Make a new kitchen cost less: 14 clever ways to cut the cost of a kitchen

How much does a new kitchen cost? How do you budget for a new kitchen? How can you make the whole process cheaper? Find out right here...

How to make a new kitchen cost less
(Image credit: Amara)

Wondering how to make your new kitchen cost less? So, 2020 is the year you've finally decided a kitchen revamp is in order. You've spent hours on Pinterest creating board after board of inspiration; you've been to every kitchen showroom in the country; you've meticulously planned exactly what you want... Then, you receive the final quote. Turns out that unless you want to remortgage your house or never go on holiday again, you are going to need to cut some costs.

But that doesn't necessarily mean you can't include many of the new features you've wanted, with a little clever planning. And – it’s important to remember that wanting the best value for your money doesn’t mean opting for cheap alternatives that you’ll be unhappy with in the long run. It simply means making sure every penny of your budget goes towards a kitchen you’ll be happy with. 

Use this advice to spend your kitchen remodel budget wisely and make your new kitchen cost match your expectations. For more on everything kitchen-related, go to our kitchen ideas page.

How much is a new kitchen?

A kitchen renovation cost can be as low as £3,000 upwards; for that, you'll need to shop smartly at a DIY store or Ikea for good quality units. This won't, however, include the cost of kitchen worktops, which will be upwards of £100, appliances and fitting.

1. Reuse materials to cut a new kitchen's cost

‘Most kitchen renovations start with the old kitchen going in a skip, but if you want to keep new kitchen costs to a minimum, think about what’s saveable,’ says experienced renovator Jason Orme.

‘In many cases the carcasses can be reused and, with a bit of work and new doors, will look as good as new. Worktops – particularly if they are solid granite or quartz – can be recut, saving you hundreds of pounds. ’If you have too few units, you may be able to buy more, or opt to use them on just one wall. Alternatively, consider using old units if you are planning a utility room.

Use our guide to choosing the best types of kitchen worktop – we take you through all the material options and finishes.

How to design a Shaker kitchen: white shaker style kitchen by Brayer Design

(Image credit: Brayer Design)

2. Reduce wastage to reduce kitchen remodel costs

Just because your old kitchen is no longer to your taste, doesn’t mean it is scrap. If you’re not reusing existing materials such as floorboards, doors, radiators and units, they can be sold. Try Ebay, Gumtree or contact your local reclamation yard.

Reducing wastage will also reduce costs for skip hire and disposal. Bear in mind, too, that you can dispose of waste at your local council tip for free, whereas tradespeople will have to pay.

3. Pick expensive fittings selectively to cut kitchen renovation costs

‘If you can’t afford to fit out your whole kitchen with bespoke units, consider commissioning just a central feature, such as a statement kitchen island, and make up the rest of the kitchen using standard, basic-quality units to cut new kitchen costs,’ says experienced renovator Michael Holmes. ‘The same can apply to worktops – use granite or similar for the island and then cheaper timber or laminate elsewhere.’

Kitchen painted in dark green and white to make the small space feel bigger

(Image credit: Future/Brett Charles)

4. Rethink existing kitchen space

Remodelling and reusing existing space can solve many of the frustrations you have with your inherited kitchen. ‘Modern requirements for utility rooms, drying rooms and even larders can often be satisfied by making use of what’s already there,’ says Jason.

‘The obvious merging of a dining and kitchen area by knocking through could easily add two metres of space for a walk-in larder or utility room, for instance. This takes the pressure off the new kitchen when it comes to kitchen storage and usability, reducing new kitchen costs and minimising disruption.’

Utility room separated from main kitchen by Masterclass Kitchens

(Image credit: Masterclass Kitchens)

5. Reduce structural alterations in a kitchen remodel

If you do not need to extend, then linking the old and new spaces so they flow seamlessly is not something to compromise on, but costs can often be reduced through value engineering. ‘For instance, retaining part of the existing walls or introducing a steel or concrete column can shorten spans and reduce the size and cost of the steel beams required,’ says Michael. ‘And it’s better value to add a square-shaped extension with a simple pitched roof, instead of adding complicated curves and angles.’

Find out more about extending a house in our essential guide.

6. Choose end-of-line kitchens to cut new kitchen costs

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(Image credit: Future)

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No one will ever know if your kitchen once stood in a showroom and you paid a bargain ex-display price.

‘If you’re extending, there may even be scope to design your space to suit an ex-display kitchen – and if you’re not, then the company will usually be able to add/remove a few units to make the kitchen work in your space,’ says Michael. End-of-line appliances, sourced online via specialist distributors, can also be real bargains.

white shaker style kitchen with terracotta tiles and plants

(Image credit: Floors of Stone)

7. Avoid moving utility meters and services

‘Unless it is an essential to radically alter the orientation or usability of a kitchen, try to keep the sink, dishwasher and cooker in the same position if costs are an issue,’ says Jason.

