Cost-effective kitchen upgrades that give a good ROI

When it comes to any home improvement, you naturally want a good return on your investment.  This means it’s good value for money and will improve the value of your home to make your home worth more than the investment itself cost. Quality materials along with tried and trusted brands should be combined to ensure that your kitchen stands the test of time.  If you focus on quality and make cost a secondary issue, you will be glad that you did.  By cutting corners and choosing cheaper materials, they may not last as long and end up costing more in the long run as you’ll need to replace them.  Sometimes paying a little more for higher quality materials will give a better finish and last much longer.  Longevity is everything with any home improvement and by choosing to use cost-effective solutions such as composite materials in the remodel you can still create a stylish kitchen that looks great and is long-lasting even if you are on a limited budget.

Cost-effective kitchen upgrades that give a good ROI

Photo by Toa Heftiba

Here are a few considerations if you are looking to upgrade your kitchen:

DIY solutions

If you enjoy working with your hands and are reasonably competent, why not tackle the project yourself? There are online tutorials that are invaluable which usually have images and clear, step by step instructions on how to go about the project. DIY ensures you get the best value for money and you can even buy your tools online from the same supplier, should you lack a specialised tool.  We saved a small fortune as Ben was able to tile our kitchen, lay the floor and replace the worktops and sink by himself.  Luckily the kitchen cupboards were to our taste and didn’t need replacing, but he’d have been able to do this thanks to his competent DIY skills and the help of online how-to blogs and video guides.

Choose a recommended contractor

Not everyone is capable of removing an old kitchen and fitting a new one, so in this instance it’s best to call in the professionals.  It’s also wise to hire a contractor if an entire kitchen model is out of your depth.  Don’t try and attempt it unless you are confident in your skills as a mistake could cost a lot to fix!  If you decide to use a contractor then make sure the quote is reasonable by asking a few companies to quote.  By getting around 3-5 quotes you will discover what a reasonable quote should be for the work and you’ll get a feel for which contractor you trust the most and has the same vision as you.  Word of mouth is always great so ask friends and family who they’d highly recommend.  Don’t be afraid to tell the builder what you can afford, as he will try his best to quote accordingly or come up with solutions.

Quality fixtures and fittings

If funds are limited then a cost-effective way to update your kitchen on a budget is to replace some of the fixtures and fittings.  This is an easy way to brighten the room and make things look new again without a total remodel.  Source a good double sink unit with a Franke mixer tap, which can be found online at reasonable prices.  Replace the lighting with something more modern or insert strip lighting under the cabinets if you do not already have some.  Replace the cupboard handles or knobs with something new.  If you have a bit more cash to splash then you can even change the tiles or how about changing the plug socket covers and light switch to freshen things up?  Simply switching some of the fixtures and fittings for something in a new colour or style can really change the tone of the room and help you to fall in love with it again.

Online suppliers

Whatever you need for your kitchen upgrade, an online supplier will likely save you some money and you have the luxury of shopping from the comfort of your own home.  We often have a browse in stores to get ideas for items and materials we need when updating a room, then we’ll go home and Ben will compare materials, particularly building materials, on different building sites and eBay.  Sometimes you can save a small fortune by doing a little research online and get the same high quality materials at a fraction of the first cost you see.  Many online suppliers offer a one-stop solution for all your home improvement needs, and with a secure online payment, the items will be despatched immediately and are conveniently delivered to your door so you have no hassle of trying to get bulky items home from a store.

Composite materials

I mentioned composite materials in the introduction as a way to save money when updating your kitchen.  These are manmade materials made from combining two or materials and can be used for worktops, floors or even to make entire pieces of furniture.  Whilst real granite or stone worktops may be out of your price range, there are composite replicates that look just as good as the real thing, are hardwearing and durable and cost much less than the real thing.

Update cupboard doors

If you cannot afford everything new, then you may wish to look at what you can update in your existing kitchen to make it feel updated.  Custom kitchen cabinets and cupboards often make up the majority of the kitchen.  If they are old, worn and tired then by replacing just the doors could give your kitchen an entire new look.  If the cupboards and shelving themselves are just fine then look at replacing just the doors as this is a much cheaper option.  If they are wooden and paintable then try a fresh lick of paint if your budget is really low.

If you opt for a total re-model then you are sure to add value to your home by modernising the kitchen.  There are still cost-effective solutions for a total re-model such as by getting a competitive quote, ordering high-quality materials online and opting for composite replicate materials instead of the real deal.  If a total re-model is out of your budget then consider replacing fixtures and fittings or upcycling what you have by painting kitchen cabinets or replacing cupboard doors.

What to read next

How to Upgrade your own Kitchen on a Budget

When to skip DIY and call in the pros

My top 5 home improvements

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This is a collaborative post

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