Dexter Kitchen Renovation Part 3: Cost and Resources


This is part 3 of a 3 part series on the Dexter kitchen renovation.  Please see part 1, the renovation process, here and part 2, the reveal, here.  

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…

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Renovaiton Open Shelves

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:

$4200 Appliances

$1500 Cabinets

$920 Countertops

$460 Hardware

$450 Skylights

$790 Sink

$275 Faucet + Pot filler

$950 Lighting

$150 Electrical

$100 Plumbing

$700 Flooring materials + refinish

$255 Shelves

$220 Backsplash

$400 Framing & Building Materials

$250 Paint

$200 Incidentals

$11,820 Total

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.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel north

What would you guys have splurged on?  Would you have picked any of the same splurges I did?
Okay, before I wrap up, let me share my resources: Cabinets, GS Cabinets | Countertops, Hardwood Industries | Sink, NB Drainboards | Faucet, Wayfair | Potfiller, Signature Hardware | Tile, Overstock | Floors, Red Oak, Hardwood Industries | Shelves, Red Oak, Hardwood Industries | Shelf brackets, Etsy | Campaign Hardware, Etsy | Cabinet knobs, Home Depot | Range, Blue Star | Mudroom bench, vintage, Craigslist |
Paint: lower cabinets, Onyx, Benjamin Moore | everything else, Simply White, Benjamin Moore
And in case you’re interested, here’s a recap of all the Dexter kitchen posts… the Reveal | the Renovation ProcessCampaign hardware | Butcher Block Countertops | Tuxedo Kitchen Progress | Cement Tile Backsplash | Tuxedo kitchen plan | Drywall and Cabinets | Rough In | Dexter Kitchen Plan | Framing and Final Demo | and all about the Mudroom



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.

p.p.p.s. A few of my favorite pins recently: this dinner.  This bedroom.  This littles’ bedroom.  This look.  And this family.


Dexter Kitchen Renovation Part 2: the Reveal

The Grit and Polish - Dexter kitchen renovation W

THE DEXTER HOUSE This is part 2 of a series on the Dexter House kitchen renovation.  Part 1 (the Renovation Process) can be found here. After months of hard work, it's finally time to share the renovated Dexter House kitchen with you.  And let me just say that no one is more excited about the finished space than me!  I love this kitchen - it … [Continue reading...]


Dexter Kitchen Renovation Part 1: the Renovation Process

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel - Progress 4

THE DEXTER HOUSE This is part 1 of a series on the Dexter House kitchen renovation.  Part 2 (the Reveal) can be found here. When we first toured the Dexter House in October of 2014, one of the things that stood out to me the most was the kitchen.  It had to go.  Complete with black mold and a horrendous layout, the kitchen was going to be … [Continue reading...]

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Dexter Kitchen: Campaign Hardware

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Campaign Hardware

THE DEXTER HOUSE Well, I can finally say that I like the look of the campaign hardware as much as I had hoped. There are also more issues with the hardware than I expected (did you notice the booboo on the lower right drawer?), but I'll get to that in a minute. First up, let's talk about where we found this undeniably beautiful cabinet … [Continue reading...]


Dexter Kitchen: Butcher Block Countertops

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Butcher Block Seal

THE DEXTER HOUSE If you've followed the Grit and Polish for long, you know that we love using butcher blocks for kitchen countertops (like this one).  They're inexpensive, timeless and easy to install yourself, making them the perfect material for DIYers like ourselves.  At the Dexter House, we decided to upgrade our usual butcher block … [Continue reading...]


What Family Means to Me

The Grit and Polish - First Family photo 2016

Happy 2016, friends!  We had a really lovely and relaxing break over the holidays.  We left the city and the Dexter renovation behind to play in the snow and the wide open space at Nana and Papa's farm.  We're back in Seattle now and ready to tackle a few lingering projects on the main floor of the Dexter House and then start the basement remodel. … [Continue reading...]


Happy Holidays & A 2015 Recap

The Grit and Polish - Family Filming at Dexter Small

Happy holidays everyone!  I hope you get to enjoy time with all who are dear this holiday season and maybe if you're lucky, they will help you with a house project or two:-).  We'll be heading over to Nana and Papa's farm for a little break as we soak up our first holiday season as a family of 4.  But before I go, here's a few of my favorite … [Continue reading...]


Filming Our Mini TV Pilot (Yes, really!)

The Grit and Polish - Filming mini pilot at Ravenna

This year has been filled with a lot of craziness and excitement!  There was the new house and a top-to-bottom renovation, 9-months of pregnancy and the birth of baby Brooks, our 10-year anniversary and a momentous graduation, tons of hard work and a whole lot of family and fun.   Even with all that, by far the craziest thing we did in 2015 was … [Continue reading...]


Our Tiny Master Bathroom: What it Cost

The Grit and Polish - Bedroom Demo 2

THE DEXTER HOUSE I showed you the finished master bathroom last week, so let's take a quick look at what it cost.  As you probably remember, this space was originally a dining nook, so we had to buy everything that went into building a bathroom: plumbing, venting, tub, sink, toilet, etc. And considering the massive transformation, I was … [Continue reading...]