Seth & Allison's Kitchen Renovation:
What it Really Cost - A Budget Breakdown

Renovation Diary

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Name: Seth & Allison 
Type of Project: Kitchen/Family Room renovation 
Location: Ventura, California 
Type of building: Mid-Century, multi-level, single family home

For everyone who's been following along with Seth and Allison's kitchen renovation, last week was an exciting week, as we unveiled their beautiful, spacious new kitchen. This week, we're digging a little deeper into the project's budget, comparing  the final numbers with Seth and Allison's projections. What cost less than they thought it would? What cost more? Find out below. 

From Seth:

Because this kitchen/family room renovation was done simultaneously with a gut renovation of a 2,000 square foot house, our initial Renovation Diary budget post included a lot of costs that actually ended up having little to do directly with work on the kitchen/family room. That’s because prior to the work being done, most services and materials were difficult to break down space by space. Now that the renovation is complete, however, we’ve gone through and itemized as best we can to reflect only costs for the parts of the renovation that have been documented in the Apartment Therapy Renovation Diary.

We weren’t surprised by much with this part of the renovation, since our plan was always to take everything down to the studs and replace all plumbing and electrical. We did encounter a hurdle when we pulled up the existing kitchen floor and found that most of the existing floor joists were notched way beyond what we felt was safe. So we had to pay our contractor an extra half day to re-support all of the joists and replace the subfloor of the entire kitchen area. In the grand scheme, it was a minor hurdle, but definitely unexpected nonetheless. 

Also, as you can see, the only place where the actual budget surpassed the projected budget was with appliances. We’d bought a haul of appliances (including a Viking cooktop/hood, dual wall ovens, a refrigerator and a dishwasher) in a bundle for $1,500 off Craigslist because some guy wanted to get rid of it all to do a fresh remodel of his own. Some of those pieces ended up not being up to standards, but at $1,500 what we ended up keeping (including the six-burner Viking cooktop, for sure) was still a good bargain. We did, however, end up going out and buying a refrigerator and dishwasher brand new.

Budget Specifics: 

LABOR:

    Projected:
    Weir Framing and Building (kitchen and rest of the house): 
    • general framing and rough carpentry, $6500
    • hang interior doors, install windows/sliding doors, $3000

    Actual:
    • Framing for new layout of kitchen, remove existing wall and replace with parallam beam, $2000
    • Install windows and sliding door, $400
    Projected:
    Ventura County Plumbing (kitchen and rest of the house) 
    • plumbing (replumb new kitchen, bathroom, laundry room), $4800

    Actual:
    • Replumb new kitchen (replaced gas line, water supply lines and drain lines for whole kitchen), $2500
    Projected:
    Swift Electric (kitchen and rest of the house)
    • electrical (upgrade old panel and re-wire entire house, add new lights/plugs where desired), $12000
    • stucco patch from new windows, $3000

    Actual:
    • Re-wire all electrical outlets in kitchen, add new 4” recessed LED can lights, $5000
    Projected:
    Bill Davis Drywall (kitchen and rest of the house) 
    • drywall (skim coat to match existing plaster), $8500 
    • insulation (attic; blown in exterior walls), $2800 
    • Demolition/haul fees (most of demo done ourselves), $1500
    Actual:
    • Drywall work done in kitchen (patched existing plaster and hung new drywall where existing plaster was completely removed, skim coat to match rest of house), $3500
    • Insulation for kitchen/family room walls, $500
    Actual:
    • Since we replaced our entire heating system I will just allocate 25% of the costs toward the kitchen/family room. (There isn't really any good way to allocate this expense as part of our kitchen remodel.) $1000

    Projected Total (kitchen and rest of house): $46,600
    Actual Total for Kitchen Only: $15,400

DESIGN FEES:

    Projected:
    Arketype Architects, Inc. (for entire house renovation)
    • architect/design fees, $4000
    • city permits, $2200

    Actual:
    These fees were incurred for the whole project so I will just allocate 25% towards the kitchen/family room. $1550

    Projected Total (kitchen and rest of house): $6200
    Actual Total for Kitchen Only: $1550

APPLIANCES:

    Projected:
    Sharp Microwave Drawer, $700 (Sears)
    • 36" Cooktop/Hood, Dishwasher, Fridge, Wall Oven, $1150 (Craigslist)

    Actual:
    • 36" Cooktop/Hood, Dishwasher, Fridge, Wall Oven, $1150 (Craigslist)
    • Kitchenaid Architect Series French Door Refrigerator, $2600
    • Kitchenaid Architect Series Dishwasher, $750

    Projected Total:  $1850
    Actual Total: $5200
    Difference: +$3350

FIXTURES:

    Projected:
    • sink, $400 (Overstock)
    • faucet, $150 (Overstock)
    • water filtration, $200 (Amazon)
    • drinking water faucet, $60 (Amazon)
    • Garbage Disposal, $100 (Amazon)

    Actual: 
    • sink, $400 (Overstock)
    • faucet, $150 (Overstock)
    • water filtration, $200 (Amazon)
    • drinking water faucet, $60 (Amazon)
    • garbage disposal, $100 (Amazon)

    Projected Total:  $910
    Actual Total: $910
    Difference: $0

CABINETS AND COUNTERTOPS:

    Projcted:
    • cabinets, $5000 (IKEA)
    • countertops (kitchen and bath), $4000 (Planet Stone)

    Actual: 
    • cabinets, $4400
    • countertops (kitchen only), $4000

    Projected Total:  $9000
    Actual Total: $8400
    Difference: -$600

PAINT AND FINISHES:

    Projected:
    • Whole house interior, $3000 (Juon Painting)
    • tile (kitchen backsplash), $100 (Home Depot/Tile Encounters)

    Actual:
    • Paint (kitchen/family room only), $500
    • tile (kitchen backsplash), $100

    Projected Total (kitchen and rest of house): $3100
    Actual Total for Kitchen Only: $600

FLOORING:

    Projected:
    Fenton Floor Designs (throughout main level of house, including kitchen)
    • replace some floors to match original floors, sand and refinish all floors to match, $9000

    Actual:
    • install new oak flooring in kitchen to match rest of house, $2000

    Projected Total (kitchen and rest of house): $9000
    Actual Total for Kitchen Only: $2000

OTHER BUILDING MATERIALS:

    Projected:
    Kitchen and rest of the house:
    • lumber/misc building materials, $1500
    • new windows/sliding doors, $16000
    • new interior doors, $1500

    Actual:
    • lumber/misc building materials for kitchen/family room only, $500
    • new Western Windows pocket sliding door for kitchen/family room, $4100
    • full size Western Windows fixed window in family room, $700
    • 4 new Western Windows aluminum windows in kitchen, $2600

    Projected Total (kitchen and rest of house): $19000
    Actual Total for Kitchen Only: $7900

DECOR:

    Projected:
    Kitchen and rest of the house:
    • light fixtures, $750
    • door hardware, $750 (Simpson's Hardware)

    Actual:
    • These items were actually unrelated to the specific kitchen/family room space. 

    Projected Total (kitchen and rest of house): $1500
    Actual Total for Kitchen Only: $0
    Difference: -$1500

    Actual Total for Kitchen Only:

      $41,960 



    Readers, Check out the full series to see the whole renovation process, step-by-step. And tune in next week for Seth and Allison's final thoughts on their 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: Seth and Allison Gibson)