Author Topic: Frugal kitchen reno  (Read 34033 times)

Midwest

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2013, 01:38:06 PM »
I used Rustoleum in 2 bathrooms and my kitchen.  I'm happy with how the bathrooms came out, not so much with the kitchen.  Maybe it was my application (visible brush strokes, drip marks), but I don't think the clear coat they provide is up to the wear and tear.  And it's just me and the husband.  Not sure if I want to try again with a different product or not.  Or maybe just suck it up and pay $7k for a cheap remodel by Lowes...

The clear coat is just water based polyurethane and the directions they have indicate 1 or 2 coats.  That isn't nearly enough.

 I did 3 or 4 very thin coats to make it look good and sprayed the doors.  I had brush strokes after the first couple of coats but those went away with more coats.  My doors have 4 or 5 coats of spray poly which definitely eliminates the brush strokes.

You might be able to lightly sand what you've already done and correct the problem without starting over.

stevedoug

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2013, 08:10:56 AM »
My down to the studs kitchen remodel was around 7 grand. (just finishing up now!) I even had the counter tops and floors installed by BIG BOX RETAILERS! GASP!
I did all of the other work myself, and nothing was really that difficult?
Where are these $30k "budget remodels" spending all this cash?

PantsOnFire

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #52 on: May 29, 2013, 10:05:14 AM »
I think a lot of the really high prices come in when people get into extensive electrical work and true custom cabinetry.  Nowadays there are tons of off-the-shelf options which make giving your kitchen a polished, professional look possible without the expense of full custom cabinetry.  But not everyone knows that, or wants to actually sit down and do the measuring and bill of materials themselves.  And most people are terrified of doing any electrical work themselves.   

Too many people also blindly buy into advice from a realtor like "every dollar you spend on a kitchen or bath remodel is money well spent" so the homeowner just goes nuts on the remodel thinking they can do no wrong.  Bad idea.  It's true that the kitchen is a place where you *can* get a high return on your investment, but at $50k remodel won't always get you $40k more than a $10k remodel will.   

If you can't salvage the existing cabinets, I'll second the recommendation for Ikea.  There is zero comparison between Ikea's Akurum and Rationell (the built-in stuff) kitchen cabinetry and their cheap "college dorm" furniture, so don't make that mistake.  The quality of Ikea built-in cabinets is quite good for the price point.  The hardware is made by Blum and is at least a notch or two above the entry level stuff you find at the big box stores.  The warranty is 25 years which exceeds most of the comparably priced stuff from the other stores. 

We did a full remodel of an 11x14 kitchen for under $10k including cabinets, custom Corian countertop, appliances, lighting, light electrical work, and seamless vinyl flooring.  The only thing we kept was the old refrigerator.  When showing the home for sale a year later, we continually received positive feedback on the kitchen.  It became one of the big selling points on the home, but I could have easily spent 2-3 times as much for the same result if I didn't think things through first. 

Insanity

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #53 on: May 29, 2013, 10:46:46 AM »
My down to the studs kitchen remodel was around 7 grand. (just finishing up now!) I even had the counter tops and floors installed by BIG BOX RETAILERS! GASP!
I did all of the other work myself, and nothing was really that difficult?
Where are these $30k "budget remodels" spending all this cash?

Cabinets - Real wood cabinets will cost much more than what you'll spend on particle board cabinets (which is what Ikea and the big box store are).  Most contractors will tell you that on average, the real wood cabinets will last a significant amount of time longer than the particle board stuff given the abuse that cabinets take. And in our case, our contractor didn't want to purchase the cabinets, he had us do it - so there was no up charge  as he made no money off of which ever cabinet we chose.  Again, it's on average, your mileage may vary (and the warranties also vary a lot as well).  This is actually where the bulk of the difference in cost is (especially if you go for a cherry wood which is about 10% more than oak).  And then there are the slide out features.

Flooring - Vinyl/Laminent vs Tile/Hardwood. 

Counter tops - Even Corean vs Granite is a difference.  And there is a difference in quality. 

Electrical - If your box is maxed out or if you have need new service this can easily cost you a few thousand dollars to upgrade between a new breaker box, new wire runs, and even any work done by the power company.

