Kitchen Remodel Budget Breakdown

Our house was built in 1987 and when we moved in the kitchen had been slightly refurbished from the original - cabinets were painted white and corian counters. Aside from the general eighties-ness of it, the size was the biggest issue. Roughly 9' x 10', not including the nook area. Pretty small for a nearly 2000 square foot house.

We didn't have concrete plans to upgrade anything until the slab leak happened. Me, the addict of DIY projects, lived in our house for more than a year and hadn't changed anything in the house aside from painting some of the rooms, changing a light fixture, and swapping out dated brass cabinet knobs. Water-damaged cabinets. The holes all over the house meant the kitchen had to be redone. We had talked about doing an addition but I'm glad I chose not to (how much would that have sucked? Most of our savings would have gone to pay for a kitchen addition at the time both got laid off. And one of us is still out of work).

Original Kitchen:

Original Kitchen After Slab Leak Repairs

(original kitchen layout - 9' wide X 10' long - 90 square feet)

Original Kitchen

(picture must be from first month we were there - old brass knobs still present)

Original Kitchen After Slab Leak Repairs

We ended keeping the stove in the original location, though my drawing had it swapped with the refrigerator. Due to the width of the room - the side by side refrigerator doors would have bumped into the cabinets. If we moved it closer to the dining room entrance to avoid the lower cabinets, it would have stuck out in front of the door way. The dining room entrance could not be moved nor could the back wall (unless we wanted to reconfigure the staircase and the load of the upstairs master bed and bath.... umm, no). The new plan (imagine that the stove is where the square "F"):

New Kitchen Plan

Pictures as of April 2010:

What we spent to get here:

Soapstone countertops (60 square feet): $5200
IKEA Cabinets, sink, and trim: $4300
Home Depot (new windows, paint, etc): $1200
Lowes (drywall, backsplash tile, cabinet hardware): $900
Microwave (new, craigslist): $100
Dishwasher (used, craigslist): $200
Tile floor: $200
Plumbing: $1200
Fixtures - faucets: $400
Pendant lights: $140
Electrician: $500
Blinds: $100
Contractor Labor: $2000
Hauling (466 pick up, and then 48 DIY): $500

Stove and Refrigerator - purchased in 2007 when we first moved in.
Total: $16940

It's not a small amount, BUT considering we moved the sink, added a pass-through (the hole near the stove was a solid wall with cabinets), changed the size if the windows, gutted down to the studs, completely new cabinets, etc - it was, in my opinion, a thrifty renovation. About 50-60% of the project was DIY.

Things we paid other people to do:

(1) Countertop installation
(2) Drywall installation (not texture - I floated the mud on the ceiling, and we did the "orange peel" texture on the walls)
(3) Framing/wall changes
(4) New window installation
(5) Plumbing
(6) Some electrical

Things we did ourselves:

(1) Demo
(2) Textured walls and ceiling
(3) Installed cabinets and trim
(4) Painted walls
(5) Baseboards and molding
(6) Tile backsplash
(7) Blinds installation
(8) Saltillo tile flooring installation
(9) Appliance installation
(10) Pendant lights installation
(11) Final stucco coat outside

I am guessing had we paid someone to do everything it would have cost closer to 30K... Had we chosen a less expensive counter material, the 17K number would have been a thousand or two lower.

What do you think? Does it look like it cost more than 17K or am I delusional?


  1. Looks beautiful! I love all the finishes and the touches of red. I don't think you could have redone it top to bottom and moved all the water, electrical, etc. for less than double the DIY cost!

  2. Granite kitchen countertop has the best outcome in your kitchen & bathroom. And in a cheaper rate.

  3. Wow, I love it! I think that your price was great considering the size of your space and the amount of change!

    I love those open shelves you included... when can I move in?

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  5. Very nice job on the kitchen! I'm in the midst of building a house, and often poke around other people's blogs for ideas.

    Nice to see the details of what you spent on materials and contractors too.

    Great job on the kitchen and the blog.


  6. DIY stuff that you do just simply amazes me. The most I do by myself is the laundry and dishes. I couldn't imagine. Your kitchen looks fantastic.

  7. It looks great - so full of light!

    Also, sorry my reupholstery post scared you - the stapling part (for our ottoman) was a piece of cake - it was more sewing the cushion covers to make them fit well that was a pain! Can't wait to see your project!

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  9. I think you did good on the total cost.

    And it looks so homey and lived in now! I love all the plants in the windows and the cute plates above the doorway!

  10. nice...i like the a remodeler, i can say that you did well!


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