At long last, here is the final post in a four-part series on my Budget Kitchen Makeover. Today I’ll share my shopping secrets and reveal the GRAND TOTAL spent for my new kitchen. You can view PART ONE my Budget Kitchen Makeover With Sparkle (with the UNBELIEVABLE “before” pictures) PART TWO Adding Substance to a Boxy Kitchen Island and PART 3 Paint and Waxing Kitchen Cabinets by clicking on the links. This is a LONG post, so let’s get started.
First, a review of what I changed in my kitchen:
Decorative back splash over the stove
Painted kitchen island
Addition of legs and corbels to kitchen island
For years I’ve
been addicted to enjoyed watching HGTV makeovers, especially kitchen makeovers. What has been daunting to me is the budgets they have to work with, often running $50,000 and above! That is a lot of money for someone like me, who would rather find something old and make it new than go into debt for anything!
So I started off by doing two things. Number one, a lot of research . . . online, walking through home improvement stores, going to granite warehouse showrooms, attending home shows, etc. Number two, waiting patiently for the final result. My kitchen makeover didn’t happen overnight while we were off enjoying ourselves at a fancy Spa Resort. It happened over the course of almost two years, one phase at a time, as time and money allowed.
In this post I will share with you the simple things we did to save money on this DIY project.
It’s very simple, if you can cut out the middleman you will save a LOT of money. Home improvement stores have sample counter top materials on hand for you to choose from (in our case granite). You tell them what you want and they send someone out to install it. Other large kitchen and bath type stores may send you to a big granite showroom where you are able to pick out your own slab. This can be fun but it still involves a middle man and added costs.
This is where my online research came in. I started researching smaller companies that carried their own stock, fabricated the counter tops on site and also took care of the installation. The company we chose was a local, family run business (Intown Granite) where we were treated well and got to know the people who would do our job. We were taken right into the shop where the fabrication was taking place and saw the jobs they were working on. This is where I fell in love with my particular piece of granite, Glacier White. It was a $450 upgrade from what I originally planned on purchasing but not so bad since I still saved over $1000 on counter top material. We placed the order, the job was scheduled for the next week, Mr. OTN and I did the demo ourselves and the whole job was completed in one day. They even threw in a new sink! Grand total for granite, including installation $2900.00.
Since this was the most important part of our purchase, and the most expensive, the following are some tips on,
What to Look For in a Granite Fabricator: source
1. How many years have they been in business? A contractor just starting out is a risk even if they’ve been working in the granite business for someone else.
2. Does the contractor perform both fabrication and installation? Having the same company responsible from start to finish is critical to getting a problem free installation.
3. Is the contractor willing to take the time to educate you about natural stone and granite counter tops? Someone who knows the business well should enjoy imparting knowledge on you.
4. Does the contractor have a facility with an inventory of stone (preferably indoors out of the weather)? A showroom with examples of their work is also good.
5. Is the contractor knowledgeable about proper stone care? Google Granite Care to see what they should already know.
6. Does the contractor do quality work? Get a list of references and call them.
7. Does the contractor offer any kind of warranty?
8. Can you tour their warehouse and fabrication area?
9. Will the contractor negotiate with you on price? Compare prices from two or more granite fabricators. Pick a contractor you want to do business with and ask them for their best price. Granite counter tops are a big investment so take the time to make a wise decision.
10. Determine the quality of their work. Take someone with you if you aren’t sure how to judge this on your own.
11. Finally, choose the fabrication contractor that you feel most comfortable with.
After shopping local showrooms I ended up online looking at the same products I saw in the stores. I love the look of white marble, especially the way it sparkles in mosaic form. I would’ve loved marble counter tops except for the fact that they aren’t as easy to care for as granite and have a tendency to spot when exposed to acidic foods. Marble has been great for my back splash though as it doesn’t have food prepared directly on it and boy, did I get a great deal! I found my back splash material at the TileStoreOnline. I purchased 3/4″ x 3/4″ White Cararra Mosaic – Polished Venatino select Italian tile. The list price in stores was $24 per sheet, their price $14.99, sale price $9.99! I love that mosaic tiles are easy to install as they come mounted on a mesh sheet. Much easier (to me) than having to use spacers. The trim pieces I used around my back splash and around the mosaic over my stove also came from the same source. Grand total for back splash, just under $400.00
DECORATIVE BACK SPLASH:
I wanted something really special over the top of my range but couldn’t seem to find the right thing . . . until I came across Susan Jablon Mosaics. I was delighted when I found this website where I could create my own custom backsplash. Susan Jablon Mosaics are fantastic! It is a family business run by artists in an upstate New York studio. All of their products are of the highest quality materials. I had such fun customizing my own “blends”, in different colors and materials, to create something unique! I love the color and texture of my decorative back splash and couldn’t be happier with the finished result. Was it expensive? It probably would’ve been expensive to do an entire kitchen back splash this way but it wasn’t too much for the area above my stove. In the end, at roughly $300.00, it was still less expensive than many of the decorative back splashes I saw and a LOT more special because I was able to design it myself!
