Renovating a Kitchen on a Budget
How to Renovate your Kitchen
How to Renovate your kitchen on a Budget. Before and After photos. Do not be put off having the kitchen of your dreams because you think it is too expensive. Follow my journey with tips on how to achieve your dream kitchen. When I upgraded and redesigned my kitchen on a budget.
No matter what your budget, you can have the kitchen of your dreams. Being a single mother I was conscious of my money. And wanted to make sure I got the best kitchen possible that would last for years, be practical and work for us as a busy household. I also had good appliances already so I wanted to make sure I could integrate these too.
At this time I was a single mother working full time, and did not really know much about home improvements or DIY, I soon found out I had a lot to learn, I wanted to share my journey as actually it was a really enjoyable experience and if I can do it then so can you. Saving you a small fortune.
Follow my kitchen renovation story and pick up handy tips to save money. Learn how you too could create your dream kitchen on a budget.
Planning a Kitchen - Save or spend
Before I could start remodeling my kitchen l had a lot of planning to do. and I wanted a rough estimate for how much it would cost me.
There were several walls and cupboards I wanted removed and a boiler to be moved too, to open up the space more. I wanted to create a dining area too.
That was a lot of work.
Would you do all the planning yourself to save money
This was my kitchen BEFORE
These pictures were taken just as the work had started, you can see where the hot water boiler had been (right hand side above table) and the doors that lead to the cupboards that I wanted to remove, you can also see I had no storage space in the kitchen at all.
kitchen Interior Design
planning your kitchen
The first and most important step was investigating our local building regulations, since I was removing internal walls, for just getting a new kitchen you do not need this. I had a large part of the kitchen made up of cupboards and the old coal cellar, I wanted to remove this and open up the back of the kitchen.
So I had to apply to my local authority in the UK, for a building warrant. This is also needed if you are going to re-sell your property, and need proof you have kept within the regulations, and the work is at an appropriate standard
Now I will share a funny story, I got a bit of paper roughly drew the kitchen floor plan, and I though I created a lovely drawing showing exactly what I wanted. I did indeed submit this.
When it was refused I was outraged, I had included lovely window boxes too. After a lengthy telephone conversation I made another drawing.
- use graph paper to scale
- include length and breadth of kitchen
- measure out length to doors and windows
- electrical sockets, if there are any
then using a red pen, highlighted where the changes would be made and new electrical sockets etc.
I then submitted the drawing, which were really just like being back at school and working to scale,as I drew my own plans that were accepted I did not need to pay anyone for these drawings, it was not rocket science and If I did it you can too, just make sure your scale makes sense (like 1 square = whatever is easiest for you to convert)
Top Tip: I actually used the free kitchen design service one of the local superstores offers, and you get to keep the plans, these have all the measurements on them
COST of Drawings : Â£0
COST of building warrant Â£90 (UK) as at time of writing
Picture Credit @LisaAuch and is her own- of taking down kitchen wall
New kitchen - Designs and layouts
Decide whether you want the same company to supply and complete the job, many home DIY stores offer it as a complete package, or investigate, buying your kitchen separately and getting another company to fit it. This was the easiest option and cheapest option for me.
Saving me thousands of pounds. If I had had the money I would have loved the luxury and got the whole thing done as one, but it is expensive.
To do it separately yourself takes careful planning, budgeting and negotiating.
The general rule of thumb is the kitchen triangle design, where the cook will not need to go far for the cooker > Sink > fridge/freezer like an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooker top, to the center of the fridge and finally back to the sink.
Getting these units as close together as possible is said to make your kitchen more user friendly:
These days, kitchen can be any shape you desire, from 1 wall to L shaped. Don't let the kitchen Triangle stop your design after all it is your family that will be using it.
I chose the triangle shape, as I wanted to create a family kitchen, where we wanted to have a fully functional kitchen for cooking family meals together.
We used a free service from a leading home improvement store that came out measured and designed exactly what I was looking for and including all the finishing touches, like wine racks, under-shelf lighting. Just make sure it is free, and you can keep the designs and measurements.
We actually ended up going else where and bought exactly what we needed at the best price.
Top Tip: look on-line for your local Free kitchen design companies, and tell them you are just looking around (this is to stop the hard sales technique, very easy to get carried away and sign up just because it seems like a great price at the time, remember they are paid for their commission so will try anything to get you to sign) so make good use of this, and get a price from them, tell them you will be considering other companies too, this will help bring down the priced, they are desperate for your custom.
