Act as your own contractor and designer, but know when to hire an expert. Rate My Space contributor stage_right and family completed an entire kitchen remodel for under $20,000 by doing almost all of the renovations themselves. They let the pros handle the granite countertops and floors.
Pull Out the Paint
You don't have to live with stock cabinets. Rate My Space contributor LaylaPalmer gives her cheap oak kitchen cabinets an upscale look by adding molding to the top and painting them a chic black.
High End for Less
Create a designer look without the price. To save money, Rate My Space contributor slogan built her own hood unit out of plywood then painted it to match the existing cabinets. She also purchased unfinished table legs to create the look of furniture-style, custom-designed cabinetry.
Turn a Lemon into Lemonade
Visit your local salvage stores. Rate My Space contributor kmooresf found a granite piece to use on her island for only $150. It had a cutout for a sink in the wrong place, so she designed a custom cutting board to fit over the hole.
Look Under the Rug
Rate My Space contributor fabdesigner2be tore up four layers of tile and linoleum to find the home's original hardwood floors. By doing all the renovations themselves, they keep their kitchen remodel under $2,000.
Find inventive solutions that don't cost a lot. Instead of traditional tile, Rate My Space contributor rosevinecottage saved money by installing wood beadboard for a cottage-inspired backsplash.
Build it Yourself
Rate My Space contributor theycallmemartha and her husband built the island to add extra storage and to provide a seating area for their children to eat and do homework.
Love expensive materials but they don't fit your budget? Incorporate them on a smaller scale. Rate My Space contributor Hoagie wasn't able to do granite throughout her entire kitchen, so she just topped her island with the classic stone.
Look For the Unusual
To save money, Rate My Space contributor whiteflower went with open shelving instead of upper cabinets. The island is an old counter from a store that went out of business -- she had a new galvanized-steel top fabricated for only $150.
If you're unable to do a complete remodel, do a little cosmetic work. Rate My Space contributor mypointofview used paint to transform the cabinets and did a faux treatment on the countertops.