How about a "Budget Kichen" forum.

lynn_r_ctJanuary 10, 2014

In one of the previous postings, a number of people quickly came forward to tell the OP "I was on a budget too" and gave suggestions as to how to get the look the OP wanted without breaking the bank. Most of the suggestions were great but we all know posters that will not post for suggestions or show their finished kitchens. Their concern, is that the "larger budget" posters make remarks that can be discouraging when the suggestions shown are well above the budget you have set and indicated.

I love the posts that say "look what I did with $3,000" - and do indeed showcase the changes they have made to make their space brighter, more efficient, more to their taste, etc. I am hoping that getting an additional Forum, - a Budget Kitchen one - will pull out some of those lurkers who have been afraid of being made to feel as if their kitchens aren't good enough.

Seeing what inexpensive and a little elbow grease DIY choices can be very encouraging, Those are some of the suggestions that I believe are more helpful and exciting than "move your stove to where your sink is, the fridge to where the stove was and open that wall to the living room etc. " - options that would blow their entire budget on contractors alone.I would love to see more posters come out and say "look at what paint did to brighten my cabinets", or "here is a place to get really affordable hardware or lighting etc) - (stay away spammers)and not the "do you think this Formica is good with my cabinets?" being met with "stretching your budget by $2K will get you inexpensive granite".

I know I will be jumped on, because people may not understand my intent. There are high end kitchen owners who can give great suggestions as to how to "trick out " your kitchen by doing XYZ - without providing a link for a $2K chandelier (or whatever) when the poster clearly said "my budget is 4K for DIY painting the cabs, a new backsplash, new hardware and changing out some of the lights". BTW take no offense as I am not targeting anyone in particular.

So, is it just me or are there people out there that feel they would be benefitted by such a forum? I am curious to see everyone's opinion.

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I think that's a great idea! I have a kitchen remodel coming up, and need all the imaginative (and thrifty) ideas I can find.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:57PM
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I happen to think that some of the best kitchens are those done on a budget and I am always in awe of those who are DIY experts. Those kitchens are amazing.

When I was looking to redo my kitchen I looked at my real estate listings to see what a kitchen in a million-dollar and above home looked like. Most of them I wouldn't give 2 cents for.

All this to say - please don't take the so-called budget kitchens away from here. They may, by many, be considered budget kitchens dollar-wise but never, ever, ever are they budget kitchens style-wise.

And a poorly laid-out poorly functioning kitchen is still a poorly laid-out poorly functioning kitchen regardless of the price tag.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:58PM
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While I understand your intent I hope a separate forum is NOT created. Here's my 2 cents on why.

What is a low budget kitchen? For some a low budget kitchen is $30,000, some $15,000, some $3,000. Where would you draw the line? Not everyone will agree. What's low budget to you?

People give suggestions. If you don't like them don't follow the advise. I find that many assume they can't afford the move the stove or whatever. They don't really know. They assume they can't do such and such without really checking it out.

As for suggesting granite for thousands more than laminate I actually see more advice being the opposite. Suggesting the OP check out laminate instead of granite. The reality is many low cost granites are close to the same price of high end laminate.

When I was looking for a light fixture (on decor forum) yup some posted fixtures I could never afford. The point they were making was to show me the style that would work, not trying to say I had to spend $500 on a light.

I don't know if I have ever seen someone's finished kitchen criticised here. I'm sure it has happened but I can't recall it. People should post their projects for others to see. I really can't see people making comments like "your kitchen would be so much nicer if you put in xyz instead of that horrible low cost xyz".

There have been threads like "kitchens under $10,000" etc. Perhaps more people should start threads like, "show me your diy painted cabinets", "show me your laminate counter", "Thrifty ideas for kitchen remodeling" etc.

edited to add: Remember the cost of living varies dramatically from region to region. In my area we joke that a 2 bedroom bungalow here costs less than $100,000 but that some house would be a million in California. Someones $50,000 kitchen would be $25,000 somewhere else.

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 19:30

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:26PM
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The majority of kitchen projects that I'm involved with would be termed "budget" by someone, whether they were 5K or 50K. Everyone has a different idea of that term.

Good design is universal though, regardless of dollar amount t spent. It would be a shame to split this forum down the middle into the perceived "haves" and "have nots" when everyone can benefit from good ideas shared. Ideas don't have a dollar figure attached to them, even though some of the actions attached to those ideas might cost more than someone is comfortable spending. That idea is out there now for someone else to benefit from.

When using that VERY loaded term, "budget", if someone actually shared what their budget IS, instead of having everyone guess what that term means to them, then they might get more targeted and accurate suggestions. Stop being coy an be real with the numbers. There is nothing to be ashamed of in having a modest budget. Just be real about what that budget will buy you if you don't have much DIY skill to stretch that number.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:55PM
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I love that idea! another poster mentioned that what is "low budget" is going to vary from person to person - I think the forum will appeal to someone who has to prioritize saving money to a large extent. So I think it can be self defined and still be accurate.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:56PM
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I have what I consider a budget kitchen remodel: $20K. I splurged here, cut costs there. Overall, I'm thrilled with the results and consider my money well spent. I paid cash and I sleep well at night.

I implore the powers-that-be to keep us all together, not splitting off into high-end/low-end forums. As others have said, good design and layout apply to both ends of the spectrum, with plenty of budget kitchens totally kicking a$$.

I could never afford some of the high-end features and I'm not sure I would spend my money on them if I could, but they give me great ideas.

I remember being a little nervous about posting my Before and After photos, but everyone was great. I think when you come to this board and get such wonderful and freely given advice, it's only right to share the end results.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 8:09PM
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I agree that "Budget" is relative, and that it could actually lead to some disagreement about whether the kitchen in question met the criteria of "budget"--I can see problems if the original poster considers it a modest budget and other people to not, honestly.

I am reminded of an acquaintance whose shore house sustained "negligible" damage during Hurricane Sandy (actually from a freak accident more than direct storm damage). The damage was some $50K, but to this individual that was not a lot compared to the worth of the house (and the type of jewelry he bought for his wife).

Sorry but I can see people getting kind of snarky if someone starts asking about a "low budget kitchen" and it's $40,000. (Which may be budget to them)...

I am with the others who say
"I would like to spend $X on my kitchen" without putting a judgment on whether this is a Lot or a Little on it, is the better way to go.

Besides that, there are high priced inspirations that can be interpreted at other budgets, and those inspirations could be missed out on.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 8:24PM
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I'm very against separating out. Our kitchen remodel is mid-range-ish when looking at the kitchens here...but I've taken inspiration from seeing kitchens that have been wildly beyond my budget and vastly below our budget. I love seeing the ones that people were able to DIY and save a lot of money.

As to "go granite" suggestions...yes, there are some of them out there...largely because SOME of the laminates now are every bit as expensive as an inexpensive granite. And some people don't KNOW mom is one of them - she hears "granite" and assumes that it would be completely out of reach, not realizing that for a "common" granite, it might be just a slight amount more.

"Budget" is always relative. I've found that when talking to people looking to hire me - their budget for my field may be $500 or it may be $10, matter what they are comfortable spending, they always say that they are "on a budget". Almost all of us are. And I would dare say that the vast majority of us would like to save money on our remodel if the quality is the same or very, seeing posts where people say that they have $xxxx for their budget is actually quite worthwhile and I'd probably miss it if it's separated out because I would feel that in the amount we are spending on our kitchen, I would be considered out of place.

As far as I know, no one is ever nasty here about someone saying they have a certain amount to work with. I remember back when I was asking for some layout help, a few suggestions were made that would have been wonderful...but would have meant that we would have needed to compromise on some other aspects that were more important to us. BUT, even that helped me to solidify what things were a priority in our new kitchen.