Appliances - if you don't know where to find good deals and just go to appliance stores you can end up spending a lot more than might be necessary.

pbkmaine

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #54 on: May 30, 2013, 02:45:57 AM »
Kitchen remodels do not generally return money at sale of house unless you remodel and immediately flip. If you use the kitchen for 10 years after remodeling and then sell, no one is going to pay a premium for a 10-year-old kitchen. Then there is the issue of individual taste. You may love granite with big swirls in it. A potential buyer might not.

totoro

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #55 on: May 30, 2013, 09:04:01 AM »
I'm not sure that is true.  If you have a crappy kitchen and put the money in to reno it in sensible and stylish  ways (and under 10K) by recycling real wood cabinets or buying stuff used off CL I would expect that in 10 years you will at least get your money back.  In fact, unless you are in a depreciating area, I would bet money on it.

I for one will pay more for a decent and functional 10-year old kitchen in good repair with real wood cabinets than a crappy 70s one with old appliances and peeling lino. 

Insanity

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #56 on: May 30, 2013, 09:29:32 AM »
Kitchen remodels do not generally return money at sale of house unless you remodel and immediately flip. If you use the kitchen for 10 years after remodeling and then sell, no one is going to pay a premium for a 10-year-old kitchen. Then there is the issue of individual taste. You may love granite with big swirls in it. A potential buyer might not.

Sort of.  But that's not the right mentality to be looking at.  After 10 years the buyers probably got livability value out of the house. 

And while in 10 years no one will pay a premium, they likely will not take away value like we did with our 30 year old kitchen that we bought.   It was one of the factors that led us to under bid the listing price and why the house sat on the market for 6 weeks when everything else was going in 1 week.

 

adesertsky

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #57 on: May 30, 2013, 11:34:44 AM »
I am going to be redoing my 1980s honey oak cabinets in a few weeks with an AMAZING gel stain to make them darker and more modern without getting rid of the wood look.  I tested the stain on a pair of honey oak kitchen stools and they came out so gorgeous.  Best of all, it is just 20 bucks plus a few minor supplies you may already have (gloves, foam brushes, rags, tape if needed, sandpaper, etc).

http://www.amazon.com/General-Finishes-GEL-JAVA-QT/dp/B001DSY50Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369935099&sr=8-1&keywords=gel+stain

I'll also just be painting my walls to freshen everything and adding an updated sink light.  Already scrubbed the floor to death and patched cracking grout and I can't believe how much better it is already.  I have laminate counters in decent condition so that should be it for a totally new look.  I don't anticipate spending more than $200.

stevedoug

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #58 on: June 18, 2013, 11:21:40 AM »
My down to the studs kitchen remodel was around 7 grand. (just finishing up now!) I even had the counter tops and floors installed by BIG BOX RETAILERS! GASP!
I did all of the other work myself, and nothing was really that difficult?
Where are these $30k "budget remodels" spending all this cash?

Cabinets - Real wood cabinets will cost much more than what you'll spend on particle board cabinets (which is what Ikea and the big box store are).  Most contractors will tell you that on average, the real wood cabinets will last a significant amount of time longer than the particle board stuff given the abuse that cabinets take. And in our case, our contractor didn't want to purchase the cabinets, he had us do it - so there was no up charge  as he made no money off of which ever cabinet we chose.  Again, it's on average, your mileage may vary (and the warranties also vary a lot as well).  This is actually where the bulk of the difference in cost is (especially if you go for a cherry wood which is about 10% more than oak).  And then there are the slide out features.

Flooring - Vinyl/Laminent vs Tile/Hardwood. 

Counter tops - Even Corean vs Granite is a difference.  And there is a difference in quality. 

Electrical - If your box is maxed out or if you have need new service this can easily cost you a few thousand dollars to upgrade between a new breaker box, new wire runs, and even any work done by the power company.

Appliances - if you don't know where to find good deals and just go to appliance stores you can end up spending a lot more than might be necessary.

Agree and understand on what you are mentioning here.

Some areas 'expect' granite. Luckily mine does not. Quality is usually defined on how well an item meets it's expected functional goals. One could argue that granite meets its functional goals of being a surface a bit better, but maybe not 300 to 500% better.

As far as particle board/IKEA cabinets go?
I'd still highly recommend them to anyone. Especially if you own a rental or high abuse area.
after 5 to 10 years? are they aging? Buy individual parts you need to repair them.
Or, spend another $2500 and completely refresh it.
I could buy 5 versions of my cabinetry for $10000. I could refresh it every year, for the same $10000 initial investment.
People see a brand new kitchen and often they may be ready to slip the money in my "figurative" G string

Insanity

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #59 on: June 18, 2013, 03:00:29 PM »
My down to the studs kitchen remodel was around 7 grand. (just finishing up now!) I even had the counter tops and floors installed by BIG BOX RETAILERS! GASP!
I did all of the other work myself, and nothing was really that difficult?
Where are these $30k "budget remodels" spending all this cash?

Cabinets - Real wood cabinets will cost much more than what you'll spend on particle board cabinets (which is what Ikea and the big box store are).  Most contractors will tell you that on average, the real wood cabinets will last a significant amount of time longer than the particle board stuff given the abuse that cabinets take. And in our case, our contractor didn't want to purchase the cabinets, he had us do it - so there was no up charge  as he made no money off of which ever cabinet we chose.  Again, it's on average, your mileage may vary (and the warranties also vary a lot as well).  This is actually where the bulk of the difference in cost is (especially if you go for a cherry wood which is about 10% more than oak).  And then there are the slide out features.

Flooring - Vinyl/Laminent vs Tile/Hardwood. 

Counter tops - Even Corean vs Granite is a difference.  And there is a difference in quality. 

Electrical - If your box is maxed out or if you have need new service this can easily cost you a few thousand dollars to upgrade between a new breaker box, new wire runs, and even any work done by the power company.

Appliances - if you don't know where to find good deals and just go to appliance stores you can end up spending a lot more than might be necessary.

Agree and understand on what you are mentioning here.

Some areas 'expect' granite. Luckily mine does not. Quality is usually defined on how well an item meets it's expected functional goals. One could argue that granite meets its functional goals of being a surface a bit better, but maybe not 300 to 500% better.

As far as particle board/IKEA cabinets go?
I'd still highly recommend them to anyone. Especially if you own a rental or high abuse area.
after 5 to 10 years? are they aging? Buy individual parts you need to repair them.
Or, spend another $2500 and completely refresh it.
I could buy 5 versions of my cabinetry for $10000. I could refresh it every year, for the same $10000 initial investment.
People see a brand new kitchen and often they may be ready to slip the money in my "figurative" G string

Oh, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't necessarily buy top of the line for a place that is a rental.  I'd definitely go where the replacement cost is cheap enough to deal with and bring in more cash flow.

jamccain

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2013, 12:10:58 AM »
Here in America the general population spends WAY WAY too much money on kitchens. I LOVE that we still have the freedom to do that and if you want that by all means enjoy yourself.  However, my point is the paradigm hass shifted WAY over to pure excess from what you really "need" in a kitchen and most people aren't even aware of how little you can get by on.  If you have never seen how little people get away with in a kitchen in places like central and south america and southeast Asia you should search around on line sometime and take a look. 

What do you really NEED:
Gas burner--two top
Sink
Frig
Some storage which can be a basic shelf
Some counter space to prepare things

What you WANT:
Oven
Microwave
Cabinets
Dishwasher

What most people GET:
Custom cabinets below and above counter---enough for about ten times more stuff than they "need"
Granite or some other expense counter top
High end stove, the more burners the better and preferably a double oven (for those 2-3 times a year you cook for family)
SS dishwasher that costs twice the basic model
Oversized Frig with everything from a cake drawer, to water dispenser
Tile backsplash
Etc. Etc. You get the picture.

Now, if you live in a $200-300+K home and are going to sell one day you may need the kitchen you have, or want to remodel into, but if you are done moving you can get away with so much less money in a remodel by being creative with materials and not going overboard with stuff in it.  Which is what it sounds like this thread is all about and what people here are already doing.  This is one example of a kitchen I love that takes this all a step further:



Counter tops: Nice wood resembling a butcher block, but this looks homemade
Cabinets: repurposed office file drawers with some DIY woodwork around them, basic open shelve above
Classic subway tile back splash (a splurge, but really makes it look nice for ~$200)
Simple gas burner with ventilation
Original wood floors
Basic sink
Small frig (see that tiny SS sliver in the bottom right of the photo)
Dish washer--see that wire rack there
No oven.  (won't work for everyone, but those little counter top versions work for many people)
Kitchen table is positioned to serve as an island for extra counter space

This kitchen looks awesome, would be a classic in many homes (not all), very functional, everything you need, nothing you don't.  Wouldn't surprise me if someone could do it with craigslist for under $1K.

