So here it is, after months of take out dinners and BBQ’ing, our kitchen was truly and finally DONE. It was time to hang up my tool belt and put on an apron, I was finally ready for my inner chef to wok out with my spatula out. OK I’m getting carried away, but the point is we’re really happy with the way it turned out and at how much more storage and counter space we now have. The appliances which started us down this path are dreamy. Going from one working electric burner to 5 gas burners is like going from steerage to First Class. And we are just scratching the surface with the features on our new wall oven. It can bake, roast, broil, convect, microwave, steam and clean itself. That’s 5 more things than our old range.
Overall, the reno process went fairly smoothly and quickly, even with us doing much of the work on evenings and weekends. More often then not the availability of tradespeople became the bottleneck. I guess with the Home Reno Tax Credit, they’ve got more jobs than they know what to do with. But we were able to find some excellent trades through Homestars. We also saved a lot of money by doing much of the work ourselves. The first quote we got was for a turn key renovation of our kitchen and basement, it ended up at $50K-60K labour only. Much more than we were prepared to pay. That made our decision to roll up our sleeves an easy one. We did the demolition, framing, insulation, plumbing, flooring, painting, and finish carpentry on our own. In total we spent about 13K on trades for items that were beyond our abilities (mason, electrician, drywallers, and HVAC) and in that 13K number were a lot of materials embedded in their quotes, like bricks, wires, electrical boxes, drywall, switches and outlets. With all the money we saved on labour, we were comfortable splurging on finishes, like the deep undermount sink, marble counters and moonstone backsplash.
What we love about our new kitchen:
- So much more functional and better planned
- The appliances are great, and they were a steal.
- The counters and backsplash make us swoon.
- The heated floors feel really good
- The abundance of natural, ambient and task light really makes cooking more enjoyable
- The wine fridge was a splurge, but it gets a lot of use.
What we slightly regret:
- Wish we had enough room to include storage for coats and for a step ladder.
- We wish we had chosen a lighter flooring stain, because dust really shows on it