When you post, be honest on what your budget is. What you can/are willing to compromise on. What aspect is the most important. What you feel that you can or can't do on your own if you're trying to keep costs down.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:27PM
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Aren't we all on budgets, to some extent? We have a friend who is a professional athlete that has signed eight digit annual contracts and when they re-did their kitchen it was on a "budget".
...I might add, just a wee bit more than our budget would have been ;)

This post was edited by ctycdm on Sat, Jan 11, 14 at 0:20

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:50PM
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I wonder if a "Cosmetic Changes" forum might be an option, or something where the layout was not going to change and people were interested more in surface treatment and updates. That is usually related to a smaller budget....

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Sophie Wheeler

So split into a bunch of no-trafficed and empty Whowhatistans instead of a slightly imperfect single centralized Soviet Union?

No thanks. This forum isn't perfect, but what is? If people want to get the most out of the forum, then the should open their minds to the possibilities and be honest with themselves and others about more than just their budget. And don't get your knickers in a twist if people stray outside the parameters in their suggestions. I'll shut up now because I'm about to get even less diplomatic.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:28PM
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Another no to this idea. Remember that a bunch of questions here have to do with arriving at a budget in the first place (the what do cabinets cost questions).

I've done, more or less, two recently, both in the low to mid range ($20,000 ish). Neither is grand, but both benefited from shopping, design, and dyi inspiration here. Would they have been better with the application of design suggestions that cost more? No doubt. Did I feel bad about rejecting them based on what it made sense to spend? Nope. In the end I have a better sense of the context, which always goes beyond even the new to forum questions.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:53PM
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As perlona said, she welcomes any innovative and inexpensive suggestions. As you all have stated, without knowing her budget and the depth of the work she needs done, it is hard to define her kitchen as "budget", all being relative. DebraK, there have been discussions on the benefit or lack thereof in the finished kitchen posts. It seems people have been made aware of sensitivity there.

Effie, to use your friends "shore house" with 50K damage is not a significant example of what I am speaking, and you know darn well it isn't, I doubt that he is perusing this forum for ideas. Same for the pro athlete. . Holly springs - I really don't get it. You are about to get "less diplomatic", but I am not sure as to why. I am not a mean person, I don't care who is a have or have not, but I am just unhappy when posters feel the need to explain the dollar amount they are spending, or the decisions they make, as if it is something to be ashamed of. Go look at many of the posts and you will see what I mean. To remind me that we all have budgets... do your really think I or anyone else doesn't realize that? BTW, I used granite in some of my examples because people seem to be so granite hungry right now, and I felt it was one area that most could relate to.

I AM amazed at the "snarky" responses Effie. We are all grownups who "get" the differences in the definition of "budget". I feel badly for the poster who feels as if they can't post their kitchens because.... You fill in the blank. So sad really, Instead of personal attacks, so unnecessary, why doesn't someone suggest a way to offer the "trying to cut corners and would welcome any suggestions" advice" area. Don't wave your arms and remind us that everything is relative - we all get that already.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:18PM
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I would vote against a split forum too. I agree it seems very have/have not. I wonder if those people that don't want to post their budget kitchens would still not want to post them when they see how "awesome" other budget kitchens were and felt they couldn't compare. Sometimes people don't feel "good enough" no matter what. I think when people post budget remodels, the commenters are always supportive. We all know everyone has their own budget and financial situation. We're all just trying to get a better functioning kitchen that we enjoy using.

When people post layout plans and someone starts suggesting moving everything around, those comments can be ignored by the OP as desired. However, other people reading that thread may take that inspiration and use it on their remodel. As much as this forum is for helping the OP, it is also for other people to learn from. And, quite honestly, sometimes people suggest changes that the OP would never have thought of themselves or thought to price out. Maybe it's not as expensive as they thought and brings a lot more functionality to their kitchen.
I would hope people don't feel defensive if their budget was $15,000 and the people giving advice did $100,000 remodels in their own homes. Basic functionality trumps everything else, and a bad layout doesn't care how much money you saved or spent - it's still bad.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:03AM
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The smaller homes forum does a lot of 'budget' remodeling. You could do a high budget, smaller home...but most people are looking for great ways to recycle, reuse, etc.

Before we start a new kitchen forum (on a budget) what if we list current posts with 'budget' in the title? Everyone would know (or be reminded by the OP) that this is a budget kitchen and many of the higher end finishes are out. But, just because there is a budget does NOT mean you can't move something if it's affordable and makes the space MUCH more efficient!

And budgets do vary. What is a 'splurge' for one person is a budget buster for another. So, is there room in the budget to move the sink? Or move the sink and only granite/marble on the island? Or only a mid-level granite on all the counters in the 20' x' 22' space?

That being said, I think Formica and vinyl floors can be wonderful and affordable! And sometimes a paint color on the walls, new hardware and a DIY backsplash can make an amazing difference :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Some of the most innovative & beautiful kitchens posted here have been "budget kitchens." And much of the information, ideas & advice have nothing to do with the amount of money spent. There would also be a lot of cross posting. As a TKOer, I don't know if there's enough time in the day for two kitchen forums.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:43AM
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“...but I am just unhappy when posters feel the need to explain the dollar amount they are spending, or the decisions they make, as if it is something to be ashamed of.”

I think I understand what you're saying. I'm one of the long time lurkers/posters here who has not yet started posting for help with my older kitchen. Our budget will be low. But I'm fine with listing the dollar amount we're spending, since that's my best chance of getting good advice tailored to my realistic needs.

If I don't explain the dollar amount, I think we all lose. Some ideas presented won’t help me a bit (because their ideas won’t fit my budget) and it doesn’t help the forum either. Some folks might stop offering valuable help, if they later feel they did a lot of thoughtful work that didn’t help me.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not the least ashamed of our low budget. Many people choose to spend less on their kitchens than they could, because of low market values, planning to move, or other reasons. I never make judgements about folks who say they have restricted budgets (it’s not my business why they are spending whatever.) I don't worry that others here will make judgements about me, and I hope others don’t either.

For all they know, I have a million dollars in the bank, and I'm just not choosing to invest it in this kitchen. That's entirely possible!

I hope people don't feel embarrassed about posting low budget kitchens. I watch for those posts, because they are closer to my own reality. I've been reading here for years, and I've seen many times how helpful folks are, even when the original post makes it clear that budget is a big issue.

Sometimes, in the throes of excitedly sharing ideas (something this forum excels at) an idea does get tossed out that is too high end for a low budget thread. I think of it as people sitting around a big table, brainstorming. If people are too restricted, we can miss some good opportunities for crazy ideas that can grow into something wonderful.

And you know what? If someone does toss out an idea for a tile that costs too much, or moving a window, or a pricey fixture, they're always suggesting it because the color, texture, feature, function, etc would be beautiful or helpful. Sometimes people can look at the suggestion, and then figure out a way to achieve something similar using a lower end option. (I do this automatically, after years of being cheap and stubborn.) And if I can't use an idea on my own low budget, I can at least learn how that feature would have helped. That’s OK with me too, because I read here to learn about good design, as well as how to reach a better reality for my own very weird old kitchen.

People build really horrible kitchens all the time that cost a fortune. Good design (function, or looks) really doesn't have a lot to do with how much money we seems to me, anyway.

I do understand your tossing this idea out, but personally I enjoy the crazy mix of people and kitchens in this forum. I like reading about someone who is suicidal because they can’t choose between two (drop dead gorgeous) types of marble, followed by a post from someone who is wondering how to repaint their funky old cabinets for the third time (that would be me.)

I like the richness of the variety, and I'd kind of be sorry to see things divided up.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:54AM
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I've only been here a year and half, but I think the snarkiness I've seen has been restricted to examples of poor design choices, not to individual posters or their homes/designs and rarely to the level of a personal attack. I recall one incident where someone took the constructive comments on the layout personally, but it was all in the spirit of helping someone else. If people stopped pointing out things they thought did not work the forum would not work very well at all.

It is impossible to know someone's budget from a brief description, so many responses are "optimal". At the same time, even within a budget tradeoffs can usually be made. To see someone discuss why they did something to me is helpful and instructive.

