Found a house I like, but not the kitchen. Cost to expand?

rc808January 1, 2010

Cost experts, here's the kitchen in question:

I really just don't like it. Bad layout, too small. And there's plenty of room to expand it.

If you look where the door is, there's a ton of dead space there that could be used. Further down is a solid wall that borders the dining room. You could eliminate that door and have some nice french doors leading outside where the dining room is.

So, here's what I think I could do:

- Where the 30" fridge and stove are right now gets ripped out. Maybe reuse the cabinets above the range or fridge for the relocated range. Make a space there for a 36" fridge and put counter-depth cabinets around and on top of it for "pantry"-type storage. No countertops needed, obviously, as it's all cabinets

- Rip out the island, it's ugly and takes up a lot of room. Would probably have to do some refinishing on the floor under it, or install new floor if there's nothing there.

- Where the door is now is where the range now goes. On the right of the relocated range are more cabinets. An exterior hood vent is also established (easier to do since the door is being ripped out there). Use the granite from the retired island for the countertops at the end. So no new granite is needed for the project. Yes, there is a big enough slab of granite on the island that can't be seen in this photo.

- Since it'll be potentially impossible to match new cabinet faces with old, even if we do figure out the manufacturer and they still make those cabinets (house was built in 2005): Reface ALL cabinets. Probably same finish as current, unless the 'boxes' can be stained darker. Shaker style full overlay with contemporary handles.

- Totally optional would be a new, better placed island if budget permits.

So, other than the cost of appliances, can anyone take a rough guess as to how much this would cost?

I see the following challenges:

- Removing exterior door and framing, insulating, and drywalling empty space

- Creating new french doors in existing wall.

- New cabinets where fridge/stove currently exist, new cabinets where range will be relocated.

- Removing island, considering flooring.

- Taking granite from island and recutting for extra counterspace

- New cabinet faces and hardware.

Can anyone take a ROUGH ballpark as to where this might land in budget WITHOUT appliances? It'd be good to know deciding whether or not to buy and go through with this, and also in negotiating with the seller.

Keep in mind I am a member of Direct Buy, so I can get many cabinet products at cost, as well as flooring if needed.

I was figuring $20k worst case scenario. Am I low or high?

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another pic.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 1:44PM
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It's going to depend a lot on where you are. Where is the house?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 2:21PM
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Where in the country are you located? And would you be doing the work yourself, acting as your own GC but hiring individual trades to come in, or going with a full GC for everything? Also, is there any "hidden" work that needs to be done (electrical upgrades, plumbing/gas line movement, load-bearing wall changes)? I'm in Virginia and have rapidly realized that there isn't much you can do for $20K unless you keep your existing cabinets (or do most or all of the work yourself). An Andersen french door can be $2000 or more. I think you may be at $25 - $35K with new cabinets, and if you hire out the work.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 2:25PM
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Forgot to add that the $25K-$35K is without appliances

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 2:26PM
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Our previous house's kitchen had a layout similar to this kitchen. There are lots of ways of improving it and many are shown in the FKB.

I would reconsider your totally tearing out of the island and using that space to make the kitchen more functional by either using it for the cooktop or a prep sink and prep space.

If you do tear out the island, then you need to include totally redoing the floor to your budget.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 2:33PM
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House is in CT.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 3:21PM
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Rethinking the island now. I should take another look. So you all think 25-35? Don't I save a lot by reusing most of the cabinets and counters?

If I could keep the same island footprint, but rework it, that might work. I just really don't like the island as-is.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 4:32PM
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Here's a crude not-to-scale layout. blue represents existing cabinetry and green new cabinetry.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 4:47PM
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Are you going to do the work yourself or hire it out? Big difference in price, there.

Refacing cabinets does not save much off of full replacement, but I actually think it's pretty likely that you could match the ones you've got.

What is the exterior of the house? Brick work will be more expensive to alter for the new and old door than, say, siding.

If there's any wiring or plumbing in the wall you plan to take out for the new door, that could run into some money. You will also need to move the electrical or gas line for the stove (I can't tell which from the photos).

My husband and I could DIY this project for about $5K, probably, but if you're hiring a contractor, I'd guess around $20-30K.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 3:12AM
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Not sure, I may DIY it. I have a contractor friend through work that does stuff at a very reasonable price for me and does excellent work. He himself only charges 45 an hour for his own time. Pretty good.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 12:55PM
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Also, exterior is vinyl siding.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 1:00PM
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"...Bad layout, too small. And there's plenty of room to expand it...."

If you plan to redo the layout, and I don't blame you, I'm not sure you can reuse the countertop. Cabinets, maybe, if you can match the door style for new ones.

Are the cabinets in good shape, structurally? Are they functional? Are the base cabinets the "basic" cabinets...fixed half-depth shelf? Or, were they at least upgraded to have adjustable full-depth shelves? If the latter, you can probably make them more functional using after-market inserts/pullouts/etc. like those from Rev-A-Shelf, Hafele, or other manufacturer. If the former, well, it's up to you if you want to try to retro-fit those after-market inserts/pullouts/etc.

If the cabinets are not structurally sound or look like they won't last at least another 10 years, then I would reconsider reusing them (that is, if you intend to stay in the house that long).

They look OK, but looks can be deceiving.

Have you considered Ikea cabinets? Those that have them here really like them. They're inexpensive and may be less than it will cost to reface + add new of your current ones. They have good quality hardware (Blum), have many of the "bells & whistles" that more expensive cabinets have, and are rated highly by Consumer Reports.

While Ikea has mostly "modern" styles, it does have more "traditional" looking doors. Plus, if you want different doors, you can order doors from places like Scherr's that are made specifically to fit Ikea cabinets. For now, you could go with the Ikea boxes & doors and later, when money becomes available, replace the doors with something you like better. Meanwhile, you will have structurally sound cabinets that should last a long time.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 7:09PM
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I will check out Ikea. I like the shaker style best for cabinets. Dark maple is my favorite finish, with black countertops.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 6:23PM
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I should mention too that I have access to Direct Buy and can get all cabinets at cost.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 6:31PM
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I would be wary of Direct Buy. There have been several threads about Direct Buy and issues with them. I'm not a member, but if you want more info, you might start a thread asking about it.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 6:44PM
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You should ask around and get a feel for how much a typical kitchen costs in the area that you live. Then add that value to the price of the house. If you can find another house for the total price with the kitchen you like, that will be the cheapest and the easiest route for you and your family.

When and if you buy this house, live in the house for a while and see what the kitchen really needs. Looks can be quite deceiving.

BTW, there are ways to do the remodel "right" and there are way to just get the remodel done. There is a house in the neighborhood with vinyl siding. They redid the kitchen and where they filled in the door, they did NOT even try to match the vinyl siding.... They just stuck another piece of vinyl siding.

Unfortunately, vinyl siding may be much more difficult to match than wood siding that can be painted. I would ask around and see if you can find the manufacturer of the vinyl siding and the color and see how the "fill in" would look. To me this would be the deal breaker.... If I moved to a new house AND I just remodeled my kitchen, I would hate to live in a house with a piece of unmatched vinyl siding stuck on one wall.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 8:49PM
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There are paints for vinyl siding. Of course once you paint the siding, it is no longer maintenance-free.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 10:03PM
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