A new kitchen on a budget

The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home - we cook there, eat there and enjoy our morning cuppa there. Its popularity amongst family members, however, means the kitchen is subjected to plenty of wear and tear.

Budget kitchens

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With appliances, worktops and plumbing to consider, replacing a kitchen is certainly not cheap. That doesn't mean though, that you can't do it on a budget.

In fact, it is reasonably inexpensive (relatively speaking) to refresh your kitchen without spending a fortune.

New ovens, fridges, hobs and washing machines can cost a fortune but there are a number of websites where you just might grab yourself a bargain kitchen appliance.

Instead of heading straight for your local Comet or Currys, it's worth checking out their clearance websites. Both stores auction large kitchen appliances that may be end of line, used or returned (with superficial damage) so do take a look at what's available.

Other stores feature their clearance products on eBay - Littlewoods, Ultimate Graded Appliances and Miele all sell end of line products, or those with slight cosmetic damage, at greatly reduced prices and most come with a full 12-month warranty.

Unitsand worktops
If your kitchen units are still sturdy but the decor is looking tired, save money by simply changing the doors and handles.

Large DIY stores such as Homebase and B&Q supply carcasses, doors and handles separately allowing you to mix and match as you please. Do check the size of your existing units if you choose this option, obviously.

For those who would prefer to replace the units as well, the internet could save you money. Sites such as discountkitchenfactory.co.uk and 121tradedirect.co.uk can often beat high street prices so shop around before you buy.

Discounted trade specialists are also useful if you are looking to replace a stained, dented worktop as they can provide a wide range of laminate, wood and granite surfaces at below high street prices.

Be careful if you are planning on keeping the existing cupboards though, as ripping out an old worktop can damage those below.

If you are desperate for that expensive look, Granite Transformations can cover your existing worktop with a layer of granite, stone or glass - it's not the cheapest option but it give you a pricey-looking finish at a fraction of the cost of a new granite worktop.

An instant lift
Simple and easy-to-make changes can really lift your kitchen if you haven't got the budget for a whole new look.

A fresh new floor, for instance, can quickly transform the room, while replacing kickboards and swapping outdated tiles with clean, modern glass or stainless steel will refresh the decor.

A whole new room
Kitchen beyond repair and refresh? Fear not - ex-display kitchens are available, enabling you to get a whole new room without paying the full price.

At www.theusedkitchencompany.com, for example, you may find an ex-display or used kitchens at up to 70 per cent off the original price. You may have to wait to find exactly what you are looking for and you will need to dismantle and collect the units but for a brand new kitchen, such sites are definitely worth a visit.