First time home buyers and remodelers with a desperate kitchen!!

Dtrivi2209June 8, 2014

I posted this topic over in the remodeling forum but I wanted to cross post it here as well. We are desperate for any and all advice!! We are in the process of buying this home that we love but the kitchen is in need of a serious remodel!!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

10 K barely covers new counters and knobs. Or just new appliances. You need to save that money and live with the space a while. The most that I'd suggest is just DIY painting the cabinets. A darker color with the existing light counters can make it seem more up to date and tolerable whie you take your time to save and plan for a better thought out and more complex renovation.

The thing about owning a home is that everything costs more than you ''expect'' it to. Time to develop some DIY skills!

Here is a link that might be useful: Remodeling Cost vs. Value

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The number I've heard thrown around is that a kitchen remodel should cost about 10-15% of the home value. Also, in your previous post where you say you'd like to do "as nice an upgrade as possible," you need to think about what that means for you. For me, a NICE refrigerator is $1200-$1300 and I really don't want one that is more expensive. Same thing with a range, etc. Whereas for some people, NICE means several thousand dollars per major appliance.

The kitchen looks liveable, so take your time. You don't have to get your dream kitchen right away! We have been living without a dishwasher for 5 years now (and we have 4 kids). We host large family dinners (10-12 adults and nearly as many kids), have guests over for meals several times a month, and we make due. Whether or not you have a welcoming home is more about you than the house itself. :)

Bide your time, save your money, and think about what you need, what you want, what you can splurge on, what you can save on, etc. I would recommend that you start writing down things that you love that you see in other houses or on the web, things that you would like to change, and so on. Once you've lived in the house and know how you are using (or not using) the space, you'll have a better idea of what sort of remodel will be best.

One member here is thinking about putting in a 2-level island when she remodels her kitchen, so she built a sample one out of cardboard to see if it would work out the way she is hoping. This is a great example of finding out what works for YOU instead of just going for whatever trend is hot on the interwebz at the moment. :)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our contractor friend estimated $5,000 for cabinets. $3,000 for countertops and we found an appliance package for $3,000. That puts as at $11,000 with completing the install ourselves. We have DIY skills and we are very handy already so we are confident that we can install ourselves. We will not be able to live with the space as is and we are remodeling prior to living in the home.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I started my DIY kitchen remodel, I had a $12k budget. Oh how I was wrong. I stopped counting after I broke $24k. It turned out not everything can be DIY and I ended having an electrician replace the house's electrical panel as well as adding additional circuits that today's kitchen requires for $5k.

I did spend 2x on appliances compared too you, but sinks, faucets, backsplash, lighting add up quick. It took me about two weeks to rationalize the cost of LED under cabinet lighting, and I work in the lighting industry! And don't forget flooring.

I could have spent less on appliances, but I couldn't have done the work for $11k

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We look forward to your project updates. : )

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Will you be changing or adding lighting? Moving outlets and/or switches? Painting? Keeping the same sink and faucet? Patching walls?

Do you have all of the tools, equipment and materials necessary to renovate a kitchen?

I just redid my kitchen and the amount of money I spent on the above really added up.

I understand the desire for quartz or granite counters but why "real wood" cabinetry? (Does that mean plywood boxes with solid wood doors? I'm not sure of the terminology.)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The existing flooring is staying. It is a neutral tile and there are a few extra cases for touch ups etc. We will not need to move any electrical or plumbing because the existing layout it perfect, just needs updating. The desire for "real wood" cabinetry comes from my husband who desires quality over quantity. He does not want cabinets that have MDF boxes. Basically, it isn't a totally gut job because we don't need to move walls or change the footprint just install brand new cabinets, counters, and appliances.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

5K worth of crappy Chinese cabinets is a novice renovator's mistake. The average cost of mid grade cabinets in a mid grade 50K remodel is 15-20K. You don't get anything ''quality''for 5K.

You need to slow down and educate yourself before you tackle this project and throw away your money on crap.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I didn't say crappy Chinese cabinets? We have a warehouse in our local area that has solid wood cabinetry and were quoted $5,000 for our small kitchen. I came to this forum for suggestions and advice not to be berated and told to "educate" myself. I am educated and I am doing my research. I would NEVER spend $50K on this kitchen, that is not mid grade. The home is worth $200,000 so the most we would spend on our kitchen remodel is $20,000. Putting $50k intro this kitchens house would be a ROOKIE mistake and would over improve the property. So thanks for the criticism but I'll look elsewhere for advice where rude people won't respond with unhelpful "advice"

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Ask where those ''warehouse'' cabinets are made. It isn't the US or Canada. 5K is low for cabinets even in a below average $ remodel. This is your first house, and you don't know what you don't know here. There are plenty of lower budget remodels happening here on GW. Stop the rush, and read some.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know where you are but you might try pricing cabinets from a custom shop and telling them you will finish them yourself.
That's what we did and we got custom built and installed full overlay shaker style made from ash for a 12x12 kitchen plus an 8 foot long wet bar for 4800. Once my cabinet maker installed them, I stained and finished them. My granite counters were 3,000. I reused my stove and refrigerator, only bought a new vent hood, 2 full size dishwashers and a 30 inch double wall oven so my appliances were about 3,000. If I were getting a stove and fridge too it would have been 6,000-7,000.

Good luck OP.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Dtrivi2209 - You can do a lot with $10K. I can't comment on the specific layout, etc., but if you are careful, look for deals and do a bit of DIY, You should be able to do some major changes.

Look for Appliance bundle deals on major holidays, like the 4th of July. Call around to Sears, HHGregg and look online at AJMadison. If you are not super picky about the brands and features, you can get a kitchen aid bundle of stainless appliances for between $2000-$3000 -

For cabinets, I wouldn't worry about "solid wood". there are plenty of decent cabinets that would last you 15 years or so for a fraction. Look at IKEA. I just finished my kitchen remodel and got cabinets from Ikea after look exhaustively. A fraction of the price and they offer a 25 year warranty. I think my cabinets were something around $5K (you can see pictures here:

I also got quartz counters from Ikea which were something like $4K. You can get counters for $2K (look into butcher block or a modern laminate - They last forever with some maintenance). You can also look into deals from granite yards. Sometimes they are trying to get rid of inventory and seriously mark down slabs.

You can do the tile backsplash yourself for less than $500 depending on the tile you pick.

