Kitchen Reno! It’s on!


 Photo Credit: Pannell via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Pannell via Compfight cc

I’ve watched countless tv episodes of houses being renovated and the one scene that always looks fun is the first sledgehammer swing! I was hoping to be able to swing my own when my kitchen renovation started but it was just not to be. First of all I’m not handy enough to do a kitchen renovation on my own, and there weren’t any sledgehammers in use.

Still, it’s pretty interesting seeing my kitchen transform day to day as more work gets done. It’s only a few days in but a lot of work has already been completed! Demolition happened in less than a day and almost everything was taken out. Contractors have been in and out and we have our kitchen blocked off to keep it clean in the rest of the house. We’ve been using a Ninja slow cooker for most of our cooking and the handy dandy microwave. One pot meals and ready to eat foods will be on our menu for sure.

Refinishing or new?
Our old kitchen was made of very solid wood construction that just doesn’t exist these days. At first we wanted to try refinishing instead of new to keep that construction, with all the oddities we found about the sizing of the cabinets and counters though, refinishing almost came out to the same price as new construction. None of the old cabinets were of standard size to fit appliances today. Dishwashers are now 2 inched deeper which meant that it would jut out from the sink. Everything would need to be custom made to fit and later down the line anything additional would have to be adjusted. We were sad to see it go but at least now new appliances will fit without major adjustments.

Raises house value
The two things that raise a house value are definitely a kitchen or bathroom upgrade. While our kitchen was in pretty good shape for being 60 years old, it definitely isn’t updated and there were drawers falling apart and a very old unusable dishwasher set 5 feet from the sink. A newer kitchen will definitely raise the house value in case we ever want to sell it. We’re not planning to move anytime soon, but if we do it’ll pay off later.

Perks of a homeowner
After apartment living for years it’s great to be able to do whatever I want in my own place. Each month my money isn’t going into a big black hole with no value. Technically a mortgage is well…a money sucker and it’s going to take years to pay off, but at least I’m building equity. Where I used to rent an apartment people are paying the same in rent each month for what I pay for mortgage! They get a one bedroom apartment and I get a 3 bedroom standalone house. The kitchen is the last big thing we wanted to upgrade and we finally are doing it after saving up for it. After this there won’t be much major updates. Just the usual minor fixes and cosmetic updates. After a few more weeks I get to enjoy a brand new kitchen.

Less than the price of our wedding
The saddest part about doing this renovation is realizing that it’s going to cost us less than we spent on one day! We certainly didn’t try to spend a lot of money but we did on our wedding. Less than the average wedding in LA but an amount not to scoff at. More than two years later it’s crazy to think of where that money could have been used instead. So if I wanted to really compare then I guess I could say I can enjoy a new kitchen for years and years whereas the wedding I had one day!

Not for the fainthearted frugal heart
Spending tons of money totally goes against what I usually do! I’m the bargain hunter who likes to find t’s for $3! Now I’m shelling out a ton of money for this. Gotta admit it makes me uncomfortable. Rest assured we did our homework to find the best price with good contractors. One thing we’ve learned is that a good contractor who stands behind their work is worth the money. We’ve all dealt with shoddy contractors who did the job cheaply but then disappeared when things went wrong. We’ve also gone for more inexpensive materials like subway tile and quartz. Nothing too fancy. Our appliances we snagged on sale for almost 50% off over the July 4th weekend. Still it’s a ton of money but at least we saved up for it. It’s just not easy spending it when I worked so hard to save it.

It’s going to be a long haul but it’ll be worth it in the end! I’m not one of those people who can stay away for the entire time and be surprised by the transformation when it’s completed though. Wish I could! Would be fun to see it all completed instead of the mess it is now.

What’s your latest home project?

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