I finished my mid-moderate kitchen remodel and am embarking on a low cost kitchen update for another property, so I am back on the forum. I really do appreciate seeing what can be done -- and do wish there were more examples.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:37AM
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My point was that people set a budget and whether it is low or high, they don't assign that description to it most of the time.

Most of the kitchens and baths I have designed have been "low" compared to the "national average" -- and to many of the kitchens on here, but none of the Clients considered it a low budget and to treat it as a low budget project on a conceptual level may not have been so good. But I've rarely come close to the $55K mark for just a kitchen or whatever the typical cost is now. I don't think the Design was low, if that makes sense.

On the other hand, while reading in these forums long before I actually started posting here I can remember at least a couple threads veering into "If you can afford to pay X for a house, kitchen bathroom (or whatever), it is intimidating, if not insulting to people who actually Are on a limited budget to talk about being on a limited budget".

An entry level price for a house where I live is over $400K, and a decent house is really about $500K to start. The people that buy these are not upper class. They have budgets. But what they spend on things and the guidelines of how much of a percentage they are looking at compared to the house cost is completely different from someone who lives in a part of the country where you can get a nice house for $100,000.

It's different on many different levels. The person who lives in a low cost area may be able to allot more to the renovation budget, but it may not make sense from a return on investment level, where as the person in a high cost area may be more limited as to what they can spend, and their percentage compared to house cost will be lower, but they may not have to worry as much from an "over improvement" standpoint if they have to sell.

So, you can't really set a number. Is "low" a certain percentage below the $55K average? Is "low" $10K? Who decides? Is the discussion of big ticket items off the table?
I did a very low cost (according to the averages) kitchen with Zodiaq counters. Some people here will invest a large percentage of a budget on a Subzero or Marvin or Uline refrigerator because the kitchen is so tiny. Does a big ticket item like that put you out of the discussion?

This post was edited by ineffablespace on Sat, Jan 11, 14 at 7:13

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 6:47AM
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Here's a very recent example of a thread that shows some 5K budget kitchens. They are REALLY nice kitchens and were done with lots of hard work, using the right resources, and keeping an open mind to what would work...these are the type of threads that I think we ALL want to see regardless as to what our budget is.

Regardless of the budget, some people will decide that they want to splurge on a certain important item in the kitchen they are doing. So, they might wind up deciding that they are going to get really expensive flooring (or an appliance they love, or countertop of their dreams) and scale back everywhere else.

One of the best things that someone can do when they post on here wanting help is to mention what their approximate budget is, a rough location (to help gauge cost of living, so we might better know how far those $ might stretch), what things they feel are the most important to them. In other words, help us help you.

Here is a link that might be useful: What 5k can do

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 7:42AM
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I think this is a good theory. I think the application would be harder. Personally, as a fairly frugal person I like ideas on both sides of the fence. This allows me to think through the possible (and impossible) in a way I may not have imagined previously. I like to pick and choose where I splurge and where I conserve, so I would probably do a lot of cross-posting if that were to come to pass.

I certainly appreciate the intent behind the idea.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 7:52AM
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Elraes Miller

I can understand the reasoning. But there are so many considerations regarding budget and the group here has offered valuable advice to those of us with smaller kitchens. The advice is wide ranged. We need them, budget can get in trouble when electrical, plumbing, etc. is changed, reading the lasting qualities of all and especially comments to keep out of trouble.

Splitting off reminds me of the Smaller Homes forum. Few are there now, a lot of posts rarely answered. Many headed to Home Decorating Forum. I have some thinking as to why, it is a bit sad the forum isn't the chatter of what was. However, HD is wonderful at giving advice and suggestions regardless of space and requirements. And the same is true of Kitchens.

And what is budget? On Smaller Homes the range is up to 2,000 sq ft. This is huge in my thinking of small and know they probably had to make a functional decision regarding the number. Small Rooms were more of my direction.

The above could happen to Budget Kitchens. Far many details can evolve whether $300 or $30,000. I would rather have a post say budget and welcome seeing their kitchens here. Many with large kitchens are awed at the functionality possible. Many have great creative concepts to offer regardless of size or budget and love each kitchen on it's own.

An example is the wonderful little green kitchen just recently posted. I would take it as is in a minute, so darn cute and within an era. I could live happily there and thrive on the evolution. Mammagoose is another that all have continued to enjoy watching the transformation and her skills in doing so.

My opinion on this may be due to being on a limited budget which requires stages of change. The information here has helped me far more than expected. Ideas to revamp into smaller, layouts which would work and not thought of. Plus how to stay out of trouble with something over my head.

Admission I am not good at posting such or photos. It can be a bit intimidating, another personal issue which is mine alone. I still venture the big kitchens and there is always something of value there to learn for my budget.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:49AM
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I'm trying to renovate my kitchen for a figure that is less than the $55k national average, so I guess I'm low-budget. But I'm not on GW to see only kitchens at my budget level - I have been on here a long time and gleaned loads of ideas from several kitchens on here that were orders of magnitude more expensive than mine will ever be. (I can think of 5 breathtaking galley-ish kitchens that I have pored over despite the fact that their budgets must have been stratospherically larger than mine.)

By the same token, I have zero DIY skills or knowledge but I love reading the threads by those who do; I think I'm more envious when I read those posts, they just amaze me and foster ambitions that are totally un-realizable!

I think there are often really constructive discussions around lower-budget kitchens (in fact, I think this thread emanated from one of those.) And I will say that sometimes a little push on budget/expectations isn't all that bad. When I first came on here, with a ludicrously low budget and expecting to just slap in new cabinets where my ridiculously non-functional kitchen is, one of the regulars who is no longer around responded that I shouldn't bother unless I could stomach addressing the sink placement (trenching the slab) and/or the load-bearing walls at either end of the space. I didn't like that but he was right, and now several years (and one bad experience with a contractor) that's exactly what we're going to do. I also bought more expensive appliances than I originally planned, altho at bargain prices, thanks to threads about higher-end kitchens.

I agree with one of the points made by @ineffablespace above - sometimes the distinction is more about geography than budget. On one of my threads there was a poster who kept suggesting that I simply move to a house with a better kitchen. That may be a viable solution in some areas but in my neighborhood teardowns go for $700k to $1m. Basically unless I take on a massively larger mortgage, I'm going to be renovating a small old kitchen, so I'd much rather find a way to work with what I have. Elsewhere you wouldn't bother.

I wish that more people who are "just" renovating - as opposed to new builds or massive additions - or redoing smaller kitchens would stay on, contribute to the discussion, and most especially post their reveals. I hope to be able to do that in the next 6 months!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:19AM
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No, creates the feeling of haves and have nots in my opinion. If people feel uncomfortable with their budget, that says more about the individual than about the topic. Honoring the budget is respectful work.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:37AM
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I don't want to beat this to death but

" I doubt that he is perusing this forum for ideas".

with regards to the guy with the shore house is a quote that kind of puts a focus what I don't like about the intent of splitting the forum.

Is there an income level at which people become too rich to participate in such a forum? Actually he was very involved in the entire process of the design to the point of learning how to do AutoCAD, and he did an immense amount of research into every phase of the project. So he could afford to pay a lot of other people a lot of money to actually build what?

I think that shows a relatively strong bias that one of the reasons you want to split off is that you think the people who spend close to the average -or above- think they are "too good" for the people doing things on a low budget, or that they are looking down on those with low budgets. I wonder if it's not really the opposite on some subconscious level.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Without this forum I would have gotten much less value for the money I spent, and that is the most important thing posters here have in common.

Many of us do some variation of high/low. I chose floor model appliances, level 2 granite, and pricier faucets with a tapmaster. I got custom cabinets built locally with terrific functionality, but did not get the finish quality or design help I would've received in a cabinet line represented by someone like Hollysprings.

Willk2z posted a very high end kitchen but with some very creative choices and at least one ebay or craigslist find.

