DIY Kitchen Renovation Guide: Steps, Cost & More

Essentials to Know Before Renovating a Kitchen Yourself
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Dealing with an old kitchen can be a daily irritation that leaves you dreaming of all the beautiful kitchens you’ve seen on Instagram and Pinterest. The disheartening thing about those kitchens? You’re sure they cost more than your yearly salary to install. So, you start thinking about going the DIY route, but what is possible if you decide to renovate your kitchen yourself?

 

Can you renovate a kitchen yourself?

If you are willing to do most or all of the work yourself, renovating a kitchen is the most affordable option. You don’t have to be a professional to get great results, but you do have to be willing to learn. Fortunately, we live in an age where a how-to video is just a search away. Have no mistake, however: this will not be easy.


How easy (or not) your kitchen renovation will be will depend on your current kitchen’s condition, what you plan to change about it, and your skill level. Surface-level renovations are very doable, while doing things like replacing cabinets, floors, tiling, and countertops may take some more work and a pair of extra hands at times. The biggest investment for you will be your time.

 

How can I renovate my kitchen cheaply?

You don’t have to spend large sums of money to rejuvenate your kitchen. A DIY kitchen renovation can be as simple or complex as your budget allows. Here are our top tips:


  1. If you’re on a tight budget, turn to paint. Paint is cheap and can transform your kitchen in just a few hours, making it fresh and exciting once again. You will amaze yourself how a few hours of your time can make such a difference. You can paint the walls, ceiling, cabinets, and even floor tiles if you have them.
  2. Replace the floor. New flooring makes a big difference, and there are ways to get a fresh look for cheap. You can actually fit vinyl flooring and linoleum on top of your existing floor. As we talked about above, if you have tiles, you can paint your floor tiles.
  3. Update your backsplash. Backsplashes can make a big difference to your renovated kitchen's look and needn’t cost the earth. DIY tiling is pretty simple, but you can remove old tile backsplash and install stainless steel or glass instead, or buy cheap peel-and-stick replacement backsplashes for a quick refresh.
  4. Replace the countertop, if possible. If your countertop has chips and scratches, updating it is the best option. Go for something a little more expensive if you can, such as a butcher block countertop, but laminate options will work just as well.
  5. Look for sales. Is Thanksgiving coming up? What about an end-of-summer sale? Keep an eye out for seasonal sales and end-of-line discounts.
  6. Look out for secondhand deals. You’d be surprised what people are selling cheap if you just keep your eyes open. It is not at all uncommon for a family to buy a 1-5-year-old home and immediately replace the kitchen. In most cases, they’ll put their old cabinets and even appliances up for sale, meaning you can get a deal. Set up alerts on local selling sites and have your dimensions to hand. If you see a good deal, act on it quickly.

 

Can you redo a kitchen for $5,000?

$5,000 should be ample for most DIY kitchen renovation projects as long as you plan well and are not expecting to buy all-new appliances. Paint is cheap, and laminate flooring is pretty affordable, too. Unless you have a huge kitchen, you should be able to stretch $5,000 pretty far.


It’s all a question of budgeting. Prioritize where you want to spend money and stick to the budget. If you think creatively and lookout for bargains, you will be surprised at what can be achieved. 

 

How much would it cost to redo a small kitchen?

If you were to get contractors in to do a cosmetic job – repainting, resurfacing, new countertops, light fittings and laminate flooring – you would be looking at around $75 per square foot. That’s around $5,250 for a small kitchen of 70 square feet. DIY costs will be less, and you may be able to do quite a lot with just $1,000. A $3,000 budget would give you good results.

 

How much value does a new kitchen add?

The kitchen is one of the biggest deciding factors for buyers when they look at a potential new home. Everyone knows that kitchens are costly to replace, and not everyone is willing to move in and turn their new home into a construction site. If you are considering selling your property in the next few years, a new kitchen will improve not only your quality of life but also the likelihood of your home selling quickly. In terms of monetary value, a new kitchen adds 5-15% to your home, so it will depend on the quality of your DIY renovation.

