There’s no getting away from it: kitchens are expensive to install. And if your current kitchen is starting to show its age, this may be playing on your mind. But could you save money by upgrading what you already have?
Changing some of the key parts of your kitchen, rather than ripping it all out, could be a more affordable option than a full re-fit.
The cost of a new kitchen ranges between £8,000 and £15,000 – and you can expect to pay much more if you go for high-end materials and appliances. Faced with these numbers, it’s no surprise that making a few upgrades is a more palatable option for many of us.
Clever ways to upgrade your kitchen on a budget
If you’d like to upgrade your kitchen without breaking the bank, these clever tips will give you a head start.
Add a pantry cupboard
Pantry cupboards are the kitchen must-have at the moment. But apart from looking good, they can significantly improve a kitchen’s usability.
These handy cupboards have loads of storage space, and are great for keeping things organised. Storing as much as possible in a pantry cupboard can also free up worktop space and make the kitchen look less cluttered. As a result, this kitchen upgrade works particularly well in kitchens where storage space is an issue.
Upgrade your kitchen appliances
One of the most noticeable problems in older kitchens is outdated appliances. Not only do newer appliances have more functionality, but they’re more energy efficient too; sticking with your old oven and hob means you could be missing out on these advantages. Furthermore, many appliances are easy to replace. Even built-in ones can usually be upgraded, although it’s likely you’ll need an engineer to install these.
If you’re thinking of replacing a fridge-freezer, it’s a good idea to check that it’s practical as well as efficient. If you don’t have the space to increase the size, make sure the fridge to freezer ratio suits your needs and that the storage is useful. Can the door compartments hold family-sized bottles and cartons? Is a wine rack really handier than a glass shelf or crisper box?
Replace the worktops
Worktops are one of the key areas of the kitchen that shows its age. Worktops easily become worn and pitted, especially older laminate ones. Consequently, replacing your worktops is a good way to reinvigorate your current kitchen.
Having said that, this probably isn’t a quick and easy kitchen upgrade. You’ll need to take care removing the old worktops, and the new ones must be accurately cut to fit. Plus, sinks and hobs may need to be disconnected and refit. If you’re not keen on DIY this is definitely a job for a professional, but if the worktops are the only thing letting your kitchen down, it’s worth the hassle.
When choosing your new kitchen worktops, think carefully about the amount of wear and tear they are going to get, and how much time you want to spend looking after them. For example, materials such as wood and granite require more maintenance, while quartz and laminates are hard-wearing and low-maintenance. Do your research before making a final choice.
Rethink your cupboards
There’s a wealth of opportunity to upgrade and rejig your kitchen cupboards to create a more contemporary and functional space.
If wall units are blocking light or making the space too cramped, consider moving or removing them.
If your cupboard doors aren’t to your liking, they’re often easy to replace. Measure them carefully to see if they’re a standard size, and order one sample door to check it fits before ordering all your replacements.
Another option is to replace wall cupboards with open shelves. This is a nice way to display beautiful kitchenware, and also means you won’t drastically reduce the storage space available. Do bear in mind that open shelving will need cleaning more often!
Change tiles and splashbacks
Tiles and splashbacks are another tell-tale sign of an old kitchen. Although made to last, they usually follow the fashion of the moment, which means they can date quickly. Replacing your kitchen tiles and splashbacks is a relatively simple and low-cost way to give the room a new lease of life.
Old tiles and splashbacks need to be removed carefully to avoid damaging the walls. You will also need to prepare the surface properly before adding new tiles. You may prefer to pay a professional to do this; if you’re nervous about your tiling skills it will be money well-spent to get a good finish.
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you upgrade your kitchen on a budget and give this important part of your home a fresh new look. Do you have a kitchen upgrade tip to share?