Rate This Remodel: ,000 California Kitchen

Kathy's Remodeling Blog

First, here are the facts:

• The kitchen remodel in this 1971 Northridge tract house cost $20,000 and was done in three weeks.
• Homeowner Dani Taylor did none of the work herself, but hired a contractor well known in the neighborhood.
• Dani had many years to imagine how she would improve her kitchen as other remodeling projects and additions to the house took priority.
• Rather than investing in new cabinets, Dani had her cabinet boxes refaced and got new doors and drawer fronts.
• She added an amazing amount of extra counter space by designing the new, angled cabinet section you see on the right of the remodel photos.
• While most of the appliances are new, she opted to keep her dishwasher, which worked fine, and got a new panel for the front.
• A few concessions were made to keep within budget, including keeping the existing tile floor and not pushing the kitchen into an adjacent breakfast area.
• But Dani did not have to give up her dream of granite counters, which were fit into the budget.

Here’s a chance to offer some feedback:

4 Comments on Rate This Remodel: $20,000 California Kitchen

  1. Brent

    I’d love to pay only $20k to have a remodel like that in 3 weeks. Instead I’ll pay $10k and it’ll take me three years.
    Bravo on the counter extension. The arch passthrough is elegant too. I can’t tell if the details were originally there or not. I don’t like the floor — too hard, too uneven, but it seems that neither budget nor schedule could have been met if she had removed the floor.

  2. lil_gaucha

    wow. wow. wow.
    I absolutely LOVE what she did. She was able to save what worked and tweak it so it was amazing. And kudos for leaving some original elements like floors and cabinet frames.
    Wish my cabinets weren’t ill fitted and made of 25 year old particle board, I might consider something like that.
    ‘though I am contemplating stealing that counter extension idea.

  3. Laurie

    Wow, this is money well spent. $20 grand is a very good price for all. Refacing only for a kitchen that size starts about $8,000-$10,000 plus the custom addition could run about $13,000 installed. Plus add the labor and material for the granite, plus the electrical and new appliances. I say she did very well. I can’t tell from the before picture, did they do anything different to the ceiling besides the recessed can lights? Are those to code (CFL-don’t ‘cha know). Did she pull permits?
    KPR: Yes, Dani’s contractor definitely pulled permits. Dani’s husband is a real estate agent, so they are hyper-aware of the importance of permitted work. You can’t see from the before photo, but the sloped ceiling is the same before and after. Before, though, there was a really dated -looking track light. The can lights took the place of that.

  4. Cheryl

    How did they spend $20000?
    Or am I missing something major?
    KPR: I don’t have complete numbers on this job, but a good refacing job can cost $5,000 or more. Plus the new hardware. And I don’t think she went for the cheapest materials possible. I’d say the granite purchase and fabrication was probably $3,000 to $5,000, again not the cheapest granite, and the backsplash is pretty extensive. The new custom cabinet extension cost something. Appliances were likely one or two grand. There was painting of the kitchen and the adjacent dining room. Then there were new can lights in the ceiling, and a new arch with columns between the kitchen and breakfast room. That cost something. There’s the sink and faucet and all new plumbing. And the contractor got paid for his services. It adds up pretty good to me, especially considering the homeowners did not do one thing themselves. But I agree with your overall sentiment, and I’m sure with different selections she could have gotten it done cheaper.