Even if you aren’t in the market for a decorative back splash you should go check out this website and play around with the “Build a Blend” button. LOVE this!
Though some have commented that they loved my cabinets just the way they were they were a lot more worn than you could see in the before pictures. Sanding and re-staining was not an option to me. Too much dust and too much work. Purchasing all new cabinets wasn’t an option either so I lived with the way they were until I decided to tackle them with chalk paint. I had done a lot of furniture pieces with chalk paint so I knew that it would work. It was sort of daunting to think about doing my entire kitchen though and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. Well, I DO like it and I’m so happy I took the risk. Instead of thousands of dollars for new cabinets or hiring a professional to come in and refinish them for me, I did it myself with about two quarts of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Old White) and a partial can of soft wax. Under $100.00 for the entire job. You can read my complete tutorial for Painting and Waxing Kitchen Cabinets in Part Three of this series.
Here we go again, after checking out local stores to get an idea of pricing I was off to do some more online shopping. I wanted oil rubbed bronze cup pulls to go with my Farmhouse Glam style. The price range for these is HUGE and I’m not really sure why. I found the ones I wanted at The Hardware Hut. I chose hardware on the less expensive end because I liked the style and I couldn’t see much difference between them and some of the very expensive styles I’d seen at my local hardware store. When they arrived I was quite pleased with their appearance and solidness. They’ve held up well and still look brand new! I chose the Rusticware 3″ Bin Pulls (RUS-945ORB) and the price was $3.73 each. Total paid for hardware was $140.00 including tax and a small shipping fee. Check it out! This is an incredible price for cabinet hardware.
PAINTED KITCHEN ISLAND WITH ADDED LEGS AND CORBELS:
I painted my kitchen island with leftover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Graphite. My island was pretty boxy and boring so I decided to add some character with the addition of legs and corbels. The best source I found for these was Osborne Wood, a company out of Taccoa, Georgia. I’m looking forward to actually going to Osborne Wood’s showroom sometime soon as we will be living a little over an hour away when we move to Greenville. Legs and corbels range in price depending upon the type of wood used. I chose the least expensive, box maple, since I knew I would be painting them anyway. This beautiful addition to my kitchen island cost roughly $250 . You can view the tutorial in Part Two of my kitchen makeover, Adding Substance to a Boxy Kitchen Island.
Another great deal I found was on my GE Signature Cafe Range. When we went shopping for a range at our local home improvement store they showed us this range in the catalog. It wasn’t one they would be carrying on the floor but could be ordered for delivery in two months! Back online to check out other options. I found Park Avenue Appliance a company out of New Jersey. They carried the range I wanted for about $100 less. The big savings came though by not having to pay sales tax outside of New Jersey and I was able to negotiate free shipping . Total spent $2550.00, a savings of over $300.00! The people at this family owned business were pleasant to work with and my new range arrived safely and in perfect condition.
Note regarding other appliances: My stainless steel refrigerator is 9 years old, a replacement for a black one that failed and the beginning of my stainless steel makeover, but not part of the kitchen remodel. The Bosch dishwasher is newer, and also a replacement for one that failed. Unfortunately I hadn’t found Park Avenue Appliance when I bought my Bosch. Looking it up online now I find that it is less expensive than what I paid locally and I could have saved on the sales tax. Cost $800.00.
The two new pendants over the kitchen island came from The Pottery Barn. I chose the mercury glass Whitney fluted pendant with the bronze finish. These were $99.00 each on sale and with shipping came to $219.00.
You can’t do a remodel without a fresh coat of paint. I used Lowe’s Valspar paint in the color Field of Pines (5004-4A). Rounding up the cost for paint was roughly $35.00.
So . . . working on one section of our kitchen at a time we ended up spending LESS THAN $8000.00 for our complete Budget Kitchen Makeover, including taxes and shipping costs. I’ve actually rounded up all figures to come to this grand total. No $50,000+ budget for this Old Things New gal!
I’m delighted with every aspect of this kitchen remodel and was actually a little surprised myself at how little it cost to do the whole thing! Though I didn’t shop locally for some of my materials I did support several small, family run businesses through my online purchases. Kitchen and bath remodels will give you the best most return for your money when you go to sell your home. They will also help you to sell your home quicker. Believe me, I’m searching daily for a new home and the thing that is most important to both Mr. OTN and myself is what the kitchen looks like. Is it gorgeous? If it isn’t in such good shape is there potential for remodel?
Are you thinking of doing a kitchen remodel of your own? I want to encourage you to GO FOR IT! There is something so rewarding about being able to say, “I did it myself”.