blank'/> July 2014 | NidoBeato

A Complete Kitchen Remodel for $1113

Sorry I haven't been around much lately, but I've had my hands full between remodeling one house and packing up another. Flitting between two disaster areas is exhausting, and it doesn't help that there's a traffic-laden hour-long drive between them. By the time I get home from a 12-hour day of demo, construction, and unforeseen problems, I have all I can do to shower and pass out on the couch. Blogging is a distant dream. And so the Endless Summer continues.

But there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Gutting an entire house at once is daunting; putting it back together more so, especially when you're doing the majority of work yourself with limited resources. I set my original budget for the remodel at $3000, but the Unexpected kept rearing its ugly head--something a seasoned DIYer like myself has come to expect. Still, I'm currently sitting at just over $3600 for the whole house and still have a couple of little things to buy. Like trim. LOTS of trim--baseboards, molding, casings. That stuff is expensive, so I'm exploring alternatives and practicing patience at wabi-sabi. Today we're going to be concentrating on the kitchen. Here's a peek at its current state:

Kitchen island.

The budget tally for the kitchen remodel goes something like this:

Dresser for island - $40 (Goodwill)
Doors for island countertop - 2 at $20 each (Habitat for Humanity ReStore)
Porcelain enamel double bowl sink - $30 (Habitat for Humanity ReStore)
Oil-rubbed bronze bridge faucet - $220 (Overstock)
Butcher block countertop for sink cabinet - $130 (Ikea)
Cabinet doors for build-in buffet - 4 at $3 each (Habitat for Humanity ReStore)
Door handles, latches, and hinges - $28 (Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Home Depot)
Paint - $120.00 (Home Depot and Sherwin Williams)
Polyurethane for island countertop - $8 (Home Depot)
Pantry door - $10 (Habitat for Humanity ReStore)
Wood and drywall for sink base, island knee wall and columns, and built-in buffet - $198.00
Hardware (screws, nails, caulk, etc.) - $60
Beadboard, 3 sheets at $20 each - $60
Dowels for plate and baking sheet racks - $22
Shelf brackets 4 at $7 each - $28
Plumbing parts - $32
Plumber (to fix leak in the old copper pipes) - $75

Grand Total (so far) $1113

Part of my low cost success is recycling. The small cabinet I used in the island was the only cabinet I was able to salvage from the old kitchen. The shelves in the built-in buffet and new pantry were made from wood salvaged from the old pantry. The twin corbels above the island I picked up at Brocante last year and have been hanging on to them waiting for the perfect place to use them. I had to cut them down and glue them together, but they look like one piece now. The light above the island I scored at a thrift store last year for $3. The spice rack above the sink I built for my previous house. It was a 7-foot tall vertical shelf that I cut down and rebuilt to fit its current location. The metal shelf for the microwave was something the previous tenant left in the house where I'm currently living. I opted to lose the under cabinet microwave in favor of my old red countertop model because I just don't need a huge microwave. I also took out the dishwasher because frankly, I find them to be a waste of time, water, and energy. Hand washing dishes is kind of zen to me. Sort of like painting.

I still need to find some fabric for the sink base skirt and trim everything out. I've since hung the doors on the top of the built-in buffet and need to frame out and hang the door on the pantry and find a piece of wood for the shelf above the island, but the kitchen is functional.

How I got from where I started in April to here is a messy, sometimes frustrating process. If you recall my Closing Day Reveal, the kitchen looked something like this:

Kitchen before I took possession. I don't know what drove me crazier, the window to nowhere or the glass marbles glued to the wall. Both are thankfully history now.
For anyone who has never lived through a kitchen remodel, there is no way to describe how much fun it ISN'T. At least this time I wasn't forced to live in the house while I was doing it. Months of washing dishes in your only bathroom with three young boys is an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone. And I did it four times in four different houses, all DIY jobs. Talk about a glutton for punishment. And so begins the demo...

Kitchen with the wall  and old pantry removed. It's already 100% better.

Cabinet doors gone, demo set to begin on sink wall

Ripping the wall down to the studs. FYI - exposure to 40-year old fiberglass insulation is a pleasure not to be missed.
And now the fun part begins. Construction. I was originally going to purchase unfinished cabinets, but budget constraints nixed that idea pretty quickly when I started running into problems in the rest of the house. My plans changed, and I opted for open shelving above the sink and building my own base cabinet out of 2x4s and plywood. Let me tell you, between the weight of the wood, the butcher block, and that bohemoth of a sink, that sucker isn't going anywhere. And yes, that is a wood backsplash. Remember my mantra - recycle, reuse, repurpose. (The crooked outlet above the sink is a problem from the kitchen's previous life - no support stud. I'm going to have to get creative there.)

DIY kitchen base cabinet
Constructing the island knee wall. It may be the best built wall in the house.

Adding the dresser for the island base. Love that disaster area mess in the background?

The doors are installed for the island's 10-foot countertop. I used one full and one half door, which left me enough for the countertop on the built-in buffet. I was going to trim the edges, but I kind of like seeing the origins of the wood. I even like the difference in grain between the two doors.

Drywall goes up

Countertops are stained and paint goes on. Yes, that's one of my light creations on the counter. An ugly shiny brass chandelier I salvaged, painted, antiqued, and strung with crystals. Can't wait for it to go up in the diningroom

Built-in buffet construction. The whole thing was built with salvaged wood. Not the prettiest thing, but tons of storage.
It's been a long three-month journey, but the kitchen is finally serviceable. Yes, there are little things to do--hang trim, doors, built a base for the wine fridge next to the stove so the countertop has something to rest on, but I could live there and cook as it stands right now. Is it perfect? No. But that's the way I like it. Perfection makes me nervous. Like I'm in a museum or a hotel. I love the quirky, crooked (there isn't a level wall in this house, though all my shelves are level, which makes them look crooked). Everything is cobbled together from salvaged materials, and it was all done without a budget that could feed a small country.

And now for some before and after shots:

Island wall - before

Island wall - after

Sink wall - before

Sink wall - after

Pantry wall - before

Pantry wall - after

The room is about 85% complete. I'll post pictures when it's all done, but considering I only get up to the house two to three days a week and do most of the work by myself, it's not a bad progression.