Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas on a Tight Budget

galley kitchenDid you know that an affordable kitchen remodel is the best way to improve your home in both value and function?

If you’re on a tight budget, you want to put your money where it will serve you best, especially if you’re working with limited space. There are a few things to consider, in order to make the best decisions for your kitchen remodeling project:

  • What are you working with?
    • Are your appliances in good shape?
    • Is your plumbing in good working order?
    • What can you repair or improve, rather than replacing?
  • What is most important to you?
    • Are you going for extra storage space?
    • -Extra countertop space?
    • Aesthetics?
  • What are your budget and your timeframe?
    • Have you researched prices and materials?
    • Do you know what you can DIY vs. what will need a professional?
  • FINALLY- What are some great ideas to consider?

Let’s explore these concepts, to get a better understanding of how to achieve a fantastic small kitchen remodel on a tight budget.

Working With What You’ve Got

Take a moment to survey your kitchen- and everything it holds- exactly as they are right now.

How are your appliances working? Are your countertops intact or in need of repair? Is the plumbing in good shape? Are all of your appliances in working order? Anything that is broken or working poorly should take precedence.

If everything is in good shape but you feel like the whole room needs a face-lift, consider what could be repaired instead of replaced. Perhaps you simply need to add a fresh coat of paint and buy a new set of dish towels.

Did you know there are repair kits available for all sorts of countertops, including stone and granite? Did you know you that Birdseye Construction is happy to help with small repair projects? Find out what you can simply fix before investing in a replacement.

Prioritizing Your Preferences

Most smaller kitchens have a “galley style” layout. This means they’re set up somewhat like a hallway, with two countertops facing each other on opposite walls. One will generally include the sink and fridge, while the other houses the oven and stove top.

A galley style kitchen is smart for apartments and small houses. But it rarely offers much counter space, and almost never includes a bar or an island. If this is your situation, you likely want to optimize both storage and countertop space however you can.

However, some people don’t mind a cozy kitchen at all, and are simply looking to update their aesthetics. Or perhaps you just need to replace a couple of old appliances, to improve your kitchen’s functionality.

No matter which camp you fall into, the #1 step before beginning is to take a look around your kitchen and identify your top priority. If you’d like a new stove, but you really hate the linoleum counters, then focus on countertops and look into replacing that one wonky burner. If you hate the old wallpaper, but cannot find enough space to store all your gadgets, then adding storage trumps aesthetics.

Exploring Your Budget

When it comes to any sort of remodeling project, you have to identify exactly how you plan to pay for it. Maybe you’ve been saving up for awhile, or maybe you’re planning to split the project over two or three months. Regardless, it’s good to get a good idea what your overall costs will be so you can plan accordingly.

Most hardware and home improvement stores have the majority of their inventory pricing available online, if not all of it. This is also true for wholesalers, which are a potential option for materials like tile and lumber. Once you know exactly how you want to remodel your kitchen, do some basic measurements and then do some pricing homework online.

For the majority of kitchen remodels, people spend about 80% of their budget on materials, with the remaining 20% going toward labor. Of course there are many things you can DIY, but larger projects like plumbing realignment and countertop installations need to be left to the experts. Click here for more info on large kitchen remodeling projects with Birdseye Construction.

This is where you want to review previous notes on working with what you’ve got, as well as what you wish to prioritize. Make sure you leave a bit of wiggle room as a margin of error. But before you make any purchases, highlight what needs to come first and what can be left for another time if necessary.

Now for the fun part! Want some great, budget-friendly ideas on how to remodel your small kitchen on a tight budget?

Fun Ideas on a Budget

custom cabinets handmade

  1. Repaint your cabinets.If all you need is a splash of new color, this may be the easiest fix. Simply take the doors of the hinges, apply some paint tape, and go to town. Remember that lighter colors make small spaces feel more airy.
  2. Replace solid cabinet doors. Opting for glass doors or fully open cabinets will add depth to your kitchen by removing solid barriers. Replacing old wooden doors with glass ones, or replacing your cabinetry with open shelving, may require the handiwork of a professional. 
  3. Update your fixtures and hardware. Sometimes all you need is a fresh set of knobs, handles, hinges, and spickets. Pick something that either matches or accents the metal of your major appliances to create a uniform appearance. This is an easy DIY job that adds a simple touch of class to your kitchen’s aesthetic.
  4. Repair or replace damaged countertops. Whether you’re looking to remove scratches, fill in stone chips, or fully replace the dated formica on your counters, this is one most effective way to give your kitchen a face-lift. In addition to the above-mentioned repair kits available, you can also shop for salvaged lumber if it’s in your budget to fully replace your countertops.
  5. Invest in new textiles. If you’re mostly satisfied with your kitchen’s function and aesthetics, but you simply want to spruce things up, this is the way to go. Pick out a new set of curtains for the window, some fresh dish towels, and a classy new tablecloth or set of placemats. 
  6. natural wood backsplash kitchenPick out new countertop accessories. Speaking of keeping it simple, attractive accessories can modernize your kitchen while optimizing your space. Pick a theme, choose what you’d like to replace, and find a few choice pieces to upgrade the style or color of your kitchen. This might include a set of jars, some wall hangers to add vertical space, a fresh soap dispenser, and a new paper towel holder.
  7. Renew or replace the flooring. If you’ve got wooden floorboards, you may just need to refinish them to revive their beauty. There are also linoleum flooring options you can install on your own with DIY videos.
  8. Optimize vertical space. If your countertop area is limited but you need more surface area, take a look at your walls. Even a few narrow shelves above the sink or next to the pantry can add significant storage for small appliances, coffee mugs, spices, and condiments.
  9. Hang a few baskets. Speaking of vertical space, take a look around and identify where you could hang a hook either beneath some shelving or directly from the ceiling. This is an effective and attractive way to store fresh produce, dish towels, and small kitchenware.
  10. Update your lighting. New lighting fixtures can bring your kitchen’s style up to date quite easily. You may also consider installing downlighting beneath any hanging cabinetry, or even within the cabinets themselves if you have glass doors.
  11. Install a new backsplash. Even if this is the only thing you do to level-up your kitchen pizazz, it’s an effective measure. It will literally give your space a new face. There are plenty of affordable approaches, from renewing the tile to installing a simple slab of stainless steal.
  12. Paint your tile. Speaking of tile work, did you know there are plenty of attractive tile stencils and DIY videos available online, to make your tiling more stylish without replacing it? As long as you apply a lacquer sealant, this process is safe for both walls and countertops.

One thought on “Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas on a Tight Budget

  1. I always thought that I needed a big budget to remodel my kitchen, but I think I can do some nice changes with a smaller budget. Everything works well, but it looks a bit old and outdated.

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