Author Topic: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation  (Read 1562 times)

Moustachienne

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Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« on: June 14, 2018, 08:53:43 PM »
I hope this DIY crowd are the folks to ask this non-DIY question!

Neither DH nor I are DIYers, or want to be, but we do want to modestly renovate our small 1950's kitchen without turning on the firehose of spending.  Not planning to move any walls, plumbing or appliance locations; looking to install a plumbed in dishwasher and over stove fume hood; replace cabinets, countertops, flooring, sink, and appliances.  Thinking about an IKEA kitchen.

Any suggestions to keep costs controlled for this level of project?  Ideas about which items to focus on and which to downplay or drop?  Is there a middle ground between complete DIY and handing a bunch of cash to designers and contractors?

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

Khaetra

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2018, 06:11:12 AM »
If you don't want to DIY then be prepared to fork over some serious cash for all of the reno work you mentioned.  A full kitchen makeover like what you want can easily run over $30K if handing the complete job to someone else and that's not including appliances. 

I just finished mine, completely DIY for just shy of $9K.  Cabinets are not hard to put together/install if you have some space to do it and know how to measure a gazillion times.  I put in granite tile for my countertops, saving quite a bit.  I lucked out and got cheap tiles for the floor.  I did not buy new appliances since the ones I already had were pretty new to begin with. 

I would focus more on what you NEED (cabinet/storage?) over what you WANT (granite counter, fancy appliances) when choosing to redo.


Bradfurd

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 07:21:13 AM »
My wife and I are in the midst of the same type of project, and had some of the same concerns.

Our kitchen is from the 70s, and we got pricing on new cabinets from a custom cabinet shop and also a bigger kitchen specialist that would provide and install cabinets, but not in custom sizes.

For our tiny kitchen, if we did nothing ourselves, we would be at around $10k for new cabinets, stone countertops, sink, flooring, and backsplash. The cabinets were the bulk of that cost ($7k-$8k), and they weren't even all wood construction. The cost just goes up if you want all wood construction, dovetail drawer joints, etc. We looked at Ikea, but their options for white cabinets only came in 1 or 2 styles. They are a good option for the price, but we couldn't get past the "plastic-like" finish on the most traditional white door style. I would suggest looking at them in person before making the decision. They may have exactly what you're looking for!

We decided to order new drawers and doors (including hinges and slides) through the custom shop (our existing cabinets are custom sizes) which will be custom painted and installed for around $125 per opening. We will refinish the boxes ourselves, in place. This decision saved us thousands, but we sacrificed gaining additional storage.

Our quartz countertop and undermount sink will be templated and then installed for around $1700, and we only have about 25 SF of countertop. Our other quote was almost $1000 more. Sometimes you can find pieces of granite or quartz on craigslist for crazy cheap, but you have to haul it away (on an A-frame) and find someone to template it and cut it, assuming it isn't the exact size you need. If you are OK with laminate, you can save some serious bucks there.

We're going to do a subway tile backsplash and probably LVT flooring...replacing the trim and door/window casing and doing some painting ourselves and maybe doing the flooring ourselves. It's looking like it's going to be around $6k for everything.

Hope this helps.

J Boogie

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2018, 08:34:37 AM »
If you're not a DIY type, you won't be able to DIY a kitchen with all those updates.

Skilled remodeling professionals & tradespeople definitely earn their money.

If you have a bathroom or any other rooms to remodel as well, doing both at once can save money. Economies of scale really come into play with remodeling, as tiny remodels still involve getting a tiler, a plumber, often an electrician, a drywaller, a painter, a trim carpenter, etc scheduled to visit the jobsite and do their part.

Many GCs are broadly skilled and don't need to hire out many things, so they're the best option for this type of project. If I were you, I'd follow some local GCs on instagram. Get a feel for what they do well and what kind of client base they serve. Then get your checkbook out :)

If this home is worth upwards of $300,000 I'd say go for it. If not, maybe a dated kitchen isn't so bad and some small easy updates can help.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2018, 09:08:42 AM »
looking to install a plumbed in dishwasher and over stove fume hood;

Expect these bits to be expensive to have done. Especially depending on where the dishwasher is going in, if you're on a concrete slab and need a drain, etc. And make sure they're done right, since cut rate jobs involving water and venting are bad news.

Cranky

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 09:47:43 AM »
Ask everybody you know who has had remodeling done, and get the names of the people who did it. (My friends used to talk about their kids, but now it's all grandkids and kitchen remodeling.)

We used a general contractor who had worked for friends. I liked that he is used to doing projects with a wide variety of budgets, and he always offered us options.

Feral Car Rescue

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2018, 03:11:30 PM »
If this home is worth upwards of $300,000 I'd say go for it. If not, maybe a dated kitchen isn't so bad and some small easy updates can help.
Good point. We're renovating our kitchen in a lower middle-class neighbourhood. We could easily spend $30,000 on completely redoing the kitchen, but that seems silly given the other houses around us, especially since we know we're not going to be in this house forever and want the improvements to give us a turnaround when we go to sell.

