A Slow & Steady DIY Kitchen Renovation

A Slow & Steady DIY Kitchen Renovation

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Janel Laban
Mar 17, 2011

Shannon and her husband, along with their awesome-sounding Dads, recently completed a major kitchen renovation. To save money they "just did the whole darn thing, one bit at a time" by themselves. On and off, it took a few years, but as they say, slow and steady wins the race. Check out the beautiful, budget-friendly results:

The Story:

We did just about the whole darn thing, one bit at a time. We pulled up a vinyl floor and put down tile. We pulled off pink and blue wallpaper borders, painted and put up new paper. We hauled out the existing built-in cabinets and melamine doors; painstakingly reused and reinstalled some of the built-in frames; did some minor reconfiguring to the layout; cut old melamine doors into drawer bases; and built, finished and installed new doors. We finished it off by routering custom baseboard and installing penny-round tile.

"We", of course, refers mainly to my talented and tireless father-in-law (perfectionist cabinetmaker), my Dad (try-anything-once tiler) and to a lesser extent, myself and my husband. The timeline that we worked in (on and off over four years?) would not be for most people. But our pocketbook cannot complain. And it's absolutely ours - we love it!

The Resource List:
Paint: Pot of Cream, Behr
Wallpaper: Blue Mountain Wallcoverings, Home Depot
Cabinets were made out of white ash, with Minwax's Rosewood stain
Cabinet hardware (handles, drawer slides) were purchased from Lee Valley (all cabinet hinges were reused from existing)
Baseboards were made from scratch out of basswood (apparently a very durable and hard wood that is a good candidate for painting because of its plain grain)
Floor tile, new pot lights over sink: Home Depot
Penny-tile: Ceratec
Acrylic counters and sink: IKEA
Faucet: Canadian Tire

The Budget:
Labor (plumbing, cabinet-making and installation, tiling): free!
Electrical (for new microwave/fridge outlets, stove and potlights): care of electrician friend at a deep discount): $120
Cabinet hardware: $300
Tile: $400 (floor) + $400 (backsplash - penny tile is not cheap up here!)
Paint and wallpaper: $200
Wood and finishing (stain etc.): maybe $200 or $300? (My father-in-law is an avid hunter of bargain wood supply. It should be noted that these were rough planks that needed to be cut, planed, leveled, sanded, joined etc. so the cost was low)
Counters/sink: $2800
Faucet: $80
Total: $4500 :)

And, just for fun, one final parting shot of where it all started, the "before":

Thanks for sharing your project, Shannon!

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