Well hello all! Hope you've had a great start to the week! We had a four day weekend and it's hard to get back in a groove. I'm already dreaming of summer -- not even for the warmer temps but because no school means this Mama can stay up late and sleep in. Night owl fist bump.
If you've been around for awhile you know I completed our kitchen renovation late last year. I still absolutely positively adore it. BIG FAT LOVE. A few of you had requested that I share the budget for the project -- I know it's so helpful to hear what other spend when undertaking this kind of project.
Of course what I think was a pretty fantastic price for such a big change is relative -- some will think it's crazy low for the transformation and some will think it's high. I'm in the former group. ;) We had a budget of $10,000 in mind and ended up staying just under that. Seriously, by the skin of my teeth, it was within dollars of that amount. That was spent over an 11 month time span -- I moved as fast as the budget (and my energy) allowed.
Considering the average kitchen renovation is nearly $20,000 I felt great about the price. (And that's for a renovation like ours where you reuse a lot of the items. Full renovations average nearly double that.) I saved SO MUCH money doing most of this reno myself -- here's more of what helped keep costs down...
1. We kept the cabinets.
I took the cabinets off of one wall, but all of the others stayed. Building off of those and then painting all of them made the biggest difference in here by far. Taking them down was free. Adding to them was minimal cost in wood and trim. The price of the sprayer was the only big expense in painting them and I'll use that for years to come. (I saved a couple thousand by doing them myself, go here to see my tutorial):
Take a look at what you have in your own kitchen and see how you can make it work! Keeping the cabinets (we had nice ones that were just worn) was easily the biggest cost savings for us. If you don't like your cabinets consider replacing just the doors. If you don't like your layout consider moving what you have to work better.
2. I didn't move plumbing.
We kept the same layout of the kitchen because it works very well. Moving plumbing more than a few feet gets to be expensive and messy. I also thought hard about what I would really use. I LOVE the look and function of a pot filler above the stove, but our stove is two feet from our sink. The expense to add one was much better in the form of a new slide in range. :) I also kept our old sink and faucet:
I also love the look of a farmhouse sink but ours is deep and easy to keep clean. Our faucet isn't anything fancy but it works great and I love it. Not everything needs to be replaced! I know it's so easy to just want everything brand new (and if you want it, get it!) but if it works and you like it, you don't need to replace it just because the room is being upgraded.
3. I did most of the renovation myself (and used what I had)
I hired out help for a few things -- drywall, adding lighting and building the vent hood (it involved cutting a hole in the house). Other than that this was a labor of love. I seriously worked my butt off on this room and I'm so proud of it. If you're afraid of DIY I encourage you to see what you're capable of. I think you'll be surprised. :) I wasn't sure I could pull off the extended island and cabinets, but I did it. And by the way, if you aren't a DIYer, you can still renovate without spending a ton of money. More on that in a minute.
As I mentioned above, the sink and faucet stayed and that saved some money. I also used a LOT of scrap wood to build out the island and extend the cabinets to the ceiling:
I used our old island and built off of it -- there was no need to replace what was there. Looking at it now you'd never know this is underneath it:
When we built our home I picked out a mix of black and stainless appliances. I regretted that from day one. :) Our trash compactor is still black, but it works great and it's not a focus because it's in the island. Our dishwasher has been repaired about eight times in 12 years but it's still kicking. I'd love a newer, prettier one but I kept the big purchases to what would make the biggest impact. Our slide in range is so gorgeous and makes the whole space feel more custom:
4. We took our time
This renovation was really two-fold. We took down a wall in our family room a couple years ago and that started the ball rolling to create a TON more space in our kitchen. I planned the changes to the kitchen for a very long time and then took nearly a year to complete those changes. If there is one thing to take away it is that -- take your time! I'm not talking about living with a nonfunctioning kitchen for a year -- I'm talking about figuring out exactly what you want and how you will get it and save for it. You will not regret it!
One big change in this room was moving our back door from our bay window over to between the kitchen and the family room. The cost of that went to the family room renovation, but the new window seat build, trim and lights were included in the kitchen:
I've waited so long for that window seat! It was a dream come true. But it took a long time to get to it. :)
5. Our contractors aren't expensive
As I mentioned, I got help with a few things. Adding and moving lights was a big one. Drywall was another (I accidentally just typed 'drywall was a mother' and had to laugh at that Freudian slip because it sucked) -- we took the old backsplash and drywall down and I absolutely hated that part. I leave the finishing process to professionals for big jobs like this. I used the same guys we use for most of our bigger house renovations for most of these items, but also found a new plumber and electrician I'd totally use again. I always say go to your friends to find quality contractors who don't cost a ton. If I need someone the first place I go is Facebook to put out the call for recommendations. I find the smaller, locally owned companies are less expensive.
The funny thing is, most of this renovation was about half of the final cost. Two splurges nearly doubled the final price -- our new slide in range and the granite countertops.
The range I just flat out loved and got because I was obsessed with it (although I did compare prices). I shopped around for the granite and ended up finding our granite for $1000 cheaper than my original quote. That was a HUGE savings. Also, I went with butcher block for the island countertop and that saved at least $500 that we would have spent on granite.
When I break down what we got out of this renovation I'm really proud of what I was able to accomplish for the final cost. We ended up with one new (high end) appliance, stone countertops, a huge new island with added storage, custom cabinets built to the ceiling (with more storage), added light sources, a gorgeous custom vent hood and my dream addition -- the window seat. As always we paid cash for the entire renovation, and again, spreading it over nearly a year really helped with that.
In our renovations over the years I've noticed one thing when it comes to budgeting for a reno. If you are taking down a wall or moving walls it will usually cost more than you plan. Always keep in mind you may add to your list as you move things around. But I've found when I'm keeping the same layout it's much easier to stay within the budget.
If you'd like to see more photos of our kitchen and how we use it, check out my Instagram account. It is my favorite space to share on there, of course. :)
I hope this post helps if you are considering a renovation of any kind, but especially one in your kitchen!
You can see the full reveal of this space with before and after photos here. I covered all of the links to projects and all product sources in this post -- be sure to check that out if you'd like to tackle any of these. And if I didn't cover something you were curious about here, please let me know!