The point is, don't be discouraged. Start somewhere. Unexpected expenses can always pop up, but if your plumbing, electrical is in good shape (check your circuit breaker box to make sure you have the appropriate electrical connections and power), gas connections, etc., are in place, you can do a lot for $10K.

Send us pictures when you are done!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Love, love, LOVE my IKEA cabinets---in all five kitchens that I and my kids have put them in! I spent well under $3K on 13+ running feet of lowers and 4 feet of uppers, plus solid beech butcherblock counters and a long shelf. That includes quiet-close drawer and door dampers. And of course the standard Blum drawer glides that are not at all standard until you get to a much higher price point, I believe.

Anyway, check 'em out.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Texas_gem, Spanky_md, and Sonny_h thank you guys very much for the HELPFUL and CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions and ideas. I was getting a little bit discouraged by some of the other rude and negative posters. My husband and I have been doing extensive research and we feel that we can tackle this kitchen project with a little bit of blood, sweat, and tears. I have heard great things about IKEA cabinets and I love the custom cabinet maker suggestion!! Thank you guys and I will gladly keep you posted!! I feel confident that for $10-15k we can have a kitchen that is well made and suits us! Does anyone know when the next IKEA kitchen sale is?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are already $1,000 over your $10K budget and now it is possibly $15K. You didn't include new sink and hardware, door pulls, backsplash, pulling down the wall and the finishing work after it is gone, possible light fixtures, paint, etc. etc. We spent $10K on good quality MDF cabinets with hardwood doors 20 years ago! Real wood cabinets will be much much more than $5G. Unless you are living in a different country with very inexpensive cost of living maybe.
I know it would be a dream to update the kitchen before moving in, but I would reconsider that and as others mentioned, live in it for a while and get the feel of the layout as you may find some things do and don't work for you. Only using it for a while will give you that knowledge. Then you can have time to save some more $$ and redo the kitchen in a way that will really work for you and make you happy.

I'm afraid you are mistaking honest comments for rude comments. I didn't see anything rude in these posts. I hope you can get your new kitchen for the $10 or $11K you are dreaming of, but I think people are just trying to give you a more realistic view based on their own experiences.

This post was edited by silken on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 22:35

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dtrivi2209, your point about over-pricing a kitchen remodel is critical to the choices you make. I think you are on track with your budget IF you make judicious choices. If you are not psychologically opposed to purchasing used items, you may get better quality for less. My advice: Shop, shop, and shop some more; take your time; get what you want and be prepared to compromise. I know compromise is hard, but it's not the end of the world - or your life in this house. Things change.

Sign me "Second Hand Rose"; I have a LOT of very expensive things in my house that I did NOT pay retail for.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

IKEA sales are usually in the spring (one just ended) and again in the fall. However, there's a rumor that they will be selling off the current system before introducing a completely new system. Already happened in Europe. So , there may be great prices. I remember about 20 years ago, they discontinued their metric line, and we bought solid wood doors for 3.00.

Another option are Barker cabinets. If you google Barker and gardenweb kitchen,you'll find several threads.

Also, what kind of material are your current cabinets? If they are wood, you could gel stain them in espresso. Then get new hardware, counter tops, and backsplash. Also, check out Costco for sinks, BS tiles, faucets. Their hansgrohe faucet goes on sale periodically. Currently, Costco has stainless steel backsplash tiles on sale, like these:

Below the link shows gel stained cabinets. Scroll down to Kadydid or google.

Spanky_md: What kind of door/drawer styles did you get for your 4 IKEA kitchens? I'd be interested in hearing about your experience regarding durability and maintenance of the various styles (e.g. wood vs the paint or Thermofoil finishes).

Here is a link that might be useful: gel stained cabinets

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you nosoccermom! I believe they are old 1986 MDF, they feel very flimsy and shoddy. I was hoping they would be stainable or even if we had the ability to replace the doors that would be great but the boxes are so flimsy and shallow. We have a costco membership so we will definitely check them out for some things!! Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Visit your local stone yards often. As was mentioned above you might run into a great deal if you keep your eyes open and remain flexible. When I was looking for my counters I ran across a book matched pair of smallish Calacatta gold slabs for less than a thousand dollars each. Amazing deal. Plenty of stone for a small/medium kitchen. I didn't buy them but I did spread to word to all my friends in case someone else could use them.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We finished our all DIY remodel last year. Spent $4,200 on cherry Shenandoah cabinets from Lowes which DH installed. Hardwood flooring was $2,000, DH installed. Granite was $4000. Appliances were a combo of old and new with a value of about $2,500 all together. Backsplash, sink, instant hot water, lighting, stools, etc. lets say $1,000. Heated island added about $750.

On the cabinets, MDF is not a bad thing. Not all MDF is the same. Look at the overall quality/value of the cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm putting your link to your other thread in the clickable box so it is easier for people to follow. I haven't looked at your other thread yet. (You really might want to post the information from there over here as a lot of people won't bother to follow the links.).

We refreshed our first kitchen in 2000 or so by painting the cabinets, putting down new cork floors, putting in a new granite tile countertop, putting in new lighting and replacing the appliances. Spent about 6K. It was an amazing transformation. It helped that it was a tiny kitchen so materials costs were very small. We did it all diy except for hiring a plumber to hook up our range, sink, and dishwasher. So a small budget and diying can work wonders in the right circumstances.

What's wrong with your current kitchen? Cabinets are usually the biggest expense, so if your current layout is good, take a look at whether you can keep the current cabinets. Paint or gel stain can make a big difference in appearance.

If the existing cabinets are in bad shape, then new makes sense--no point putting a new countertop on cabinets that are going to fail in a couple of years.

For new cabinets on a tight budget, ikea is a fabulous suggestion. We did ikea cabinets in our last house and LOVED them. They are not plywood, but go to the ikeafans forum and read their article on that topic. What ikea does offer is top of the line hardware, ie drawer glides, etc, at a very low price point. The IKEA fans forum is a great resource for ikea kitchen information, especially layout and ikea hacks (using the standard ikea parts in creative ways).

As someone else mentioned ikea is getting ready to change it's entire cabinet line. This has already happened in other countries. The USA roll out is later 2014 or early 2015, I believe. If you want to use the existing system I would be careful to get all of your parts ASAP. Ikea has said they will stock parts to support existing kitchens for two years, but ikea tends to have supply chain problems so I wouldn't rely too heavily on that.

I don't know how thorough your home inspector was or how much you know about electricity. (I know zip, but dh knows a lot as he used to repair radars when he was in the marine corps--he refuses to do anything more complicated than changing out a light switch because he will not mess around with electricity.) I will say that electrical work is expensive and sometimes unavoidable--sometimes it's not an issue of whether you move anything, but an issue of the wiring not being done correctly to start with (often in ways a home inspector can't see because it's behind walls) or not being adequate to support modern demands (an induction range instead of an old style coil electric range, a microwave and coffee maker and toaster on the same circuit, etc). Even just switching out a range in the exact same spot can sometimes necessitate moving an outlet so things fit properly. And it's one area you just can't skimp on; cheaper countertop, sure, cheaper electrician, not happening. I would approach that portion of the equation very carefully to make sure you have the budget to address anything that may come up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Your other thread

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


If you are handy and have the time, you could look seriously at RTA cabinets (ready to assemble cabinets). We our getting RTA cabinets from Scherr's. They offer good quality and in exchange for DIY you can save $$ but still get good quality. Ikea as mentioned above is also a good option, but I did not find what I wanted for the doors from them and getting doors from one supplier and boxes from Ikea is challenging. If you search RTA kitchen cabinets and Gardenweb on a Google search you will find other ready to assemble cabinet maker's reviewed by members. Laminate or wood counters are your friend too.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you want decent quality cabinets for as cheap as possible, DIY Ikea may be the just about the only new cabinet way to go. The cheapest Applad cabinets (white) can look very elegant. You can exchange them out later for Barker or Scherr doors of your choosing. The Ikea system is excellent and have wonderful functional inserts for a great price.

You can get lots of kitchen cabinet sets on craigslist for hundreds to a few thousand dollars.

Best wishes.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

nosoccermom, first IKEA kitchen was the old birch Nexus (pale wood)--I thought at the time that the finish was easy to scratch but it could have been that a couple of pieces were lightly damaged before installation---just sitting around with three kids and a big dog. That one was in a kitchen in Denmark and we reused some of the cabinets that were already there and had to hack stuff to make it work--not fun at the time.

Another was the cheapest door style they had, i thnk called Harlig at the time but something different now? It is the matte white melamine. The edge banding on the uppers next to the stove came loose after awhile from boiling pasta water steaming it up and I thin one of the lower corner cabinet doors got loose after a bit but no other issues. I had a LOT of very heavy dishes in a 36" wide upper cabinet with of course no center stile and the shelves never sagged. The matte finish was a little hard to clean, though. It tended to look grubby. I wouldn't get it again. It just looks kind of cheap. It was a short term solution so that was ok at the time.

There was another one in there that was in an apartment--i think maybe the Harlig again.

Fourth: that gorgeous door style they had for just two years, i think---looked like teak, maybe eucalyptus?? It had veneer in two directions on the doors. Also no problems with it that I know of, but my daughter and son-in-law sold that house after only a few years.

I also bought up a ton of Nexus Yellow-brown doors and drawer fronts from the AS IS department and did some cool stuff with them in my last house--paneled around the fireplace and paneled a powder room with them. And then sold the house--boohoo. I still have a lot and wanted to use them in the kitchen i have now but didn't have the right sizes to do what i wanted. No current plans for them.

OP-- I totally get the desire to redo it before you move in. It's so much easier than living there during the renovation. I have done that a bunch of times and am still washing dishes in my bathroom sink on this one--yech! But I also know first hand the value of waiting and giving yourself time to watch for the best deals on the stuff you need. If you can be patient and endure the old kitchen for awhile, you can probably score better quality stuff for less money than if you go out tomorrow and buy all of it at once. Something to consider.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 5:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry everyone...I feel bad that my reply posts might have come off snappy...this home buying process is taking a toll on us mentally...anyway I just want to apologize for coming off aggressive or short with anyone...I just really want to get some constructive ideas on how to stretch our dollar.

I agree with you Spanky that it would be best to live in it for a bit but we already have to foot the bill for new appliances because the kitchen has none so we figured why put old appliances into a gross old kitchen and lets just get it out of the know? Anyway, my DH has limited time off of work and we kind of have to make the most of it and doing the reno before moving in seems to make sense for us...

I am gathering from everyones responses that we may have to end up north of the $10k budget and go towards $15k...hopefully that will get us a nice modest kitchen that far exceeds the current state

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 5:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not sure if it was suggested already but you could look at ready to assemble cabinets from Barker Doors online. I think they're pretty affordable for shaker style and I believe made in USA. I haven't used them but have read favorable reviews.

Congratulations on your new house and please post pictures. I'm looking forward to seeing your project!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Spanky. I liked that Nexus light brown.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Juddgirl...I just took a look at that website...would the DH and I have to construct the cabinet boxes ourselves? That looks like a good option I just don't know how handy we can get haha! I am looking forward to our project too and I am hopeful that we can tackle it for somewhere under $15k...Ive become a bit discouraged after seeing all the feedback I have received here.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are currently DIY'ing (all but the electrical) our kitchen with Barker Cabinets. Several other people have mentioned them and I will tell you from personal experience that they are excellent quality, all plywood boxes, solid wood doors and they are GORGEOUS. Our cabinets (kitchen is approx. 15'x11') were $10,500 and we had Barker finish them, which increases the prices a lot. Check them might be surprised what quality you can get from them for a very reasonable price.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Try not to get discouraged Dtrivi, just take the advice as well-intentioned as it's meant, home-buying takes a lot out of you and reno-ing a kitchen isn't cheap, but there are plenty of ways to cut costs without cutting corners too much if you research a lot, listen to what others who have been through it have to add and shop around and around.

Sounds like you have your appliances lined up, make sure they are what you can live with for a while (ie a double door fridge might drive you crazy no matter how much you save on it with the narrow openings and no room for a turkey, so give extra thought to how the appliances fit into your lifestyle), have you got a washer and dryer? I know that's not 'kitchens' but critial appliances for your first home, We got lucky and the original owners of the house we bought left all appliances, gave us time to pick out ones we wanted to live with.

I still need to update the 1984 kitchen and oak cabinets but they're sturdy, and the formica counters are in good shape (but madly waiting for hub to decide on new ones lol). I'll stick with a laminate or solid surface counter because I like my dishes and don't want cracks or glass bombs going off since I can be klutzy.