‘That way, you’ll be minimising the amount of additional electrical, gas and plumbing work that is needed to realise the new design – and save hundreds of pounds into the process.’ And, if you can, avoid having to move your gas and electricity meters, as they cost £1,080-£1,320 each to relocate.

8. Shop smarter to cut new kitchen costs

It can be all too tempting to fall in love with a beautiful showroom kitchen without checking that it offers the best value for money. ‘The more you can plan ahead, the more chance you’ll have to shop around,’ explains Jason.

‘The cost of kitchen units, worktops, doors, taps, sinks and cooker hoods varies wildly and if you can wait for sales and spend time researching prices you can save £1,000s on the total cost.’ Consider shopping with online-only retailers, which don’t have the same overheads as companies with showrooms and can therefore keep costs down, but always check reviews and ask to see samples of everything before you order.

Or, go for a ready-to-paint kitchen and paint the kitchen cabinets yourself to save money. Alternatively, if your kitchen carcasses are sound, shop door-only options.

Use our guide to designing a kitchen on a budget for more money-saving style tips.

black kitchen cupboards with marble worktops

This kitchen, designed by Aleksa Studio, features Ikea cabinets with Big Fish doors in Pitch Black from Superfront, prices start from £49 for a 40x20cm drawer front. The Mini Circus handles in untreated brass cost £13 each

(Image credit: Aleksa Studio)

9. Fit the kitchen yourself

Installation of the kitchen itself can be a key contributor to cost – typically installers estimate £50 per 60cm element, plus extras, meaning a typical kitchen can easily cost £1,500 to £2,000  to install. You can cut this cost by installing the units and doors yourself from flatpack, which any medium-skill DIYer should be able to manage. 

It’s also relatively easy to tile walls using online tutorials as a guide. But always leave worktops and the electrical and plumbing elements to the professionals.

10. Upgrade a cheap kitchen carcass 

A recent trend in the world of kitchens, and definitely one that helps make a new kitchen cost less is upscaling cheap kitchen carcasses from places like Ikea to give them a more expensive, bespoke look. Companies like Plykea and Husk make doors, drawers, worktops and more to fit Ikea's kitchen cabinets, but will give your kitchen more of a handmade look. 

It's really easy too. Simply design your dream scheme using the handy Ikea Kitchen Planner Tool, then send to your upscaling company of choice with your pick of doors, drawer fronts, cover panel facades and worktops, and they will do the rest. All the fronts arrive complete with pre-drilled holes, and fixing holes that make them as easy to assemble as the rest of your flat-pack kitchen. 

Blue kitchen by Husk

(Image credit: Husk)

11. Mix vintage freestanding furniture with a new fitted kitchen

So you've had you heart set on a built in, bespoke pantry cupboard or a gorgeous (but way too pricey) Welsh dresser – instead of blowing half your budget on one piece, cut the costs of your new kitchen by buying them second hand. You'll find some gorgeous, cheaper, pieces on places like eBay, Etsy, even Facebook Marketplace has some gems. Plus, we love the look of a few unique, freestanding pieces mixed into a new kitchen; it works particularly well if you are after that rustic, farmhouse kitchen look.

wooden kitchen with pantry and wooden table

(Image credit: Douglas Gibb)

12. Repurpose parts of your old kitchen

This goes without saying for appliances. If your larger appliances still work, then keeping them rather than replacing is an obvious way to cut back on your new kitchen costs. But you can also repurpose or reuse parts of your old kitchen. Maybe your wooden worktop just needs a bit of TLC and you could reuse it? You could also reuse is to create a kitchen island of a breakfast bar. The same goes for your kitchen doors: if you can't salvage them with a lick of paint, consider reusing them in a utility room or even your garage. 

Kitchen with pink paint from Farrow and Ball

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball )

13. Shop the sales for your kitchen appliances 

Don't overlook the fact that buying new kitchen appliances is going to substantially up your new kitchen cost, so make the most of sales! Be on the lookout on big brands sites like Currys, John Lewis and because you can usually find deals all year round. Even if they aren't that obvious, search for clearance sections that are usually hidden away, sign up for newsletters so you know when sales are happening or just keep an eye on our deals hub page.

14. Choose who to work with wisely

Finding the right companies and tradespeople to work with could save you thousands, with even the same kitchen varying in cost from different builders. 

Most kitchens come in set styles – for instance, Shaker or handleless units – so, once you’ve chosen the look you want, get quotes from at least three different kitchen companies or fitters to ensure you're getting the best deal.

Remember, the cheapest may not be the best if not all of your requirements are met. Follow the same process with plumbers, electricians, tilers and, if needed, installers, to ensure best value for money. 

Always ask for references from past clients and, if possible, visit homes where they have completed similar work. Finally, always get a written, itemised quotation so you know exactly what you will be paying.

Use our guide to find a good builder – and find out how to avoid cowboy builders.

More on planning a new kitchen: