How to remodel your kitchen and not blow your budget

How to remodel your kitchen and not blow your budget

Top 3 Tips for keeping the cost of your kitchen remodel under budget


Your dream kitchen doesn’t have to stay a dream forever.

  1. Never fall for the ‘Free Kitchen Design’ trick.
  2. Have a proper Kitchen Layout drawing BEFORE starting to look at kitchen showrooms
  3. Avoid changing your mind after the renovation work has started

You can do an awesome job of your kitchen remodel AND stay on budget. Here’s our top tips to getting the most out of hard earned cash:

How we plan a Kitchen Remodel

We literally recommend taking your plans for a ‘test drive’ before signing off on the layout.

We invented our magnetic Kitchen Remodeling Kit to do exactly that.  Run through all the mundane stuff you do in your kitchen every day.  

  • Bringing in groceries…
  • Putting the groceries away…
  • Making a roast dinner…
  • Getting something out of the fridge while your husband is at the sink …
  • Kids doing homework at the kitchen table while you cook…
  • Etc etc…

Look for any issues where you are likely to get in each other’s way … where you will have to walk from one end of the kitchen to the other over and over.  Think about where everything will go and plan for it.

Your dream kitchen renovation does not have to be a nightmare.  Have a good plan and stick to it and you are half way to getting your perfect kitchen without any stress and without blowing your budget.

1. Never fall for the ‘Free Kitchen Design’ trick.

Buying a new kitchen is a lot like buying a new car.  It’s a big ticket item.  The sales team will be well equipped to boost their commission and not necessarily give you the best value kitchen.

What did you ever get for free that was REALLY free?  Maybe a free pen at a trade show?

Why would someone offer a free design service?  Maybe because the ‘designer’ is often the  salesperson and wants your undivided attention for an hour?  It is a fantastic way to work their magic on you and get you to open your’ wallet.

Do your homework before you go to the showroom.  You need to know what you want and even more important what you do not want.  

You can create a plan for nothing more than the cost of a piece of paper and a pencil, buy one of our Kitchen Planning kits, or if you have a bigger budget hire an independent designer. 

Whatever your budget find a way to bring your plan to the kitchen showroom.  By all means let them put a nice graphic together of what your new kitchen could look like but make sure you are in the driving seat with the layout.  Otherwise expect to get units and features that will add to your cost.  

They may do nothing to make the most of the layout.  Often they will make the layout worse than your existing kitchen.

2. Have a proper Kitchen Layout drawing BEFORE starting to look at kitchen showrooms

Have a proper Kitchen Layout drawing BEFORE starting to look at kitchen showrooms

Going to the kitchen showroom or even Ikea ‘for ideas and inspiration’ is a bad idea if you are not ready.  It is a bit like buying the bag to go with a dress before you have bought the dress.  You start with the fundamentals and it will all be much easier after that.  Otherwise you will end up falling in love with a kitchen island and then trying to fit it into your plan.  Or being swayed by a kitchen that you love but which would not work in your space.  

Figure out the best layout without any distractions.  Once you are clear about how many units you want and where everything goes, work it into a kitchen layout or plan. Take your kitchen plan with you to the showrooms and start looking for the finishes.

Architects and designers love all white models. The scale models you see in full colour are called ‘marketing models’ – designed to sell projects to the buying public. The ones the architects themselves use (known as working models) are always monochrome so they can work out the form, the shapes and the design without distraction.  Once they have that right they are ready to firm up on the finishes and colours. In your kitchen the plan is the building block everything works from so get that right first.

3. Avoid changing your mind after the renovation work has started

Nothing pushes the cost of a kitchen renovation up more than changing your mind after the builders have started.  There are always going to be unforeseen changes and you should expect some level of compromise to your original plan.  So often I see people who just hadn’t thought the scenarios through until they were standing in the new space.  

Don’t be that person…in fact if you only do one thing right sticking to the plan is probably the one thing that will have the biggest impact on your budget.

Think about what you are actually doing when you say you want to move a wall.  What the contractor hears is “Please build that wall and then I will pay you to demolish the wall, pay you to dispose of the rubble, and pay you to build a second wall over here.”  

Since walls don’t actually move, you have just tripled the cost….and you can’t blame the contractor for it.  

It is like going to a restaurant and ordering a pizza … eating one slice and saying you wished you had ordered pasta so you think the restaurant will swap it for free?  No, you have to pay to change your mind so try and keep that in mind as you plan…walls are way more expensive than pizza.  Same goes for moving appliances around after they are plumbed or wired.

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