I haven't put together RTA cabs but I understand the first one takes a while but it goes smoother and faster from there, plan your time accordingly so you don't feel rushed and overwhelmed.

Oh, keep a bottle or two of wine around, you may need it the first few weeks (or months). lol And welcome to the kitchen crazy club, we're all nuts down here! :)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I should have added that they are extremely easy to assemble. By the time we finished assembling them, my DH and I could assemble the most complicated cabinet in 15 minutes tops. Everything is pre-drilled and come together glue, just these special screws. I honestly can't recommend them enough...super, super happy with our cabinets. Just for fun, here's a photo

This is the first run of uppers that we installed. We have since got them all installed. I should have mentioned that that price of $10,500 included all the crown molding, end panels, hinges, Blum drawer slides...everything for 18 cabinets and we did some upgrades including all drawers for the lowers except for 2 corner cabinets (including the lazy susans), a floor to ceiling pantry with roll out trays in the bottom 2/3's and cabinets to create the refrigerator enclosure. The refrigerator enclosure and pantry cabinets were probably a full 1/3 the total price so there is definitely room to knock those prices down.

This post was edited by dcward89 on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 7:44

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you do assemble them just as you would Ikea. I have read it's not too difficult but maybe you could do a separate post asking that question to get more feedback. Be sure to measure so you have clearance for doors, drawers, etc. The website has some great tutorials.

Also try a local shop. My neighbor had very nice custom made stained and glazed cabinets installed for around 9K. My quote from same shop was 16K with install but that was for more cabinets, more drawers, 2 lazy susans and a painted finish.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Whoops, hit the back button on my browser and it posted again. Disregard this.

This post was edited by beautybutdebtfree on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 19:44

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If it helps any I can share with you a few numbers from a kitchen redo I did in Texas 3 1/2 years ago. Everything but granite was DIY. Everything was remove and replace, no design or layout changes. No electrical or plumbing changes.

Cabinets were from Cardell. Solid cherry fronts, full overlay, stained espresso brown, soft close glides, plywood boxes, self install. 14 boxes. $4K.

New LG wall oven found on Amazon from a store rotating their display model: $1,200. Other appliances purchased online for an additional $6K. All LG.

Tile for the floor and backsplash, $1,400

Faucet, sink, and related stuff, $1,100

Granite (new venitian gold), $2,400

Other miscellaneous stuff brought the final total to a bit over $17K. Venitian plaster, pulls, grout, thinset, toro hammer rental to remove old tile... It added up after a while.

The kitchen came out quite nice and sounds about what you seem to want to do, but was more than you have budgeted by a bit.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mick Mick

Hi OP. I am an optimist and I also stay within my area and house values when choosing all upgrades. I think you can create a nice kitchen for that price. :). The problem is to research up a budget and work WITHIN your budget. If quartz isn't in the budget, then put in a laminate. If ann sacks tile isn't in the budget and the $2.00 sq ft Daltile is, then don't worry about it. $3000 for appliances? I shop at scratch and dent sales, close outs and clearances. I could get workhorse appliances for $2000. Also, I scour ebay and amazon for everything. If there is a bin or an end caps with red tags, I'm all over that.

I live for challenges such as yours and would love to see how you work it out. Please keep us posted.

Eta - I bought doors from barkers. Great quality and service!

This post was edited by divastyle on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 19:48

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

you can do what you are stating for 10K-15K

be aware that gardenweb has some kitchens that top 100K so the ones that do not appear to be helpful just don't know, or do not DIY at all - about 60% or more of the cost is labor, and designers take 20-30% when they buy things for you.

I have renovated four kitchens, all under 20K.

As someone mentioned above, IKEA, if there is one near you, is by far the best bang for your buck, and has a homeowner friendly mounting system. I paid 17K all of my appliances (except hood and gas hob), cabinets for three bathrooms, and a 24x22 kitchen with a 10 foot island, and granite from IKEA. So you can SURELY do your kitchen within your budget.

budget busters are custom cabinets, hand glazed cabinet finish, higher grade granites, hand made tiles, appliances with luxury names. you get the idea.

Budget friendly is stock cabinets that are flat packed and you assemble, stock finishes, basic level granite, big box store stock tile, DIY, craigslist finds slightly used appliances. If you buy from IKEA, their integrated dishwasher is kitchenaid and is a great deal. I am not happy with their oven, and like the fridge but the stainless panel is too thin. Their appliances are whirlpool basics made in the usa, but may be less expensive than whirlpool badged appliances. shop around.

the two previous IKEA kitchens were about 3500 and 5500 respectively just for the cabinets. For my second kitchen, I found a used Jenn Air range for $275 online that was amazing. For my current kitchen, I found a 70% gas hob because the company discontinued the line. I also got all the faucets in my home for about 70% off because I bough all high end brands (grohe, franke, hansgrohe) that were discontinued styles.

As far as DIY is concerned, I assemble and installed all cabinets with trim using a $20 skill saw, and a rental compound miter saw, pulled electrical wire for additional outlets to meet code, installed a disposer, and tiled a backsplash using a rental wet saw for two of the four kitchens I've done.

can you post pictures of 'inspiration' kitchens so we can help you source budget choices?

You will find lots of support here, there are those who cannot do budget and don't have to because they just have more to work with, and that is ok.

There are many of us who don't and make do in a beautiful way as well.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Also, you can save money by shopping around for appliances, granite, and fixtures. For a bath remodel, I ended up using a remnant of River White granite from the smaller selection my fabricator had at his yard, rather than buying it from a big granite shop. It was $250 for the remnant and $400 for install with 2 sink cutouts.

If you need a faucet I can recommend the Talis C. I bought mine at Costco for $199 on sale. It works great and looks really nice. You can also try Sears Outlet for appliances. I just bought a Kitchenaid combination microwave/oven for half off retail and there's no cosmetic damage that I can see.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Third-ing or fourth-ing here to say that flat pack cabs are super easy to assemble. Set aside a day for it. Get a separate little container for each type of hardware. Get everything sorted and your tools within reach and go! Plan to do them all at once because it really does go faster after the first one or two. You get into a rhythm. It goes faster if you just open all the hardware bags at once and sort into your containers, then you can just grab and go. Organizing ahead minimizes the time spent rummaging for whatever it is you need for the step you're doing.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I completely understand where you are coming from in wanting to change out an old, gross kitchen. I have owned several kitchens in our time, and have only just recently done anyhing even close to a "remodel."