BTW, full disclosure, I have a pretty decent traditional kitchen in my rental (primary residence) and my wife loves the big pretty kitchen.  We are in the due diligence phase of buying a small warehouse to convert into a home and this is an example of the kitchen I will be installing there. 

Just to make things clear...I'm not judging you if you want all the bells and whistles in your own kitchen, that's awesome, enjoy it!  I am sensitive to some people on these very boards making value judgments against others based on what they want to spend money on...I don't intend to do that in this post (or ever), though I admit I sound a little preachy in the beginning. 

grantmeaname

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #61 on: June 20, 2013, 06:10:17 AM »
You had me until the file cabinets.

Insanity

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #62 on: June 20, 2013, 07:34:43 AM »
What do you really NEED:
Gas burner--two top
Sink
Frig
Some storage which can be a basic shelf
Some counter space to prepare things

What you WANT:
Oven
Microwave
Cabinets
Dishwasher

What most people GET:
Custom cabinets below and above counter---enough for about ten times more stuff than they "need"
Granite or some other expense counter top
High end stove, the more burners the better and preferably a double oven (for those 2-3 times a year you cook for family)
SS dishwasher that costs twice the basic model
Oversized Frig with everything from a cake drawer, to water dispenser
Tile backsplash
Etc. Etc. You get the picture.


I disagree with this, to a degree.  The fact that I don't need a dishwasher when I have a family of four and two working parents might be true, but it certainly makes it more efficient for me to be able to do other things rather than spend 30 minutes a night watching dishes.  A microwave also comes in handy for defrosting or melting butter in order to decrease prep time for cooking meals.  A standard fridge is not oversized when you are looking at families.

Sure your kitchen might work for some families that don't eat meat, dairy, or have kids.  Or for the person that lives on their own.  But if you want to entertain (cheaper than eating out, right?), having a larger kitchen is most certainly a necessity.

totoro

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #63 on: June 20, 2013, 09:45:07 AM »
I think this kitchen works well for what you could do if you were converting a warehouse to living space for a couple of people.  I can see being really happy with the low cost and DIYness.  If this is your dream I think it is great.  Having lived in Asia, yes a lot of the world has smaller kitchens - although that is changing.

The thing is you can get dishwashers, ovens, cabinets and a microwave (these are cheap new too) on CL for less than a $1000 total where I live.  They will be nice.  They will be practical if you have a family and/or cook for others a lot. 

You can get by on a lot less in a kitchen but if you find that you would benefit from these items and they will increase resale value I see no good reason, including financial, to do without them.   

Also, I  don't see how a gas stove is a necessity - maybe you just meant stovetop.  You can get a two-burner electric stovetop too.

There is a cost/benefit calculation that is missing some factors in your analysis - although maybe not for you.

Rural

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #64 on: June 20, 2013, 10:02:27 AM »
I got new solid wood cabinets, a high-efficiency dishwasher, and a new microwave for almost exactly $1,000 a few months ago. I did already own the oven, but given that it's a harvest gold model from the 70s, I could have gotten one like it, too, for another $50 or so (it works well).

Do what you want, but if you're willing to DIY in the first place, the minimal kitchen should be there because you want it, not as a money-saver.

jamccain

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #65 on: June 20, 2013, 08:21:52 PM »
What do you really NEED:
Gas burner--two top
Sink
Frig
Some storage which can be a basic shelf
Some counter space to prepare things

What you WANT:
Oven
Microwave
Cabinets
Dishwasher

What most people GET:
Custom cabinets below and above counter---enough for about ten times more stuff than they "need"
Granite or some other expense counter top
High end stove, the more burners the better and preferably a double oven (for those 2-3 times a year you cook for family)
SS dishwasher that costs twice the basic model
Oversized Frig with everything from a cake drawer, to water dispenser
Tile backsplash
Etc. Etc. You get the picture.


