Tuesday, October 18

DIY Kitchen Reno Plan

We've decided to make a big change in our old farmhouse. We're swapping the kitchen and dining room! The current dining room is much bigger than the kitchen, and with baby #6 on the way we're feeling more crowded than ever in our smaller kitchen. Will we get it done before the baby comes in December? No idea! 

Let me start by saying that we've been saving up for this project for a while and plan to pay cash for the entire thing. If you've never done it, I highly recommend finding a local Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey (you can read more about our first steps into the program a few years ago). I never advocate going into debt for home renovations or updates. So no refinancing, second mortgages, or home equity lines of credit! 

We also plan to DIY as much as we possibly can ourselves to keep costs down. This means progress will be much slower than bringing in a contractor. We've already been working for a few weeks and it still looks like a dining room... with the addition of a few lights and outlets. While it doesn't look like much, these are the little things that take time but are really important to a kitchen that functions well. And we'll save thousands of dollars by plugging away at these things ourselves when we have a free evening or weekend. With that said, we also realize our limitations and already hired a window company to move our windows up to countertop height, and we'll probably end up hiring someone to run the gas line to stove. 

While we've been saving up, we've had plenty of time to start dreaming and planning. Believe it or not, we still haven't worked out quite all the details (largely due to my indecisive nature). But we've got the basics nailed down and we're jumping in with a "figure it out as we go" spirit. We started by measuring the space and playing around with layout ideas. Keeping in mind all the things we wanted out of this new space:
  • a large island with seating
  • pantry
  • 48" stove
  • two sinks
  • keep the wall of windows
  • more fridge space
  • more drawers
  • keep the original built-ins!
So here's the plan:


Once we had a a general plan for the layout, we started shopping around for cabinets. We decided on Ikea cabinets because the price was good for what we wanted - a light wood finish and so many options for drawers and cabinet features. They also have a 25 year warranty! We could have done cabinets for probably around half the price if we used unfinished off-the-shelf cabinets from a home improvement store, but there is a really limited variety of cabinet sizes and types when you go that route (specifically for me - you can't get the big drawer cabinets). So we decided the higher price was worth it to get the features we really wanted. And, most importantly, we accounted for that in our budget and saved enough to get them! With that said, you can still make an amazing DIY kitchen with stock cabinetry and we have loved using them in other projects like our DIY built-ins!

The best way to plan a kitchen with Ikea cabinets is using the free kitchen planner on their website. I put in our room measurements and was easily able to try out all their cabinets in the space until I landed on a final layout I was happy with. Which meant lots of drawers! Then I could add the whole design to my cart and it made sure I had all the pieces I need (including things I didn't know I needed like support bars and legs). We ordered their light oak cabinets and spent around $7500 for (almost) the whole kitchen. (We're waiting to order cabinets for above the fridge until we decide on an exact size). I know Menards also offers a kitchen planner on their website that would be super helpful if you're planning a kitchen with their unfinished cabinetry!

There are a couple downsides with Ikea cabinets. First of all, things seem to go in and out of stock really fast right now. When we placed our order there were fortunately only two pieces out of stock (one cabinet frame and one drawer front). So we ordered what we could and I just keep checking the website for the other two to come in stock. I was able to get the cabinet frame last week, but I'm still waiting for that pesky drawer front. The other downside, which Ikea is famous for, is that the cabinets all come flat packed and require assembly. Seriously, we have over 80 boxes in our dining room right now waiting to be assembled. But, again, that's part of what keeps the cost down and it allowed us to get the cabinets we really wanted without dropping a fortune on custom cabinetry. We didn't consider building from scratch for this remodel (you can see the cabinets we built  for our last kitchen here, and see them painted here) because we recognize our time constraints in this season. Unlike a lot of home bloggers... we're pretty normal. We don't do this full-time. My husband works normal hours, and I homeschool and care for our five (going on six) children full-time. We squeeze in progress when we can on evenings and weekends. We might have saved money by building, but it wasn't worth the extra time costs right now. 


Countertops... are still up in the air. We're looking at quartz countertops because they are one of the most durable options out there and have zero maintenance. But they are going to be expensive. We haven't gotten a legit quote yet, but we've been doing the math with the square-foot prices. I'll have to let you know what material we land on. But style-wise, I'm thinking a white countertop with a marble-esque vibe. 


Definitely going with a white subway tile. Classic and timeless. Going crazy with the backsplash is a good way to end up with kitchen regret a few years down the road when styles (or your taste) change. And it's super affordable to just get basic tile at a home improvement store! We won't need a ton of backsplash since one wall is almost entirely made of windows, but we're keeping it classic and cheap all the same. 


Another area that isn't totally settled. But we need to get the cabinets in first anyway so we've got some time. Right now I'm leaning toward a gray and white diamond pattern with tile. This is just porcelain tile off-the-shelf at Menards so it's pretty affordable. But... I'm also considering refinishing the original wood because it's seems like a crime to cover it up. 

Lighting & Electrical

Like I mentioned earlier, this is super important for a functional kitchen and I'm planning to do a more in depth post about what we chose and how we figured placement, etc. But for now, in a nutshell, we're adding can lights above the countertop with a dimmer switch, adding outlets along the backsplash and in the island, and adding pendant lights above the island. Plus running electrical for things like the stove, dishwasher, and fridge. 


We'll need to run plumbing for the sinks and pot fillers. We haven't really gotten there yet. I'll keep you posted. 

Range Hood

One of the design features I'm most excited about in this kitchen is a custom range hood. I'm nailing down the final design, but I'm thinking white with an arched opening. And I know I DO NOT want the sides to come all the way down to countertop like a lot of the hoods on pinterest. I like my elbow room too much!

So that's the plan so far. We still have some details to finalize and a lot of work ahead of us. So, if you like realistic renovations and the speed of life, stick around and see what we come up with!

1 comment:

  1. Love this update. So fun to watch your creativity and talent.