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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kitchen Remodel on a Budget: Beginnings

I've mentioned a few times that I redid my kitchen for only $8000.00. Here is my breakdown of costs:

Cabinets: $4000.00
Labor: $2000.00
Range: $700.00
Sink: $300.00
Dishwasher: $400.00
Other stuff (faucets, knobs): $600.00

I am blissfully happy with the kitchen. It is just what I wanted and just like my old house: somewhat unconventional. Bear in mind that most people wouldn't like my kitchen. When I showed my very conventional sister-in-law a picture of my kitchen, she asked where the "after" photo was.

As is my wont, I over-researched the possibilities to the extent that I told my contractor a thing or two or three. He was happy to learn some of my budget tips, since, like many contractors, he does his own house on the cheap. I got so confused that at one point I considered hiring a friend who is a designer to consult. Then I realized that designers are interested in "looks," not in a look on a budget. I also spoke to "designers" in Home Depot, Lowes, or, a truly horrible experience, a local chain called Singer Kitchens. These "designers" are, in truth, cabinet salespeople who work on commission: their interests and your interests are not the same.

If you know anything about kitchens and appliances, you can see that I went low-end on the appliances. You can also see that I did not list a counter top. That is because I re-used a funky wood countertop. i also did not list a back splash. That is because I hate them.

So I will post occasionally on aspect of the remodel of summer 2008. Maybe I'll even post pictures. Then all of you can ask, with my sister-in-law, Where's the after picture?


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Pictures please...I have a remodeled kitchen in our 1913 bungalow and it looks like it was almost original save the granite countertops and the stainless aplliances...

Duchesse said...

Oh! Pictures would be wonderful and now that we've been warned, we won't make SILs mistake.

In my kitchen, entire walls are tiled so no need for backsplash but in places with sink and no backsplash in my house, it looks pretty decrepit quite rapidly.

Funny about Money said...

ooohhh this is sooo interesting!

Okay, so absent a backsplash, what have you got to take the brunt of water & cooking grease splashing around? A good coat (or two or three) of gloss paint? Other?

I ran the tile that's on the counter (Mexican tile: my idiosyncratic preference over granite) up the wall a couple feet. To my mind that's a "backsplash." Does that qualify as the sort that's not liked?

Wood counter! Love... I had a great old solid butcher-block counter in my old historic house downtown and miss it to this day. A later owner, the moron, ripped it out. He ripped out the historic, no-longer-made tile counters, too, even though when I left they were in excellent condition. What possesses people?

One of the problems with designers and kitchens is that most of them don't cook. They have no clue how to build a kitchen for someone who does cook. The are designing for looks...and that's about it. Which by and large works just fine, because apparently most Americans no longer cook.

If we all promise to lynch anyone who says "where's the after pix," would you post some illustrations?

Frugal Scholar said...

@hostess--Oh, I am shy and I think my bungalow is a lot more humble than yours.

@Duchesse--See above. Maybe I will be confident enough to post pics some day. We used semigloss and have never had any trouble. But I have low standards of housekeeping...

@Funny--We have a plain old range, which has that part that sticks up in the back--forming a self-backsplash. But even when we had a cooktop, we just wiped down the semi-gloss paint. We do have a very good hood (the only nice thing that came with the house). Maybe that's why the grease problem is not bad. We have Mexican tile floors--love them!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

OK I'll post pics of my humble bungalow kitchen soon on my Valentine's Day I received a RED engineer designed brace for the ceiling which was costly and important...I lived and worked in a horrible kitchen from 1982 until 1999.

Shelley said...

Yes, I was curious about your not liking backsplashes (upsplashes they call them here). We have none, living with the remodeling choices of the previous house owner, and I'm keen to improve on the dreadful result. Wood bench top is what we have been drooling over, too. I like unconventional as well. If I were starting from scratch, I would consider free-standing units instead of all this built in stuff. I like the idea of being able to move bits around more and clean underneath...not that this would happen often, mind. I think life has far more interesting things to offer than housework. I would be grateful for pictures if you could manage it. I'm hoping to spend under £5,000 if I can, and it's not even my money. Maybe that's why I'm so skittish; it would be easier to spend my own money than Bill's.