I disagree with this, to a degree.  The fact that I don't need a dishwasher when I have a family of four and two working parents might be true, but it certainly makes it more efficient for me to be able to do other things rather than spend 30 minutes a night watching dishes.  A microwave also comes in handy for defrosting or melting butter in order to decrease prep time for cooking meals.  A standard fridge is not oversized when you are looking at families.

Sure your kitchen might work for some families that don't eat meat, dairy, or have kids.  Or for the person that lives on their own.  But if you want to entertain (cheaper than eating out, right?), having a larger kitchen is most certainly a necessity.

I agree with you...  :)  Those things do increase your quality of life and sound like they're worth the money for your family.  BTW, I would never have one of those mini fridges either. 

jamccain

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #66 on: June 20, 2013, 08:23:22 PM »
You had me until the file cabinets.

Ha ha, they are a little funky, but a lot of people spend big money for the same functionality.  My wife hasn't seen them yet...she may kill me when she does...

jamccain

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #67 on: June 20, 2013, 08:28:38 PM »
I think this kitchen works well for what you could do if you were converting a warehouse to living space for a couple of people.  I can see being really happy with the low cost and DIYness.  If this is your dream I think it is great.  Having lived in Asia, yes a lot of the world has smaller kitchens - although that is changing.

The thing is you can get dishwashers, ovens, cabinets and a microwave (these are cheap new too) on CL for less than a $1000 total where I live.  They will be nice.  They will be practical if you have a family and/or cook for others a lot. 

You can get by on a lot less in a kitchen but if you find that you would benefit from these items and they will increase resale value I see no good reason, including financial, to do without them.   

Also, I  don't see how a gas stove is a necessity - maybe you just meant stovetop.  You can get a two-burner electric stovetop too.

There is a cost/benefit calculation that is missing some factors in your analysis - although maybe not for you.

Good points by all. 

Yeah, I meant a stovetop...doesn't have to be gas.  I was thinking of 2-3 people, though it COULD work for a lot more.  DIY was my primary concern, not cost...I want to do this "project" by myself for the satisfaction of it.  I wouldn't suggest a kitchen like that if you are thinking about re-sell...in fact I would say DO NOT do that if resell is a factor at all.  Although, it could be a great kitchen for a rental depending on some other things.

My wife could ultimately force a DW, and some of the things into the design, but they will be bought off CL like you suggest.  In the end, my post is more about the conversation than anything.  For empty nesters or the young set this style kitchen could work really well and doesn't have to be a palace was my primary point.   
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 08:31:39 PM by jamccain »

jannereeves

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #68 on: June 25, 2013, 04:22:53 AM »
Excellent kitchen and countertop goStumpy,
White color is always the king in kitchen, especially for the smaller ones.

jawisco

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #69 on: June 26, 2013, 06:41:28 PM »
I just finished up a decent kitchen project - tear out the old sink and sink cabinets and replace them all.  Included in the work was replacing the floor, sistering the rotted out floor joists, and repairing the wall (I bet the previous owner had a leak under that sink for years).

I did it with craigslist countertop, sink, and cabinets and customized to make things fit properly.  It cost about $200 and probably around 60 hours of labor.  It came out decent, but is a huge improvement.

The nice thing is, even if you don't have an ideal kitchen in terms of space or materials, if you can DIY stuff and put exactly what you want, exactly where you need it (with shelves and hangers), you can have a great FUNCTIONING kitchen in practically any space.  Customizing is key.

I have a very modest house, so even though I make mistakes and things don't look perfect, I do feel free to give it a shot with my mediocre skills.  If I had an expensive place, there would be a lot to lose by messing things up - DIY would be a lot less fun for me.

jamccain

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #70 on: June 27, 2013, 10:16:41 PM »
I just finished up a decent kitchen project - tear out the old sink and sink cabinets and replace them all.  Included in the work was replacing the floor, sistering the rotted out floor joists, and repairing the wall (I bet the previous owner had a leak under that sink for years).

I did it with craigslist countertop, sink, and cabinets and customized to make things fit properly.  It cost about $200 and probably around 60 hours of labor.  It came out decent, but is a huge improvement.

