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Countertops and contractor questions

Posted by sparklep (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 18, 12 at 22:24

This is forum is so helpful!! So I'm in the planning stages of remodeling my 9'x9' 1978 drop ceiling galley kitchen. I love to cook and bake and it's painful being in this kitchen.

I'll start with the easy question. I really want quartz or granite counters. I've worked on quartz before and it was so nice to roll dough out on. Are there some cheaper alternatives?

The second question will be a bit rambling. I started off this project thinking I would do some of the demo myself and bring someone in to do the rest. I've since realized I'm not really going to save that much money doing the demo myself and it's not worth my blood, sweat and tears. A friend used to work in kitchen design and I had the company he worked for come do an estimate. Boy is there a difference between trying to do stuff yourself and just bringing in a pro!!

I went into this hoping I could keep this well under $10,000. If I source my materials, and have a handyman do the work, I think I can come in around that. Quartz countertops might push me a little over, but not by much. I'd probably order cabinets from Cliq or Barker.

The cabinet company came back with their quote today at a little over $11,000. This does not include a countertop or the tile for the floor. I'm not too worried about the tile since it's a small space. I think with quartz I'd come in closer to $13,000 or $14,000. The cabinets are all wood, high end and basically all you'd hope for in cabinets.

I'm worried I don't have the time to pick everything myself without making some mistakes. It's super appealing to have the cabinet company handle this. But it means either figuring out where the money is coming from or compromising on the countertops.

What advice do you have for me?

Thanks so much!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

What about appliances? I recently had the shock of finding out appliances alone were 20K at least!


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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

You definitely do not have to spend 20k on appliances. There seems to be a bias here for the pro-grade stuff, but those sorts of appliances are not necessary or even appropriate in the vast majority of kitchens. You can get very nice appliances for well under 10k. In my remodel I have been pricing out a CD fridge, induction range, microwave drawer, and miele DW for under 8k. Sure I can get nicer stuff for way more money but it would not improve my cooking one iota and would actually do nothing to add to the value of my home given where I live.

In budgeting one must keep in mind what value is added by each element of the kitchen, whether it be for resale, for improving your cooking, or for just making you happy. One size does not fit all.


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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

At the risk of some thread-jacking, I'd be very interesting in what you've been looking at for your appliances (I think we may be looking for the same thing on this accont)


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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

Your budget is very low for a gut redo. VERY low. I think you should actually be looking at laminate counters. Choose a basic waterfall edge and get it without the attached backsplash. You can probably do the counters for around 1K installed. And there are plenty of colors made to look like quartz. When your budget has recovered in a few years, then you can put in the quartz. If you want to. Laminate has come a long way, and it's very easy to live with. Or roll out dough on.


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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

Depending on what area of the country you're in, some of the entry-level common granite colors can be a very affordable price which could work on a small budget. Also, often homeowners are able to use remnants from the fabricator which can further drive the cost down, or there is the option of using pre-fabricated countertops. Hope this helps!


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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

I'm only going to get an over the range microwave and dishwasher right now. The dishwasher doesn't even work. So I'm hoping to do that for around $800. Obviously nothing fancy.

Depending on how it plays out I might get a new fridge now, but a friend has offered to swap fridges with me. She's got one in the garage she only used the fridge part. My freezer on the bottom has a broken drawer, so that would help. My stove is in good shape and I'll wait a couple years to replace it. All told I think appliances will run me about $5 or $6,000.

It's not the look of the laminate that I'm concerned with. There are some nice options for it. But maybe with my tight budget, I go ahead with the laminate, and maybe splurge on a marble block to use for baking.

I do need to check out the fabricators. I think I just need 30 sq ft of countertop and on Saturday someone did say they thought I'd be able to make do with remnants.


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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

Sorry, but this is clearly a case where the old saw applies: "Time, quality, or money. Pick any two."


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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

I have had laminate counters in many kitchen and they are great for kneading dough, rolling out pastry, etc. As a matter of fact here in Vermont I would not want to knead bread dough on marble or granite in the winter because it would be too cold. Pastry dough would be a different story.


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RE: Countertops and contractor questions

I recommend you bring at least five contactors into your house and ask for bids. Scrutinize the bids (the super low one probably doesn't have everything laid out). Ask about permits - our permits alone for construction...$800! Find things you like that you think are a decent price and add everything up. Cabinets, hardware, appliances, backsplash, paint, countertops, lighting, molding, etc. I'm in an expensive part of the country, and I'm not sure where you live...but I cannot imagine a non-DIY gut redo costing this little. Please look into the costs more before jumping in.


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