Before and after watermark
A couple of years ago my husband and I purchased a "new" house in New Enland. The house was in great condition but it was very dated. The previous owners (the orginial owners) owned the house for 40+ years. They took excellent care of it but never updated anything.
Over the past couple of years we have slowly started to update the house, doing all the work we could ourselves and keeping the costs as low as possible.  It took my husband and I that long to devise a plan on how to approach the kitchen. It's a large space and we had a small budget.  We had to come up with a plan that would update the kitchen while spending as little as possible, but that was also within our skill set.
Here is what we saw when we looked at the house:
 Kitchen A  with watermark

Kitchen B with watermark 
Nook with watermark 
 Cabinet with watermark 


Phase 1:


We decided to take it slow and start by fixing what really needed to be fix, this was Phase 1 of the remodel. When we moved in, we purchased a new fridge, because the original was scary. It had a leak and some sort of mold growing on all of the door seals that seemed to enjoy a bleach bath. Also on the scary list, the microwave, it was from 1982. I had to get rid of that thing before it did something horrible, like melt the fillings in my mouth. We decided to replace it with a smaller unit that would fit on the small book shelf in the kitchen. After all, we had no need for a microwave large enough to fit our children into. A year later, the original dishwasher passed away. We worked it to death, as we ran it twice a day. Our replacement dishwasher was a fantastic bargain and I will be completing an article on how we did that shortly.  I found the sink at ReStore and although it was used, it was in far better shape than our existing. Finally, I just couldn't take the R2D2 light fixture that was over the kitchen table, it made a horrible "bong" noice each time the children hit it (which, I am sad to say, became a favorite pastime for them). I picked up a replacement fixture that I love in a garage sale. It's a much quiter light fixture (there's a phrase that isn't said often). Here is what the kitchen looked at the completion of Phase 1 (not much different) and just prior to Phase 2 of the makeover.

Phase 1 Complete with watermark A  Phase 1 Complete with watermark B 
Here is the financial breakdown for Phase 1 of the makeover. Over the first 2 1/2 years we spent the following amount.
Kitchen Costs for Phase 1
Fridge $1080
Microwave $98
Dishwasher $487
Sink $10
Light Fixture $15
$0 (From Previous Project)
Grand Total for Phase 1 $1690
Phase 2:
Once we got started on phase 2 of updating the kitchen, our progress was slow, but constant. Neither my husband nor I are in construction or design fields. In addition, neither one of us worked on this project 8 hours a day. The Phase 2 of makeover took just less than 5 months, and that included lots of time trying out products and different approaches, as well as shopping for deals.  Phase 2 included lighting, kitchen cabinet renovation (fixing dings, filling decorative details and changing the door style while keeping the original door), backsplash replacement, hardware (both addition of new and rehab of old), painting and replacing countertops and flooring. 
This is one of my favorite pictures of the remodel of the kitchen, the half way point. I love the old facing the new in this picture. It's like looking at someone who had half a face lift.
 Half way point with watermark
I have written a number of articles that go into depth about how we accomplished each piece of the remodel within our tight budget. We learned a lot doing this project and wanted to share what we learned. (Links to be activated soon, sorry)
We hope this information makes your own project a little easier.
Here is how our kitchen turned out:
After A with watermark
 After B with watermark
After D with watermark
After C with watermark  After E with watermark 
Researching how to approach this project, we noticed lots of misleading information on costs of DIY kitchen remodels.  I would follow a link on Pinterest to a blog that noted that they did a complete kitchen remodel for $380 and then they would not note huge elements of their remodel in their budget. Their before and after pictures would have new countertops and appliances that were not accounted for in the articles. We wanted to make sure that we shared our information and an accurate budget for our project, so that people approaching their own projects would have more information. We were able to complete the entire kitchen makeover for $3,192.  Here is how we spent that money:
Kitchen Costs for Phase 2
Trim for Cabinets  $300
Primer for Cabinets $50
Paint for Cabinets $120
Tape $28
Plastic Drop Clothes $20
New Cabinet Hardware $75
Spray paint $15
Sandpaper $20
Paint Brushes and Rollers $60
Countertop Paint & Polyurethane  $52
Backsplash Beadboard $60
Crown Moulding $30
Island Light Fixtures (3 total) $18 
Flushmount Light Fixtures (2 total) $10
Flooring $337
Caulk $12 
Joint Compound  $20 
Misc Supplies  $20 
Electrical Supplies $18
Thresholds  $20
Ikea Butcher Block Countertop for Island  $107
Nails $10
Tact Cloths $30
Replacement Hinges (6 total) $30
Deglosser $30
Glue  $10
$0 (already owned)
Grand Total Phase 2 $1502
Complete Kitchen Remodal Cost
Phase 1 Total $1690      
Phase 2 Total
Grand Total $3192
We're very happy with the kitchen we got for our money.  Prior to the remodel, the kitchen was tired and dark, now the space is light and fresh. There is still room for improvement, but we can accomplish that in time. Some of our updates were intended to be temporary, such as the painted countertops. They were meant to buy us a little time until we decided what we want the final product to be, and how much we feel comfortable spending on it.  In addtiion, we still have a little work to do in this room. I am currently working on refinishing our table, chairs and stools to accent the new kitchen. Our main objective with this project was to cosmetically update the kithcen while making it easier to clean and more pleasant to use. 


 Make sure to have a look at our articles (the links are in the box above) if you are intersted in seeing how we did this remodel.