THE DEXTER HOUSE
Now that the kitchen renovation is complete at the Dexter House, I wanted to show you guys what this project cost us. I had Garrett empty out the truck seats and check behind the kitchen drawer for any missing receipts and logged them in my handy-dandy Excel budget tracker. Let’s take a look, shall we…
When we first toured this house, I earmarked $10,000-$15,000 for the kitchen renovation, but narrowed that number down to $12,200 after deciding on a layout and design plan. That number doesn’t include tax or house-wide expenses like the new electrical panel or the main plumbing runs, but it does include everything you can see in this room. Here’s how our budget turned out:
$275 Faucet + Pot filler
$700 Flooring materials + refinish
$400 Framing & Building Materials
That’s a lot of money. But considering that the average US major kitchen remodel runs between $18k and a ton, our figure seems kinda reasonable, right?! In truth, we’ve spent between $5k and $12k for all four of our previous kitchen remodels, so while the Dexter House kitchen remodel is cheap by US standards, it was on the high side for these DIY-ers.
We made some big splurges this time around, like the swing-arm lights, the appliances (especially the Blue Star range), the handcrafted shelf brackets (which seem to be everyone’s favorite and we still have 5 more of them…!), and the campaign hardware. These items were all ‘big impact’ and thus justifiable, at least in my book. Of course if I were to design this kitchen over, I’d change a couple of things. Like I’d probably switch out the campaign hardware with something cheaper and easier to use. I’d also consider replacing the cement tile backsplash with classic white subway tiles and extend them behind the open shelves for higher impact. I really didn’t want to do a large tile installation after the exhausting Ravenna herringbone backsplash, but in the end, large backslashes are a crowd pleaser, so I’d probably make the effort next time around. Hindsight is 20/20.
We did save some money in a few spots too. Like doing all the labor ourselves. And using open shelves instead of upper cabinets on the east wall. And salvaging the original pie safe. We also went with stock cabinets and painted them ourselves, which added high contrast and turned boring-looking cabinets into something a bit more high-end.
p.s. seriously digging these fold away teepees handmade in the USA!
p.p.s. When I was little, my family would go hiking every summer. We’d pack sleeping bags and a cook stove and enough food to last two weeks into backpacks and just go. I think that’s why I’ve never really been into the whole “glamping” movement. Until now.