Bright ideas for cheap kitchens
by Yellow Pages
A limited budget doesn't have to hamper your vision of a 'dream kitchen' - in fact it can ignite your creativity. Here are some ideas for budget, discount and cheap kitchen renovations, and how to avoid costly mistakes. 'Maximum impact, minimum spend' is a good philosophy when it comes to renovating a kitchen on a budget. The general manager of architect David Hallett says planning and prioritising are the key to keeping kitchen renovation costs down.
"First, establish whether the kitchen is in a suitable, long-term location," he recommends. "because costs escalate if you decide to do major renovations down the track and discover that the kitchen's in the wrong spot. Masterplanning is essential to avoid costly mistakes and ensure the cheapest kitchen renovation possible."
Next, decide how much you want to spend. If you conclude, through masterplanning, that the kitchen is likely to change position in a few years, spend as little as possible, or avoid renovating altogether and pep up your kitchen with a more superficial makeover.
Keeping the plumbing and electrics in the same place is one way to keep kitchen renovation costs down. "If you're just replacing the sink and benchtops and leaving the stove and dishwasher in place, relocation costs will be minimal," David says. "Another way to save money is to re-use as much of your old kitchen as you can or sell your old kitchen."
Painting the walls, cabinet doors and drawer fronts and replacing the benchtops are the most effective ways to spruce up a kitchen on a budget. "Replacing the benchtops is usually the first desired action in a kitchen renovation, as it provides an instant lift," David says. "If stone doesn't suit your budget, stone veneers can provide a similar look and laminate is another affordable option."
Replacing the splashback is another popular step in renovating for maximum effect. Grubby tiles can be replaced with a solid, waterproof, laminate panel, or glass if your budget allows. Replacing the sink, taps or stove will update the room markedly, as will new handles, hardware and knobs. New blinds and light fittings are another good idea for discount kitchen renovations, especially if the old ones are mouldy or greasy.
Of course, all these extras add up, and you do need to consider whether it's worth starting from scratch. Flatpack kitchens are great for budget-conscious renovators with a gift for DIY. You will, however, need an electrician and plumber to disconnect (then later reconnect) the appliances, and adjustments are sometimes required to accommodate uneven floors.
Even if you fancy yourself a DIY expert, know your limitations. "The kitchen is the most expensive room in the house," David says. "Don't underestimate the complexity of renovating, and always have a Plan B."
When planning a cheap kitchen renovation, it pays to shop around for the best deals. Find a number of kitchen material suppliers in your area and start comparing prices. There are often heavily discounted items or storewide sales which can make the difference between affordable and out-of-reach! Shop in your area: