A Kitchen Overview: Costs, Compromises, and Absolute Contentment

Happy Monday my darling readers! I hope your weekends were all relaxing, energizing and productive! We spent the weekend with a great group of kids at a camp 3 hours north of here, climbing high ropes, shooting rifles, eating candy, and talking about prayer. This is a retreat that the youth group at my church organizes every year. I'm already looking forward to taking over full organizing responsibility next year.

Because of a somewhat hasty departure last Friday, we came home to a kitchen mess made all the more unpleasant by the 72 hours for which it sat. And yet, looking at my kitchen still makes me squeal with delight inside.

(True, I don't generally see it from this angle...)

Because one of our goals with this blog is to be as transparent as we can be about what a renovation like ours costs, I'm going to go step by step through our choices in this particular kitchen and some of the costs connected to it. Don't forget what this place looked like when we started: this was not a cheap renovation, not one of those admirable, under-$200, work-with-what-you-have renovations. This was more like a spend-until-the-money-runs-out-because-we-have-to-start-from-scratch kind of renovation.

Our Costs:
  • Gas line: $200
    • The location of the gas line was about 3 feet to the left of where the stove now is. This is the one bit of the reno we let someone else do. Seriously, if you're not familiar with the inner workings of gas systems, leave this one to the pros.
  • Plumbing and Electrical: $1000
    • We did a bunch. This stuff is part of the not-so-glamourous guts that adds up to a lot of money. We're not exactly sure how much. I'll admit, we have not been the best at keeping track of every single receipt.
  • Flooring: $1500
    • This one is hard to separate from the rest of the house renovation. We spent about $3000 on the bamboo and put it throughout the upstairs (except in the bathroom). It's gorgeous and a much more economical choice than hardwood. However, I still drool over the thought of the hardwood we had picked out, a beautiful wire brushed dark wood with a strong grain throughout.
  • Cabinets: $2000
    • Of course, they're Ikea! And I love them. I was a little hesitant about Ikea, considering the dressers, currently being stored in our garage, that started to fall apart after 6 months of owning them. These, on the other hand, see to be great quality and went together so easily. Everything you've heard about them is true. 
  • Appliances: $2500
  • Counter top: $2700
    • Silver Silk by Sensa Granite. I think this might be my favourite feature of the kitchen. I have been known to stand in the kitchen and stroke my counter top. Yes, it might be a little embarrassing to admit that.
  • Sink and faucet: $1000
    • Would you believe how difficult it was to find a sink and a half? For some reason, the three Big Boxes didn't have any and even Ikea was lacking. Have they become so unpopular, such an unusual item? I refused to compromise on this one: I hate single sinks and full double sinks were much too large for our 30' sink cabinet. So, we ended up splurging here, especially after our sink hunt forced us to visit Taps and we discovered the true extent of our options for a faucet.
  • Lighting: $250
    • We didn't go crazy here. I love our pendant lights. Each was about $60, and the big central one was probably $70. Or something like that. The pendants are beautiful crackled glass that is so hard to take a proper photo of. 
And that is about it. Of course, there were a few more expenses, like building the wall between the kitchen and the bathroom, fixing the joists under the floor and all the 'guts' things. And the paint. But all of those expenses, like the bamboo flooring, are difficult to confine to just the kitchen. Were they kitchen fixes? Bathroom fixes? Living room fixes?

Ignoring the guts, this is our approximate total: $11150.  

Ridiculous? I don't think so. Considering what we started with, I think we did pretty well.


  1. Directions Not IncludedSeptember 26, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    I think you guys did a spectacular job! The best part is, it looks like it cost more than twice that!

  2. I think this is my favourite room in your house! Your kitchen looks fantastic!

  3. Um hello - that is a STEAL for what you got. Amazing job. Definitely looks like a 25K kitchen :-)

  4. Thanks! How it looks is all that's important, right?

  5. Thank you, Amber! You know you're welcome to come cook in my kitchen any time you like!

  6. Thank you! It might have if it weren't so small. One way to keep the costs down is to keep the square footage down I guess!

  7. Your kitchen is GORGEOUS. Definitely worth the money. And kitchens cost money to do well...especially with the super lame and boring stuff like plumbing. Isn't it amazing how fast that stuff adds up?? Anyway. Bottom line? Your kitchen is amazing. : )

  8. Thanks Cindy! They DO! During the kitchen renovation, we really had to accept that, especially when it comes to that sink. We splurged in a few places and I am so. glad. we did.

  9. I think you guys did an amazing job spending what you did. Kitchens can easily cost upwards of
    $20,000 when doing a complete gut.

    That being said, I think the expense was definitely worth it, your kitchen looks fabulous!

  10. Thank you for posting about this - so often actual costs are not discussed - I think it's important to understand how much real people spend on real renovations. People (including myself) need realistic expectations when it comes to major renos.

    It's fun to read about the $200 or $400 kitchen makeover & whatnot but how many of us can REALLY pull that off with a kitchen that needs a complete overhaul?

    Your new kitchen is fantastic!

  11. Thanks! I think we easily forget to consider what our own hard work is worth. We should pay ourselves the extra $10 000, I think!

  12. And that's exactly why I wanted to post about it!

    Thank you!

  13. Wow well done!! I LOVE Your countertops and am taking note of the type of granite...i love the gray in them.


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