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Kitchen renovation without the high price tag

Quite a few years back I renovated my kitchen as a DIY project and managed to save myself close to R75,000 in the process. Almost 10 years later the kitchen still looks good - a testament to my not-so-mediocre DIY skills! If you have the skills and the tools, doing your own kitchen renovation can save you lots.


This 1980s kitchen needed a revitalising face-lift. Although still in good condition, the wood cabinets were old fashioned and the homeowners wanted something that was fresh and modern.

The challenge for this kitchen renovation was to update, improve and infuse some personality into a basic kitchen -  without altering the existing layout. Furthermore, the homeowners wanted to re-purpose or recycle what they could and then incorporate new environmentally friendly materials. The existing wood floor was re-installed after sanding and staining it a lighter hue and the old cabinets and appliances donated.

When planning on a kitchen renovation take the time to look at your options before you commit yourself. Here are some options to consider:

Sometimes you can save thousands simply by doing most of the work yourself or choosing a local, reputable handyman. Cabinetmakers / handyman-carpenters advertise in local classifieds or online sites such as,, and these guys don't have the exorbitant mark-up that most kitchen installers do. However, it is important to check references for previous jobs, as there are plenty of fly-by-night contractors out there.





The same applies to tiling projects. Tiling suppliers and Builders Warehouse have a wide selection of tiles and mosaics to choose from, and you can either tackle the installation as a DIY project, or hire someone to do it for you.

If you are replacing old flooring, hire a local labourer to do all the preparation for laying new flooring. The hardest part of any tiling project is removing old tiles. If you can hire someone to do this for you it will save you time and sweat, not to mention the savings for doing it yourself.

At the end of the day, a kitchen renovation that would have cost in the region of R150,000 could end up only cost half that amount if you do it yourself. Anyone working on a limited budget should consider this alternative.