I know it is not what you want, but I truly, really, honestly feel very strongly that you should live in the house and the space before sinking any money into a major change. I second (third?) the suggestion to paint the cabinets, get some cheap laminate countertops and used appliances and just BE in your house.

Kitchen remodels are NEVER just about the kitchen. the way you use your whole house will affect the way you use your kitchen, and how can you know until you have lived there? The way you entertain guests will change completely from your last home because of the layout of your new one. In addition, you have never owned a home before. On top of that you are planning a remodel while under a great deal of stress. it is NOT easy, it is NOT fast and it is NOT cheap to redo a kitchen completely.

Give yourself permission to breathe, and relax, an start getting things settled and put away in your new space before re-doing your kitchen. I mean this with zero rancor, I assure you. This is just a recipe for regret not-so-far down the road after you have already sunk good money into a remodel to discover what you could of done or should have done differently.

Congratulations on the new house! The first one is the most exciting! Let the space speak to you for awhile. It knows secrets you have not yet earned the privilege to hear. And no, no adult beverages for me tonight, lol. :o)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm on the boat that says $10,000 is not an urealistic budget (assuming your not in a high cost of living area such as NYC). We renovated out 1980's built home over the last year, just moved in. We did our kitchen for $15,000. It is 11x11, L shaped with a medium sized island. We certainly could have done it for $10,000, but I wanted a few upgrades (all drawer bases, a pull out at the stove, counter depth fridge, mid prices convection range, quartz).

We also kept the same footprint, same floors, didn't move walls or windows. I would say go for it. Get some price quotes, look at appliances, and see what you get. Some things I found:
1- I loved ikea cabinets, but that didn't have a color my DH liked. I know some people choose to have custom fronts made, but it drives up the price.
2- with specials and sales factored in we got kraftmaid stained maple shaker style cabinets at just slightly more than ikea. They were not the cheapest kraftmaid option either. In terms of cabinets, for lower cost you are going to want to stick with a stained style, not painted. Painted significantly ups the price (unless you go ikea). We opted not to do crown molding, it's more money and not a look we love. Stick with 30" uppers to keep cost down. We also did not do "furniture finish" ends. We are not going for a high end look, this was an unnecessary up charge.
3. Lowes / Home Depot and other big box stores are your friend for a tight budget. The big box stores get a bad rap here on GW. Shopping big box is not what the "cool kids" do, but it's the only way we could afford a nice kitchen. I will say work out your floor plan and layout before visiting the kitchen consultants. Ikea and lowes both have online room planners for kitchens.
4. Watch for appliance sales around the holidays.
5. Counters. Well, I will agree this is where you might have some difficulty. We were all set to go with solid surface, but found it to not be budget friendly unless we chose patterns that looked like they belonged in a public bathroom. My husband didn't want laminate or granite. That left quartz. Our $15,000 remodel was actually set to come in a couple of thousand under budget, so we went with quartz. I love it, but it wasn't cheep. If you like the low budget granite at big box stores, or have local sources for inexpensive granite, you might be ok. Otherwise I would consider laminate or even wood. I think quartz would eat up close to half of your budget, even in a small space.

Also, plan on more time than you think you will need. Just in case. We also did not do a tiled backsplash, but figure that is something we can do later when the bank account recovers.

It certainly does feel like you have gotten a lot of negativity and pushback. GW is a great place for ideas, but it is also heavily geared toward high end remodels, especially kitchen remodels. The prevailing though on gardenweb is if you can't afford to do it "right" don't do it at all. Which was also not an option for us. I got some negativity on my layout when I posted it. I simply could not afford to make the changes many people thought I needed to make my kitchen "work". But you know what, it works just fine for me. Perfect in fact. It doesn't phase me a bit that my main prep area is opposite the stove, and several steps away from the sink (across an aisle even!) It doesn't bother me that my island /peninsula is a bit of a clutter catcher. It works.

Here's what I got for my $15,000. And good luck!

My "bad" layout

My perfect (for me) kitchen

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cost is only one issue here, and I also think you are being overly optimistic about what it will cost and I don't think you are including a lot of smaller costs that will add up (lumber, drywall, Joint compound, paint, flooring, tile, plumbing supplies and fixtures, lighting, electrical (you do have electrical work even if you don't plan to rearrange anything other than taking that one wall down).

I would urge you to either get some used appliances or try to buy what you can use when you remodel and take some time to both live with things and to do some homework. The easiest way to spend too much money and/or to wind up with a disappointment is to rush into things. Just because you need to buy appliances doesn't mean you are ready for a remodel, especially an extensive one.

You need to have a contractor who is not a friend take a look at the wall and tell you if you can tear it down. Your friend means well, I'm sure, but don't put friendships or other relationships on the line. Maybe more was said or evaluated, but I would not trust anyone who looks at a wall, says it has openings and is, therefore, not load bearing. Everyone of your exterior walls probably has openings (windows and doors) and I promise you that the walls are load bearing and the doors and windows are not carrying that load. The fact that the wall doesn't go across to the exterior wall also ins't a guarantee. I have a couple of short walls in my bathroom I wanted to change -- we had a leak and had ceiling drywall removed. Guess what? They are both load bearing. You have to make sure -- if you are just buying your first home and want a $10K reno, I don't think you can afford to make a mistake and risk serious structural damage or having your home fall down on you.

I also have some serious functional concerns about the layout you are proposing. I can see why you want that wall open, but That wall has all your most functional upper cabinets (looks like there are just 2 small ones to the side of the range. I'm not clear what is on the wall where it looks like your fridge would go. It doesn't look like there are any cabinets there now but that you plan to add them and keep the peninsula. It appears to be very tight clearances there -- if they are to scale, you may have trouble getting your appliances in once cabinets are in place. If you don't take the time to think about a million things, you could have some expensive mistakes.

You also mentioned adding cabinets on what appears to be the original exterior wall -- the bay of the nook. Instead of making the nook more useful, you would take it -- and all the natural light in your kitchen, away. Counter seating in your living/family room will not replace a breakfast room. You may have no thoughts of ever selling this home, but I would caution against making changes that would limit your ability to sell or detract from it's value.

