When touring a 1940s house with our realtor, "outdated" did not adequately describe the kitchen. The homemade cabinets with attached upper hutch provided insufficient countertop area and storage. My husband and I had a vision for the kitchen and bought the house knowing we would be facing a renovation. Our kitchen renovation plan was to do most of the work ourselves and to recycle items we removed from the kitchen. To our surprise, we also found a big cost savings by accepting recycled items into our renovation project.
Gutting the kitchen
It took less than one day to remove everything from the kitchen. The refrigerator and microwave were placed temporarily in the dining room for use during the renovation. We gave away or sold almost everything we removed from the kitchen. The only thing we needed to take to the dump was the linoleum flooring.
Creating our new kitchen
Holes left after removing wall cabinets and the ceiling light were patched. Wallpaper was stripped. Ceiling, walls, and trim were painted. New underlayment was glued and screwed to the floor prior to installing commercial grade floor tile that we chose for durability and easy maintenance. After intalling the kitchen cabinets, the sink plumbing and garbage disposal were connected.
The expected biggest expense -- the kitchen cabinets -- were free! We heard that a storm-damaged house was scheduled for demolition. We asked if we could have the kitchen cabinets, which had only recently been installed and were in excellent condition. We also took the laminate countertop to use temporarily.
Immediately after moving in to our house, we upgraded the electric service from 100 amps to 150 amps to accommodate our home offices, so we were ready to supply a power-demanding microwave on its own outlet. That electric upgrade cost about $1,000. We hired a professional to install the pipe for a gas line to the stove, and that installation cost about $150. We chose a black laminate countertop, which cost us about $600. The deep basin stainless steel sink, garbage disposal, and faucet cost about $500.
The business from whom we purchased the new appliances (side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, stove, wall-mount microwave, and dishwasher) installed them for us. Those appliances cost about $3,200.
Because my husband and I did most of the work, our kitchen renovation took only one week to complete (just short of adding the countertop and new appliances, which were pre-ordered and scheduled for delivery and installation the following week) . We credit our fast turnaround to having all supplies purchased and at the house before we started.