I really like reading about Restore bargains and Waterstone faucets, and prefer one forum where all that is shared. It okay with me that some posters are always kind and diplomatic, and others are often sardonic. If we were to have a separate forum for some participants, I'd prefer to send the spammers and trolls to their own.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 10:25AM
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robo (z6a)

I'm on a small (not micro) budget and I certainly benefit from the ideas here at every budget. Even having the time and energy to put a lot of thought into a kitchen reno is a luxury that I'm happy to be able to have :) I do get a little aspirational, on the other hand. I'm sure my husband dreads the words "you know, I saw this cool thing on Gardenweb...."

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 10:29AM
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I get what the OP is saying and wish that more people doing "budget" projects would feel comfortable sharing, but as enduring said "creates the feeling of haves and have nots in my opinion. If people feel uncomfortable with their budget, that says more about the individual than about the topic. Honoring the budget is respectful work."

And for what it's worth, in my short time on the forum I've seen big budget snark ("more money than brains" comes to mind" ) more than small budget.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 10:50AM
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Regardless of budget and style, there is a wide demographic represented in Kitchens. How often do you see something like, "sorry I know this is a bit off topic or belongs in another forum, but this place gets the best traffic"?

It's been two years since my Budget Kitchen was finished. I keep asking myself, so, why do I still hang out on this forum? There's really more going on than kitchen layout or what to do for a backsplash. Who knew it was so hard to choose a backsplash? Our kitchens aren't free-standing units, unrelated to the rest of our houses.

I can't believe how much I've learned here, not just about functional, attractive kitchens, but about design and color and what makes sense. Most of the time, if a high-end feature is being discussed, I can pretty much extrapolate how something more affordable is possible.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:08AM
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In the other thread I was in favour of the budget forum.

After reading through the above posts, I invoke my right to change my mind.

I vote to keep us all together.

Maybe a New Year's resolution to do a kindness-check before hitting the Submit button?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:20AM
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I don't think that a separate forum would be as helpful as one might imagine. It would be great to see a bit more of people being explicit about what they want to spend, and of other posters offering ideas from all ranges of prices (because I will admit that many, if not most, suggestions for tile, and lighting, for 2 examples, tend to be beyond what I might hope to spend).

Of course folks have their favorite "go-to" websites for designs and products and, as several others have mentioned, those pricier selections are great inspiration. I suspect that some who are new to this game just don't realize that there are far cheaper versions of almost everything available and may need a little support in that direction.

My very favorite reveals are the ones for small spaces and limited potential for alteration (seemingly). So many great ideas have been seen in those!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Anyone remember this great thread? Some of the picture links have expired, but it still has lots of good ideas and encouragement for getting off the beaten path.

Here is a link that might be useful: modest and quirky

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 12:11PM
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"everyone can benefit from good ideas shared" - yep

I've seen just as much virtual applause for kitchens done on a shoestring as for those that look like much more money was spent. I still remember one kitchen that was redone for about $1400 and it was an amazing transformation, and got a ton of kudos on the forum.

I've never really felt like anyone's choices were put down, even subtly, because they weren't expensive. When someone recommends a higher-cost solution, it's almost always because it will result in better functionality.

I see plenty of posters who mention they found an item on, Craigslist, at Ikea, etc.

I'll say for the record: I bought all my drawer pulls and knobs from Target when we did our whole house reno. I probably needed about 100, maybe more, for the kitchen and all the bathrooms and there was no way I was going to spend something like $20 each. So there's my budget tip of the day. :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Sometimes its just perception. Linelle, I would have never thought of your kitchen as low budget based on how it looks. Most kitchens on this forum look better and are more functional than the average kitchen. People say WOW and automatically think $$$ when in reality it was just good planning.

I 2nd Chicagoans tip, all my pulls were all less than $1 each.

One type of question does make me slightly uncomfortable. When someone asks "How much will it cost to remodel my kitchen?" Some of the answers make me want to spit out my tea. The national average of $55,000 is high for my area. There are sooo many variables I don't think the average numbers are helpful. I can imagine many people being shell shocked. I can see someone in some parts of my area thinking "$55,000 for the kitchen? That's what I paid for the whole house!" IMHO the best advise is to not assume anything and get lots of estimates.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 12:59PM
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I am sure the $55K is a valid number, but I wonder how this is reached. It could reflect the average amount spent by the consumer doing a full-on turn-key kitchen remodel with a kitchen designer or design-build firm.

If you look at other design data, the typical living room décor budget soup-to-nuts of someone who uses full interior design services is something like $50K too.

But I think this reflects a "method" of remodeling or redecorating that doesn't reflect what a lot of people do, because a lot of people do things piecemeal or in phases and do not utilize design-build firms or interior designers in that fashion.

I can say without doubt that the average kitchen the design-build firm I used in my last house works on is in the $55K or higher range. But they get mostly clients who want turn-key projects.

I can't afford to use them in this house, because there is too much that needs to be done and I can't spend $55K on a kitchen. I am getting around it by using the same subs they use, on an "as available" basis, and what I am saving in money will be spent in projects that spread out into months rather than weeks, and periods of inactivity because I am not scheduling like a design-build firm can.

Remember that in this data also is that including additions and construction, I am assuming. I know someone whose kitchen ended up being over $300K, because of all the construction that went along with it. The typical high ticket items in Most kitchen remodels, like the cabinetry, were a relatively small part of her budget. But these numbers pull the averages up.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:29PM
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Don't create a problem where none exists. Worry less about what other people post than about how you can contribute. We lost Palimpsest because of you taking umbrage to his post, and he was one of our most thoughtful, kind, and talented designers.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:29PM
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A couple of observations:
1. Being on a budget doesn't mean that one cannot afford "more."
2. I personally like the kitchens that use "budget" ideas, i.e. that are functional, personalized, innovative, recycle/reuse materials. While I do like the white shaker, marble, subway tile BS, dark HW floor kitchen with the professional appliances, it's kinda boring to see yet another version of that kitchen.
3. However, I think the subject line or the initial description can easily take care of the subsequent comments and suggestions. So, I don't think a separate forum is necessary.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:32PM
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What a great thread, lynn_r_ct ! It has provoked so much discussion of why people come here, what they value, what has been useful. I know you thought you would be "jumped on" for this, but I would disagree. There's been vigorous discussion, which I count as a good thing, but nothing personal as in "what a stupid idea." It's not a stupid idea and has been well worth discussing, even if end the end most people have said they like it the way it is. I hope lurkers shy about their more modest projects will be encouraged to post knowing that the forum values their offerings.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:41PM
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I don't see the benefit of splitting off a "budget" kitchen forum. It dilutes the information and decreases the chances of getting a good answer.

Their concern, is that the "larger budget" posters make remarks that can be discouraging when the suggestions shown are well above the budget you have set and indicated.

They are also educational ... and the education goes both ways.

When someone has a $5K budget and $15K wish list, they need to hear that.

If the best thing to do for a "cheap upgrade while we save money" is to clean and paint the walls, because it's a waste of time and money to put $7500 worth of granite into a kitchen when $150 and a weekend will freshen it up, people need to hear that.

You can copy almost any kitchen's look and feel (if not the space and appliances) at any price point. My "inspiration kitchen" for the house we are planning is about 50% of the cost of the house we are planning. Mine will be smaller and some materials will be substituted, but it will have a similar ambiance.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:02PM
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I am still a registered user and I still occasionally post. But this is the kind of discussion I won't get involved in anymore, because my basic disagreement is that budget needs to be set looking at the house as an entire piece, and generally it's not--and usually what I have had to say about it was misinterpreted by somebody.

I will say, though, that I think "Kitchens" should stay one forum. My perception is that most people do not think they have a high budget and just about everyone who frequents here has to keep budget in mind. I think it would be unintentionally divisive to put people into different groups. What happens when someone thinks they have a healthy budget and they get told to go to the "low budget forum"?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:04PM
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debrak2008, thank you. :) I tend to be self-effacing, so may over-emphasize the fact that I didn't have to spend my daughter's inheritance to update my kitchen. Had I better DIY chops, I could have saved more. I'm proud of being able to spend what I could afford and have enough left over to travel when I want to.

may_flowers has made an important observation. It's not just about taking, but contributing to the community here. Once you're done, stick around and help someone who's in the very quandary you were in a while back.