I bought my current house knowing the appliances were old and needed replacing, the tile counters had to go (loose tiles, uneven and grungy grout) and that meant a new sink and splash. We planned on doing the work in 6 months to a year. Life got in the way and it turned out to be more like 4 years, but other than worrying that the appliances weren't going to make it, the delay was the best thing possible. I not only took more time to plan and reconsider, but there were at least two new products that wouldn't have been available earlier. Don't be afraid to take some time to carefully consider everything.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Never mind

This post was edited by chrissyb2411 on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 7:38

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Putting ikea cabinets together is as easy as diy gets. Even I can do it. If you are concerned about whether you have the diy skills for assembling cabinets, I would take a step back and assess whether you have the diy skills to do the rest of the kitchen. Installing any cabinets is way harder than assembling ikea cabinets, for example.

I'm not trying to discourage you and I understand there might be a division of labor here that makes this make sense (like for us, I research and dh can execute. I don't always know what's hard and what's easy until I ask here or him or someone). But your concern about the assembly makes me a little worried for you on the diy front.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think anyone is trying to belittle people doing budget kitchens. At least I hope they aren't. The problem here is that in her original thread the OP stated she wanted all wood cabinets and granite or quartz counters. Those are pretty high priced items. People were trying to point out that her $10K budget probably wouldn't allow for those things. Now she's expanded to 15K it will help.
I've seen some really great, low budget kitchens here, especially using RTA cabinets like Barker or Ikea.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a peak at my unfinished, 99% DIY Ikea kitchen. I started with a $20k budget of a total tear down and rebuild of kitchen, dining, and living room. I haven't tallied the final results yet and I'm sure I'm over but I did it by choice.

My kitchen space is 15 x 12. I spent $6000 on Ikea cabinets and range hood (all drawers and pull outs and 39" glass uppers, including extra that I hacked), $2900 on marble and walnut countertops (72 sf), $5k on appliances (splurged a little), and made a huge change midstream going way over my sink/faucet budget.

I'm very happy with the results so far and will be ecstatic in a few days when I have plumbing!

I would encourage you to do up your designs in the ikea planner and get quotes from local custom shops, big box, other RTI, and Ikea to make sure you are getting your best price in your area. See how far your money will go for the number of cabs you want since they are the base cost of your remodel and start shopping now for deals. I bought my appliances on sale, with rebates years before I started.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another place I have saved some money was buying my sink, faucet and range hood on They really have some fantastic pricing on lighting, sinks, faucets, etc. Check them out for tile too.

Don't be discouraged by the high end kitchens and those with seemingly unlimited budgets here...there are plenty of budget and DIY kitchens too. Just remember you will probably never meet any of us IRL. If someone is snarky or you don't like the advice they give you, just ignore it. Many times though, I find it's hard to judge tonality and intent on a forum. I choose to believe most on here don't intend to sound condescending and if you had the same conversation with them in person, it more than likely would not come off that way.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We lived in the house for two years by the time that we started work on the kitchen. If we did it earlier we would not have come up with as good a plan because while living somewhere you stumble across a lot of things that do or don't work that you wouldn't have realized at first.

FWIW this is what our 17K got us. I'm not sure if that fits into the budget group or not, it's sort of mid-upper range in terms of finish and look. We were getting ready to sell the place. The buyers had their own fridge so we still have this one.

The tile continued through the breakfast area and the laundry room and pantry on the other side of the pocket door. That was strictly removing old tile / putting in new so it didn't add much to the overall cost and only a few days to put in the new flooring. It was more trouble shoving around the washer, dryer and water softener than anything else.

This post was edited by schicksal on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 11:06

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

Just wanted to pop in and say I really enjoy the lower budget remodels. Thanks to all for showing your pics and looking forward to seeing your new place, op! I wanted to remodel when we first moved in but waited 2 years with an awful kitchen and did change my plans substantially so am glad I waited. However my friends who are more experienced renovators generally tear out their kitchens on closing day. Last time, technically a few hours before closing.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have bought and remodeled 6 fixer uppers with varying budgets. I STRONGLY suggest that you purchase some inexpensive appliances and then live with your house and your kitchen. I guarantee that you will not be sorry if you take your time and live in your house for a while.

Even though you say you have gotten advice from a contractor and say that you have done your research, your posts reveal that you are still naive about the process.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry for all the separate posts but seeing another budget, DIY'er is exciting...if you have friends/family that have skills, USE THEM!!! My husband's brother is a licensed plumber and general contractor. We have bartered with him for years...we help him on a project and then he helps us on a project...saves us both tons of money. He has done all the plumbing work on this kitchen which has saved us TONS of money. He has also been invaluable with advice. We have torn down 2 walls during this reno and he figured out and assured us that they were not load bearing. He's also a resource for other he introduced us to a licensed electrician that he uses on his jobs that gave us an excellent price for installing a sub-panel and completely running all new wiring for our kitchen.

You mentioned your friend who is a contractor...if you really trust him and he is willing, use his knowledge and then figure out how to use your skills to help him out on one of his projects.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The $500 that you will spend on a report from a structural engineer will be the best investment that you will make in this project. The second best investment will be to take the time to order a pizza and some wine and read this forum all night long. There is a lot of helpful information here for those who are willing to ask the right questions. The responses will be candid and truthful, even if you may not want to hear some of what's being said. It's the voice of experience of the people who have been there before. And, its also many pros who have done thousands of remodels to your one. Listen. Please.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry if I missed this, but what's unlivable? The fact that it has no appliances? Since you found appliances you like and assume you will get some, what's the next most important thing that makes the kitchen unusable? I guess what I'm getting at is, what do you absolutely need to do NOW before moving in, and what can wait? This may have been answered and I just haven't found it.

A lot of us here have found the kitchen renovation process very rewarding, if stressful and long. I can say that if I hadn't read this forum for months and done a lot of the research on my own that I did, I would never have gotten a kitchen I love. That may be why people are saying "wait."

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm also going to vote for you to wait till after you move in to do the remodel. After you're in there, living in the space you may find that you will want to change your plan. Also, when you have a firm plan, you can take your time to shop for the things you need to keep to your budget as much as possible.

Also read these forums and other sources of information and try to think about all the details. What seems like a small detail may end up changing something major. As some one else pointed out, you don't know what you don't know.

