two or three of them can make your kitchen feel entirely brand new. 

How can I make my kitchen look better on a budget?

If you are looking to make your kitchen look better without doing any demo work or replacing any cabinets or countertops, you can do a few things to make big changes without spending a lot of money. The most impactful thing you can do on a budget is buy some new paint. Paint for the walls, paint for the window trim, and paint for the cabinets. By choosing the right stylish color scheme, you can give your kitchen a whole new look without spending a lot of money. 

Can you remodel a kitchen for $5,000?

If you have a $5,000 budget for a kitchen remodel, you can save a lot of money by doing as much of the work yourself as you can. You can clean and sand all your kitchen cabinets, pick out paint for your walls and cabinets, and do all the taping and painting yourself. Installing a backsplash is not that difficult as well.

 By watching a few home improvement videos on YouTube, or by reading some instructions online, you may find that you could easily install a new backsplash on your own. You may even be able to install a new kitchen sink on your own as well. 

As always, if you are in any way uncomfortable doing the work yourself because you think you may make a costly mistake, it is always better to hire a professional. However, by cutting out the cost of professional labor, you can really stretch that $5,000 to get a lot more done during your kitchen renovation.

Also, purchasing new appliances is an excellent way to update your kitchen. You may be able to find some appliance stores that offer free delivery and installation with certain appliance purchases. 

Is $30,000 enough for a kitchen remodel?

$30,000 should be a healthy budget to remodel most kitchens. The average kitchen remodel in the United States costs around $25,606. 

With a $30,000 budget, you should be able to work with a professional designer at Skipp to create the kitchen of your dreams. Working with a designer can help you save money and make smarter decision choices, which can help your budget go farther.

Depending on the scope of your project, you may be able to splurge on a few things with higher costs, then doing the rest as budget-friendly as possible. 

For example, you could have a professional installer come in and install all new granite countertops and cabinets. This would likely take up a large chunk of your $30,000 budget. The rest of the items on your task list could be done by you and your family. You could do all the painting, install a new backsplash, and even do some more technical tasks depending on your skill level. If you prefer to have all the work done professionally, you should be able to afford it with a $30,000 budget, but you may need to choose more economical materials.

What is the most affordable stone countertop?

One of the most affordable stone countertop options on the market is slate. Slate works well in kitchens, bathrooms, and/or as a backsplash. Slate is a versatile stone that is incredibly easy to maintain. It is also non-porous making it easy to clean and it won’t absorb spilled wine or cooking oils. Slate countertops are also extremely durable and can withstand the heat from a hot saucepan without causing any damage or creating any burn marks on the stone. Typically, slate countertops can cost somewhere between $55 to $65 per square foot, on average. 

What is the most affordable wood for cabinets?

If you are looking for an affordable wood type to have your new cabinets constructed from, you may want to consider pine. Pine is one of the most inexpensive wood types for cabinets. Aside from being cheap, pine is elastic and durable, the color is natural and the texture is beautiful. The lines of grain are full and smooth as well. Many beautiful kitchens contain natural-looking pine cabinets with a soft-colored wood stain. 

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