In this article, we’re going to look at how to do custom kitchens on a budget. 


We’ve been helping our customers get the custom kitchen they’ve always wanted for more than 40 years, and we would love to help you too. 


We’re going to give you some great advice on how to save money on your kitchen renovation, so let’s get going!

custom kitchens

Custom Kitchens - How to do it on a budget

1. Choose a Reliable Builder

Choosing a reliable builder who has experience with custom kitchens can really save you money in the long run. A quality builder will give you a guarantee on their products for your peace of mind.


They will be experienced and know what they are doing so you won’t have to worry about having a costly repair to fix a mistake that was made during the renovation. They can also give you advise about design and help you figure out ways to save money on your kitchen reno.

2. Choose Affordable Materials


When people think of custom kitchens, they often think of custom cabinets


Your kitchen cabinets are a large part of the look of your kitchen. Choosing ones that look amazing can make all the difference to the final appearance of your new kitchen. 


Remember, your cabinets don’t have to break the bank to look amazing!


Consider refacing your cabinets instead of replacing them

For example, if you really love the look of wood, you could choose to have solid wood doors with the boxes made from sturdy furniture grade plywood. Or you could choose to have your current cabinets refaced.


There are ways that custom kitchens can be done beautifully on a tight budget. One of the ways you can still have the look you want at a price you can afford it to choose your materials wisely.


For example, if you really like the look of granite countertops, but you can’t afford the price, you can get a very similar look with a laminate countertop. Laminate countertops now come in high-definition options that are actually very hard to distinguish from real stone, yet they are a fraction of the price.


On average, a 30 foot laminate countertop will cost you about $2,080 CAD installed and a granite one $5,865 CAD – that’s less than half the price!

laminate countertop

A Laminate countertop can cost less than half the price of granite – Source: FloForm


Another way you can save is by choosing less expensive tiles for your backdrop.


If you really love the look of a particular expensive glass tile, why not use that tile in a small portion of your wall and surround it on either side with a lower cost tile that complements and highlights it.


You could also try installing your backsplash yourself as a way to cut down on costs. If you are new to tiling, then a backsplash is a perfect place to start since it is a relatively small area. The following video will show you how easy it is.

You can save money by installing a backsplash yourself

3. Maintain Your Existing Layout

Keeping your appliances, plumbing and electrical where they currently are can save you a lot of money. When you move appliances and plumbing, you not only have the cost of installing the new electrical outlets and pipes, but you also have to cover up where the original fixtures were taken from. 


Your walls, floor, and ceiling may need to be cut into to accommodate the new locations and then the old areas filled in.


You may think that if you are just moving things slightly that it won’t make that much of a difference, however, moving an appliance even just one foot could cost you the same amount as moving it 5 feet, depending on the hookups.

kitchen layout

Try to keep your layout the same to save costs

4. Keep Your Current Appliances

Depending on the type and number of appliances you have in your kitchen, a large portion of your renovation budget could be taken up if you decide to replace all of them. The following is the average price ranges for kitchen appliances:



*Refrigerators: $595-$3,960
*Stoves: $858-$2,642
*Dishwashers: $528-$925
*Microwaves: $264-$660
*Range Hoods: $264-$3,960



*Prices come from and have been converted to Canadian dollars.


If your current appliances are in good shape, you could save any where from $2,500 to $12,000 by keeping them. That is a lot of money that could be allocated to other areas of your budget.

kitchen appliances

Keeping your current appliances will save you money

5. Decide Where to Spend and Where to Save

You are in control of your budget and can decide how much will be allocated to each part of your renovation. Depending on what’s important to you, you’re going to make choices about what areas of your kitchen you want to spend more money on and what parts you can cut back on.


For example:


  • If you have a family: You will likely want to have as much storage space as possible and you may be willing to make do with your existing appliances.
  • If you are a gourmet cook: You will probably want to spend extra on your appliances such as investing in a restaurant grade gas stove, but you may be happy keeping your existing tiles and flooring.
  • If you love to entertain: You may want to include a wine cooler and a warming drawer in your budget, but you may be happy keeping your current layout.
gas cooker

If cooking is your priority, you may want to spend more on a gas stove

6. Use Track Lighting

Another great way to save on your custom kitchen renovation is to go with track lighting instead of recessed. Track lighting can be easily installed where your existing lighting was and still give you a completely different look.


There are so many different styles to choose from and you won’t need to cut into your ceiling and add extra wiring as you would if you go with recessed lighting.

7. Do your Reno in Stages

If you are on a really tight budget and you don’t want to go into debt to do your entire reno, then you might want to do it in stages, as you have the funds available.


For example, you could start with the area that will make the most impact, such as replacing your kitchen cabinets and then work on other areas later. It is quite easy to replace a backspash after your cabinets have been installed, so that could wait until a later date.

kitchen island

At Cerwood Custom Cabinetry, custom kitchens are our specialty. Our expert designers can make your kitchen a truly beautiful space at a price you can afford. We have a wide variety of design options to make your kitchen perfectly match your needs and budget.


These options include:


– A large selection of wood species and finishes to choose from
– Custom stain & paint options
– Decorative & functional hardware to set your design apart from the ordinary
– Built-in storage systems to suit any preference and offer ease of use


We also offer free estimates including a design package complete with a quote and 3-D drawings of the proposed finished look. Contact Cerwood today for your free, no obligation estimate.


Aimee at Cerwood worked with us to design new cabinets for our kitchen & bathroom. We were so impressed with her creativity and suggestions for reworking the layout of our main floor, and never imagined we could have such a showpiece in our home! The installers are all very professional, polite, and talented. We would recommend Cerwood & Family to anyone looking for a high end kitchen, at a reasonable price! We absolutely LOVE our kitchen!

– Cathy and Steve B.

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