We went into our renovation with what we thought was a reasonable plan. Turns out, what we didn't know was important, and we are not novices to DIY projects. You need to think about EVERYTHING before you start, and measure, measure, measure. What we learned doing our own kitchen sure helped when we remodeled a kitchen in a rental condo.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think that a 10-15K budget is fine for a DIY remodel where no plumbing, electrical, or mechanical are involved. The only think that I would warn you about is that it may take you longer than you think. I don't know what your timeframe is, but if you both work full time, I can imagine that demo-ing (including wall removal and cabinetry), wall repair, assembly and installation of cabinetry and fixtures -- may take you several months of work on weekends and evenings. It is not a small task, especially if it is not something that you do on a regular basis. Please post updates!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a house that I bought a couple years ago. Eager to remodel it, I gutted it to the studs and started working on it right away. Now that I have lived in the house for a couple years, I see that the changes I made werent always for the best. I will now have to remove a bathroom that I remodeled and move it. The kitchen also could have been better designed. In fact, I recently hired an architect to see about redoing part of the kitchen to make better use of the space. These changes werent obvious to me before because I had not lived in the space.

I would seriously consider living in the house before you embark on this project so you dont spend money on something that you ultimately would wish you hadnt done. Down the road, you may wish that you tore down a wall to open the floor plan up, or added an island, etc.

At the very least, sit down with a pen and paper and a plan of your current kitchen. Forget about the budget for a minute and think about your wish list. Would you invest in different cabs? a different appliance package? Would you do something different with the bay window? Change the layout? Open the floor plan up? Change the flooring? Add recessed lighting? Would you do anything different if you had 20 or 25k to spend? Go on houzz and look at different kitchens for ideas. Then maybe you can decide if you want to wait a yr. or two before investing in something you may regret. In that year, you can be planning the design, looking at cabinet and backsplash choices, lighting, etc.

Part of the fun of remodeling, in my opinion, is planning it all out. This can take months. I would be careful with rushing into something now. I'm speaking from experience. :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It would be tough to renovate that size kitchen for $10K but I think it can probably be done. But it can't be done before you move in. Renovating a kitchen on the cheap involves watching and waiting for the perfect items on Craigslist and maybe Restore. But you don't find these things right away - it takes time. You can probably find a nice set of kitchen cabinets on Craigslist and the granite to go with them, for example, but maybe not this very second. Ikea is another good source of nice cabinets at a great price - you should seriously consider Ikea.

I would move in and get used to the house before making any plans to remodel anything except the floors. The only thing I would do before moving in is anything to do with Floors. You want to take care of them before moving in or you will be moving your stuff twice!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 3:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dtriv, as far as the berating, there is a wealth of information online but be aware the internet is crawling with sales & marketing people, so take in context when you are talking to a salesman.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Everyone I really appreciate all the help and advice. We like the current layout of the kitchen as the kitchen in the home we live in now is extremely similar. So we understand the urge to "move in and wait" but that is just not a possibility for us. My brother in law who is a contractor/electrician will be visiting for one week prior to us moving in in order to help us remove the wall, reroute electrical, and prepare the kitchen for new cabinets and counters. We have 5 dogs and an elderly mother who lives with us and we just can't move in and then start a reno without having to incur the cost of boarding the dogs and finding a place for my mother to stay.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are you allowing a week for your DIY reno?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When is your move-in date? Whether you live in a house or not, especially if you are doing a lot yourself, you can probably expect 2 or 3 months of work. Your demo alone will likely take a week, and you haven't ordered anything yet.

We remodeled out kitchen last summer - we did the demo and painting, but hired out everything else, including custom cabinets. DH and I lived in the house with our college-aged son and dog during the process. Why do you think you would need to board the dogs?

We used the grill, microwave, crockpot, rice cooker, and electric frying pan for cooking. The fridge was in the living room, we set up shelves in the dining room to serve as pantry, and we washed dishes in the bathroom sink - and used a lot of paper plates. We were without water in the kitchen for almost 3 months (without cabinets for 2). If we had been building or installing our own cabinets, it would have taken a lot longer.

I understand how anxious you are, but I have to agree with the others about waiting. One of the goals of my kitchen remodel was to create more efficient storage space. If you haven't moved in, how do you know if the storage is adequate, or how much more you need? I spent years (off and on) planning a new kitchen, and I went through hundreds of designs before I hit on one I thought was perfect. I'm only going to do this once, and it had to be right the first time. My earliest plans would not have pleased me nearly as much as what I have now.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

On the flip side of annkh's experience, my then-husband and a helper and I completely gutted a kitchen down to studs, put in drywall, redid minor plumbing and major rewiring, installed cabinets, put in vinyl adhesive tile floor; installed counters, sink and faucet and dishwasher, and built an island out of cabinets and butcherblock--all in 11 days. I did the backsplash and painting later.

Oh, and it was over Christmas and each one of us, including the three young kids, had a 24-hr stomach bug in succession. The husband was putting in 12+ hour days on it except for the day that he was sick, and on Christmas Day when he stayed home with the sick 9-month-old and didn't get much done.

So it can be done if you can put in that kind of time and you can do all of the work yourself or schedule your tradesmen very precisely (unlikely!). As it was, we had a bit of panic when the cabinets were delivered four hours late---timing was pretty crucial!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"My brother in law who is a contractor/electrician will be visiting for one week prior to us moving in in order to help us remove the wall, reroute electrical, and prepare the kitchen for new cabinets and counters. "

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 1:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

spanky, I was acting as my own general contractor, and wanted to make sure I allowed plenty of time for things to happen. And the cabinet maker got behind by two weeks when he had an equipment malfunction in the shop, just as they were supposed to start cutting for us.

Installation took 3 days, with the professional installers doing the work. We templated for quartz as soon as the base cabinets were in, but it was 4 weeks before the counters were installed.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 2:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mick Mick

You guys are really working hard to give the pitfalls, risks and your project takeaways. I wonder if it is falling on deaf ears. Some people learn by experience and I am afraid this is one of those cases. It appears that the OP only wants affirmation that her ideas and plans are correct....

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've perused the thread in both forums. I keep thinking of the project management standard that you can have it:

1. fast
2. cheap
3. good.

Pick any two.

This absolutely applied to my remodel. Yes, I got lucky a few times, and an element happened to meet all 3 criteria, but not the project as a whole.

I hope you get lucky like Spanky above and get all 3 criteria, too, for your whole project. But this happens to about 1% of the posters here on GW, which is why you're getting the advice that you're getting.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We did very much as annkh did regarding cooking, storage, etc during our reno. It took several months due to a screw up by one of our contractors (that we didn't trust him to fix correctly). We have 3 dogs and if you know how to manage their containment correctly, there shouldn't be any reason to board them out.