 

Should I DIY renovate my kitchen?

If you have the time and your budget is limited, then a DIY kitchen project makes perfect sense. Basic skills can be quickly picked up, and you get a beautiful kitchen for a fraction of the cost of a new one. There is also tremendous satisfaction in completing a successful DIY project. Set realistic expectations, and you may be surprised by what good results you can achieve with time and care.

If you don’t have the time or patience, then your kitchen renovation is best left to a professional.

 

DIY Kitchen Renovation in 7 Easy Steps

So you’re convinced – you’re going to DIY this project, and it’s going to look great when you’re finished. Awesome! Here are 7 essential steps to take next:

 

1. Get inspired and see what you actually need

Get inspiration, plan what you want to achieve, and get an idea of how much that will cost. You can simply Google “DIY kitchen renovations” to see other people’s before-and-after, search on Reddit to see the same, and look on Pinterest and Instagram for further inspiration. When you see a feature you love, make a note of it and save the link. Take your time at this stage and make sure your plans can be achieved within your budget.  

 

2. Create a budget upfront to avoid overspending

It’s easy to get carried away and let the costs mount, especially if you dive in right away. You need to be strict with yourself, work out how much you can afford, and then stick to the budget. And give yourself a little wriggle-room – things have a habit of costing just that little bit more than you were expecting. Build in a margin so that you don’t have an unpleasant surprise at the end.


If you want to spread the cost and complete the renovation slowly, then make sure you understand what you can leave and what you can’t. For example, you could remove your cabinet doors and wait a week or two before getting and installing your new ones, but living without a countertop won’t be as easy!

 

3. Look up costs for materials and tools

You will need to shop around and try not to make false savings. Materials vary in quality. Cheap paint doesn’t cover well and doesn’t take knocks; poor paint brushes lose hairs; inexpensive laminate will wear badly. There are bargains but be careful they are genuine and not just shoddy goods. Look at reviews and buy well-reviewed materials where possible.  

 

4. Go through with your renovation

DIY kitchen renovation takes time and effort. There will almost always be hiccups but don’t let them deter you. It is messy, and having your kitchen out of commission for any length of time is no fun, but push through. Have faith; it will all turn out well in the end. Then you will be able to look at your cool renovated kitchen and think, “we did that!” It’s a good idea to have a number of a trusted local handyman or contractor to hand for if you run into a problem you can’t fix.

 

5. Consider hiring a professional to check for safety

It’s important to know your limitations; we can’t be experts at everything. If any rewiring needs to be done, get a qualified electrician to help or check everything is okay. If you are considering anything structural, you definitely need a contractor who knows what they are doing. There’s no harm and little cost in getting a trusted professional to come and check your work or reassure you if you aren’t sure.

 

6. Clean up your materials and store extras for touch-ups

Make sure you fit the lids on the paint cans securely when you’ve finished. Having a little leftover is a good thing. Store it carefully where it can’t get too hot or cold, and you will be covered when a wall gets scraped or a cabinet gets knocked. Good quality paint brushes are not cheap but do a far better job than cheap ones. Clean them well, and they will last for years. The same goes for extra pieces of flooring and tiles. Store them somewhere where they won’t get broken. Now you have the skills, you can easily fix any minor damages in the kitchen!

 

7. Enjoy your new kitchen feel!

When you’ve finished, you can sit back, congratulate yourselves on a job well done, and enjoy your new kitchen!

 

A DIY kitchen renovation project can make a tremendous difference to the feel of the whole house. With thought and preparation, you can revitalize your kitchen for a fraction of the cost of a professional remodeling. Not only that, but you can feel the pleasure of having done it yourself.


Even if you are a DIY newbie, there is no reason why you can’t do a great kitchen renovation. Do your research, stick to your budget and get started! If you’re not sure about completing it yourself or want professional plans to guide you, we’re here to help. Click here to find out more about how we can support you in your DIY endeavors.

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Picture from Skipp's Instagram
Picture from Skipp's Instagram
Picture from Skipp's Instagram
Picture from Skipp's Instagram
Picture from Skipp's Instagram