Yep – this is an actual picture of my actual kitchen when we moved into our house. One person could fit comfortably and two people could fit as long as one person was holding his breath.
It was completely enclosed except for that teeny tiny window above the sink. It was dark. And closed in. And generally not a place that I wanted to spend much time – which sucked since we end up spending a lot of time in our kitchen.
So, being the impulsive – “I can do this remodel on the cheap” – person that I am, I decided to start pulling down cabinets and walls. My husband just shook his head. He’s a planner. He wanted a plan, but that’s not how I roll. I just jump right in with both feet, armed only with a general vision and my completely unfounded faith that I can do anything I set my mind to.
As I began the demolition, I was amazed by all the hidden treasures in my kitchen – like this random fan hidden above the cabinets over the fridge. The most frustrating find though, was when I realized that that lip above the cabinets was not just a lip – it was the ACTUAL CEILING! Which meant that I quickly learned how to tear out the ceiling…and clean up all the insulation and random bird’s nest that fell down with it.
The best hidden treasure was the window. Whomever put in the cabinets had basically boarded up that teeny tiny window which meant that when I took the cabinets out, I now had a HUGE window already there! Woo Hoo! It almost made tearing out the ceiling worth it.
The next step was taking out the drywall. I NEVER want to even look at drywall again. I hate that stuff. Its heavy and awkward and despite its simplicity, it makes a mess.
Here is my sexy sexy husband ripping into the ceiling while the drywall crumbled everywhere!
Once I got the new drywall up and mudded, I stopped. My energy for this project ran out completely.
My brother was horrified that our outlets were just dangling there (he probably had a point) and my husband and daughter were annoyed that all of our dishes were in the living room.
Don’t get me wrong. I was desperate to finish this thing, but I could not force myself to do one more thing to it. I was totally spent. So, I hired a handyman and I don’t regret that decision at all. It took him three days to finish my hack job and that included the time he spent politely fixing the parts I had already completed.
I put in the counters and the back splash (don’t be too impressed – the counters are contact paper and the back splash is just peel and stick. Totally ghetto but NOBODY WOULD KNOW…until now. Now I guess everyone knows. The point being: you cannot tell unless you look really closely).
I painted the bottom cabinets and replaced the hardware with some fancy hardware my mom gave me. Bought and put in the shelves. Replaced the big fridge with two little ones (one for food and one for drinks which we keep in a different room).
Ready for the reveal?
It feels like its 10 times bigger! I love the light that comes in through the bigger window and the range hood (which we bought but had our handyman install). I also replaced the lighting with track lighting to light the corners.
Now for the fun part! The cost breakdown. Forgive me – I was really diligent about recording expenses at the beginning and got less and less so as the project progressed.
counter tops: $40 – white marble never looked so good…just don’t look too close
drywall: $120 – included the mud, sanding and all the other things needed
truck: $20 – to drive the drywall home
electrical stuff: $12 – new outlet covers and boxes
haul away: $275 – I could have rented a truck and taken the stuff to the dump myself, but I wouldn’t have saved very much and the extra money was totally worth the hassle I saved.
new plates: $20 – if you are going to do open shelves, you have to have nice dishes
handyman and all the supplies he bought: $1300
backs splash: $88
hardware: free – thanks mom
light fixture: free – thanks buy nothing group
Not too bad for a complete kitchen remodel.