The kitchen is the space in which meals are made. But it’s also so much more than that. It’s a space in which memories are made. It’s where the whole family settles down to enjoy good food, fine wine and sparkling conversation. It’s a place where guests are entertained and the walls echo with laughter and the music of clinking plates, cutlery and glasses.
Many homeowners find that kitchen renovations can add value and sellability to their homes when the time comes to putting them on the market
However, with time and wear, even the most beautifully designed kitchen can begin to lose its lustre. Surfaces can become scored, chipped, scratched and otherwise damaged. Cupboard doors can grow faded, discoloured or crooked. Appliances can start to look and feel yucky no matter how fastidiously they’re cleaned.
Cupboard space and other storage solutions can become inadequate as you acquire more crockery and cookware. Which spill out onto your surface and leave you with less usable cooking space. What’s more, you can find that the layout of your kitchen is less than conducive to easy and intuitive cooking.
You may be itching to upgrade your kitchen yet baulk at the potential costs. Kitchen refurbishments can become prohibitively costly. Even a modestly sized new kitchen can cost upwards of £10,000.
However, many homeowners find that kitchen renovations can add value and sellability to their homes when the time comes to putting them on the market. Not to mention enriching the time they spend with friends, family and loved ones preparing, cooking and enjoying sumptuous food.
If you’ve long been considering breathing new life into your kitchen yet are conscious of costs. Here are some great ways to get a brand new kitchen for less than £5,000!
Lavish your budget on the fixtures, fittings and finishing touches and retain as much of your infrastructure beneath the surface
What’s the difference between a kitchen that costs in excess of £14,000 and one that costs just shy of £5,000? On the surface you may be surprised to see that the difference is negligible. The key to reducing expenditure when it comes to kitchen renovations is taking a good long look at where the money needs to go.
It can be very tempting to simply yank out the whole thing and start again from scratch. Yet you may well find that you can save a fortune by adding new cosmetic flourishes to your existing kitchen infrastructure.
Not only can this save you a great deal on raw materials it also makes the job inherently easier. So that you can do more of it (or all of it) yourself and avoid incurring labour costs. What’s more, doing it yourself also insulates you from sneaky hidden charges which kitchen giants like Wren, Magnet and B&Q can sneak onto your bill.
By rule of thumb, you should lavish your budget on the fixtures, fittings and finishing touches and retain as much of your infrastructure beneath the surface as you can. This will reduce the cost of materials while also making the job quicker and easier.
You should also take the time to shop around when sourcing your materials. Most big-name kitchens use many of the same materials; a laminate or PVC wrap around an MDF base, yet the costs can vary wildly. The difference? Hardly anything. It’s all about the name.
Let’s go through the kitchen and look at ways in which you can reduce the cost of renovations…
You can make substantial savings by contacting local stonemasons directly or even reaching out to local architectural salvage companies
Let’s cut to the chase. There’s probably a no more effective way to rejuvenate your kitchen than by replacing your worktops. Laminate wrapped MDF surfaces are certainly the most cost-effective solution but they do come with caveats.
The laminate veneer can be cracked, chipped off or broken to reveal the MDF beneath. Moreover, the exterior can also be warped when exposed to heat regularly so it’s a good idea to install heat rods to prevent this. If you’re going for a refurb with longevity, however, you may find laminate worktops a false economy.
Those who insist on quality and class tend to opt either for quartz or granite. These are popular because they are hard wearing to the point of being virtually indestructible. The primary difference between the two is that quartz worktops are man-made. While granite surfaces are cut from naturally occurring materials making them a little more porous.
Quartz, on the other hand, is non-porous and can even hinder bacterial growth making it an ideal surface on which to prepare food. Be advised, however, that chopping acidic foods like citrus fruits can damage the surface and result in visible fading.
Whichever surface you choose, getting it from your local kitchen supplier can incur unnecessary costs. As they will inevitably add their own margin onto the materials. You can make substantial savings by contacting local stonemasons directly or even reaching out to local architectural salvage companies.
