Sunday, December 1, 2013

Kitchen Makeover

Kat and I have been mulling a kitchen face-lift for a few years now. My reluctance to get started stemmed from what I figured would be the high cost. Our appliances started to crap out -- the disposal, the dishwasher -- and we have lived with them in their various stages of brokenness, figuring all would be replaced with the makeover. 

My real estate days had given me a few contacts, and one was a semi-retired carpenter who gave us an itemized quote for completing a wish list we had given him. We were happily able to afford most of it, and here are the results in before and after shots:



Unfortunately my pictures are like those cheesy weight loss ads that run in tabloids with the 'before' featuring a woman grumpy and slouching, and an 'after' of the same woman upright and smiling. I somehow misplaced my 'before' pictures and all I could find was this one of a dirty kitchen taken when I was trying out a new camera. Egads. But you get the idea.

We replaced our upper cabinets with cabinets extending to the ceiling and over the refrigerator, installed an over the range microwave, extended our counter with new laminate countertops and built-in shelves above and below, put in a backsplash, a new single-basin sink and faucet, and added crown molding to the kitchen and living room. 

The only appliance we replaced other than the microwave was the dishwasher, which, as I mentioned, was stumbling toward broke. The range and refrigerator (both nearly 15 years old but hanging in there) we will keep until they no longer function.

To save money, we did a few things ourselves. We put in the backsplash — subway tile — and Kat installed the dishwasher. As our carpenter worked, Kat realized that she could have done some of the trim work and the shelves herself, but he did give us a good price, so not too much regret.

We were able to pay cash, though we now need to replenish our short-term savings. We spend so much time at home, though, and have such a stream of company coming through, that we felt this project worth it.

What did it cost?

Carpenter (including countertops, custom cabinets, crown molding, a lower corner cabinet with large lazy susan, installation of new sink, faucet, and disposal, upper and lower shelves for extended counter, over the range microwave with installation and a vent through the roof) -- $6500

Backsplash -- $100

Window treatments (bamboo blinds) -- $150

Paint -- $70

Baskets, napkin holder, other -- $80

Sink and disposal -- $230 (The price of the faucet is included in the $6500)

Dishwasher -- $400

Total cost was right at $7500 for a beautiful, more functional new kitchen that we love!