I’ve never given numbers before – because what’s the point?
Maybe I had to buy 3 new paint brushes and you didn’t. Maybe my stupid Canadian Home Depot charges more than your American one. Maybe you already have brass nipples.
Renovation choices are completely subjective – splurging for this or that where it suits our preferences, skimping where we don’t care. No kitchen renovation is ever going to cost the same. Consider this no sort of victorious announcement – merely an FYI.
When planning our kitchen overhaul & its layout, many of you jumped up & down shouting “Ikea drawers! Ikea drawers!” It’s good to know they’re popular for the future – but we fixed all our cupboards and installed a mile of Lagan butcher block for the price of just one drawer set.
- General DIY supplies: $460 For the purpose of my costs, I’ve assumed we started the kitchen from absolutely bare basics: an empty tool box and supply cupboard. Included: Chisels, gloves, goggles and masks, jigsaw blades and rental, knee pads(!), mud pans, paint brushes, rollers, trays and tape, palette and putty knives, poly, pull bars and rubber mallets, a platform ladder, scrubbing pads, spray bottles, a T-square, trash bags, sand paper and blocks, vinegar and a drywall saw. Of course, we use these things all over (and will take most of them with us next time) – but illustrative, non?
- Paint: $136 4 cans of CIL Naturaliving (no-VOC). Eggshell for the walls, flat ceiling for the, um, ceiling, semi-gloss for the cabinets and primer all over. Add a can of spray paint for the hinges, plus the insult of environmental fees for VOC-free paint. I didn’t pay close attention, but we didn’t use very much of each can. It only comes in gallons, but we’ve used them elsewhere throughout the apartment.
- Floor: $273 Laminate from Nucasa, a high-grade underlay and transition strips.
- Invisible ingredients: $261 whatever you can’t see that’s holding up, piecing together or making the kitchen safe. Basically 90% of what’s in Home Depot like tuck tape, drywall mesh, wood filler, brass nipples, Teflon tape and whatever an “ABS11/2Coupl” might be. Ikea also took $11.20 off our hands for a FIXA difussion barrier – which seems like a lot for what’s essentially a shiny silver sticker. (It sticks to the butcher block above the dishwasher).
- Shiny stuff: $2878 We already confessed to buying a much nicer fridge, freezer and range than this apartment might necessitate. (Related: 12 tips for appliance shopping). Also included are the range hood, sink and tap, Ikea LEDING track light (apparently it’s obvious), and all the cupboard door handles. I grant you this category is indulgent – but people do comment on the brand-name sink, so I hope the gamble pays off come sale time.
- Butcher block: $319 Two big bits of Ikea LAGAN and one small, plus their rank BEHANDLA finishing oil. We had a square left-over, so we spruced up our Ikea BEKVAM.
Fine, I’ll do even more math. Total cost to go from this to that? $4350
Could it be done for about $1000, as this couple did? Hmm…
- Say we already had most of the supplies (but needed trash bags, tape and a jigsaw rental)… $62
- Say we found a different brand of no-VOC paint that came in half-gallons… $68
- Same floor… $273
- Say there’s some wood filler left in the tube, and we shop smarter, could we cut 20% of the invisible costs? … $209
- They didn’t buy new appliances, neither will I. A slightly cheaper sink and tap, plus cupboard handles and light… $463
- Same butcher block… $319
- TOTAL: $1394
So if you were to subtract 12% for cross-border price disparity, and another 2% for sales tax differential – our kitchen’s American cost is approx. $3741, and the imaginary comparison kitchen is $1199 – an uncanny match to their stated $1207 total. (I swear I didn’t reverse-engineer that).
Far more importantly?
Everything works! It’s heaven! Nine months or so later, I completely love our kitchen. The cupboard space is perfectly sufficient for a 2-person apartment, and we fight to use the desk space. (Operating policy: “he who sits there plays barista”). The rack part of the wine rack hasn’t quite been born yet, but it’s corralling everything just fine. ‘Backsplash’ remains completely ignored as a concept. I was completely ecstatic to see this Ikea kitchen as their lead page in the 2012 catalogue – suggesting other people like the look, too.
What’s that you ask? Is there a rude and belligerent message written on the wall behind the moved kitchen cabinets? Do we seem like those kind of people? That’s for the guy who rips it out to discover.
###Pin ItHey, you want a s'more? Some more of what?