Order your kitchen units ASAP because sometimes the waiting time can be a few weeks. This way you can start to organise plumbers electricians and joiners
During the renovation Pictures
Nothing would have prepared me for the destruction ahead, and the dust got everywhere, I also needed new electric sockets and this proved extremely difficult as the walls were "fired" bricks and extremely hard to cut into, trust me to have bought an older house, but at least it is solid.
Paint color Charts
choose your colour scheme.
Kitchens have developed and you can have every machine available to make our jobs easier in the kitchen, but ask yourself "do you really need them?" I bet you never use 1/2 of them.
I decided on neutral colors, I felt cream would be easier to keep clean in a family home, with large dogs. But the colour of walls and the tiles were important too, so I decided to use a colour chart, from the local DIY store, I actually used dulux kitchen colours online, to choose my color scheme. another good paint color chart is here @ wattyl.com
Finding the right Builders or workmen
If you decide to do it completely yourself, from designing to building, then you need to find reputable workmen in your area. Now I decided to contact a local tradesman who I know my mum and dad had used in the past, now he knew my family and our circumstances, (I had also recently just lost my mother) he told me he would do me a great job at a great price....and I fell for it. Unfortunately that was not what he did at all, and I had to get another workman in to help me sort the problems he had caused. And I got a refund eventually from him, as I had to threaten legal action. When asked for an itemised bill I was amazed to see he had charged me for individual NAILS, to try to justify the final price he had wanted me to pay. I was lucky to find another tradesman willing to finish the job at a great price. But I learned my lesson from this. Do not assume becasue you know them it will mean they will do a good job, as the electric cables had to also be sorted.
Interview and get price quotes from at least 3 different builders/workmens, tell them everything you want done, I needed the boiler moved to my loft so this was a big job. you want to know how long it will take them, and if they have done any work in the local area, these are good questions to ask, and you will be able to see by their reactions if they are going to be good tradesmen, remember it is YOUR money, and never pay them in advance, or work out in advance how you were going to pay them, As it was near christmas, the joiner and I had arranged to pay him half way through and on completion of the job, as he had a young family, he even did a couple of extra jobs for me, like fitting skirting boards etc, as it had helped him greatly.
I was a bit nervous but I knew I had paid for the work and if he did not return I could still pay someone else to finish it. the electrician was great and also done extra jobs too, not taking any money? however recently when my heating system broke, Funnily enough he was the firstI called. It is a tough market just now for self employed guys, so dont abuse their good nature, and in turn they will help. and give lots of cup of tea.
Total cost of labour approx Â£1,000 this included joiners, who also fitted laminate flooring (because I was cheeky and asked them, and he added on Â£50) electrician/plumber, and a plasterer who was a friend of my brothers.
Choosing your kitchen
how to save money on your kitchen
Once I had got the walls re-plastered it was time to arrange for my kitchen to be delivered and arrange the kitchen fitters to start. As it was near Christmas, I found this a nightmare for decorating because of the weather, but the deals on the kitchen units and appliances were amazing, and I saved a fortune.
I ordered the kitchen cabinets, separate from the appliances - I wanted good electrical appliances that would last me, and I already had my washing machine, and fridge freezer etc.
Cost:Â£2,000 - 1/2 price sale on cabinets, and appliances
Top Tip: If you are looking for electrical appliances round the shops, and see what you like, take the serial numbers from the display and when you get home go shopping online to find the cheapest, this is great for TVs etc, so you can see what they look like in real life and then order online for home delivery you can normally knock off a few hundred pounds this way too.
Pictures of my Kitchen after the remodel
I did actually originally painted it all in a cream color, however, with 2 very large family dogs, this did not stay very pretty long, When you are choosing your colours think about what your families needs are, will it be practical?
I wanted a nice clean area and decided to go with a chocolate Brown, I was very unsure of how it would work, but as we had the cream cabinets, and wooded panel, (this is very easy to clean!) I think it looks great, we get a lot of light at the back of the house too so it is not too dark. but at night time sitting round our table for dinner is lovely and cosy.
This is a Picture of my dining area (it looks small here but it can fit 6 people easily around this table when extended!)
This is a picture of my U shaped kitchen, and I love it as it suits my needs, with some days having limited mobility it means I have everything near to hand, with an easy turn, mind you when I am cooking we all seem to gather at this end of the kitchen, (including the dogs too)
I must admit I had a great time remodeling my kitchen, Things I have learned. it does not need to be expensive remodeling, shop wisely and really do get your 3 quotes from different builders, and go and check out their work. If like me you were watching the pennies, then this is your money, and you want to spend it wisely. so make sure you are getting your moneys worth.
my next wish is a conservatory out into the back garden.....
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