Moustachienne, we enjoy DIY'ing, but don't necessarily have all the skills to do all the work required for making the kitchen look good. We are hanging our own drywall, and we got some secondhand cabinets from my boss for the cost of helping him demo his kitchen, which we will be installing ourselves. However, we'll probably have someone do the countertops and backsplash, as that requires a little more skill. We also don't have a lot of square area for the countertops, so the expense for us is minimal. You might try to look at what skills y'all have and try to knock out some of the tasks that you feel confident doing yourselves (or ones that you wouldn't hate doing, since you mentioned y'all aren't really into DIY) to save some money.

Another thing that I don't think has been mentioned- you said you're looking at doing a reno in a kitchen built in the 50's- I'm not sure what all's been done to your house in the past, but it's very possible that once you start tearing stuff down that you're going to find water damage, out-of-code electrical wiring, bad plumbing, etc. Not to discourage you from doing the renovations, but you might need to consider making room in the budget for those types of things, and a way to cut costs could be to do some of the simpler jobs yourself, and leaving more difficult (or safety-related!) jobs to your contractors.

affordablehousing

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2018, 04:16:49 PM »
Just go Ikea, their cabinets are great. To save money, don't do uppers just do "open shelving". Even if you can't DIY, I'm assuming you're still able to at least shop, but make sure you buy dented appliances, and try to hire a handyman, rather than tradespeople. All the work you mention is very easy, and you should save big time hiring a handyman at $20 an hour versus a contractor. As others suggested, pick your budget based on what your home is worth and don't overdo it.

Moustachienne

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2018, 09:45:40 PM »
Thanks everyone!  Some good food for thought and clearly DIYing some if not all of the project would be the most cost effective.

It's a very solid 1950's bungalow assessed at $33,000 - and the land is assessed at over $1.5million.  Crazy real estate market.  But it means that the house will be a tear down when we sell so anything we do inside is just to please ourselves.  We're planning to stay 15-20 years so want some level of "nice" and are prepared to spend on it. $30K could be OK.

DH and I need to get on the same page re what we want and really carefully scope out the project - and the limits.  It's the out of control firehose feeling we want to avoid so we need to get our hands much "dirtier" on the planning part that we've done so far.  We need to get serious and take ownership more than we have.  This sounds like a d'oh obvious insight but posting this question and reading the responses has been helpful in clarifying that for me. 

Believe it or not, I've managed large successful projects at work but turn in to a big time procrastinator and avoider around home projects.  Sheesh, face punching myself right now.


Molzy

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 06:03:48 PM »
Have you considered leaving the cabinets you already have, and just repainting them? Or do you want to change the layout? Our house was built in 1960, and while our original plan was to redo the kitchen, in the end we ended up just doing a few small DIY projects. We kept the original canines, but changed out the pulls (bought some on bulk from amazon). Then we painted the existing countertop using Daich coatings (google them, they are Canadian based. We’ve had them for over a year now and they still look great! Wonderful upgrade for $120!). We installed our own backsplash (subway tiles). And the on project left is to do the floors, which will be updating the old linoleum with new LVT tiles (we already did this in our family room and did a huge room in about a day and a half, but that was mostly because we spent forever figuring out how to lay them out!).

Oh, we did also install a dishwasher! That was our first project. We paid an electrician to run the electrical, and then we took out an existing cabinet and hooked up the dishwasher, it wasn’t very difficult. We did that and a garbage disposal in one weekend, and it only took so long because our cabinets are SO well built that taking out the cabinet took over a day (it didn’t help that it is basically the exact size of the dishwasher, so we ended up having to carve away at bits of neighboring cabinets in order to get the dishwasher to fit!).

Miss Tash

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2018, 08:03:53 AM »
If you like Ikea cabinets but don't care for their door selections try this outfit:

https://www.semihandmadedoors.com/

They make doors specifically for Ikea cabinets but higher quality and more choices.
I went with Ikea boxes for the uppers in my reno and I'm very happy.  Also, with a 25 year warranty it's a low risk proposition.

kandj

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2018, 01:25:46 PM »
If you like Ikea cabinets but don't care for their door selections try this outfit:

https://www.semihandmadedoors.com/


We have spend the last 6 weeks in a full gut kitchen remodel. We went with the ikea cabinet boxes and Semihandmade DIY shaker doors. We've been very pleased with the quality of both, and that blum hardware at Ikea can't be beat. However, if you go this route you may have to put a lot of thought into making sure you don't miss anything from ikea that you need. For example: We paid the refundable amount for an appointment with a Kitchen design specialist at the store in order to make sure that we were getting every single part we would need and avoid a second trip or having to order missed parts online. They claimed to be familiar with all the parts we needed given the fact that we weren't buying the ikea doors but NO HINGES made it onto our order. Online order #2. We assumed the hinges were part of the cabinet box, they really come with the ikea door. They also missed putting a drawer with our pull out garbage cabinet, which was online order #1. All this after I spent many hours going over our design before we showed up to the appointment and scouring the internet for what to make note of when buying semi handmade.
Assembling the cabinets and installing them is also completely doable if you wanted to tackle that project yourself. It took 3 of us a day and a half to put everything in place and we've got a pretty large kitchen.