I hope the plan for the 1 week demo/electrical works out for you. In case it does not, you might want to have a back up plan.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

On the timeline, we re-did our kitchen in a week, DIY (see link below). We both took Thanksgiving week off from work and worked 12-hour days.

That included demo, tiling the floor, moving plumbing and electrical, installing cabinets and appliances, so we had a working kitchen at the end of that week. We had temporary plywood counters as we awaited the granite, and added the trim-work over the next couple weeks. There were a couple doors that had to be replaced for poor finish. And the backsplash happened a few months later, after I finally decided what I wanted to do and had a spare weekend.

You've got less work and a smaller kitchen than we do, so it's definitely doable in a week if you can focus on it full time, or have a lot of helpers.

Keys to success include having all the cabinets, appliances, sink, faucets, etc. before you start and having the time and/or crew to dedicate to finishing it. And being able to make decisions quickly and solve problems on the fly as they arise.

How soon do you close on this house? Is there enough lead time to order cabinets? Unless you're buying stock, it's typically about 6 weeks.

BTW, you've heard many people advising you to take time to get the layout right. You may think your current rental house kitchen is just fine, but that may be because you don't know what you don't know. There are lots of experts here who can help you tweak your design and suggest improvements that you never thought of. So I'd recommend at least posting your detailed layout here for feedback before you put in your cabinet order. Cabinets are the hardest thing to change once they're in, and they are the thing that makes the most difference in the functionality of the kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: our Thanksgiving week remodel

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

What about permits? Scheduling inspections can slow things down.

Anyway, that weird nook--what is on the other side? Is that a sunroom?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 6:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And if you fail an inspection, that will really slow you down. We had an excellent electrician, but we still had to get electrical tweaked and then reinspected several times. Permits were another time consuming thing. I tried to expedite things by being on call (no joke) to race off to the different offices (county, etc), but permits were a bit of a nightmare.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 6:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kristen Hallock

We have done 2 DIY kitchen remodels.

The first was on a lower scale, but it involved removing a wall, new floors, new cabinets, new counters, new drywall, new recessed lighting, etc...I think it cost us probably $35k. The only thing we hired someone for was to install Cambria Quartz counters. It took about 4-5 months to complete from start to finish. That was while DH and I both worked full-time and we had 2 dogs and 2 cats but NO KIDS.

The 2nd remodel only involved recessing a fridge into an existing wall. But DH basically had to remove that wall and rebuild it. We added 2 new windows, new cabinets, new gas stove, new counters, new prep sink, new recessed lighting (old lighting was there but we moved cans and added some new ones). This remodel cost us more like $40k. We splurged on a nice Bluestar range and hood. We kept our old dishwasher and fridge. This remodel started April 2013 with a demo. We had a professional come in to sand and refinish the hardwood flooring. We didnt start installing new cabinets until late July 2013. So from May-June was just working in the kitchen that was down to the studs. We had 2 kids at this point too. I was cooking on a hot plate, microwave and toaster oven from mid April - late August. Awful! We didnt get counters installed until late September. So that makes it about 6 months and there are still tiny little details that need completing.

I think your budget is tight for the big items (appliances, cabinets, counters) but you have to remember all of the little things that you will need to run out and buy at the local hardware store or home depot. Those will add hundreds or thousands to your bill. Plus items like faucets, drains, sinks, lighting. Those really add up. And there is no way you will get that all done in 1 week? That is just crazy. I would say you need more like 2 months and thats if you work like crazy. For this latest remodel we hired people to resand and refinish the floors, paid $700 for a guy to come do some drywalling for us, and then paid for the Quartz Countertop installation - Cambria that cost us close to $7k. My kitchen measures something like 16" x 11".

Good luck though! I look forward to seeing your progress. I bought alot of things off of ebay (Blanco sinks, Grohe faucets) and that saved me at least $1000.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Annkh, sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound like your renovation took unusually long. It really sounded like an average amount of time for that much work and those materials. We used stock laminate counters from a big box store, I think---except for the island top which was custom butcher block but easily to install. And the drywall work was definitely on the amateur side but tolerable.

My current kitchen has taken months and is still not done. And it's smaller than the 11-day job and less involved!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you looked at
If you are DIY handy, you could buy a pre-owned solid wood kitchen with granite, appliances and sink and faucet for $10K or less depending upon your taste.
They ship anywhere.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

goodness people! not everyone spends like some others here do. what one finds acceptable might not be the same as another.

What my sister finds 'acceptable' in life is far from what I do. That I just washed a sheet in a bin out back and hung on my clothesline would totally freak my sister out. She'd probably faint at a clothesline (tho we were raised using one).
That I prefer laminate counters to granite probably freaks many of you out.

The OP is the one with the budget and will be the one cooking in / living in this kitchen. We've had some super kitchens posted here done for 10K or so.

OP - don't forget that HFH exists. not sure if in your area tho. lots of nice things can be found there for little $s. check for sink, faucet etc.

one thing to check in advance is if your current electrical panel can carry the load of the new appliances. I had to have this one updated and a new line run for the stove. The stove cost me 50.00, the electrical was more...

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:50PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help with galley kitchen layout ... please.
Hi everyone! I am hoping you can help me with my layout...
"Ledge" sinks and accessories -- do you use them?
I'm considering an undermount stainless sink that has...
How big of a range do you need for 13+ feet of wall?
We are narrowing down our kitchen design bit by bit,...
Kitchen sink: Help me find the right one!
This should not be as hard as signing in and finding...
Alma Williams
99% Finished Kitchen--creamy white w/soapstone
Finally! Our kitchen is finished! I never thought the...
Sponsored Products
INSPIRE Q Sauganash Mod Circles Lift Top Storage Bench
Silkroad Exclusive 60-inch Travertine Stone Top Bathroom Vanity
Halo Lighting Hardware Air-Tite 6 in. White Recessed Housing H7RICAT
$16.67 | Home Depot
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Accent Rug: Artistic Weavers Rugs Cerbat Tan 2 ft.
$52.00 | Home Depot
Keter Folding Work Table - 217679
$103.60 | Hayneedle
"Lucas" Duchess Frame 5" x 7"
$595.00 | Horchow
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™