Kitchen On A Budget – 8 Low-Cost Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Are you looking to renovate your kitchen on a budget? Maybe you plan to move home in the next few years, so it doesn’t make sense to spend thousands on a full renovation but you want to freshen up the kitchen and improve your day-to-day use. There are plenty of ways to upgrade your kitchen on a budget.

In this post, I’ll go over eight ways you can save money on a kitchen renovation and help refresh your kitchen on a budget.

Let’s get into it.

You May Also Like:
12 Ways To Actually Save Money On A New Kitchen

8 Low-Cost Kitchen Renovation Ideas

1. Refresh Cabinets Doors

One of the quickest, easiest and most impactful ways to refresh or renovate a kitchen is to simply change the kitchen cabinet doors. It’s amazing what a simple colour or style change can do to breathe new life into a kitchen.

There are a few ways you can refresh your kitchen cabinet doors depending on what you want to achieve and how much you want to spend. These changes are only to the doors themselves. It assumes that your cabinets (carcasses) are in good working order. So it’s more of a cosmetic change rather than anything structural, which saves time and money.

Replace Existing Doors

The vast majority of kitchens are standard sizes, so finding new replacement doors is fairly straightforward. You could even look up the original kitchen manufacturer and see if you can get some new doors directly from them. You could change the cabinet doors to a different colour or change the style of the door completely. For instance, you could go from a more traditional shaker door to a handleless J-Pull style, or vice-versa.

Top Tip: Always make sure to measure the door sizes and double-check everything before placing an order for new doors. Check whether the new doors come pre-drilled for hinges, if not, this could mean extra time and cost to install them.

Paint Existing Doors

If your existing kitchen cabinet doors are painted, then chances are you can re-paint them. Not every type of door can be re-painted and the process is easy with some than others. However, if you have painted timber doors (or un-painted timber doors) then sanding them back, priming them and then painting them in a new colour can be a great, cost-effective way at refreshing your kitchen.

Replace Existing Door Handles

Often overlooked but a really quick win. Changing the door handles on your kitchen cabinets can transform the look and feel of your kitchen. Changing from dark ornate handles and knobs to fresh chrome modern styled handles can instantly bring your kitchen into the 21st century. Equally, changing those generic bar handles to something with a little more visual interest can make your kitchen feel more bespoke and individual.

Just remember to measure the distance between the screw holes and get the same sized handles if you don’t want to have to fill the old holes and drill new holes. There are 1000’s of handles on the internet, so you’re sure to find a matching size in the style you want.

Painting kitchen cabinet doors - refresh kitchen on a budget

2. Worktop Choice

Similar to only changing the cabinet doors, changing your kitchen worktop can be another quick and easy way to update the look and functionality of your kitchen. Depending on your DIY skills and the worktop material you may need to hire a professional. However, a worktop change can be as quick as a few hours to a day and can totally transform the kitchen.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective worktop for a new kitchen then laminate worktops could be the answer. Available in a huge range of colours and finishes you’re sure to find something you love at a very reasonable price. There are many options that mimic marble or granite but at a fraction of the cost.

Another budget-friendly option is having timber worktops. Timber looks and feels great, adding some texture and contrast to any kitchen. Different thicknesses and types will cost more or less, so shop around for the best combination for your budget and style.

You May Also Like:
What Is The Best Kitchen Worktop? An In-Depth Guide

3. Shop Sales

If you’re buying a new kitchen, shop smart and buy at the best times. Many kitchen companies will run sales in January (summer sales are also popular) so take advantage of these sale periods to get the best price you can.

My advice is to be prepared. Don’t rush the design and purchase all in the last week of the sale. That’s when mistakes happen! Start your design process in November or December and take your time to get it right. Then, when the sale hits in January you’ll be ready and confident to pull the trigger and bag a deal.

Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to haggle and ask for the best price and if there is any additional discount to be offered. Especially towards the end of the month. There often is, and simply asking means you get it.

4. Appliances

There are a few ways you can help your kitchen budget when it comes to appliances.

Firstly, can you keep and re-use any of your existing appliances? Maybe the dishwasher is only a year old or the ovens are in perfect working order. If you are on a budget now this can be a good place to save money. So many appliances are standard sizes that it’s easy to replace/upgrade later on when you have a bit more spare cash.