Here you can often find a stone that’s unique and full of character. Even if you need a mason to cut it to size, this will often work out significantly cheaper than buying ready-made units from kitchen suppliers.
Composite stone worktops can provide a look that’s all but indistinguishable from granite or quartz at a fraction of the cost. If you really want to scythe down the cost of your countertops but want beautiful and realistic stone effects there are stone coat treatments available. Which use an impermeable epoxy resin which can be applied to wooden countertops and provide a much more robust surface than most laminates coated MDF countertops.
If you’re struggling to find a middle ground between affordability and quality, another useful solution may be to mix and match surfaces. Using premium quality materials in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic and using more affordable alternatives in areas which are visited less often.
Very often cabinet doors can be given a completely new lease of life simply by sanding them down and adding a fresh coat of paint
Aside from your countertops, your cabinets offer possibly the most scope for kitchen remodelling and the most opportunities for savings. It’s common for cupboard doors to lose their lustre as years of heat, steam and grease accumulate on their surfaces.
Replacing whole cabinet units can be pricey and difficult. Although if the interior, or carcass, of your cabinets, is in a state of disrepair it may be your only option. If, however, the unit is in good condition, resurfacing your cabinet doors may be a more cost-effective and no less transformative option.
Never underestimate the power of a lick of paint. Very often cabinet doors can be given a completely new lease of life simply by sanding them down and adding a fresh coat of paint. Contrasting colours are a good idea for a more dramatic transformation. The more your cabinets draw the eye, the more transformed your kitchen will appear even if you’ve retained the carcasses and the underlying infrastructure of your kitchen.
Replacing the door handles can also be a low cost but effective way of making your cabinets look brand new at a bare minimum of expense. If you want a more dramatic change, however, you may want to consider refacing your cabinets with a laminate or wood veneer.
Although there are usually local firms who can help with this, a competent DIYer can do the job with a veneer kit which includes the veneers themselves and the materials to apply them.
If your kitchen cabinets are no longer able to hold the sheer volume of cookware, crockery and other goodies you’ve accrued over the years. You can make them more storage efficient without the need to replace them. There is soft pull out wire baskets which will sit neatly within the cupboard unit and make the storage space more efficient while also pulling out for ease of access. These units cost less than £15 each making them extremely cost efficient while totally revitalising your cabinets.
Finally, a soft close adaptor can help kitchen cabinets and drawers feel brand new giving them a smoother action when closes. You can replace your existing door hinges with soft closing counterparts for around £20 per door and £35-£50 per drawer.
Alternatively, for added cost efficiency you can keep your existing hinges and add a soft close adaptor. Coming at a cost of just £2 each at B&Q this is an extremely cost-effective solution to giving your old familiar kitchen storage solutions a new twist.
You may find that polished concrete offers attractive, low maintenance and budget-friendly option
The kitchen floor sees a lot of action, so it comes as no surprise that it’s one of the first parts of your kitchen to show signs of wear. Especially if you have low-cost laminate flooring in your kitchen. While replacing it with more laminate flooring may seem like the most cost-effective solution. It can be another example of false economy and your kitchen can do better even on a £5,000 budget.
Hardwood is an increasingly common choice in kitchens and engineered hardwood can not only be more cost-effective than solid hardwood. It also offers better stain and moisture protection. However, be advised that engineered hardwood consists of a layer of hardwood atop an MDF core. Meaning that while it can be sanded down and resurfaced in future you’ll only be able to do this once or twice before you erode the outer layer.
An, even more, budget-friendly form of flooring is vinyl “wood” planks. These are super cost effective and easy to install as they just snap together. You can find vinyl flooring that looks and fees virtually indistinguishable from real wood for as little as £7.99 per square meter.
A less common but extremely budget-friendly flooring solution is work which provides a pleasantly “woody” look. And feel yet is much more cost effective than hardwood and a little more authentic looking than linoleum. What’s more, it’s a natural thermal insulator, meaning that your kitchen flooring will always be pleasantly warm underfoot.
