Emily & Aaron's Condo Renovation: What It Really Cost - A Budget Breakdown

Emily & Aaron's Condo Renovation: What It Really Cost - A Budget Breakdown

Renovation Diary
Nov 6, 2014

Name: Aaron and Emily Choi
Type of Project: Full remodel, including the kitchen and two bathrooms
Location: La Jolla, California
Type of building: Condo; 1300 square feet

Yesterday we got a look at the beautiful results of Emily and Aaron's condo renovation. Today we're taking a closer look at one of the more practical aspects of the project: the budget. How did the actual price tag compare with Emily and Aaron's estimate from before the project began? Read on to find out.

From Emily:

The two major things that put us over the budget were the kitchen and the flooring. The kitchen had a lot of little things here and there that needed customizing and unfortunately our initial contract wasn't specific enough, which allowed room for interpretations. This is where I wish I had demanded more face time with my general contractor BEFORE the work was done.

The other thing was the flooring installation. We had originally thought to go with laminate, but after much consideration we just liked the feel of real wood better. We were lucky enough to find the wood floor on sale, but the labor to nail wood floors down is more than double the labor of installing laminate flooring. In addition, wood flooring meant a different kind of stair nosing, which also added to the cost. It was more than we had anticipated but still a good deal for real wood flooring. We also ended up having a few more pieces of furniture made, so that also increased the Decor budget. It didn't surprise us that we went over our initial budget — we knew things would come up, but it still hurts.

Budget Specifics:

LABOR:

    Projected:
    Kitchen cabinet labor: $2500
    Kitchen Tile labor: $280
    Countertop labor (2 bathrooms and kitchen): $3471
    Electric/Plumbing: $900
    Re-finish Vanities in bathroom: $900
    Fireplace: $600
    Tile Labor (bathroom and fireplace): $3030
    Reinstall new folding closet doors labor/materials (two rooms): $850
    Custom master shower labor: $3900
    Hand rail labor: $2500
    Misc woodwork for floor and doorway: $500
    Drywall and painting: $4380
    Baseboard labor/material: $2100
    Total: $25,991

    Actual:
    Kitchen cabinet labor: $4600
    Kitchen Tile labor: $280
    Countertop labor (2 bathroom and kitchen): $3471
    Electric/Plumbing *remaining: $2250
    Re-finish Vanities in bathroom: $900
    Fireplace: $600
    Tile Labor (bathroom and fireplace): $3030
    Reinstall new folding closet doors labor/material(two rooms): $850
    Custom master shower labor: $3900
    Hand rail labor: $2500
    Misc wood work for floor and door way: $500
    Drywall and painting: $4380
    Baseboard labor/material: $2100
    Floor installation: $2200
    Demo/Stairway: $780
    Glass insert on cupboard: $300
    Trash/Haul away: $950
    Total:$33,591

    Difference: +$7600

APPLIANCES:

    Projected:
    Samsung refrigerator from Home Depot: $1,600
    GE electric cook top from Pacific Sales: $900
    Frigidair electric single wall oven from Amazon: $1,279.99
    Z line stainless steel wall mount range hood from Amazon: $319.95
    Amana dishwasher from Pacific Sales: $300
    Samsung washer & dryer from Home Depot: $1,000
    Total: $5,399.94

    Actual:
    Samsung refrigerator from Home Depot: $1,600
    GE electric cook top from Pacific Sales: $900
    Frigidair electric single wall oven from Amazon: $1,279.99
    Z line stainless steel wall mount range hood from Amazon: $319.95
    Amana dishwasher from Pacific Sales: $300
    Samsung washer & dryer from Home Depot: $1,000
    Total: $5,399.94

    Difference: $0

FIXTURES:

    Projected:
    Franke farm house sink from Home Perfect: $700
    Danze Pull Down Kitchen Faucet from Home Perfect: $248.99
    DECOLAV undermount bathroom sink (2) from Home Depot: $59.99 x 2 = $119.98
    Ikea ODENSVIK bathroom sink: $120
    Glacier Bay Toilet (3) from Home Depot: $98 x 3 = $294
    Peerless apex two handle bathroom faucets from Amazon: $117.10 x 2 = $234.2
    Delta shower faucet from Home Depot: $187.65
    Total: $1,904.82

    Actual:
    Franke farm house sink from Home Perfect: $700
    Danze Pull Down Kitchen Faucet from Home Perfect: $248.99
    DECOLAV undermount bathroom sink (2) from Home Depot: $59.99 x 2 = $119.98
    Ikea ODENSVIK bathroom sink: $120
    Glacier Bay Toilet (3) from Home Depot: $98 x 3 = $294
    Peerless apex two handle bathroom faucets from Amazon: $117.10 x 2 = $234.2
    Delta shower faucet from Home Depot: $187.65
    Total: $1,904.82

    Difference: $0

CABINETS AND COUNTERTOPS:

    Projected:
    Rainbow Stone white shaker kitchen cabinet: $4,000
    Restoration Hardware gilmore drawer pulls: $300
    Caesar Stone quartz countertop (3 slabs of frosty carrina): $3,579
    Ikea HEMNES vanity: $140
    Total: $8,019

    Actual:
    Rainbow Stone white shaker kitchen cabinet: $4,000
    Restoration Hardware gilmore drawer pulls: $300
    Caesar Stone quartz countertop (3 slabs of frosty carrina): $3,579
    Ikea HEMNES vanity: $140
    Total:$8,019

    Difference: $0

FLOORING:

    Projected:
    African walnut solid wood flooring (floor and stair nosing) : $5800

    Actual:
    African walnut solid wood flooring (floor and stair nosing) : $5800

    Difference: $0

FINISHES:

    Projected:
    Arto Conch tile: $1,093.27
    White subway tile (shower and backsplash)from Lowes: $300
    Marble tile (fireplace) from Lowes: $100
    Total: $1,493.27

    Actual:
    Arto and Brick Conch tile: $1,093.27
    White subway tile (shower and backsplash)from Lowes: $300
    Marble tile (fireplace) from Lowes: $100
    Total:$1,493.27

    Difference: $0

OTHER BUILDING MATERIALS:

    Projected:
    none

    Actual:
    Stairway Material: $340
    Misc Building Material: $200
    Total: $540

    Difference: +$540

DECOR:
    Projected:
    Customized desk, deck furniture/planter, dresser, cat litter bench, mirror frame: $2,650
    Power room vanity light from WestElm: $70
    Master bath vanity light: $130
    Recessed LED lights: $1,000
    Pendant lights: $338
    Stairwell light: $120
    Desk light: $120
    Total: $4,428

    Actual:
    Customized desk, deck furniture/planter, dresser, cat litter bench, mirror frame: $3200
    Power room vanity light from WestElm: $70
    Master bath vanity light: $130
    Recessed LED lights: $1,000
    Pendant lights: $338
    Stairwell light: $90
    Desk light: $120
    Dining Room light: $300
    Total:$5,248

    Difference: +$820

Total Budget (Projected):

    $53,036.03

Total Budget (Actual):

    $61,996.03

Difference:

    $8,960

Readers, Check out the full series to see the whole renovation process, step-by-step. And tune in tomorrow for Emily and Aaron's final thoughts on what they learned during the renovation.

The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

(Images and diary text: Emily and Aaron Choi)

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