In every successful renovation project, the day comes when all the plans, goals, dreams and priorities have to be tied to some hard costs. That’s when the wish list gets vetted to see what’s practical, what’s affordable, and what needs to be deferred to a future project.
Whatever the scale of a renovation, this final balance between what would be ideal and what the budget will bear can be an instructive but challenging stage in the life cycle of a project.
For our Kitchen Makeover Contest winners, the budget for many of the items on their wish list was outlined by our contest collaborators… from the sink and plumbing fixtures provided by George Morlan to the cabinets provided by Versatile Wood Products to the tile provided by Oregon Tile and Marble.
Other necessary aspects of the project were not included in the original contest contributions, and important decisions had to be made about how to best meet the client’s needs in those areas at a cost that will work for them.
Thanks to generous additional contributions from some new contest collaborators (like Advanced Heating and Cooling, Mastertek Electric, Power Plumbing, Eclipse Drywall and Building Specialites) and the contribution of some elbow grease by our makeover winners themselves, the end result is a beautiful and practical renovation plan that begins construction today!
Here’s how we got there:
The Dining Room/Kitchen Transition
The Dream: To open up the north wall of the kitchen to the dining room, removing an obsolete chimney and adding some counter/eating space in the pass through area. Open shelving would be added along the wall to increase storage. A sleek low profile range hood would be added to maximize the new open feeling between the kitchen and dining room.
The Challenges: The cost of demolition can be expensive (especially for the chimney), and the changes to the gas supply lines and venting ducts for the new range hood would require modifications to the HVAC system. The original contest parameters did not include an HVAC partner, a drywall partner or a new range hood.
The Revision: Thanks to a generous contribution from Advanced Heating and Cooling and Eclipse Drywall, we were able to pull the cost of the HVAC modifications and the wall removal down significantly. The client has offered to take on the demolition of the north side of the dining room wall and the deconstruction of the chimney as a DIY project, reserving the more technical aspects of the wall modification for our experienced carpenters.
The Result: The client’s most important goal (to open the kitchen up the the gorgeous views of downtown and the river) has been conserved thanks to contributions from the client, their community and our project partners.
The Dream: To maximize storage potential in a small amount of square footage by replacing the existing cabinets with new cabinets that have a vintage look but increased storage and functionality.
The Challenge: The combined costs to remove and install complete new upper and lower cabinets will blow the budget available for that line item.
The Revisions: If we keep and refurbish the existing lower cabinets and match them with new full inset upper cabinets that will reuse the existing hardware, we can dramatically lower the cost of the cabinet portion of the project, freeing up budget for other areas. Other small cabinet elements (like a planned spice cabinet for the east-facing wall) can be deferred to a future project stage if needed after the client has had an opportunity to settle in to the new space.
The Result: The client will get improved storage and functionality in their upper cabinets while reserving some of the charming elements of their existing kitchen with improved function at a more practical cost.
The Dream: An expanded pantry area with built in storage and recycling options, a new slimmer fridge and an integrated nook for the microwave to make the most of a tight space.
The Challenge: Adding a microwave nook would require the re-routing of pre-existing plumbing lines that were tucked in the walls behind the pantry area. This is a common issue that can drive up the cost of renovation in older homes: uncovering what is lurking behind the walls can make what seems like a simple design solution surprisingly complex to execute.
The Revision: The microwave will stay housed on existing shelving units, which will receive a fresh coat of paint. The client will reserve the addition of new recycling station furniture for a future phase of the project.
The Result: A slimmer fridge and coordinating microwave from Standard TV and Appliance will add space to the pantry and a flexible temporary shelving solution will buy the client time to plan for a second phase of updates to the pantry storage area at a later date.
With a firm focus on the client’s most important priorities, increased generosity from new and existing contest partners and some sharp pencils from our design, construction and estimating teams, we are thrilled to have arrived at a kitchen makeover plan that will work well for everyone.
What’s Next: Construction Begins!
Later this week we’ll take a look at the job site as it launches and discuss some common questions that come up during kitchen renovations, like: Where will my existing appliances go? How will you keep the construction mess to a minimum? How will I know who to expect in my home each day?
We look forward to continuing this journey with you and we want to thank our contest winners Monica and Derek for opening their home to this big adventure!
Explore More with these Previous Kitchen Makeover Posts:
Meet the Makeover Winners
Announcing the Winner
Makeover Contest Finalists
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Thanks again to our Small Kitchen Makeover Contest Partners: