A $5,000 Kitchen Renovation

by sarah randall

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We're so glad you're here! We've been transforming spaces together for the past two years and slowly renovating our own 1950's home. Join us as we create a home we love!

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Hi, we're Jake & Sarah

The average kitchen renovation costs $27,000. My sister and her husband just moved in right behind us (yay!) and the same day they got their keys, we started demolishing the kitchen. It was original from 1960, and it looked like an awkward box in the middle of their house. The walls didn’t even reach the ceiling. 

Can you believe this is the same kitchen? (By the way, it’s not all done yet- we are tiling the backsplash right now!) Here are 5 ways they saved money and created this updated industrial/organic look for $5,000 (and how you can too!):

Buy pre-fabricated, unfinished cabinetry.

They used the Project Source oak cabinets from Lowe’s (always in stock). They carry both uppers and lowers in a variety of sizes and drawer/door variations. Instead of painting, they finished the cabinets by sealing with Minwax Polycrylic in matte.


cost: $1,200

Opt for butcher block countertops.

Stone slab purchase, fabrication, and installation can easily cost well over $5,000. Instead, they opted for butcher block from a local lumber yard. Not only is butcher block significantly cheaper, but it’s also possible to cut and install yourself (whereas stone requires professional installation). They’ll maintain the wood counter by using food-grade mineral oil every few months. I was nervous about the wood-on-wood look with the oak cabinets below, but I think when you see the final look with the tile you’ll see that it all works together beautifully. You can also achieve similar cost-savings with concrete countertops.


cost: $900

Choose secondhand appliances.

Every single large appliance in their kitchen they found on OfferUp! This included their 3 fridges ($290), the range ($100), and the dishwasher ($85). Some of the appliances were pretty dirty so they gave them a good deep clean. Remember you can turn on notifications for certain searches, so OfferUp with notify you when something you’re looking for becomes available.


The big secret: They installed 3 commercial counter-height fridges! There are two in the island and one on the main wall. I love how sleek it makes the whole kitchen look. because there is no bulky fridge getting in the way of all the natural light streaming through the patio doors. They have a freezer in the garage.


cost: $475

Learn to tile yourself. 

They installed this floor tile from Bedrosian’s, and I’m helping them install this cement tile from Riad Tile with grout in the color Bleached Wood by Prism ($700, gifted). Having both of these areas professionally installed would have likely cost between $3,500-$6,000, so we saved big by doing this ourselves.


cost: $1,000

Buy a kitchen sink/faucet combo.

Here is the link to the kit from Lowe’s. It looks so good in their kitchen, it’s massive (a huge win in my book!), and they were able to save costs by buying these together. The drop-in installation is fairly straightforward and beginner-friendly, too!


cost: $400


This adds up to $3975. The rest was spent on miscellaneous tools, materials, and professional help with the gas line to the stove.

Moral of the story: It’s Possible.

Yes, with a little creativity, you can renovate on a tight budget! Will you get to pick the marble slab of your dreams? Well, no. But if you are willing to put in the time and do the dirty work yourself, you can certainly create a much more functional and beautiful space. So roll up your sleeves, frequent reselling platforms like OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace, and get to it! 

Stay tuned for the final reveal on my feed! Happy renovating,

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