The Budget for Christine & Pierre's Kitchen

The Budget for Christine & Pierre's Kitchen

Jun 12, 2013

Name: Christine & Pierre
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Type of building: Ground floor apartment of a triplex, 1,100 square feet

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.

We've seen the current state of Christine and Pierre's kitchen, and a glimpse into their inspiration for the project. Here, we take a closer look at the budget. 

From Christine:

The labour on our project will basically break down like this: what we feel we are capable of tackling, we will tackle DIY. When parts are better left to the pros, we will leave them to the pros. 

Structural work, plumbing, electrical, gas line redirection, masonry, and drywall will all be done by subs under the supervision of a general contractor that we've worked with before. He's got a great team of people that he knows and trusts. We'll be handling design, demo, cabinet assembly and install, tiling, painting, and finishing.

The floor is the big wildcard. We're going to attempt to do it ourselves, keeping our general contractor on call if we find ourselves in over our heads. The tricky part will be levelling the subfloor to create a smooth transition between the existing kitchen and the extension, while including the wires for the radiant heating. Our general contractor was upfront with us and told us it's the kind of detail that can eat up labour hours, so it will be a big benefit for the budget if we can do it ourselves.

I'll be honest — talking about the budget makes me nervous, and almost kept me from participating in this collaboration with Apartment Therapy. Like dropping this huge chunk of dough isn't stressful enough, now I get to be judged on my spending too! But having hugely benefited from other people's frankness in this department, I'd like to try and return the favor. (I found Faith's article on financing her reno on The Kitchn particularly insightful.) We also feel good about investing in a space that we want to stay in and raise our family in.

Budget Specifics:


    The original labor quote, which included plumbing, electricity, masonry, drywall finishing, tile demo, floor leveling, radiant floor installation, and hardwood installation, was for $11,000. Basically, two guys plus a runner for three weeks. This is the amount we are hoping to cut down on by about a third by taking on the floor ourselves. Labor costs will also include:

    Installation & material cost of three load-bearing beams, $5500
    Moving an electrical panel, $1000
    Scrap removal, $450

    Sub Total: $17,950


    We're doing most of the design ourselves, and paying an interior designer friend for a couple hours of her time to give it her expert once-over. Most of the design fees are from the structural engineer for the removal of the load-bearing pantry.

    Design fees, $120
    Permit, $135
    Architect fees, $200
    Drafting fees, $250
    Engineering fees, $1500

    Sub Total: $2,205


    We're keeping our fridge (it's almost new). We'd love to replace the range but I think we'll probably keep our existing one for now and replace it in a year or so. Which leaves us with:

    Dishwasher, $650
    Range hood, $650

    Sub Total: $1,300


    Sink, $400
    Faucet, $200

    Sub Total: $600


    Cabinets, $3500
    Countertops, $3000

    Sub Total: $6,500


    Engineered wood floor, $1000
    Radiant heating coils, $600

    Sub Total: $1,600


    Tile, $300
    Paint, $300

    Sub Total: $600


    Drywall, screws, bits and bobs: $2,500


    We'd eventually like to build a banquette for the corner, but again, those aspects are being pushed to a future year. In the meantime we'll use what we've got for furnishings.

    Lighting, $1000
    Misc., $800

    Sub Total: $1,800

Total Budget:

    $35,055 (We hope it will be less, but at least we are prepared if it's not.)

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week as Christine and Pierre get started on their renovation. 

(Images and diary text: Christine Zoltok)

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