kitchen refit

How To Update Your Kitchen On A Budget

Welcome to the realm of DIY kitchen updates, where creativity and resourcefulness converge to breathe new life into your culinary space without straining your wallet. The heart of your home deserves a fresh, stylish, and functional look, and achieving that dream doesn’t have to be a financial burden. In this article, we’ll guide you through how to update your kitchen on a budget, empowering you to roll up your sleeves and take on the challenge of transforming your space into a charming oasis.

From clever upcycling and budget-friendly materials to space-saving solutions, our guide will equip you with the tools to revamp your kitchen with your very own hands, creating a personalized and affordable haven where lasting memories will be made. Let’s get started on this exciting journey of DIY kitchen renovation!

Cost saving ideas for your kitchen makeover

First things first was to choose the worktops, sink, kitchen tapware and tiles. Easy, I just let Victoria loose on the internet and soon enough we had some lovely solid oak worktops, tall brushed steel mixer tap, white ceramic double sink, white tiles and grout.

To cut costs on the worktops, we opted for untreated solid oak. However, this meant we had to apply the oil ourselves, which turned out to be quite time-consuming. We chose Danish oil for its excellent wood treatment properties, especially its durability and water resistance. Unfortunately, we hadn’t anticipated the significant amount of time required for this task.

Applying four layers of oil on each side of the three lengths of oak was necessary, and due to the lack of a suitable indoor space, we had to do it outside. The weather in England didn’t cooperate either, as it rained every weekend for several weeks, causing further delays. Moreover, each coat needed at least 8 hours to dry before applying the next one. As a result, it took us around three months to complete the entire oiling process. But, despite the challenges, we were finally ready to proceed with the rest of the project. 😁

Another great way we saved money was to leave the existing cupboard units in place. As they were quite new they didn’t need replacing. If yours are old consider painting the cupboards for an updated look.

Benmay16 (260)
My next challenge was to get the old kitchen out and the new one in within one weekend, which isn’t the easiest of tasks when working alone. Here’s a quick list of job to complete for our budget kitchen makeover.

Budget kitchen makeover job list

  1. Remove old tiles
  2. Remove old sink and worktops
  3. Measure and cut new worktops
  4. Measure and cut hole for sink
  5. Tap out ceramic hole for tap
  6. Fit worktops and sink with waste pipes
  7. Fix wall with plaster
  8. Tile and grout walls
  9. Clean and tidy

Waste disposal

We also had to think about waste disposal. We had the old tiles, old worktops, old sink and the broken new sink to get rid of. We had to decide whether skip hire was more practical than us taking everything to the recycling centre ourselves over several trips, especially as we had more DIY to do in other rooms!

Removing old tiles

This is never an easy task and can get very messy. To remove old tiles, start by wearing protective gear such as safety goggles and gloves. Use a chisel and hammer to carefully chip away the grout around the tiles, then gently pry each tile off the surface using a putty knife or a tile scraper. If the putty knife or scraper doesn’t work you can try using more force with a masonry chisel.

With the tiles removed I then removed the worktops. These are usually screwed into place underneath and joined with worktop clamps.

I repaired any damaged wall sections with plaster.

The most physically challenging of these tasks was to remove all the existing tiles.  I ended up taking most of the plaster with them. This meant replastering some sections of the wall.

We were trying to do this on a budget and didn’t want to spend money hiring tradespeople, so I decided to do this myself. A couple of YouTube videos later and I was plastering.  The end result wasn’t amazing but it was good enough for a nice even wall base to tile onto.

Benmay16 (186)

The next job was to refit the new worktops. This is easy enough. Just ensure you measure twice and cut once. Cutting holes for the sink was easy enough with a router. The joining sections of the worktops were completed by routing out the holes for the worktop clamps.

The worktops were secured into place and fixed together ready for tiling.

This concludes my kitchen makeover on a budget but read on for some more great tips.

We’ll take a look at the finished article in a moment but first let’s just take a look at the tools required to complete this job.

  1. Router
  2. Router jig
  3. Circular saw
  4. Orbital sander and sandpaper of different grits
  5. Wood glue, Danish oil and beeswax
  6. 3″ wood Clamps
  7. Drill and bits
  8. Chisel, masonry chisel and hammer
  9. Trowel and bucket
  10. Tape measure, ruler, set square and pencil
  11. Spanner set and all the fixtures and fittings

And also, here are a few tips on how to save money and update your own kitchen on a budget based on what we did.

Quick tips to update your kitchen on a budget

  • DIY – the first tip is to do as much as you can yourself and save on labour costs.  Luckily I love DIY and I’m keen to learn new skills, as well as learn from my mistakes, so doing up my own homes is the perfect way to do this.  It’s also cost-effective as I don’t have to pay for tradespeople.
  • Think about rubbish removal – if you have a car or van then you may be able to take the rubbish yourself to your local recycling centre, but otherwise you’ll need to search online for budget skip hire to get the best quote for a skip to remove the rubbish for you.
  • Have the right tools – if you have the right tools or can borrow them then you’ll definitely make the job easier.  At the time I didn’t have an electric tile cutter which would have cut everything really quickly and saved us some money on tiles as I broke a few with a manual cutter.
  • Measure twice – don’t rush and ensure you measure everything twice.  I accidentally cut a worktop too short and so we had to split one of the worktops into two pieces instead of having a lovely long one-piece of oak.  I’ll not make that mistake again.
  • Salvage what you can – we actually didn’t mind the kitchen cupboards so we saved a small fortune by replacing everything else aside from the cupboards .  Even if we didn’t like the doors it’s a lot cheaper to keep the existing units and just replace the doors.  Online websites like Kitchen Warehouse sell doors only if you want to revamp your kitchen on a budget.
  • Shop online – we ordered nearly everything we needed off eBay and it was much cheaper than shopping in a regular kitchen retailer.  Our worktops came from a local company and were a great deal.  We managed to buy them from their eBay store with a special discount and as we’re not too far away the delivery cost was low.

Before and after kitchen makeover

So here is the before and after.  As always, any questions please drop me a line.

How the owner’s before us had the kitchen:

Cheap kitchen updates before and after photos ideas


How to upgrade your own kitchen on a budget - keep the units
How to upgrade your own kitchen on a budget - white wood kitchen
How to upgrade your own kitchen on a budget

Check out my other articles on:

Bathroom sink unit upgrade

Or get creative and:

Fit your own under stairs drawers

Make a wood store with a difference

One comment

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