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Unlurking and Looking for Reality Check (Long)

15 years ago

I've lurked forever and now am finally, hopefully, going to actually remodel my original 1950 kitchen. I've read this forum exhaustively-what a gold mine of information and suggestions! So as I start seriously comparison shopping, I'm hoping for feedback on my plans and budget.

Saving/Skimping Areas:

-It is a very small area. Galley kitchen 11x9 with 8' ceilings. A narrow hallway adjacent, where I hope to put a 5' run of pantry cabinetry. Total countertop area is ~40 SF, total cabinetry linear feet (assuming full runs on both sides of room+pantry) is ~26 feet. Some won't be full wall/base though as I didn't deduct for a window, refrigerator, dishwasher.

-Not changing footprint, electrical or plumbing.

-Will DIY demo, plumbing, electrical, flooring, painting and trim. Husband and son are both more than adequate at these jobs. Only issue there is husband who is still in the first of the 5 stages of remodeling (you know-denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance :).

-Not doing anything special w/backsplash, probably just white subway tile. Have great tile guy who works independent jobs so hoping to get this at good price.

-Living in market (South Florida) that is among hardest hit w/construction and remodeling slowdown. Lots of firms around who badly need to get some business.


-Want some high end appliances, though not all. Subzero fridge is biggest splurge.

-Primary 'need' in this kitchen remodel is more and maximized storage space. Thus, want to run cabinets to ceiling, plus get bells and whistles: dividers, pullout shelves, pullout trash can, toekick drawers, etc. Based on this forum, want to do drawers rather than base cabinets-do they cost more?

-Want to raise height of countertop several inches. Husband is 6'5", kids are both almost 6' and I'm 5'6". After 20 years it would be nice if my poor guy didn't have to straddle the sink when he uses it! Don't even know if this adds lots of cost(?)

-Want wood construction. This is our forever house and I know husband is adamant about quality in this area.

-Must have bulletproof countertop. After 20 years of not caring about our tile countertops and flinging anything and everything at them it's too late to re-train myself or family to baby our counters.

Last but not least I'm not sure if this is a plus or minus: want to do painted white cabinets. Plus would be this means I don't need high end wood like cherry but instead could use maple which seems cheaper. Minus is does painting cost more? Clueless about species and finishes and how that affects costs at this point. One cabinet guy I spoke with yesterday said cost is determined by how elaborate doors are too...huh? Very ignorant about cabinets at this point.

I checked out the Expo (Home Depot) design center. Looked at Omega and Kraftmaid lines there. A nice though somewhat clueless lady went through a budget worksheet with me and some figures she came up that I hope are accurate are below.

Tomorrow I'm going to visit the kitchen center that did 2 kitchens for my MIL. Hers were pretty modestly budgeted and last one was 10 years ago. He has since gone upscale but seemed eager to talk with me so who knows. He's the one who made the remark about doors.

Any comments welcome and appreciated. I'm thinking my real area of flexibility is in the cabinetry and ideally want to be in the fabled $30K kitchen range. Yes I have read the evolution of a budget thread so feel free to laugh maniacally at that figure. OTOH cabinets are a mystery to me; not sure what the difference would be between going with, say Kraftmaid upgraded to plywood boxes or Omega which was quite a bit more expensive. Kitchen Center advertises being a Wood Mode dealer and they have a rebate going on now, are they good quality?

Here is my tentative budget:

Appliances-$10K broken down as follows:

$7500 Refrigerator. Subzero 42" side by side, no ice/water in door - Got that quote from local SZ distributor but haven't called any retail outlets yet.

$1000 Oven which will be a range style. Would like the double oven in range but not sure if possible at that price.

$500 Microwave. - OTR to save space. Hope to have venting model but again, not sure about price restriction.

$1000 Dishwasher. Hopefully a Bosch, probably not top of line. Since I have no dishwasher at all the bar for oh-wow-what-an-improvement isn't set real high. I'm sure any DW will be a marvel for us.

Other estimates:

$2000 Countertop. Expo quoted $50-$60/sf for their range of granites. I will need ~40 sf so is this enough to account for sink cut out too? I know fancier edges can up price substantially.

$500 Backsplash. As noted, will do subway tiles. Got them at a good price a few years ago for a bathroom remodel so will dig up that tile source. Hoping labor isn't too costly on this item though.

$1000 Flooring. Will use same engineered HW as in rest of house. Will buy online and have confirmed cost; son will install.

$500 Sink. Hoping to get fireclay or silgranit, detest stainless steel. Not sure if this is a reasonable guesstimate for those materials.

$500 Faucet

$500 Lighting. Wild guess; no labor cost if husband does it but not at all sure about what to install or cost.

$500 Hardware/accessories. Another wild guess.

Which leaves cabinets. I'm *hoping* to get something at a price point of ~$15,000. Want maple painted white. As noted above want plywood construction, and hoping for some additional niceties for storage. Would love to get glass in small top row of cabinets to break up line of white doors. Hope to be able to panel fridge and DW for cleaner lines visually.

Expo quoted me ~$13,000 for Kraftmaid with upgraded boxes in white painted maple. However the saleslady was new and didn't seem very familiar with what she was discussing. I did see prices on some items like cabinets and countertops but I'm not all sure she understood or factored in costs for my wishlist. She just kept saying 'we'll work with you.' Which is usually Miami-speak for sign here and then wait for the surprise extra charges to pop up.

So, is it possible, likely or never going to happen for me to get what I'd like at that price range? I could go up to $5000 over my target price but really don't want to spend over that amount. $35K for a 100 SF galley kitchen with no costs for labor on plumbing, electrical, flooring, painting and trim seems like enough!

Thanks for any input. and, if anyone is in South Florida knows of good sources, that would be great too.


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