The kitchen renovation can very rarely be a budget-friendly endeavor and often the money for it is not enough. If this is the case for you, but you still want to have a better looking kitchen, you can look for a budget-friendly option that is both beautiful and accessible. This is usually completely achievable, as long as the home is not too old and does not require a complete overhaul of plumbing, sewerage, electricity and more.

Pros and cons of budget-friendly cosmetic renovation

Almost any repair, which does not include structural changes and major replacement of plumbing, sewerage, electricity and gas network and the like, can be considered a cosmetic repair, which has its advantages: 

simpler work and fewer consumables significantly reduce costs, and our goal is exactly to save money; 

cosmetic repairs still change the interior of the kitchen, and in addition to making it more pleasant to look at, it can also improve the convenience of using it; 

we can do most if not the whole work by ourselves thus saving additional costs for the payment of qualified specialists; 

the relatively simple activities shorten significantly the duration of the renovation of the kitchen and often allow it to be carried out without having to leave the home for a certain period of time. 

Cosmetic repairs have many advantages, but there are still a couple of flaws. Firstly, with a small budget, it simply will not be possible to make significant changes to the interior, so usually only the appearance of the kitchen changes, but not its general construction plan. Secondly, sometimes it is especially important to replace pipelines, electrical and gas installations, their malfunction could lead to serious damages. Such operations usually do not fit into the concept of cheap repairs because of the high costs.

You can repair some of the old furnishings instead of buying new – for example, the old bar stools.
Photo by Naomi Hébert on Unsplash

Savings opportunities during kitchen renovation

Kitchen renovation can cost a lot and a little and often it depends on how you organize the work. If you pay attention to a few key points, you can save money. Each of them individually will not save a fortune, but the combination of all of them could seriously reduce the overall cost of renovating your kitchen.

Every repair requires tools, but that doesn’t necessarily mean buying all of them if you don’t have them. With the help of friends and acquaintances, you can borrow almost anything you need. Even if there is something that you are missing, you will still buy only it, not the whole set.

Professional workers can make all repairs without your participation at all, but this is not the best option if you want to save costs. You can do a lot of things yourself, such as removing the old wallpapers and putting in the new ones or painting the walls, sorting out unnecessary things and waste, and everything else that does not require special skills. In practice, easy cosmetic repairs are possible without professional intervention at all.

Expensive brands usually guarantee high quality products, but sometimes the difference in price is greater than the difference in quality. Try to avoid the most expensive materials and bet more on good value for money – even if you have to make some compromises in the name of a more affordable price. However, do not compromise too much on quality, as the cheapest usually turns out to be very expensive in the end due to unpleasant surprises and unplanned additional costs.

You can repair some of the old furnishings instead of buying new. For example, you could refresh the old kitchen set by repainting or reupholstering it. You can save on materials by avoiding tiles and wallpapers with patterns. They require pattern matching, which results in more waste, which means higher costs. Plain wallpapers, tiles or wall panels, even when they seem to be the same price, are always somewhat cheaper in the end.

In general, it is always good to buy a little more of all the materials that remain in reserve in case of need for partial repairs. However, practice shows that often this reserve remains unused until the next kitchen renovation. If you give up this reserve, you could save more costs.

Faux stone veneer is a budget-friendly option for the kitchen backsplash.
Photo by Gareth Hubbard on Unsplash

Budget-friendly finishings

The concept of cosmetic repairs usually does not imply even a minimal change in the architectural plan of the kitchen. The desire to save even on this leads to the growing popularity of minimalist styles, such as the Scandinavian style. A minimum of unnecessary details is also emphasized by the choice of finishes, focusing on the simplest and most inexpensive option, suitable for use in a kitchen.

For the floor, linoleum seems to be the best budget solution. This is not the most ideal option in general, but it is extremely cheap, and durable, and stable, and does not require special care, and you can even lay it yourself. At the same time, it is necessary to handle such a coating quite carefully; it is undesirable to lay it on an uneven base. Although there are options for every taste and budget on the market, you should not buy the cheapest ones – they are not intended for use in a kitchen.

There are even cheaper options for the ceiling. Traditional one is to simply paint it in white or another light color. Yes, this solution is not perfect and it is difficult to maintain the original look, but it is easy to do again when necessary, without having to do something extra in the kitchen. A slightly better solution is water-based paint, which is slightly more resistant to harsh kitchen conditions and can be washed.

For walls, there are a variety of options. One of the top options is wallpapers, but you can’t choose the cheapest paper solutions for the kitchen renovation, and the more suitable vinyl ones can be quite expensive. It is much cheaper and easier to use acrylic paint for wall decoration, which is stable and easy to maintain, but to choose this option you need to have perfectly even walls, otherwise leveling them will increase the price significantly.

With the backsplash, the situation is a little more complicated. Although this is generally also part of the wall, this part is exposed to a much more intense negative impact. The cheapest solution is the PVC foil. Although it is considered more of a temporary solution to the problem, it allows you to simply change the design regularly by sticking a new one. PVC panels are a better and more durable solution, however, it should be noted that it can still be easily damaged. In terms of strength, MDF panels are a much better option, which is still inexpensive, but they are flammable and it is not a good idea to use them near gas stoves and hobs, for example. One of the best ideas for the backsplash in the kitchen is stone veneer. Natural stone is, of course, too expensive, but nowadays there is enough faux stone veneer on the market to choose from. 

So with a little attention, more imagination and taste, kitchen renovation can turn out to be a budget-friendly project with impressive results.


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