The nice thing is, even if you don't have an ideal kitchen in terms of space or materials, if you can DIY stuff and put exactly what you want, exactly where you need it (with shelves and hangers), you can have a great FUNCTIONING kitchen in practically any space.  Customizing is key.

I have a very modest house, so even though I make mistakes and things don't look perfect, I do feel free to give it a shot with my mediocre skills.  If I had an expensive place, there would be a lot to lose by messing things up - DIY would be a lot less fun for me.

Love it!  If you can share some photos...

Daleth

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #71 on: July 05, 2013, 12:36:37 PM »
FYI Barker Door is fantastic.  We ordered about 2K worth of doors from them late last year and the quality is incredible.  Shipping was free as we spent over $1500

My mom refaced her kitchen (new doors and drawer fronts) through the Drawer Depot (http://www.drawerbuilder.com). They send it to you unfinished and you paint or stain/finish them, attach the hardware and install. She got some new drawer boxes too and chose the option of having them build and polyurethane them because it wasn't that much and saved her contractor a lot of work--she's disabled and couldn't do any work herself.

Home Depot had come out to do measurements and gave her a completely ridiculous quote of around $10,000 to reface her kitchen. The stuff she got from Drawer Depot cost around $1200 and then it was maybe another $1500 to have her contractor paint, assemble and install it all. And I bought the Drawer Depot stuff so I can say first-hand that they were awesome: never a problem getting through to a human being when I called, quality stuff, and after I placed the order I got update emails every day or two saying things like "Your drawer boxes have been assembled, and now they are going to Juan, who will finish them!" Overall an awesome experience. Sorry I can't remember exact prices but this was 3-4 years ago.

needmyfi

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #72 on: July 05, 2013, 06:47:12 PM »
FYI Barker Door is fantastic.  We ordered about 2K worth of doors from them late last year and the quality is incredible.  Shipping was free as we spent over $1500

My mom refaced her kitchen (new doors and drawer fronts) through the Drawer Depot (http://www.drawerbuilder.com). They send it to you unfinished and you paint or stain/finish them, attach the hardware and install. She got some new drawer boxes too and chose the option of having them build and polyurethane them because it wasn't that much and saved her contractor a lot of work--she's disabled and couldn't do any work herself.

gotaholen1 (I realize this is an old thread for you)  and Daleth, I have a question.  Did either of you look into resurfacing the cabinet faces themselves?  This looks like the scariest for me, but I'm afraid that our old slab style doors show a lot of the under cabinet.  The faces have some deep gouges in them from lots of use. There is also a section where the side of my cabinet faces the room. The cabinet boxes themselves are solid wood and very sturdy, but I'm afraid new doors I'll not be able to match existing to remain.  Saw a thicker version of a veneer online that claims to be easy to use, but don't want to spend a bunch to have it look bad Any thoughts?

Daleth

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #73 on: July 07, 2013, 01:57:47 PM »
Needmyfi, we didn't look into that. If I hear what you're saying it sounds like you have partial-overlay doors and drawers (as opposed to full overlay, which completely cover the cabinet faces when closed--or almost completely: they leave about 1/8" of the face showing, vs. the 2" that partial-overlay cabinets typically show). So your challenge is to get the new doors/drawer fronts to match the faces. The easiest way to do what you're describing without switching to full-overlay style would be to go with a painted look, rather than a stained one, and do as follows:

- Prep the cabinet faces and sides (i.e. clean the crap out of them, sand, prime, patch, sand the patches, prime again, paint); and then

- Prime and paint the new cabinet doors and drawers using the same products, and that way of course they'll match the faces. (Drawer Builder/www.drawerdepot.com sells the doors and drawer fronts unfinished, so you can ensure that they match exactly.)

I imagine you could do roughly the same thing and still go with a stained look, but it'd be a lot more work--not on the drawers and door fronts, which would if anything probably be easier that way, but on the faces, because you'd need to sand the faces all the way down to the bare wood and depending how bad of shape they're in it could be tough to make the patches "disappear" or almost disappear under a stained finish. Making patches disappear is no problem, in contrast, if you paint instead of staining.

