Last weekend I hosted an open house at a gorgeous, newer home with a beautiful kitchen. The kitchen had all the bells and whistles: granite countertops, high-end appliances, gas range, drink cooler, etc. One potential buyer walked through and made the comment that his wife wouldn’t like the colour of the kitchen cabinets. And that’s a totally fair comment. Even though the kitchen was great in so many ways, not everyone has the same taste. I shared with him how our kitchen in our home was pretty nice as well when we bought the house but that it wasn’t completely our style and that we were able to make a few changes without breaking the bank. After our conversation, it got me thinking and I thought I would blog this week about what we did in our kitchen and also share with you the cost. You might be surprised!
Last week’s blog focused on the topic of Good Bones (click here to read all about it), and that was certainly a factor when we looked at our house. We knew that, for the most part, the kitchen had good bones. The appliances were in good shape, it was the right size kitchen, the layout worked well, and the cabinets were also in good shape. All these things meant we could save money as we didn’t have to replace appliances, or cabinets, or take down walls, etc.
Similar to the man I spoke with on the weekend at the open house I was hosting, I didn’t love the colour of our cabinets either. I’m a sucker for white cabinets. Initially we researched replacing them, but as I mentioned it’s quite a big kitchen and brand new cabinets would have been costly. After doing a lot of research and speaking with a few companies that spray cabinets, we decided to have our cabinets sprayed. I was nervous that they would chip, but two years later, with two kids who constantly drive toys and what not into them, I’m happy to report that they are in great shape and no chips! So you have an idea of the size of our kitchen, this is how many cabinets we have:
- 7 single upper cabinets
- 6 double upper cabinets
- 17 drawers
- 7 single lower cabinets
- 6 double lower cabinets
In total, the cost to have all those cabinets sprayed was $5500. Not bad considering it probably would have been about double that cost (as a low estimate) to replace all those cabinets. We also saved energy and time in not having to remove cabinets or reconfigure them.
In my opinion, if you’re going to do a kitchen renovation one of the biggest impacts you can have (other than changing cabinets) is updating the counters. While the counters were in great shape when we bought the house, they were laminate and not stone/solid surface. I love the look of marble but I don’t love the upkeep that comes with it or the cost. We ended up finding a quartz counter, which is much more durable, that had a marble look to it. The cost to upgrade the counters was $3900, this included delivery and installation. These counters are probably one of my favourite things about our kitchen.
Next, we upgraded the backsplash. We went with a white subway tile. What I love about subway tile is that there are many patterns you can do to create interest and add detail. I have quite a traditional style, so we went with a standard brick pattern. What I also love about subway tile is that it’s easy to clean and it’s cheap (which is always a bonus). The tile and installation cost $900.
There were a few other changes that we made, such as replacing the sink, faucet, and handles for all cabinets and drawers. We went with a black granite sink from Costco, which cost under $300. The faucet cost about $200, and we got our cabinet handles from IKEA. The handles came in a two pack and they were (I think around $6 per pack). We needed 27 packs, so they cost us under $200. These extras add up to approximately $700.
In summary, we paid $5500 for our cabinets to be sprayed, $3900 for our counters, $900 for our tile (and labour), and $700 for the sink, faucet, and handles. In total (before tax) our kitchen reno cost $11K. Considering the size of our kitchen and the impact the changes had, it was worth every last dime. Kitchens also have the best return on investment when it comes to renovating. We also added some custom touches that cost us next to nothing but added character. This included removing one double upper cabinet and replacing it with open shelving. This is where we now display wine glasses and other décor. We were also gifted a new light for above our island (thanks mum and dad!), so we replaced the outdated fixture.
I wanted to share this because often times home renovation shows will show that it cost thousands upon thousands to renovate a kitchen. These costs can be accurate depending on the type of finishes you choose and the state of the kitchen to begin with. But what’s important to know or keep in mind, is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot and when you do renovate you get exactly what you want and exactly your style.
Thanks for reading.
Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty