Jul 15 2013

The state of the kitchen project

Now with paint! Sherwin Williams "Muslin." Ignore the color above the bulkhead. Cabinets are going to cover those.

Now with paint! Sherwin Williams “Muslin.” Needs one more coat. Ignore the color above the bulkhead. Cabinets are going to cover those. Also, this photo is a bit dark.

I’ve been busy with our kitchen project lately, and thought I’d share a little update.

We’re on the home stretch with our kitchen renovation. I think. I hope.

On the “done” list:

  • Primed kitchen, 2 coats
  • Painted kitchen and living room walls, 1 coat. We used Sherwin-Williams Muslin, but in Valspar and their no-VOC option.
  • Painted kitchen and living room ceiling (free! The previous owners left an unopened 5-gallon bucket of ceiling paint behind. So we used that and already had other paint supplies).
  • Painted kitchen baseboards, trim, pantry door
  • Installed new ceiling lights
  • Hired electrician to wire a wall for under-mount cabinet lights, and removed a section of cabinets so he could have access to that wall
  • Bought sink faucet
  • Bought new outlet covers

Our cabinets will be installed next week, and our counter tops the week after.

Still on the to-do list:

  • Purchase backsplash tile and decide on an installer. I don’t wanna install this myself. Nope. Don’t wanna. Not gunna do it.
  • Paint the kitchen and living room walls again. We’ll need one more coat to make sure everything is even and well-covered. Yay
  • Paint living room baseboards and fireplace trim
  • Select and purchase a garbage disposal (any strong opinions on this, anyone?)
  • Return outlet covers. Ugh. I bought the wrong size! I need a size up to cover it properly. It’ll be worth it — the ones we’re replacing are faded, or started out off-white. We’re doing a brighter white. Plus, they won’t have paint drips on them :)
  • Make a menu plan for the week we’ll be without water in the kitchen (so thinking about meal-prep…I want to make some meals ahead and plan things like sandwiches & salad)

Overall, my end of the work is wrapping up but I’m still feeling a little bit of stress about that whole painting/house in disarray thing. My husband has done much of the painting lately, as I don’t want to get up on ladders anymore. Plus, the repetitive motion of painting just doesn’t feel good for this third-trimester body of mine.

When I reflect on the project in terms of the budget, we’re spending way more than we originally anticipated back when we were daydreaming about a new kitchen.

For instance, we decided to add under-cabinet lighting. The lights themselves totaled around $70 which isn’t bad at all — but I had to pay an electrician so we can hard-wire the lights rather than have plugs dangling. And, we had to pay for an extra piece of lower-cabinet trim to help hide the light fixtures from view. Those two elements turned the under-mount lighting aspect into roughly $450 extra to the project.

And, though I had an ok guestimate of how much cabinets and counters might cost, I didn’t properly tally all the “extras” — the paint and supplies, the backsplash, the lighting, the designer, the hired labor. That stuff adds up.

We also had a few mini projects that weren’t a part of the original plan — painting the pantry door and exterior door, for one. Those are cheap projects, but still! An extra project! Also, I didn’t think about including outlet covers in the budget. Fortunately, the ones I purchased cost only $15 total for the kitchen and living room, so it’s a negligible expense.

Here's a shot of in-progress trim paintin

Here’s a shot of in-progress trim painting and why we had to paint the door. Our supposedly white door was pretty dingy looking with that bright white trim paint!

Even though we are spending more than we originally set out to spend, we have had time to save up the rest. I hope that we’ll increase our house’s value by a portion of the total amount spent. I doubt we’d get it all back, but surely we’ll get some when we sell (which hopefully isn’t for a long time anyway!). At worst, I think the updates will make it sell faster. And for what I can tell so far, we’re going to be a lot happier with more storage and a just plain nicer kitchen!

We’re repurposing some of the kitchen cabinets to garage cabinets for extra storage. The rest (along with the old light fixtures) will be donated to Habitat for Humanity…or I might end up selling some cabinets at a ¬†cheap price to the electrician who did my wiring.

I’ve caught myself grumbling here and there about painting, and just wanting the whole thing to be done already. And then I shush myself and remind myself that hey, at least I have a kitchen. At least I have a kitchen that I can make these changes to. And at least we can pay for it. We are very fortunate.


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8 Responses to “The state of the kitchen project”

  1. I dunno about brands or whatever, but when it comes to kitchen appliances like a garbage disposal, I just try to go middle-of-the-road in terms of price. Also, the dudes at Lowes and Home Depot aren’t paid by commission, and I’ve found they usually give pretty good advice.

    I’m pretty sure the guy who did our home renovations bought the cheapest stuff possible, and our garbage disposal is still doing okay. We are tough on it, too. I shove everything down that thing. Eep.

  2. We bought our GD from Home Depot, not top of the line, but not the bottom either. We are careful to run cold water while we are running it, and not to pour grease, or let anything really hard (bones, pits, etc) go down it. We have had it seven years without any issues. Once in a while I smell a odor (my husband can’t and I have sensitive smell) so I freeze vinegar into ice cubes and run them through, and also lemon or orange peels when I have them. Freshens it right up!
    I am excited for you to have your new kitchen before your new little one arrives. It is looking great!

  3. I’m all for disposals. Even if you compost, I think it’s worth it to have just for clearing dishes or for in the winter when lazy people like me don’t compost!

    We bought a Waste King disposal on Amazon over a year ago (this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014X7B5E/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) I didn’t do extensive research, but from the reading I did (Consumer Reports and a few other sources) Waste King is a good brand that has a better warranty than many others. So far, we’ve had no problems with ours and are happy with our purchase.

  4. We had a garbage disposal in our house and we paid a plumber to remove it. I just don’t think they are very useful.

    The updates look great! Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  5. Yes I am thrilled this will be done before the baby comes! What a relief to have that big project plus a clean, organized kitchen to start out with :)

  6. I am friends with a couple friends whose husbands are plumbers for a living, and they are adamantly opposed to garbage disposals. I should ask them why. Our house doesn’t have one, of course. Neither of us grew up with one so we don’t really notice not having it.

  7. Ashley that is so interesting! I would be curious. Maybe if they jam up? Or leak? I dunno.

    I have lived in a few places without, and at first it was an adjustment to remember to not let *any* food scrap fall in. But I just used a fine mesh strainer over the drain to catch it.

    I ended up ordering one just a second ago. I do like being able to grind up table scraps since we don’t compost. Don’t like stinky food smells in the trash if we can avoid it

  8. Awesome! The progress looks so great! I cannot wait to see it when it is finished. It seems like you are really making your house yours, which is fantastic!

    I despise painting, but the cost it takes to get someone else to paint (not to mention the stress of someone messing it up or not doing it to my liking) always makes me suck it up and do it… with lots of complaints along the way!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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