If, however, you’re after a look that’s more industrial and contemporary (and your home is built on concrete). You may find that polished concrete offers attractive, low maintenance and budget-friendly option. It may take some time and effort to rip up your existing flooring and get to the concrete beneath. But when this is cleaned, cured and stained it can have a very impressive effect.
This effect can even be replicated no matter what your original flooring is made of with products like Mortex. Mineral skins which sit atop your existing flooring and give you a look and feel that’s similar to brushed concrete.
You should still be given a warranty on reconditioned items and be wary of anyone who does not offer you one
A brand new kitchen is as much about function as it is about aesthetics. As well as adding a sleek new veneer to your space you also want to replace that oven which took forever to cook a jacket potato. And the fridge that looked dirty and slightly yellow inside no matter how studiously you cleaned it.
Here you can make yet more savings by avoiding brand new appliances. Very often you will be able to find an appliance repair specialist who can do you a great deal on a reconditioned appliance.
When buying reconditioned appliances, however, it’s important to be discerning in whom you buy from. Carefully vet suppliers online and pay attention to customer feedback. You should still be given a warranty on reconditioned items and be wary of anyone who does not offer you one. If a deal on a reconditioned appliance seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Many, many people believe that an island will transform their kitchen but you should think long and hard before installing them. Often islands are much better in principle than in practice. Their size and placement can dwarf even a spacious kitchen and it can detract from the organic sense of flow that a kitchen should have.
What’s more, they can easily become cluttered and untidy which undermines the effectiveness of your whole kitchen. Abandoning this little flourish can free up more capital to add more luxurious touches elsewhere.
If, however, you do choose to add an island to your kitchen. This is where all your bells, whistles and premium materials should go as this is where the eye will be immediately drawn. Opt for the best quality countertops and keep the space immaculate at all times. And your new kitchen can make a huge impression which will allow you to cut costs elsewhere.
Make the rounds of local kitchen showrooms and ask if they have any recycled or ex-display kitchens
Everything we’ve mentioned thus far is geared towards reconditioning your existing kitchen infrastructure and mitigating the need for a whole new kitchen. However, if you’re determined to replace everything, there are still ways to make this fit within your budget. And if you’re prepared to do everything yourself you won’t need to include the labour costs which can add significantly to new kitchen installations.
Make the rounds of local kitchen showrooms and ask if they have any recycled or ex-display kitchens. These are usually visually indistinguishable from brand new kitchens and yet they can represent savings of as much as 50-70% when compared to buying brand new. Even if they don’t have any on hand. You may be able to leave your details with them and they will contact you when they next rotate their display kitchens.
Bear in mind, however, that with the savings on materials for ex display kitchens comes a greater investment of your time and effort. You’ll likely have to dismantle the kitchen yourself before reassembling it when you get it home.
You may even find a great deal on a kitchen online. Which is comparable in appearance and quality to what you’d get from a Wren or Magnet kitchen but is simply made by a lesser known brand. Again, this can result in substantial savings but it behoves you to do your homework.
Research the brand, take a look at their customer feedback, look closely at the materials which are used in the kitchen’s construction. And make sure that their products are covered by a robust warranty.
There’s no point in making savings right now only to have to fork out to repair or replace what turn out to be dodgy goods later.
Finally, when assembling you budget-friendly kitchen, it’s important to choose the right flourishes which will add the wow factor to your space. And create an aesthetic that makes your kitchen look like your budget was two or three times your modest £5,000 or less investment.
This is the fun part; where you don’t have to worry so much about logistics and can afford to get creative.
Find cabinet door and drawer handles which finish off your space’s unified aesthetic and add a touch of class. Use lighting to your advantage. It’s astonishing the difference a change in your overhead light fittings can make. LED strip lights beneath your units are also a popular and impressive yet eminently affordable touch.
Add the little props like hanging baskets, a pestle and mortar or an antique coffee grinder. Which will add character and personality to space and make it look and feel more “you”.
Through making prudent choices with materials, embracing customisation and using as much of your old infrastructure as possible you can completely transform your kitchen without even spending £5,000.