Renovations are never fun. They take longer than anticipated, cost a lot more than you originally thoughtand then there are always those surprises that happen along the way - and they are never the good surprises you want.
The one thing that we have learned is to always, no matter what, get several quotes and prices for whatever you are doing, even down to the faucet. It doesn't matter if you feel like you are bothering anyone and it might seem like a full time job at the time, but it is worth it. For example, in our kitchen, we needed to move the gas line for our stove from our island to the wall - maybe 7 feet or so. When we got the first quote, the guy told us it would cost $1,400. We looked at him and asked him why it was so much- he honestly said, "I have no idea" - shocking right? We eventually got it done by another contractor for only $400 - a huge difference! For the whole kitchen, I think I had gotten 3-4 different quotes to do the renovation from plumbers, electricians, and contractors, for the cabinets (can't forget granite and tiles as well) until we decided which ones we liked the best for the style, quality and money. It all can get very taxing but you will save so much. In the end, we decided to do a lot of the work ourselves. This is our kitchen, I had designed and layed out how I wanted it to go and then worked with a cabinet supplier to order the correct sizes, he came out and verified that they would all fit so there was no mistakes. Our kitchen is not huge by any means so we had to get as much space out of the layout as possible. We decided to bump out a space into our garage to put our frig and storage space beside. It made a big difference. We then moved the stove out of the over-sized island and put it along the wall, and put a new, slightly smaller island in, giving us a nice surface area - we end up eating there more then we ever thought. I wanted to keep it nice and light by using the lighter granite and again with the marble backsplash and off white cabinets. I did want to use black so we used a black cabinet on the island and on a hutch piece along the one wall to balance it out. I love red (as you can see in additional photos in "my projects") with the accents of red around, my mixer, teapot, shelve and chalkboard. The biggest downfall with renovations, when doing some of it yourself is that it without a doubt it takes longer to complete, then you get to this certain point where it is functional and it's easy to let the finishing touches go. But all that said, I love it so much better. There are a couple things that I would have done differently but overall we are really happy with the results.
Our kitchen before....
This is the other end of the kitchen where we had the bump out built. We had fun with the 2 cabinet doors by the frig. Instead of spending the $750 for the 2 door fronts, my husband made them and then I painted them with chalk paint- I love them, every time I run out of something in the frig I can quickly write it down. The kids love to color on them as well. Check out "my projects" to see more pictures of the renovation.
To see more kitchen renovations, go to the linky party at jennifer rizzo