Here’s how we saved money while renovating our kitchen. It goes without saying that we had a very tight budget to renovate the kitchen. I’m a big fan of lists and so had itemised all the expected expenses. We knew that we could save money but I didn’t want to cut corners on the final finish.
If you’re interested in how it looked before the renovation, then click here.
In order to get a new kitchen in, we had to get rid of the old one. The fitters had offered to do this for us for €150. My husband loves demolition, he’s very good at it. He got rid of loads of his energy and took the old kitchen apart over a few hours one evening.
Taking out the old kitchen was one thing, but getting rid of the carcasses was another. Obviously we could have hired a skip but they are expensive! The evening we took the kitchen out we let the neighbours know that there were spare doors and carcasses going a-begging. We live in an estate where everybody had the same kitchens installed when the houses were built. Within an hour over half of the presses went to new homes and we had less wood in the pile.
We also had the old lino/vinyl to get rid of. We ripped that into smaller manageable pieces and popped the lino, along with the remaining wood, into the car. One trip to the local recycling centre later (plus the minimal fee for a car load) and we had saved the cost of a skip and responsibly recycled the waste from the kitchen.
Some of our appliances were on the blink and we returned these appliances under the WEEE initiative the day that the new appliances were delivered. That was a direct exchange with the retailer and saved us needing to dispose of them safely ourselves.
The newer appliances were good enough to sell on Done Deal and local Facebook Buy&Sell pages. Within the space of a few hours of listing the hob, fridge/freezer, and some kitchen chairs, they were sold and collected.
EX DISPLAY KITCHEN
I still can’t believe that a variation of this kitchen was on display up in Tierney’s showrooms. I probably wouldn’t believe it myself, except for I saw it in situ, and the same space after it was removed. Tierney’s regularly sell off ex-display items using Done Deal as an advertising space. We dropped up and brought our exact measurements and Tierneys were able to make the display kitchen fit into our space. We reckon we got the kitchen for about 25% of the regular retail price; a whopping discount for anyone.
With some generous help from our friend A, my husband tiled the kitchen one Saturday evening. This saved us needing to pay for a tiler. It was a small enough area to be tiled and we actually had all the tools we needed anyway, including a tile cutter. This saved us significantly on the cost of tiling, and we paid for the materials only.
The hardest thing about the bench was having to measure seventeen times and cut once. It’s actually a very simple design but in an awkward space. We had been quoted €500 to get a bench custom made. I knew once the wood was cut to the right measurements and braced appropriately it would be perfect. The wood cost €70 in total, and the covering for the seat brought the cost to just under €100. We upholstered by cutting down some old cotbed mattress foam and using a staple gun underneath the panel.
I had originally intended to replace the kitchen table. The surface has become damaged over many years of use and I thought we would be better getting rid of it. However, it’s a very sturdy extendable table and it would cost an awful lot of money to replace! After a little bit of thought I decided to invest in a decent padded table protector (€30), and a lovely striped oilcloth covering (€25) and this saved us over €600. I can always replace the oilcloth if it gets destroyed, and the protector on top of the table keeps the surface level.
The most important thing in my kitchen is the daylight bulb. This is my saviour in the dark days of Winter and helps me work in a bright light, along with alleviate the doom that the dark days bring. I couldn’t cover the bulb up too much. I wandered around the local Arro one afternoon and found a pale blue shade that sits slightly above the bottom of the bulb for just €5. It works well for me and I’m happy with it.
UNDER CUPBOARD LIGHTING
I could have hired an electrician to wire up the lighting underneath the cupboards but that would have been expensive to do. Instead I got 3 packs of battery operated LED lights with adhesive strips to go underneath the top row of cupboards. They cost me the princely sum of €3.99 per pack (and there are 2 lights in a box) in Lidl just after Christmas. They work great and I will replace the pack batteries once they run out with some rechargeable ones to keep costs down more. Imagine that! €16 for a set of kitchen lights that look like the more expensive version!