I could afford a new stove. The ones I like are more than I want to spend for the amount of cooking I do now. It would be solely for looks. After my kitchen was done and I replaced my DW and fridge, I suddenly became fond of my old white Kenmore gas stove. I can't explain it, it's shlumpy-looking but damn, it cooks and bakes just fine and has never needed a service call in over 10 years.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:16PM
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I'll add to suzannesl's sentiments and commend the OP! I hope all of the feedback and discussion was taken as a sign of an interesting discussion.

I hope I get some good suggestions when I post about low cost update ideas for my next project.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:19PM
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I just want to say (and you all know I don't have $$$ feeding these horses all winter LOL) is that a few times I've seen posters that have large budgets and beautiful kitchens challenged for their choices. It's rare and I don't think it's meant to be personal, but we are ALL in the same club! WE like kitchens, houses, gardens, design, etc. and we are ALL here to help each other. Whether we cook or not, whether we hire all the design and maintenance done for us....or enjoy doing it ourselves.

I guess that's my objection to splitting the forum. It's very rare that a group has benefited from being divided. Adding a NEW forum (do we have a DIY forum?) might be a good idea! Then we could slide over there and check on great ideas for installing our own backsplash or laying tile, etc. but we would still be one kitchen forum.

And I hope that everyone reading this realizes that 99.9% of people on this forum mean well. Yes, there's the occasional spammer, but mostly it's people have different personalities and not everyone 'gets' that, when they first post. Marcolo and I used to give each other grief occasionally, but once I got to know his (?) style, I really 'got' him and valued his opinion so much! I still do :) I miss those posts.

Pal- So someone didn't understand a comment. So what! I miss you and I know a lot of other people do, too. Please don't let a few ruin your insight and contribution for the rest of us. I know many people don't like to get involved, but if we see someone getting grief, I think it's important to say something. We are all members and everyone has a bad day (or year) and sometimes we can get short or cranky, in a hurry and don't check our post before submitting, etc. I hope that we can all remind each other that we are a great group and we are stronger, smarter and a lot more fun...together!

Geez, I sound like I'm having a Kum ba yah moment (LOL) but that's doesn't mean it's not true! :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 3:28PM
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I am and always will be in awe of GWers' ingenuity in creating beautiful and functional kitchens, *regardless of how much or how little they spend*. I don't want to see this forum split. Additionally, I echo what Palimpsest wrote, "What happens when someone thinks they have a healthy budget and they get told to go to the "low budget forum"?"

There was a great, two-part thread that started in '08 and continued into '10 that is well worth revisiting:
Show us your under $20K kitchen
Show us your under $20K kitchen, part 2

How about a Part 3?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 3:34PM
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Altho I get what the OP is suggesting, I don't feel a second Kitchens forum is necessary. We come here because we are interested in kitchen remodeling and decorating and to see what others have done - be it low budget or otherwise. I have personally never encountered snobbery and don't recall seeing any such threads the years I've been visiting.

And I did a $3,000 kitchen remodel and felt proud to share.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 3:56PM
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Schoolhouse- You and Mama Goose have created two of my favorite kitchen spaces! I have saved pictures from both, to give me ideas for my current kitchen 'freshen up' and future farmhouse remodel :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 6:19PM
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I already spend enough (too much) time perusing THIS forum. Split it in two and I'm in big trouble. I do appreciate the OP's intent, though.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 7:16PM
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Palimpsest I'm another one that misses your posts.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 7:50PM
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ditto, miss pal.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:42PM
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I also would be strongly against splitting into two forums. One of the biggest assets of this forum is the amount of traffic it gets. Its common for someone to post a question and have responses within a few minutes. The other even bigger asset is the amount of knowledge embodied by the people posting here. A highly-skilled and highly experienced kitchen designer might do a dozen or so kitchen remodels in a good year, however the kitchen forum, taken collectively, probably has hundreds. People come here for help, find friendly, helpful, knowledgeable people to answer their questions, they then continue to come back during their project with more questions, or a status update or even just to vent about problems that that came up, and they then stay on and help others with what they learned (both good and bad) from the process, for months or even years after they finish their kitchen.

In my opinion the most likely outcome of splitting this forum in two is that one of them would get fewer and fewer posts and fewer and fewer people visiting until it dropped below the threshold of usefulness. Scan over some of the other forums here at GardenWeb. many have threads on their first page that were started years ago, in some cases over a decade ago, with the most recent posts being years old.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 12:53AM
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This has proven to be a very interesting post. I would like to say again, that the only reason I threw the suggestion out is that I always feel sadly when posters feel the need to explain "why" they can't get the granite (using that only as an example because it is such a HOT topic right now). It won't take you long to look and find these posts. I don't care if you need the money for your MIL's convalescent care or that your husband isn't working or whatever - it is none of MY business and shouldn't be to anyone else. It appears as if this is more of a social issue that will never be solved on this forum, but you cannot tell me there isn't "granite superiority". Not with everyone. I believe it is only a few but again, I do feel sad that posters feel they are less if they can't spend what others think they should. This is not just my assumption, for if it was, you wouldn't see the "excuses" listed when someone suggests stainless and it is out of the reach (financially) of the poster. Go look for yourself if you don't believe me.

Once you get past the "how do you define a budget kitchen fiasco" (as in, if the median cost of a kitchen if 55K and I can only spend 50, should I go to the budget kitchen post?) the thread becomes fruitful. While in the beginning, I was so FOR a separate subject, I have seen many points to consider as to why that ISN'T such a good idea. The jury is still out for me, but I love the responses I am getting for they are very thought provoking.

The best excuse for not splitting them is Jellytoasts. I am with you there!

But seriously Effie, you don't even want to go there.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 1:27AM
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I will say the most important information that I gleaned from this discussion is the importance of the poster to be honest from the get go as to their situation (financially and otherwise), desires, limitations, and what they hope to accomplish in their renovations in order to get the best advice the forum can give them.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 1:58AM
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I have read this forum religiously for over two years (which is why I remembered your combative post with Pal) and I have no idea what you're talking about. People aren't forced to explain why they can't afford something someone suggests. I have seen no one go into detail about their financial situation because they've been pressed to do so. Obviously you have an issue of sharing a forum with those who spend more money than you do. I had a medium budget remodel but I don't make judgments of those who spent twice what we spent.

And who the he!! is Effie? Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't give you the right to make up a nickname for them. It's respectful to call them by their chose forum name unless told otherwise.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:30AM
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Another vote for keeping it all in one.

I've lurked here more than I've posted but I participate in a number of forums and generally the biggest problem is over-specializing which drives traffic down everywhere. You need a lot of eyeballs to have any forum be useful.

(Better forum software would also help tremendously. It's amazing gardenweb is as high traffic as it is for as awful as the back end is! I would kill to have this place change over to vbulletin.)

Our kitchen is somewhere in the middle at around $35k. For us it's a huge extravagance while to others it's hardly more than pocket change. Fine by me.

I think the key is self confidence and straight shooting from the "budget" posters. I make no bones about the fact that this kitchen is going in a 1982 split foyer and there's only so much lipstick I'm willing to put on this pig. ;) Additionally we don't like granite or stainless appliances so that makes us the "odd ones out" right from the get go. I've been very straightforward about that and don't recall anyone trying to change my mind.

Posting "I don't like and don't want granite" gets very different responses from "I'm getting granite-lookalike laminate". The first leaves no room to argue, the second is likely to get "hey, just so you know, there are some great affordable granite options if you want to go that route."

(FTR we're going with soapstone & white appliances and while it's not 100% finished yet, I LOVE it and have zero regrets.)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:20AM
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it's actually fine if people want to shorten my name. I like what the word means, but didn't think about the practicality of typing it out. I made the same mistake with my email address and now I am stuck with it.


