Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

I think that even for people who like to save money, renovating their home is one place they often think they just can't save. Now I don't think anyone shoud scrimp on quality, but the mark up on most of the stuff is ridiculous. I'm here to tell you that you don't need $40K to re-do a kitchen. In fact, we did ours for less than $7,000! Yes, you read that right and that includes all new appliances! So let me walk you through the process:

Here was the kitchen before (realtor photo):
As you can probably tell, the purple and gold really isn't my cup of tea, and covering up horribly cheap cabinets with a coat of black paint wasn't fooling off we went in the hopes to stay under $10K!

Existing trim was painted white and the walls got a fresh coat of paint. We choose relaxed khaki from which is a Sherwin Williams paint color we had matched at Walmart and got in ColorPlace paint. We learned a lesson, paint is one place not to skimp on quality. (The paint needed three coats and isn't olding up well. We will be repainting this winter with Behr or Sherwin Williams.) Total cost of paint $50.

Almost everything removed from kitchen. Since we did it ourselves, the only cost was the dump fee at the city dump - $20 plus the gas. Also, our appliances were not in bad shape, so we listed them on Criagslist and got an additional $1,000 for our remodel.

We enlisted the help of family to help us install the cabinets. We got all cabinets for $2300 through my dad at 30% of list price. Some might think.....well, great, but my dad doesn't sell cabinets, how can I get a deal. All you need to do is take the time to look around. My dad sells to a place right down the street from us that only sells them for 40% of list price. Lowes sells them for 60%-70% list price. Anyway, we went with the Shrock cabinets which are the same as the Thomasville cabinets at Lowes. The color is called Briarwood and the door style is called Princeton. It's one of the low end "value" doors, but you could never tell. They are great quality so that is what matters most to me.

And here it is with all the doors on, cabinets installed, countertops on, and flooring in. This took place in the course of a week and our was so chaotic, I didn't take a picture until this point. Anyway, appliances are Fridgedaire Professional Series. We saw these on sale at HHGregg for $1999. We had a coupon though for 10% off BestBuy when you purchased 4 appliances though, so we went there and their price was more expensive, so they beat the $1999 price by 10%, gave us an additional 10% off, and threw in the free delivery which HHGregg didn't offer. Plus, we took advantage of their 0% APR credit card for 18 months and just put the money we were going to use to buy the appliances in a money market earning at least 3%. Also, for the coutertops we went with LG Solid Surface. I dreamed of granite, but for the price, it's just not a choice in our area. It would cause our kicthen to have more in it then it's really worth. Anyway, Lowes gave us a quote of $3200 for what we wanted. We asked them who they have install it for them and as luck would have it, they actually told us. You guessed it, we just called that company directly and got it done for $1200 out the door. (PS - we offered to pay them cash, so we got an extra $100 off.) The flooring is Columbia Clic Xtra in Mayan Ridge Merbau. Again, we got it through my dad, paid about 30% of list, which was about $800 for 800 sq ft.

The last step was adding the travertine back splash. Originally I had just picked out a nice ceramic tile from Lowes, but we headed to the Tile Store just to make sure they didn't have anything better. We got to talking with the sales person and she said they could just let us borrow their wet saw instead of renting it. So we ended up picking out this travertine instead, even though it was a little more expensive. With getting the wet saw for free, we ended up saving money and getting a better product. We just went to one of their tile clinics, learned how to cut it all, used the products they told us to, and voila.....backsplash complete! We also added some nice brushed nickle pulls from Lowes to complete the look. Backsplash cost was about $500 and the pulls were just under $50. Lastly, we spent just under $400 on odds and ends, like a new pantry door and door to basement, hardware for doors, etc.

So let me total that up for you......we spent a total of $6920, well under $40K for the average remodel! We also had an appraiser friend come through just to see how well we did. Even in our low cost of living area, we increased our home value $30K with the kitchen! How's that for an investment?


this is we said...

Great kitchen remodel! And nice savings too!

Jessica said...

What a change! I love the new kitchen.

Immortal Beloved said...


Amanda said...

I am totally bringing H back to your blog. I've been TRYING to talk him into a kitchen remodel (our cabinets are crap, really really bad) and the floor is uneven and there is bad use of space. This might help my cause! :)

Molly said...

Great remodel! We are looking to do a full gut job for $5000 to our kitchen in 2009 and you had some great tips for saving money!