Jennifer's Kitchen Renovation: What It Really Cost - A Budget Breakdown

Renovation Diary

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Name: Jennifer Pade
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: West Village, New York, New York
Type of building: 300 square foot apartment in a co-op building

Jennifer's kitchen renovation is finished, and it is beautiful. Some of you are probably wondering: how much does it cost to transform a broken-down NYC apartment kitchen with falling-apart walls into a dreamy space like this? Let's break it down.

From Jennifer:

As much as I would have liked to save money on this project, I don’t have any experience doing renovation work. So I knew that this wasn’t going to be a DIY project, which meant a bigger budget for labor. And our co-op requires the use of licensed electricians and plumbers for all alteration work, so I couldn’t use experienced-but-not-professional friends or referrals on the project.

One surprise hit on the budget was the electrical work, which was almost $1,700 more than the preliminary estimate. Because of new city codes, the electrical panel had to be replaced and relocated, which meant a great deal more electrical work than was planned for. The other surprise was the cost of the cabinetry. It came in $2,200 higher than the original estimate, mainly because I didn’t take into account all the extra pieces (side panels, door pulls, hinges, etc.) that would have to be purchased separately for each cabinet — because IKEA sells everything separately. And of course, there’s the cost of labor and materials in New York City, which can be much higher than in other places in the country.

It seems amazing to me that such a tiny little kitchen could end up costing so much. But the costs shown here also include the (beautiful) flooring for the kitchen, living room and bedroom, as well as a new closet to replace the one that was demolished in order to expand the kitchen into the living room. Both great investments, since my floor looks fantastic and the closet goes all the way to the ceiling, providing much more storage space than the old one!

Budget Specifics:

LABOR:

    Projected:
    Contractor Labor (Includes demolition, construction, flooring, cabinetry, installing sliding door): $12,250
    Electrician: $5200
    Plumbing: $4200
    Total: $21,650

    Actual:
    Contractor Labor (Includes demolition, construction, flooring, cabinetry, installing sliding door): $14,105
    Electrician: $6875
    Plumbing: $4200
    Total: $25,180

    Difference: +$3,530

DESIGN AND PERMITTING:

    Projected:
    Architectural/design/filing fees, $3,950
    Co-Op Fees, $500
    Total: $4950

    Actual:
    Architectural/design/filing fees, $4,530
    Co-Op Fees, $500
    Total: $5,030

    Difference: +
    $580

APPLIANCES:

    Projected:
    Jenn-Air Speed oven: $1750
    Miele Cooktop: $979
    Fisher & Paykel Dishwasher: $760
    Fisher & Paykel refrigerator: $1549
    Total: $5,038

    Actual:

    GE Advantium oven: $1,746
    Miele Cooktop: $980
    Fisher & Paykel Dishwasher: $760
    Summit refrigerator: $1,215
    Tax on Appliances: $303
    Total: $5,004

    Difference: -$122

FIXTURES:

    Projected:
    Sink & Faucet: $680

    Actual:
    Sink & Faucet: $592

    Difference: -$88

CABINETS AND COUNTERTOPS:

    Projected:
    IKEA Cabinets, $3000
    Caesarstone Countertops, $1400
    Backsplash tile: $225
    Total: $4625

    Actual:
    IKEA Cabinets, $5,205
    IKEA Caesarstone Countertops, $2,123
    Backsplash tile: $378
    Total: $7706

    Difference:
    +$3,156

OTHER BUILDING MATERIALS:

    Projected:
    New window security gate: $300

    Actual: $0
    (security gate omitted)

    Difference: -$300

OTHER PROJECT COSTS:

    Projected:
    Apartment rental for two months: $3600

    Actual:
    Apartment rental for two months: $3600

    Difference: $0

Total Budget (Projected):

    $40,343

Total Budget (Actual):

    $47,112

Difference:

    $6,769

And a quick note: although this wasn't included in the original budget estimate, Jennifer received $5400 from the co-op to cover repairs to the walls and ceiling. Good news for anyone considering remodeling in a co-op building.

Readers, Check out the full series to see the whole renovation process, step-by-step. And tune in next week for Jennifer's final thoughts on what she 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.

(Diary Text: Jennifer Pade. Image: Pablo Enriquez)

(Image credits: Pablo Enriquez; number)