Given the national average for a renovation of a 150 square foot space, our 10k-15k budget was very ambitious. Especially with having to take it completely down to the studs. We knew this would be tough to accomplish from the start, which is why we opted to do all of the labor ourselves. A rough estimate for hiring out labor is 0.5-1.5 x cost of materials, so we saved significantly by eliminating that cost.
We were able to save big here by not having to replace any of our existing appliances. We only swapped out our range hood to get the look we wanted.
Tip: When purchasing new appliances, search for “scratch and dent [name of appliance]”. We’ve been able to purchase heavily discounted appliances in the past that are slightly damaged. The damage should be fully disclosed to you in the description, but often times the damage is only on the sides or places that won’t be visible after installation.
Tip: Interior fittings add up pretty quickly! If you’re looking to save here, you can start with the cabinet frames and add your interior fittings (hidden drawers, additional shelves, etc.) for later. The cost will be the same later, but making those decisions about what exactly would be the best fit for your kitchen storage can be more intentionally made after unpacking in to your new kitchen. We didn’t do this and now have 6 empty drawers and a few empty base cabinets. I’m all for more storage, but we could have saved by skipping some drawers and been okay without them.
(Semihandmade fronts – $2,984 + The Cabinet Face fronts – $2,826)
Tip: Research alternative brands for Ikea cabinet fronts. When we started this project I didn’t know there were more options than Semihandmade. Pricing out options and ordering samples is worth the time for making the best decision for your style and budget. If you’re going with Semihandmade, look out for sales! Semihandmade has a couple sales each year that offers up to 20% off your entire purchase. The fronts we got were excluded from the sale, but most styles are included.
We had arranged for the window to be changed out in March 2020 for $2.5k and it was cancelled due to the pandemic. We got more quotes in the midst of the pandemic and the quotes ranged from $4k-$9.5k for the job. That’s when we opted to do it ourselves and saved big doing so. If you’re doing an exterior project like this, you’ll need to make sure to acquire any necessary permits and consult with professionals if you are unsure of anything.
Tip: It’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes if you’re calling in the pros for any aspect of your project!
We splurged on the tile ($1.99/piece) but saved by only going up the wall 2 tiles. My initial kitchen inspiration had a marble slab backsplash, so overall the tile was a save, but still not the most affordable option.
This was a detail we chose purely for aesthetics. It’s an area we could have saved, but wanted to bring in the same brick element we love from our fireplace.
DIY concrete countertops were by far the biggest save area in our kitchen. They were about 6x less expensive than traditional stone and were a surprisingly simple project. I love the result and would definitely go this route again if given the opportunity.
There’s a huge range of prices for sinks and we ended up on the lower end. I didn’t have strong preferences about a sink, so this was a good place for us to save.
Tip: If you’re making a lot of “save” choices, splurging on hardware is going to immediately elevate your space for a higher-end finish.
Total Cost: $14,375 (Our Cost + Sponsor Contribution)
Our Total Cost: $11,525
Total Sponsor Contribution: $2,850
We came in under budget thanks to our wonderful sponsors!
This post was written for the Collected Eclectic blog.
Collected Eclectic was a passion project focused on recording the process as Grace and Michael van Meurer transformed their builder grade home in to something special.
124 blog posts were published between 2018 and 2021. Explore the complete Collected Eclectic archive here.
Learn more about the project here.