Consider more budget-friendly brands and models for those appliances that aren’t as important to you, or that aren’t on display. For instance, you can save £100’s on an integrated fridge and/or freezer you’ll never see that does the same job as a more expensive brand. The same could go for your integrated cooker hood. Pick and choose where you are willing to go for a budget brand to help save money on appliances.

Lastly, tied in with idea number 4, shop the sales! Lots of kitchen companies will include the appliances as part of your overall price, and while that can be helpful it always pays to have a look online and shop around yourself. You could save £100’s on the exact same appliances just by doing some googling. Again, it benefits to be prepared and know what you want so you can be ready for those January sales.

If you don’t want to have to order everything online yourself, you could try going back to the kitchen company and asking them to price match everything you have found. Most will be willing to do so (if they can) and it means you don’t need to coordinate deliveries. That bit of extra work and research could save you some serious cash.

You May Also Like:
Kitchinsider – Appliance Guides

5. Kitchen Flooring

If part of your kitchen renovation includes having a new floor, there are options that can help your budget out.

Vinyl or laminate flooring can be great cost-effective kitchen flooring options. They are quicker and easier to install as well as much more budget-friendly than stone tiles or engineered wood. There is a huge choice in styles and colours with vinyl and laminate flooring, from wooden boards to stone tile lookalikes. You’re sure to find the look you want at a fraction of the cost.

Vinyl flooring is also waterproof and easy to maintain and care for. Making it an ideal choice for busy kitchens. Budget aside, vinyl can be a great option for many kitchens.

You May Also Like:
Kitchen Flooring Options – Everything You Need To Know

6. Optimise Your Layout

A way to potentially save £1000’s before you’ve even started fitting a new kitchen is to think about the layout.

The more you can utilise the existing layout the more likely you are to save money on additional building work. If you are moving the position of your sink or hob from where they currently are, that could mean moving the water supply and waste pipes or gas supply around to suit the new layout. Guess what, that’s mean more work and more money spent on your kitchen renovation.

Where possible, keep things like the sink, hob and ovens in the same position or minimise their relocation to help keep additional building work costs down.

You will need to consider if creating a new layout will improve the functionality of your kitchen and if that is worth the additional cost it may incur. Sometimes it’s definitely worth it, but if you’re on a budget thinking about your layout could save you a lot of money.

You May Also Like:
Best Kitchen Layouts – A Complete Guide To Design

7. Ex-Display Kitchens

If time is on your side and you don’t mind looking around and inquiring with kitchen companies, getting yourself an ex-display kitchen can mean huge savings.

Almost all kitchen companies will refresh their displays at least every few years and when that happens they sell off the old displays at a seriously reduced rate. There are even online companies dedicated to the selling and buying of ex-display kitchens with many of them also selling off the appliances on display as well. Double bargain!

While this can be a great way to grab a kitchen on a budget there a few things to keep in mind. It can take time and a lot of looking around to find the type of kitchen you want as an ex-display. And, even if you do find the style of kitchen you are after, it may not have the correct number or configuration of cabinets that you need. Meaning you might have to still buy some new cabinets to fill in the gaps or be stuck with some extra cabinets you don’t need.

However, play it right and you could end up saving a lot of money.

Top Tip: Some kitchen companies may also have outlets where they sell slightly damaged stock, last season’s look or overstocked products. These can also be great places to find a bargain.

Kitchen being installed

8. Installation Costs

Lastly, there are ways you can save on the installation itself to help keep your kitchen on a budget.

What is your DIY skill like, can you do any of the installation yourself? Even if it’s ripping out the old kitchen or taking everything down the dump yourself. Anything you can do yourself means you’re not paying for someone else. Within reason, try and do as much of the work yourself as you can to help save some money.

If you’re not into DIY and need to hire a professional, doing some research and asking around locally could mean you save £100’s. A good, well trusted local kitchen fitter or carpenter could be cheaper than going with the kitchen companies fitters. And you may end up with a better quality finish.

It’s not always the case but depending on the type of kitchen and how much is involved in the project. Organising your own tradespeople could mean you save big on your installation costs.

You May Also Like:
How Much Does A New Kitchen Cost? | An In-Depth Guide

Final Thoughts…

There you have it. Eight ways to help renovate your kitchen on a budget.

You don’t have to implement all eight of these ideas to save money. Just picking one or two could be enough to get that fresh new kitchen on a budget that suits your needs.

So, what are you waiting for? Roll up those sleeves and get to work!



Michael from

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.