Evildunk99

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2018, 12:41:42 PM »
I know you stated that you are not DIY-ers, but a big money saving idea would be to re-purpose your existing cabinets.  There are dozens of crafty/design sites out there that show you how to transform them.  It's surprising how a simple paint change and door knob change can make a significant impact.  You could practice on one, and see how it looks before committing to the whole set.

For counter tops, consider the materials used to save on costs.  Concrete styles are a new concept that are cheap and would definitely stand out vs. other houses in your neighborhood!

Lastly, see if there are items that you can salvage from other peoples' renovation projects.  I've received excess tile, a kitchen sink, and a stainless steel microwave from family & friends for free simply because they were going to throw them away after their project.

Good luck!

Mgmny

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2018, 11:37:31 AM »
Not sure how far along the OP is, but I want to put in a plug for OP to use laminate countertops. They are like 20% of the cost of granite / quartz, and with the recent advances in R&D at Formica, you will see a huge increase in quality. They come with texture, neat edge patterns that hide the tell-tale brown edge. Check out some of their designs!

Mgmny

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2018, 11:52:22 AM »
Here is my frugal kitchen reno:

Old thread, but we painted our cabinets. We used a product called, "Smart Prime" to prime them, and used Hirschfield's Satin Impervo paint (color: Gray Owl). We cleaned them thoroughly, and used sandpaper to rough them up a bit to give it tooth. I'll toss before and afters below:



After:



This cost about $2500 total on the generous side. Painted cabinets, new floors, new hardware, trim added, new sink and faucet, and lighting.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2018, 02:00:44 PM »
Ikea kitchen cupboards are find. But I am not so enthusiatic about their Whirlpool appliances (is that the correct English word for fridge, fule hood, stove, dishwasher, oven and microwave?). Don't buy built-in appliances. Those cost more than separate items.

Someone above mentioned 30K for a kitchen. In our previous house we had a new (large) kitchen from a fancy kitchen store and had it installed by a carpenter. This cost approx 15K. We reused fridge, microwave and dishwasher. We renovated the walls and floor ourselves. At the walls we didn't have tiles, but we installed a wetroom plate which imitated tiles. This was also easy to drill holes in later. We bought the cooling rack and racks on the wall at Ikea. We hired an electrician a bit during the renovation. DH did the plumbing himself.

In our current house we wanted a combined oven/microwave. We found one second hand for little money. It works well, but is noisy. Brand: Whirlpool. Door knobs are also cheap at Ikea and nothing wrong with them. Installing them straight is not to easy, but Ikea sells a template for drilling the holes.

Idea has faucets that work well and cost much less than buying one from the plumber.

frugalfoothills

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2018, 02:18:05 PM »
    I'm semi-handy but by no means a professional DIY-er. My recommendations on keeping cost low:

    • Countertops: check out Formica brand laminate designed to look like Calcatta marble. Cheap and honestly a fairly convincing hack vs real marble
    • Backsplash: I "DIY'd" a beadboard backsplash in my kitchen and needed virtually zero DIY skills to do it. Take the measurements & go to Lowes/HomeDepot and have them cut the beadboard for you. You'll want to line it with trim (or even some quarter-round) but they'll cut that for you, too. You don't need to be a DIY genius to hold a tape measurer, so get measuring! You'll just need to have them cut for outlets/switches (include in your measurements), and use some liquid nails to affix it to the wall (secure with finishing nails.) Caulk and some paint and voila, you have an adorable, modern backsplash for $30.

  • PAINT IS YOUR FRIEND. You say this house is a teardown, so paint every surface you can get your hands on. Not interested in sanding? Check out chalk paint. A bit more expensive but requires virtually zero prep work. Look at painting your cabinets yourself. You can even buy appliance paint if that's up your alley!

There are tons of home improvement blogs dedicated to cheap upgrades you can make to dramatically improve your space. Google Google Google!

Mgmny

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Re: Seeking frugal kitchen reno ideas - non-DIYer situation
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2018, 02:28:45 PM »
    I'm semi-handy but by no means a professional DIY-er. My recommendations on keeping cost low:

    • Countertops: check out Formica brand laminate designed to look like Calcatta marble. Cheap and honestly a fairly convincing hack vs real marble

Look at my post 2 above yours - that's exactly what we did and I have a photo to show what the end product looks like![/list][/list]