If you can honestly say that there is not the smallest kernel of resentment toward what you perceive as bigger budgets as part of the basis of wanting to divide the forum based on budget--I apologize to you.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:23AM
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Yes, I can tell you that there is not "granite superiority". It is simply the most popular material here, with quartz rapidly gaining on it. I have never seen any snobbishness associated with the popularity of these materials. I think that I can see how someone can misinterpret when they say "I can't afford granite" and they are told, "but it has these advantages, and maybe you can, it can be cheaper than you think".

I have definitely seen that whenever someone has worried about affording the countertop someone nearly always has mentioned how much better formica is these days and suggested to look at that, and I very often see butcher block, especially from Ikea, suggested .

And, if someone suggests granite to a poster who has already mentioned that he/she is not going there, likely is just because they haven't read carefully, or forgot that caveat, or are really just trying to spark a design idea. No other motivation. Certainly not to make the poster feel bad or explain their reasons.

I saved up for a decade to do my kitchen, and certainly wasn't going to spend a full year's income on it (which, in fact, that average $50k is $10k more than) and never, not once, felt that anyone was suggesting that I spend more than I wanted to. Not even when I was looking for pulls and someone posted some very very pricey ones -- it was the Look they were posting, and that helped me out.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Well then, can I call you Spacey? ;)

I'm sure there was not a friendliness in how she shortened your name. And she readily admitted to jealousy in Tinker's thread, so that's what's behind all this.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:53AM
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Well, I've posted about my husband's illness and the challenges he's faced during recovery...but it had nothing to do with granite. It was about making the kitchen more accommodating for him.

The only time I see people stick up for granite, is when someone posts (again) that granite is dated and/or on the way out. I don't want all granite (too cold for me in the winter) but I would consider it in areas other than the kitchen....or maybe just in one section. I'm always torn between about four counter top choices and will probably end up with a couple of different surfaces.

As for budget....seriously, who cares? We see high budget, low budget and everything in between on this forum. And I am just as happy for posters, if they repaint their existing cabinets and add new I am if they put marble counter tops throughout and spend $80,000 on cabinets (or whatever they might cost). It's their vision and I'm so glad they've gotten the kitchen they were hoping for...or maybe an even better, more functional version...than when they came to the forum :)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 1:42PM
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These type of posts come up every now and again. Sometimes the written word can seem different than the actual intent. I know this has happened to me.

As I have become more familiar with members here, it's true that many are in a relatively high income bracket. It is easy to see how someone with a small budget could be intimidated.

That said,a few of my favorite kitchens are Wiltv"s and Trinitity's and Brooklyn Galley. Trinity"s kitchen was a very small one wall of cabinets tucked into a small apartment. He owned the property, and had tenants living in the larger space.
I can't tell you how long we took figuring out a backsplash and then decorating the adjourning living room. It didn't matter than the post above or the one below at much much larger kitchens.
Willtv"s kitchen had a really great corner cabinet that many with much larger kitchens have copied.
The Brooklyn kitchen showed just how you can tranaform a small space and make it amazing.

When you break things down, whether large or small, in all remodels you have to decide on type and color of cabinets, backsplash yes, backsplash no and if yes what? Counter etc.

You do have to have a bit of a thick skin to be here. My advise is to take what you like and throw the rest away.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 2:10PM
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I will say the most important information that I gleaned from this discussion is the importance of the poster to be honest from the get go as to their situation (financially and otherwise), desires, limitations, and what they hope to accomplish in their renovations in order to get the best advice the forum can give them.

Totally agree with this.

Also good points above, about how splitting this forum would reduce the number of eyeballs on any specific question. The cumulative knowledge here is one of the true treasures of this forum.

I think thick skin comes in handy with any internet forum. I read many gardening forums, and I've seen near bloodshed over which botanical species name was correct for somebody's plant. Violence, I tell you!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 2:47PM
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LOL, mudhouse!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 3:06PM
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I love reading it all. The fantastic and expensive, the ingenious and inexpensive, and everything in between. I learn from it all, I use what ideas work for me and store the rest away for all my friends as they go through this.

I ended up about $7k over my initial budget, which was only a little more than half the average to start. I had already done my research here before putting it together and knew more or less what things I wanted would cost, and could weigh the benefits and costs very well because of all the discussion here.

Almost all my overage was for the cabinets. Why? Because when I finally understood all the options and the importance of cabinets, as they are very hard to change out, I decided i wanted certain things that I was not going to compromise on. And I understood the tradeoffs of each decision because of the discussion here of both builder grade and top of the line manufactured, and all things in between. Plus I knew how small options can make a big difference in price, so I knew to ask about different door styles and other details to see if changing stuff I didn't really care about made a difference.

You just can't really understand what you are giving up if you don't see both sides. You can then decide if you have no interested in anything above the basic model of whatever for your needs, or if the benefits of upgrading could make your life 10 times easier and would be well worth the extra x%.

With a narrower set of opinions, we would all suffer. I have things in my kitchen I had never heard of before because of GW, one of them being a mere $45 air switch for the GD, an easy and cheap upgrade, but one likely not on the initial list for anyone on a tight budget so they would miss out in even considering that option. Oh! Or turning my faucet handle forward - that was free, but might not make it into seperate forums. I'd absolutely pay $30 more for a model I could turn to face front if I was picking between two similar faucets, but that could easily be overlooked if everyone is focused on $ vs function. That's why I love all the suggestions - ideas are free, more ideas is always better, then see what works.

I believe I found the best of everything I could for the money I had to spend, and I know that would not be the case without seeing all the options here. It's amazing how much better my kitchen is without having to expand the budget, both from knowing what matters and also where to look to buy stuff.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 4:15PM
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Like williamsem I found out about options I hadn't even considered through reading this forum. In some cases the new options cost much more than I was considering, such as getting an induction cooktop and a separate combo oven microwave rather than a standard 30 electric range, but the result is much better than it would have been. Other options were the same quality (more or less) as I was considering, but at a much better price, such as getting a Ticor stainless steel sink from galaxy tool supply. Other options were both much better than I was originally considering, and at a much better price than I was anticipating, such as the fully custom RTA frameless cabinets from Scherr's.

By seeing what others are doing in their kitchens, both those spending more and those spending less, allows KF readers to figure out where spending more can be to their benefit, and where they can spend less to offset the change and still stay in budget.

My first kitchen remodel was initially bid by a local design/build firm at $95000 not including appliances, but after coming here for design help, and deciding to DIY the project, the final total cost was less than $30000 and the result was better than the original would have been, in large part thanks to information I gained here. (I owe you guys big time :-)

This past summer I remodeled a kitchen in a rental duplex that we plan to rent, again with help from the Kitchen Forum and for that remodel I think the total cost was less than the price of the induction cooktop in the first remodel, even though it involved replacing the floor, the cabinets, the appliances, and ended up with granite countertops. In some ways I'm more proud of this second kitchen than the one in my house.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:34PM
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I would like to keep Kitchens as one forum because some of my choices would be considered "high" and some would be considered "low." Design advice would straddle both forums, so a lot of people would have to read everything in both forums.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 8:16PM
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I would prefer one big forum. My kitchen has been done for a bit over a year and we completely gutted it, took down a load bearing wall between the dining room, rewired, moved plumbing,etc. for under $8k including a new range. My husband did all the work himself, though I assembled our cabinets. and did a lot of sweeping up while 103 months pregnant in the hottest summer ever. I got many ideas/items here that we used from the higher end kitchens like my beloved giant Blanco sink and huge drawer stacks. When I posted our progress and reveal I got nothing but lovely comments even though we went with stained maple cabinets (not white--I like white cabinets buy my husband doesn't care for them) and a granite tile countertop (we previously had a marble tile counter and I loved it for many years and preferred it over laminate). I love many of the high end ktichens that I've seen here. But I also love my kitchen that we worked our butts off doing ourselves and am proud of what we accomplished, mistakes and ooopies included.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 8:18PM
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I like it being one forum. You get ideas from all sorts of kitchens -- not just ones in certain price ranges.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 8:28PM
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When I first read the poster's subject line, I thought it was a good idea UNTIL I read all the replies. I find when I post, that I love getting so many replies and ideas and seeing so many pictures of kitchens for all budgets to help me with my kitchen. I prefer this forum stay in one Kitchen Forum. I love seeing finished kitchens for their beauty, function, enjoyment for loosing, for ideas, etc.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 2:11AM
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This has been an interesting thread. :-)

I agree with a previous poster that the GW forum software (or whatever you would call it) isn't conducive to the depth of discussions often found here in just a single forum. Is the "edit your post" function relatively new? And how many times are we turning our heads sideways to see a photo?

