Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Budget kitchen reno before/after, cost, and DIYs

I shared last week how we budget for DIY projects... I guess budgets are on my mind a lot right now!! I realized I never shared a complete post about our kitchen reno, so I finally got my act together and added up ALL the expenses of our kitchen project at the Stanley 90's Reno.

We painted the cabinets instead of replacing them which saved a ton of money, but you'd be shocked at what the whole project actually cost us!!

Okay, I'll spill the beans--add up everything and it's well under $2,000. Nuts!!
Photo by Arthur Garcia-Clemente for Apartment Therapy

Some budget items, most of them approximate since I am doing this after-the-fact and it we bought everything over a period of several months:

White primer $20
Tinted primer $20
White cabinet paint $50
Grey cabinet paint $50
Black and white hinges $27
Cabinet hardware $27
Butcher block countertops $300
Butcher block oil $9
Farmhouse sink $420
Faucet $120
Pendant light $38
Conversion kit $16
Shelves (one pine board, cut) $12
Brackets $48
Tile $107
Mortar $16
Grout (we sprung for sealant-included) $58
Vent hood $124
Fridge, range, DW, microwave $320
(Sold range) $(550)
New range $450
Strip ceiling light $40
Bamboo blind $30
TOTAL: $1,752 
*Doesn't include wall paint or flooring cause we did those for the whole house, or tools like tile, sanding tools

Some of those items were provided to me for review, but I included the approximate cost of everything so you can see what this kind of kitchen reno would really cost you.

A few "holy crap" budget items that were SO cheap you may be scratching your head...

  • Obviously the appliances. Obviously we got a killer deal on the appliances. It was just a bit of luck, really; I went estate sale-ing with friends a couple weeks before we moved and one of the sales we hit had matching stainless steel appliances, all still installed, for $100 or so each, totaling $320 if I bought the bundle. They were a few years old, but not too old, and how could I pass up such a deal on an item we knew we'd need right away?? (Our house didn't come with a fridge and the old appliances were so gross.) It was a HUGE pain to rent the truck, come back to the estate sale house a week later, and uninstall all of them, but allowed us to spend money on other projects faster. (Turns out the range was an island range so not perfect for our kitchen/didn't go all the way to the back wall, but Jenn Aire so very spendy--I sold it on Craiglist and bought a new slide-in one for less than I sold it for. You can see the old one in the pics below.)
  • Also, the cabinet hardware. I got a 5-pack of 5" ones plus a 1-pack for the drawers, and a 10-pack of 3" ones for the cabinets, all for $27. Wow. I have heard tips to splurge on things like cabinet hardware cause it makes a big difference (and I do love some that are more like $12 each), but... we didn't and it worked out fine for this kitchen. In a fancier house, I might spend a lot more. 
  • The butcher block countertops were also a HUGE budget saver. They were provided to me but were great cause we could do a DIY install ourselves and cut them exactly how we needed them. Plus they look awesome!! I highly recommend them for a great budget kitchen option, and they come in island width, too. I found the Lumber Liquidators ones were not much more expensive than IKEA for the cheapest wood, and are solid wood/higher quality.
  • This vent hood. You can easily pay $500 for a relatively cheap vent hood. For some reason this one is about $130 and we even got a repackaged one to save a little more (I think they were $170 or something brand new when we ordered.) It was not easy to install, but I doubt a pricier one would have been easier!!
  • Tile. I chose this tile which is SO cheap, but we installed it in a straight herringbone pattern for interest (and since it's not a super traditional look kitchen where a regular subway tile pattern would have been the obvious choice) and it is a bit of a showstopper.

Of course, this was all possible because it was all DIY. Here are all my posts and tutorials about our DIY projects in the kitchen!

Oh, remember the "before"? (See the full "before" video tour here and before photos here.)

I call it a VERY successful DIY update!

You can shop many of the items (now you know they're budget-friendly) here:

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