Renovation Loans

4 Kitchen Renovation Tips to Save on Total Cost

Are you planning to renovate your kitchen? Read our essential tips for a kitchen renovation on a budget.

There are many different reasons why you may want to renovate your kitchen. Maybe your kitchen is simply old or you are looking to sell your home soon. Either way, your home is about to embark on a journey that hopefully has a happy ending. One good thing is that a survey conducted to an appraisal community showed that the kitchen ranks as the highest for a return on investment for home renovations.

Here are a few tips to help you along the way for a successful kitchen makeover on a budget.

Make a Budget and Know Your Numbers

If you're thinking of redoing your kitchen on a budget, you've probably taken a look at several different styles and options for your new kitchen. There is a range of different costs to expect from hacking to painting your kitchen. Make sure to consider the average cost of a kitchen renovation.

Table of average costs for kitchen renovation

Having a budget in mind before even speaking to an interior designer (ID) will help you and your ID better understand what to expect.

On major renovation projects, it is recommended to consider hiring a professional designer, as it can often save you money on the total cost.

Prepare Materials Before Construction Begins

If you've gotten this far into your kitchen renovation project, you've probably already picked out what materials you want to purchase (i.e. cabinetry, flooring, appliances, etc.). This process will naturally excite anyone and the impulse will be to get started as soon as possible. If you are planning to only hire a contractor and manage most of the project on your own, make sure to consider purchasing your materials before beginning any demolition.

Table of material costs for kitchen renovation

Although it may be tempting to purchase materials in phases, the last thing you want is to delay construction due to supplier issues. In such cases, homeowners often end up with a few choices, purchasing alternative materials that are either much more expensive, or settling for something they initially didn't want. The other alternative is to wait for materials to arrive that can easily send the renovation costs up as construction is delayed. Save yourself the trouble and try not to purchase materials during construction.

Consider Cost Savings on the Big-Ticket Items

It is hard but not impossible to hide outdated flooring, cabinets, and walls. Depending on your budget, consider cost-saving tricks that can significantly reduce your total cost. For example, consider refinishing flooring or cabinets instead of replacing them altogether. Particularly with wood flooring, you'll be surprised how beautiful the wood underneath can look once refinished. The same goes for the cabinetry.

If refinishing your cabinetry isn't an option, repainting your cabinets will still come in significantly cheaper than replacing them altogether—especially if you need custom cabinets. According to, "the overall cost of the cabinet[s] will represent about 50% of the total renovation cost of the kitchen." If you can cut some corners on this big-ticket item, you will be able to save considerable cash on the overall budget.

Another big-ticket cost will be your plumbing. This not only requires materials, but potentially a considerable amount of labor costs. So, If you are on a tighter budget, strongly consider keeping the plumbing where it is during the design process. This will not only save you money, but will cut down on the overall renovation time.

Explore DIY Projects to Cut Costs

Depending on how involved you want to get, the sky is the limit. There are a number of "makerspace" open workshops getting started in Singapore, where you can take ultimate control over your kitchen makeover. Typically, these workshops will provide you access to a number of tools to flex your DIY muscles for a fee.

You may feel that it is best to leave major renovations to the professionals and that the time commitment is not worth it. If your budget is getting too tight, you could consider a renovation loan. However, you can always tackle easier projects like painting the cabinets and walls yourself over the weekend. Make it fun, and invite the family to spend some quality time working on the kitchen together.

Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his prior work experience include risk management and underwriting for professional liability and specialty insurance at Victor Insurance. Additionally, Stephen is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer in Myanmar (serving between 2018-2020), where he continues to provide business development consulting services to HR companies in Asia Pacific.