When it comes to renovating on a budget, most of the advice focuses on making small, high-impact changes. While this can make a big difference, it’s not the same as doing a full renovation. This is particularly true in the kitchen, where simply refreshing the fixtures and finishes can only do so much.
Here we look at how you can get the feeling of a complete kitchen renovation for a fraction of the cost. We explore ways to keep the cost down without compromising on the final look. And we provide practical advice on allocating your kitchen renovation budget.
Refresh vs Renovation
When updating a kitchen on a budget, there are two main paths you can take – a refresh or a renovation.
As the name suggests, a refresh focuses on rejuvenating the look of a kitchen. It generally involves updating the little details (handles, tapware, etc.) and refinishing existing surfaces (painting cupboards, tiles, etc.). As such, a refresh rarely addresses functionality issues and relies heavily on the existing infrastructure being in good condition.
By contrast, a renovation is more of a full overhaul. It generally involves ripping out the existing kitchen and replacing it with new fixtures and fittings. As such, it’s possible to address functionality issues when renovating, and your existing kitchen doesn’t need to be in good condition.
With this in mind, while a refresh is almost always the cheaper option, it may not be suitable in many situations. What’s more, given the limitations of a refresh, it usually doesn’t provide the greatest value for money.
Managing a tight kitchen renovation budget
The good news is, while a full renovation will cost more than a simple refresh, you can still keep the price down.
When working with a limited renovation budget, it’s important to have a clear view of how much you want to spend. This allows you to carefully plan your spending and make sure you can cover the work you want to do. It can also help you to work out where to splurge and where to try to save money.
The exact breakdown of your renovation budget will depend on the state of your existing kitchen and your new design. That being said, there are some features that are always worth investing more in, like the:
- Kitchen cabinets: One of the easiest ways to improve the usability of a kitchen is to update the cabinetry. Also, as the largest piece of kitchen infrastructure, new cabinets can make a major difference to the look of space.
- Benchtops: As both a practical work surface and a key design feature, benchtops tend to show their age quickly. As such, a new benchtop can help make a kitchen space seem much crisper and more modern.
- Accessories: like double bins and extra storage
- Tapware: If you have some room in your budget, higher-end tapware can be a great investment. Designer tapware is reasonably affordable and can make a significant style statement.
There are also a few ways that anyone undertaking a kitchen renovation can save money, including:
- Choosing affordable alternatives: There is now a wide range of cost-effective materials that provide a similar look to higher-end finishes. For example, if you like the look of natural stone or wood, you can get a comparable result using quality laminates.
- Reusing appliances: Kitchen appliances are quite easy, but quite expensive, to replace. As such, if your existing appliances are in good condition, you can continue to use them and update them later, when money allows.
- Doing some of the work yourself: Labour is generally one of the highest renovation costs. However, things like removing the existing kitchen, measuring up, and painting, are easy to do yourself.
Need help planning your cheap kitchen renovation in Melbourne?
If you’re looking to update your kitchen in Melbourne but only have a limited budget, Kitchen Shack can help. Our experienced team are experts in coming up with cost-effective designs that are as beautiful as they are functional. So if you’re ready for a new kitchen we offer a free in-store design and quote and can work with you to help your dream kitchen to life.