You can also reduce the problem a lot (though not on the exposed side of the cabinet facing the room) by ordering new doors and drawer fronts in sizes that, once installed, would give you a "full overlay" look instead of a "partial overlay" one. This might give you more leeway to go with a stain rather than a paint. Here's an article on how to do that:
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/change-partial-overlay-cabinets-full-overlay-cabinets-46351.html

That article's pretty good, but it assumes a non-mustachian approach: it says, "Give these measurements to the door manufacturer to get full overlay doors that will completely conceal your cabinet frame." Um no. If you get the doors/drawers from Drawer Depot or a similar place, you must figure out the measurements yourself--in other words, figure out yourself what size doors and drawer fronts would be needed. But it certainly can be done, and good luck!

Maybe this sounds like a lot of work, but I doubt it's all that different from cutting veneer to fit your cabinets and preparing the surfaces so you can glue it on, and the result would probably be light years better looking. In case you're interested, here are a couple of articles about painting cabinets:
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20315665,00.html
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20209705,00.html

I've done it myself and it truly was a weekend project... maybe a long weekend. And it was very satisfying.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 02:04:04 PM by Daleth »

Frugally-raised

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #74 on: July 08, 2013, 10:12:22 AM »
As others have said, the key to a good paint job is proper preparation. Especially in greasy kitchens!

I, too, had a golden oak kitchen that I bought with the house. Hated it, and tried a gel to darken it. Disaster. Mottled, uneven color, etc. Since the cabinets and drawers were not high quality (couldn't adjust the shelves, drawers did not fully open), I opted to replace them with upgraded versions.

But I stuck to my original plan and used Formica on the countertops. I hate laminates that try to imitate stone, and light colors don't look good at the seams (laminates have a brown core). So I found one that looks sort of like diatoms. I also eked out a few more years with my dishwasher by having a Formica panel cut for it (the original one had a big dent & I couldn't find a replacement). That was an awesome and cheap upgrade.

Formica is very easy to clean (unlike tile, with all its grout), my pattern hides hides minor dirt and is pretty funky, doesn't break dishes and glasses if I set them down wrong, and was much less expensive than stone or composite. A very picky friend of mine says that her new Formica hasn't lasted as long has the Formica she replaced (probably installed in the 1960s), but I couldn't find any impartial reviews to back that up. The product hasn't changed significantly, as far as I can tell.

There are two major manufacturers of laminate countertop material in the US: Formica and WilsonArt. If you go to a big box store, be aware that the colors you see may be only a subset of what is available. Check out a countertop manufacturer for the full range (and they may also have discontinued patterns).

FrugalZony

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #75 on: July 08, 2013, 11:47:26 AM »
We bought a fixer upper a few years ago and the kitchen looked baaaad. Stuck in the eighties appliance wise (I am an eighties kid,
so I love the Music....however the appliances not so much). Bad pink faux marble tiling with hardly matching small red tile on floor.
Golden oak cabinets and pink tile countertops. It hurt my eyes. But my little cheapskate heart loved the location, the backyard and the price
for the location ;)
Although I would have loved a nice upgraded kitchen, I knew I could do a lipstick on a pig kind of job on it and we did.
We had kitchen, dining room and living room retiled by pros. We just did not have the time back then to get it done efficiently
It was too big of a job to do the entire floor with steps etc. for us and because it was at the height of the crisis we got a decent
deal on the tiling. They did a good job too, much better than we would have done for sure.

Then the rest we did ourselves:
- Stained the cabinets dark (yes it's somewhat uneven in spots, but it improved the look tremendously)
- Used Epoxy paint (the stuff you use to resurface bathtubs) to paint the pink counters off white
- Made do with the 80ties appliances, that were in perfectly good working conditions, until I found a
deal on barely used high end kitchenaid stainless steel appliances on Craigslist from a gal, who decided that she
needs even better stuff for her kitchen
- Transported and switched out our appliances ourselves (hubby hurt his foot in the process, but even factoring
in the cost of urgent care, we got a deal  ;) )

I looked into granite, as it is expected in our area, but for me, what we have is good enough
The paint has come off in high traffic areas, but it's been mostly holding off well in the 4.5 years
and I do cook a lot
I know one of these days I have to look into an upgrade, or maybe buy another thing of paint ;) though