DIY: Complete Kitchen Renovation Under $5,000

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash
As I mentioned yesterday, we renovated half of our kitchen and liked it so much, I convinced Chris it was a good time to get the other half of the kitchen done combining sales, cash back rewards and keeping it all within our budget. I budgeted higher than I normally would for certain items, as I knew we wanted to splurge a bit on the oven and sink, as well as not buy the most basic of countertops and other items like we did in our townhouse.

I refuse to go into debt for any project, so unless we’ve squirreled away our nuts, we don’t do these projects without cash on hand. That’s how we save a great deal utilizing all the rewards available. The timing worked out that Chris loves projects and without something on the horizon, it was pretty easy to convince him to keep going and finish the other side while I worked out the financial end.

First, we had to remove the old cabinets and appliances. We had two gas lines coming into the kitchen, so Chris had to close one off under the house which we plan to reroute at a later date into the family room for a gas fireplace.



He also had to reroute electrical boxes and add some more for options in the kitchen. You can see the microwave was on an extension cord down to the one outlet available on the counter. He moved one into a top cabinet for the microwave so that wasn’t an issue in the future.

When he removed the sink area and dishwasher, we found some dried old water damage below. It was a surprise, but we were glad to have found it now so we could clean up and repair.

He ended up ripping out the drywall all around to remove insulation that was old and partially damaged from the water, as well as gain access to more plumbing and electrical concerns. Good thing we did, as he found some electrical wires in the wall that weren’t up to code and sitting somewhat exposed in a metal box. He reworked all the items to be code and safe.

The drywalling expert, among other things, did an amazing job with the walls after he moved all the important pieces for gas, electric, and plumbing. Ah, love this guy.

You can see the new electrical boxes on this wall, one of which is now hidden in the cabinet so the microwave isn’t on an extension cord and doesn’t use up precious outlet counter options. I wasn’t able to help as much as I did in our last house when we ripped out the kitchen, but I was able to help hold up cabinets along with his magical 2×4 that makes hanging cabinets very easy.

Once the gas was done, the electric complete, he moved into plumbing. He reworked the under-sink plumbing from under the house upwards. He added a few new safety shut-offs underneath, inside the house, and above certain connections so we could have access to turn off pieces of the plumbing if needed without shutting down the entire process.

A lot of the work he did in the process was with thinking long term. The gas lines were chosen, closed, etc with thinking how we will use it in the future. The electrical with how it all connects together and tripping what and where and how it will effect what appliances (i.e. a new dishwasher outlet that can be tripped from the top – not sure I’m explaining it right) and plumbing setup for future appliance changes or issues to be safe.

We had to redo the sub-floor under the cabinets, as the tile was put in on this side right up to the old original design. My mathematical genius found the right flooring size to put in the right amount of pieces to equal the exact height of the tiles. Go me.

And thus, this is the completed project. We are still waiting on the oven/dishwasher (so much for next day delivery – we upgraded a little – “special order”) which should be here the end of the week. Otherwise, Chris will do a tile backsplash in the fall as the drywall and paint have to cure/settle for three weeks before putting anything on top of them.

And just like that, my crazy pregnant self convinced my awesome husband we were capable of redoing the kitchen completely and within our planned budget of under $5,000 for both sides + appliances. I don’t let him call in expensive professionals which takes a little more time for his planning. We’ve done somewhat most of this before, so this time around it went a little quicker and we learned more in the process.

In total, for the entire kitchen it took two weeks to complete. His woodworking skills came into handy with a new end piece by the dishwasher and a new window ledge (as the old one was covered in the old laminate countertop color).

I also love our new GIANT sink that is deep and wide. We can fit our dish drain in the one side and still have a ton of space. It came with a few accessories that will make life easier (a strainer piece and a smaller sink for soaking, plus a special bamboo cutting board). I believe this baby will be able to lay down comfortably the first while in it, ha.

I love looking at the house as a place where we can truly have a hand in every inch and update it to our desires. I have plans now for some changes elsewhere now that he knows more about gas lines… as that was the only thing holding him back nervously to do this side.

I can’t believe we’ve lived here exactly ONE year and we’ve already renovated both bathrooms and the kitchen. So much for “in a few years” for any of it. I believe we were a bit spoiled leaving our completed townhouse that we missed some comforts of what we designed there.

Now, we’re back in business and I cannot wait for this baby to come so we can get down to cooking amazing meals in this kitchen and sharing it with friends and family.

Notice the custom doggie bowl lift to match the countertops… somebody does love our Ruby 🙂

Oh, and I got my space to put the baby bottles and bibs… the 3 drawers on the opposite side 🙂

Now, let’s get this baby here already!

– kate –



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