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Kitchen Remodel : Renderings and How We Cut Our Budget 50%

Ever since we moved into our house (summer 2020), I’ve wanted to update the kitchen. I thought this project would be happening a lot sooner but after you move in and have to spend over 10K just to paint and then you don’t have nearly enough furniture to furnish the house, things get put on hold haha (more on that herethings to think about before moving to a larger space). However, we just closed on our cash out refinance and the main reason that we decided to do one was so we could update the kitchen. And if you’re unfamiliar with a cash out refinance or want to read more about our decision to do one, I have blogs with a part I and part 2 on that topic.

So let’s chat about the kitchen. So once I found a general contractor I wanted to work with (Carolina Chic), they came over and we talked about updates that I knew I wanted from the beginning and then it was also great to get their ideas and just hear what was feasibly possible. So during that meeting, we went through what my “ideal” kitchen would be and then they essentially put together some mood boards, followed by renderings and then a final quote. I could always take things off/adjust but I started off by seeing what it would cost if I did absolutely everything that I wanted. Here is what our kitchen looked like when we first moved in (the only thing we did was repaint the cabinets and our floors have been redone as well). And then here are what the initial renderings looked like that included all the bells and whistles.

kitchen when we first moved in
recent photo of kitchen so you can see current columns

So some of the major changes and updates that brought this initial quote to ~75k:
– new, custom built island. Larger w/ oven and microwave built in plus new range.
– removing oven and microwave from current location and opening up entire back wall (rendering 1) w/ open shelves
to create a coffee bar area
– relocating pendants above island and adding 3rd pendant + new can lights

leveling out bar by sink area to open up into living room
– wrapping columns
– getting rid of desk area in our kitchen/leveling out that countertop and adding a new cabinet and wine fridge
– new countertops (quartzite which is one of the more expensive options) and backsplash
– new sink plus adding a garbage disposal
– painting bottom cabinets black

*One thing I should also mention that is our kitchen is pretty large, which is something to consider with a remodel. If our kitchen was smaller in size and we wanted to do all of the above, the cost would be much less to begin with.

So for a while, I debated moving forward with this full remodel. Reasons being: 1. Our home equity had already gone up over 200k since purchasing so it’s not like putting this much money into the house would price us out of the market if we ever decided to sell. 2. We planned on staying in this house for at least another 5 years 3. We would be able to get the funds to cover in through the cash out refinance and the whole point of us applying for that was to get a loan to update/remodel.

However. Over the last 6 months (as y’all probably know), we have just been feeling more unsure if we want to stay in Raleigh longterm. We absolutely love this house (which has definitely played into our decision if we want to stay) and Raleigh is really great when it comes to places to live, but we have our reasons for wanting to potentially move (more on that here). And while I did say in that blog post that we were going to be staying put for now, we really have just continued to feel torn and are continuing to weigh what is the best option. That being said, I didn’t feel like it was smart to invest so much money into the kitchen when we aren’t 100% sure that we’re going to be staying in the house longterm.

So like most things, finding a compromise is usually best, so that’s what I started to consider. Was I going to get my absolute “dream” kitchen? No, but I could still get it way more updated than it currently is so if we end up staying, I will still enjoy the updates, but if we end up moving then the investment we are putting in will be great for resale. So here how I how I basically cut the quote by over 50% :

new, custom built island. Larger w/ stove and microwave built in plus new range.
removing oven and microwave from current location and opening up entire back wall (rendering 1) w/ open shelves to create a coffee bar area
– relocating pendants above island and adding 3rd pendant + new can lights

leveling out bar by sink area to open up into living room
– wrapping columns
– getting rid of desk area in our kitchen/leveling out that countertop and adding a new cabinet and wine fridge
– new countertops (change from quartzite to midlevel quartz) and backsplash
– new sink plus adding a garbage disposal
– painting bottom cabinets black

So I know that looks like I eliminated a lot and that’s because I did! But all the things that I eliminated were changes that we didn’t really need. Like ripping out the oven and microwave and relocating it to a brand new (giant lol) island, not to mention building a brand new island which was $$$, to wrapping the columns, etc. The things we kept were the updates that would make the most impact for our money – new countertops and backsplash, new sink, updated pendants, and adding the mini fridge. Those are universal changes that most people who are buying a house will love. I would argue that most people (who would potentially buy our house) aren’t going to care of the columns are wrapped, if the cabinets are painted black (that is probably more a personal preference), if the microwave and oven are built into the island, etc. So I didn’t make sense to invest all that money for changes that a future buyer wouldn’t potentially care much about.

If you’re planning on renovating or a kitchen, bathroom (or any space), these are all things to think about (the initial investment, resale, do you need to have every single little thing updated or can you focus on the bigger picture and still have a space that looks and feels totally different for half the cost, etc). Obviously a lot of will depend on your specific situation, but I just thought I would share the thought process that we went through when deciding what to move forward with regarding the kitchen remodel.

does one of your girlfriends need to hear this? Share away…

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  1. Kiara Ruth says:

    Omg! This is so nice! I love it

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