Home Improvements

Keep On Top Of Kitchen Refurbishment Costs

Time To read: 6 mins

As a cost-conscious homeowner looking for guidance on how much to spend on a kitchen makeover, you’ll most likely already have an approximate budget in mind. Depending on how much or how little wiggle room there is around the figure you’re aiming for, you may find it frustrating to come up with suitably cheap but impactful ideas.

This post is intended to help by suggesting some simple methods for keeping on top of your kitchen refurbishment cost; without necessarily having to compromise across the board. If you’re wondering how much you’ll need to spend on a kitchen makeover while looking to keep the costs down to a minimum, you’ll find a few handy suggestions and guidelines below.

How much does a kitchen refurbishment cost in 2021?

When people ask ‘how much is a kitchen makeover?’, it’s always a bit of a ‘how long is a piece of string?’-type question. Obviously, the answer can vary wildly, depending on what you’re trying to achieve and how extensive a refurb you’re aiming for.

As such, a figure for how much a kitchen refurbishment typically costs is a difficult thing to pin down. Typical estimates tend to range from slightly below £1,000 at the absolute budget end of things, up to whatever you want to pay if you’re doing a comprehensive workover and bringing in a range of sleek new appliances.

With that said, if you’re planning on having any major structural work done as part of the project, it’s easy for your budget to go far beyond even these upper-end estimates. Similarly, if you’re only really trying to brighten the place up with a lick of paint and some new lighting fixtures, you may not need to spend anywhere near £1,000 to see a dramatic improvement.

Regardless of your budget, it’s always important to think about ways to make the process more cost-effective, no matter how much or how little of your current setup you’re looking to alter. To that end, we’ve put together a few handy tips for helping you keep on top of your kitchen refurbishment costs.

Piggy Bank

Four ways to make your kitchen refurb more cost effective

1. Work with what you’ve got

Revamping things you already own, will of course, typically be a lot cheaper than adding new items. Dislike your old vinyl flooring? Check whether you’ve got serviceable boards underneath, and see if you can use those to achieve a desirable modern look with a bit of sanding and a nice varnish.

Old-fashioned kitchen units making the room feel drab? A fresh coat of paint and a new set of handles can make an enormous difference, especially if you opt for something a little more daring than traditional off-white or wood tones. If a new colour scheme isn’t going to solve your cupboard woes, perhaps you could replace all the doors on an existing range of units without necessarily tearing out the entire carcass?

In short, think about what can be changed, refreshed, removed, or downsized from your current setup to give the impression of having replaced it with entirely new versions, but for a fraction of the cost.

Work with what you have

2. Remember, beauty really can be skin deep

If all you’re looking for is a more attractive kitchen, rather than one with completely reworked functionality, then you may be able to achieve a lot of what you’re after by only focussing on a few key surfaces.

As noted above, for example, you’ll save a small fortune on kitchen refurbishment costs if you can just add new doors to an existing unit carcass, rather than having to replace the whole thing. The same approach works for things like fixings and shelf brackets, too - there’s simply no need to spend over the odds if you’re not going to see much of them when the shelves are filled up.

You’ll want to buy quality robust hardware that will stand up to the rigours of long-term daily use, but ornate artisanal fixtures that look great in a catalogue might end up seeming very trivial once installed in a busy family home.

In short, whenever you visualise your new kitchen refurb, try to picture it in full midweek working order rather than in a showroom condition. Doing so can help you think about where it’s pragmatic to make savings, and where it might be worth more of a splurge.

beauty is skin deep

3. Know how to shop smart

On a similar theme to the above point, some of the key items and appliances in your kitchen will always require you to set aside a certain portion of the budget if you want to buy from a reliable brand. Fridges, freezers, ovens, and washing machines all tend to fall into this category.

While you can often find great deals on things like high-quality range cookers or designer fridge-freezers, you won’t usually have the option of cutting too many corners without compromising on durability or performance. However, various other kitchen items and add-ons offer plenty of scope for practical savings in lower price brackets, with little impact on functionality.

A kitchen sink, for example, will perform to roughly the same standard regardless of how much or how little you spend on it. Equally, you could buy different types and materials of worktop for installing into a single kitchen, keeping the most attractive or high-end ones for counters that get the most attention or use, and making savings on the more incidental ones.

However, you choose to make savings, directing them into the right areas means you won’t have to compromise on performance where it counts.

Shop smart

4. Let there be light

Very often, one of the most pressing reasons for people seeking a kitchen refurbishment is that the existing space just feels oddly tired or gloomy. This is particularly true for houses of a certain age - notably those built between about 1920 and 1950 - in which so-called ‘galley’ kitchens were more common.

These were often very small or narrow spaces treated purely as functional and transactional rooms, with little attention paid to the concept of a kitchen as a household hub. If you live in a house with this type of kitchen (or if your own kitchen space just feels too poky and gloomy to enjoy preparing meals in), then there may not be an awful lot you can do about it without either extending or knocking through.

However, before you decide on any especially radical, disruptive, or expensive kitchen makeover plans, check whether a lack of adequate lighting is making the problem seem significantly worse than it is.

Properly lit kitchen spaces - especially those with LED strips, downlights, and under-cupboard lighting to help cast an even, daylight-coloured glow into every corner - can feel substantially bigger and airier than those without sufficient illumination. Get the lighting right first, and you may find there’s less to do (and less to spend!) on the rest of the refurb project than you’d initially thought.

let there be light

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