Regarding budgets and income brackets, these issues are so subjective and relative. Explain your budget simply to provide a scope of your needs, but don't think that the overwhelming majority here are passing judgment. I haven't really noticed that in the relatively short time I've been visiting.

I have an immutable frugal gene passed down from the Depression era, and so I *love* the DIY-ers here who find creative, resourceful ways around the marketing and consumerism that has taken hold of our country. This has nothing to do with income bracket, either. Saying that, I also appreciate a well-earned splurge, as well. I find a balanced mix in this forum, and appreciate that it's all here.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 3:54AM
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Yes, I agree that everyone's budget varies greatly. I see a lot of really beautiful kitchens here, some obviously not for the small budget, but it does give me a lot of ideas. You work with the budget you have, sometimes that may mean simply painting the walls. I am impressed with the amazing transformations people do here regardless of budget. We had a very tight budget with our kitchen, only$10,000 which doesn't buy much, but we managed to reface our cabinets, put in new countertops, paint the walls and are in the process of choosing our backsplash, and when all is said and done, we've stayed within our budge. . Of course, this is all DIY, to hire someone to do the work would double the cost at least, I would think. Is this my dream kitchen? No, for that I'd need another $50,000 but I do love what we've done with our kitchen and it fits in perfectly with the size and style of our home.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 10:11AM
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Omit - duplicate post

This post was edited by dilly_ny on Mon, Jan 13, 14 at 10:21

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 10:18AM
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I would like to keep one forum. Every kitchen has common elements: cabinetry, appliances, flooring, counters, etc. Each person purchases these items with their budget in mind, whether it be from Craigslist or Woodmode.

Budget is not the only factor that could be used to split the forum. Some members like only modern decor and some like traditional. Or the forum could be split by square footage - small vs large kitchens.

Having just lived thru a major renovation, I can honestly say its an overwhelming experience. So many decisions and budget breakers to choose from. I am thankful for all the ideas from GW which led me to getting a kitchen that's perfect for me. A few decisions that I rushed into without GW advice / research (appliances) are the decisions I now regret.

I lived with a 1948 kitchen for 15 years while I looked at magazines, planned and dreamed. I floundered with layouts involving g my original footprint vs adding on space. I wasn't willing to spend $ to add on space unless it was going to improve the overall flow / usage of my home. That type of design is not as easy as it sounds. I found GW about a year prior to my actual renovation and it really helped me define my likes and dislikes, my non negotiables, and my areas willing to compromise. In the end, GW told me my layout would be perfect if i could just give up the 4 foot elephant in the room, a coat closet. Only i could decide that hanging coats upstairs - on a daily basis, for the next 20 years- was not a good choice for my family and the coat closet had to remain. Personal choices are a huge part of the kitchen process and its great to have a place to toss out ideas, hear pros And cons, and learn from mistakes of others, but in the end, the choices are yours.

its great to know why someone thinks a $1,000 sink is better than a $100 sink so I know what features to look for when I shop for a sink. Maybe i cant get the same gauge for $100, but Maybe i can for $159 and I maybe i can splurge that $59 even though I can't get the $1,000 sink that was perfect for someone else. If it wasn't for gW, I wouldn't even know that gauge is an important factor in sink selection.

Above all though, I like and appreciate the enormous conglomerate of experience shared on this forum from pros, homeowners who've been there, done that, and those facing issues just like mine.

Now that I'm in ABB stage, I'm on GW a bit less, but I like to browse once or twice a week to see if I can help anyone. Alot of layout threads don't get into purchase choices; they focus on function. That's important in both budget and mega bucks homes.

Thanks GW! Love my new kitchen and great room and I couldn't have done it without you! An educated consumer is the best customer!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Oh how I wish we could go to vbulletin. A girl can dream

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 12:53PM
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The best bargains in kitchen remodeling are at Ikea, so any and all ideas for utilizing Ikea materials are budget friendly, and those ideas appear in kitchens almost all price points.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 1:02PM
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My kitchen remodel was just under $30K (including appliances), and I got everything I could have hoped for. I couldn't be happier if I had spent 5 times that amount. I never felt that my posts weren't worthy of consideration because my budget wasn't 2 or 3 times greater.

As others have said, every kitchen, regardless of budget, has the same needs: adequate prep space, good flow, convenient storage. There are about a million ways to achieve those goals!

My favorite posts on this forum are the ones that start with a layout, and folks here start tweaking and brainstorming, changing things around, and in a week the OP has a completely different kitchen design that is far more functional that where they started. Of course it takes an open-minded OP for that to happen, but when it does, it's magical.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 1:20PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I love the budget kitchen threads. Like schoolhouse, I'm still thrilled with my $3000 makeover. I took ideas from kitchens that had much higher budgets--just put my cheapskate spin on them. :) Have to admit, though, that when I first found GW, I was a little intimidated by the gorgeous, obviously high-end, kitchens posted.

I commend you for being brave enough to make the suggestion, but I like having one forum, for many of the same reasons posted in the responses above.

Lavender, thank you very much!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 7:45PM
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Aside from the issue of starting another forum, I will say that it would be nice to see some "face lifts." I think the term "budget" may not convey what the OP intended. Many people including myself might frequent these forums for ideas and dream kitchen ideas. However finances and circumstances may not allow. In my case, I replaced a couple of appliances, painted my kitchen, and installed new hardware on the cabinets. I didn't get stainless steel because I don't want what everyone else has. My kitchen is done in the "outdated" bisque which I love. The new convection range makes my heart sing. Freshly painted walls, and refreshed kitchen cabinets make it a beautiful place to be. I love the outcome. I think people have to be brave enough to create what they love without going into debt to mimic the staged kitchen look.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 6:47PM
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I'll tell you a low budget kitchen who doesn't want a separate forum. And yes, I will be sharing pictures someday.

I have NO money. None. I'm legally indigent. It's a fight every single day just to keep my house on a waitress and yoga teacher income. Note, I didn't say "salary." But, thanks to reuse centers, materials left by my ex-POC, and finding crap on the side of the road, I'm building a kitchen. And it's looking pretty darned beautiful.

Every wonderful finished picture helps me dream. I think the thing would be to learn not to defeat yourself by feeling somehow less, just because someone else is lucky enough to "Just have someone do" it. Honey? I'm that someone or it "just" doesn't happen.

But... I get ideas. I find colors, placement ideas, tweaks, product comparisons, sources, etc., and vicarious pleasure at someone's pride and excitement at their progress, then finished project. Perhaps more hi-end/expensive kitchens aren't within my life, but I can make them happen, too, at a fraction of the cost with a lot of DIY imagination. I am, and I'm proud of my accomplishments.

I'm thinking it might be helpful to learn to be happy for someone's joy, rather than comparing your own situation to what isn't currently possible for you. There's a little plaque I've had for years that is now a Pinterest thing: "Comparison is the thief of joy."

Lighten up and learn. Cut yourself some slack. There isn't anyone here, with or without reno money, who doesn't celebrate someone's achievements. I'm creative and teaching myself more and more every day. Without THIS board and design magazines, I'd be always wishing I had done something differently.

Besides, would the forum blurb say, "If you spent more than $3000? $5000? $10,000? don't bother posting here. Go to the expensive, unobtainable kitchen board?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 9:43PM
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Christine- exactly!

And-nice to "see" you back.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 11:36PM
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This post got me thinking because a while back I updated my kitchen. By update, I mean, I painted the cabinets (because I couldn't afford new ones) and then got new appliances and counter tops. I was so excited about my kitchen remodel. It took me four months and was a lot of hard work. At first, I loved it. But the more I looked on GW, pinterest, and in magazines, the more I thought my kitchen was still outdated. After about six months of enjoying my idea of a "remodeled kitchen" - I started not liking it. I resorted back to thinking the same negative thoughts that I first thought.

Next thing I know I'm looking at new cabinets and thinking I need quartz instead of granite. My husband was about ready to kill me...

Then one day it hit me. I asked myself why I ever started disliking my kitchen, and to be honest, it was because I started comparing my kitchen to fancy high end kitchens. Well of course mine isn't going to hold up to some 60k professional remodel.

With that said, I think a budget kitchen section would be great. I know every one has their own idea of what their budgets are but I like the idea of having more of a Budget/DIY board and then the reg. kitchen board.

At 27 years old, I realize there is no rush for my dream kitchen. Maybe I'll get it someday or maybe I won't. I like Cheryl Crow's saying in one of her songs - she says "it's not having what you want, it's wanting what you have." --- this fits me right now with my kitchen. I've changed my attitude and appreciate it again. I no longer compare my cheaper kitchen to high end ones. I know there is a difference and I'm fine what that...

So, yes, I wouldn't mind another board for Budget or DIY kitchen remodel...

I still smile every time I see my before and after.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Blog

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:49AM
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I think, Mrs. Shayne, you just exemplified "Comparison is the thief of joy." I think your kitchen is absolutely beautiful.

Perhaps I look at things without assigning a dollar value to them. It never occurred to me to look at something as a budget reno or not. Those are the posters' words. I just appreciate because dollars are irrelevant to me. In the opposite way, I guess, as one would normally think. Not because I have so many I don't care, it's because I have so few, I don't care! :)

I hate to see such a resource divided because someone who does beautiful work becomes ruled essentially by advertising. A lovely function kitchen is the goal, isn't it?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 11:27AM
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I didn't read every single response, so hopefully I'm not being redundant...but I am not in favor of separate forums. I think people with differing budgets can still find inspiration and appreciation in each other's choices. If someone makes a suggestion that is out of my budget, it does not offend me and I'm not ashamed to say that something is out of reach for me. If I like the idea, then maybe I can find a way to achieve a similar look for less. If I don't like the idea, then it doesn't matter what it cost :-)

And then, yes, there are all the logistics of - what is the cutoff for "budget", how do you politely tell someone they are on the wrong board, what if we are incapable of following more than one board but we are TKO... how do we choose between TWO BOARDS!?!? lol

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 11:36AM
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MrsShayne - you should definitely post a reveal thread. Your kitchen is GORGEOUS! And shows what can be done on a limited budget.

The value of this board is people can come with their questions and concerns and get validation or are challenged. That should happen outside of budget. And what I've seen is there are perhaps hundreds! of other people reading this forum that have the same exact question as you or budget as you and don't come out of lurkdom to post it. So there is value in all members contributing what they have.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 12:34PM
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I echo many sentiments of a lot of posters here. I think this is a great thread - however, I wouldn't ultimately vote with separating the kitchen forums. I have personally posted a potential kitchen layout here on this forum, and it received few responses - why? I'm not entirely sure, but I would wager it was because I explicitly outlined the many items that couldn't move because of budget constraints - suggestions that I feel are sentiments often echoed by posts of potential kitchens.

I do feel that too often many look at kitchens in this forum and a first instinct is to move x,y, and z because they aren't in the best possible layout, without consideration if this is possible, and if it isn't, then the homeowner is doing a disservice to their family and all future buyers (if there are any...). I understand this - it's much more exciting to work with a $80k budget that allows for 100% gut, addition without limits, etc. but it's not realistic.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 12:42PM
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CEFreeman - thank you very much.

You said it exactly right with "Comparison is the thief of joy" That's something I need to keep in mind for sure!

chiefy76 - thank you as well for the kind words. I did a reveal a while back but the org. pics were terrible. However, I did receive nice compliments. But I'll be honest, once I started thinking my kitchen wasn't good enough, I was actually feeling embarrassed of my work. Again, I fixed those negative thoughts and certainly appreciate the kitchen again, along with your compliments.

Thanks again :)

I agree too that another kitchen board could get sticky so I see both sides and totally understand if we just stick with one kitchen section.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 1:08PM
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Its always nice to see a kitchen reveal, regardless of price. I am especially impressed with those who do it on a tight budget ( as I have, 3 kids + college tuition = tight budget) but I also get a lot of great ideas from those with unlimited budgets - figuring out how can I get a similar look within my budget.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 1:30PM
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Mick Mick

In the last year I redid my kitchen on a budget that is tighter than a gnat's butt. I could have spent more, but in all honesty I didn't want to or need to. I LOVE seeing people do a lot with very little budgets. I want to hear about your spends and splurges. I want to find out how you sourced high-end products for cheap. I want to know your budget and I am more than happy to share mine. Yes, I know that some line items are regional, but if you spend $500 on a faucet, I am sure that same faucet would cost me $500.

I also love how the other side lives and trust, I always try to have something in a project that the high end projects have, but I will find it's lower priced twin. I really like to see projects where people get that high end look for very little money.

Is a new forum necessary? Not really. But if it is opened, I will be there too! :)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 2:10PM
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I am against separate forums. What if you're not sure where you should post? Let's say someone's budget is $38,000....they might feel awkward posting in either forum...which could be considered low or high...depending on the person.

Now, I would be OK if they want to start a Remodeling Budget Saving Ideas forum....that would include ideas for all remodeling projects.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 3:01PM
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It sounds like it's not about budget, so much as DIY. Everyone has a budget and the more you look, the more ideas you're going to get.

Nothing is timeless, everything will seem dated and no one has the perfect doesn't exist. There may be a wonderful kitchen that is just right for you, but no kitchen is perfect for everyone and should be universally copied.

And, if anyone feels embarrassed about posting their 'budget' kitchen, I don't think I've ever seen a finished kitchen criticized. It's done, the money is spent and everyone praises the positives and overlooks any it should be. The only exception is a very nice, high budget kitchen that was criticized for being unrealistic to cook in. That was a little low, IMHO and I think the same care should be taken with all posters, regardless of budget.

Of course, for a kitchen in progress, or initial plan....the comments might be a little more negative and direct. It's not too late to make a change and improve your function or layout. Also, everyone has materials they like and they often suggest others use them, because they've enjoyed them. That doesn't mean other choices are not equally wonderful, but they may not have experience with them.

Just my two cents...and I think that's my current budget! LOL Good thing I already bought the paint and vinyl floor tiles. Yes, my kitchen is a low budget, fix up and I'm very excited. When I catch my breath (and my pocketbook recovers) from husband's illness...then my farmhouse remodel is the next kitchen. But, I plan to use formica, painted cabinets (would love to find some to reuse/unfitted) and white appliances, my bunny back splash other words 'low budget' but that's my vision. If I have $300 or $30,000 I would probably have the same vision :)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 4:02PM
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I stole most of the ideas for my $3000 kitchen from a thread that featured tiles that cost $500 EACH. Just sayin'.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 9:04PM
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Great responses and I can still see the pros and cons of both.! I did come across this interesting article (pivoting from the 31 rules of kitchen planning that someone had posted) about designing or renovating a kitchen with various suggestions as to where you can cut dollars. Thought it was great.

BTW - look around the whole site for issues that interest you. Enjoy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Budget kitchens...

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:05PM
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robo (z6a)

Love that article, thanks for the link! I think I followed almost every piece of advice in it by being naturally cheap. I mean, frugal :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:03PM
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I agree with the above of NOT making budget kitchens a separate forum, it would dilute this one and the budget kitchen forum would eventually have little traffic.

I could foresee budget kitchen quests being posted in this kitchen forum , poster would say
" I know I should be posting this in the budget kitchen forum but THIS kitchen forum gets more traffic…."

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:39AM
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