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Old tools on a wooden table

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When it comes to kitchen ideas, as a contractor, I’m just like you. I like to check out the big renovation web sites to see if there is anything new and exciting in the world of kitchens. Often, on these sites, right next to the photos of the beautiful palatial kitchen with 3 islands, a wine cellar and a restaurant quality oven is an article written about how save big money on your kitchen remodel. And every time I click on that article, I get the same basic information, but never any specifics, on how those savings can occur. A lot of the tips, in fact, include grabbing your DIY hat and getting your hands dirty. Usually I scroll down to the bottom of the article to check out the comments. Most of them are usually people talking about their own kitchen remodel, which they’ve done for about $5000 or contractors (I’m assuming they are contractors because they’re often saying what I’m politely thinking) arguing that there is no way to get your kitchen remodelled for that kind of money.

To be honest though, I always wondered if these people who claim to make kitchen magic happen were telling the truth. Could you renovate your kitchen for $5000? I mean, here locally, in Edmonton? Maybe this person who wrote in was living in a third world country and $5000 could buy them a palace complete with a swimming pool and 3 car garage. Could they claim the same thing here in the city of champions? To find out, I started thinking about what I could do to my kitchen for $5000. Here’s what I came up with:

To start, I wanted my kitchen to look different enough that if someone who was familiar with my home came to visit, they would say, “you renovated your kitchen,” and not “you got a new counter top.” In other words, I wanted to change as many elements as I could. Sure, there are other ways to spend $5000, but these choices would give me the biggest bang for my buck. As well, I want people to know that I didn’t actually go through with these renovations. My kitchen was renovated only a couple of years ago and the choices I made for this $5000 renovation would likely turn out something worse than I had. This, people, is a thought exercise.

Paint – I decided that I would paint my walls and cabinets. There was no way I could afford new cabinets for the budget I set out to keep. The cabinets would go from a nice cherry finish to white. The walls, now a sand colour, would also be white. As well, I would change all the knobs on the cabinetry to give it a different look. The cost for paint and cabinet door hardware: about $500.

Flooring – My nice porcelain tile flooring would have to go. After tearing up all of the flooring, I would replace it with an inexpensive vinyl product which I think I’d be able to buy for about $700.

Counter Top – A new laminate counter top would go in. However, to avoid a horrible looking job, I chose to have a professional counter top company come in and install it for me. It would cost me around $1300

Appliances – People notice it when you get new appliances. I was able to pick out a new range, refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave for about $2500. I’m buying basic, white finished appliances and I’m also banking on the idea that I might get a better offer if I buy them at the same time from the same retailer.

Now, a few things to mention about my $5000 renovation:

It’s DIY heavy – In order to meet the $5000 budget, everything but the counter top would have to be done by me. Removing the old flooring, laying the new flooring, prepping the area for painting, installing the appliances, and painting would all be done by me.

There’s little wiggle room for problems – I assumed that when I tore up the old floor that I didn’t have to replace the subfloor. I also assumed that my cabinets weren’t damaged and a simple paint job would fix them. I also assumed that appliances would fit in the current openings with little problems.

I didn’t account for other costs – I assumed that I already had the tools needed to do the job. Granted, for this renovation, tools expenses wouldn’t be too high, but they could add up quickly if I wasn’t careful. I also didn’t factor in any fuel costs to pick up products.

I know what I’m doing – As a carpenter, I’m pretty sure this job would go off without any serious problems. If someone inexperienced with renovations had to do it, they might end up with a sloppy paint job or uneven floors. Hooking up the dishwasher could prove interesting too.

So, is it possible to renovate your kitchen for $5000? I suppose it is. I can guarantee you however, that it’s not going to look like the kitchen next to the article on that kitchen renovation site. There will be no custom cabinets (no new cabinets, in fact), no granite counter tops, no tile flooring, and no layout changes to your kitchen. As well, this $5000 kitchen renovation with truly be your renovation, as you will be doing all the work, no contractor needed. So the next time you read in the comments that someone redid their kitchen for a song and a dance, remember to ask them how long they were singing and dancing.

If you want to view other blog posts from Robert & Michael at Nord Alta Construction, visit our blog on our site by clicking here.

If you’re in Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, or the surrounding area and are looking for a contractor for you renovation project, visit our website at www.nordalta.com/contact.php to find information on how to contact us. We’d be happy to speak to you about what we can do to get the ball rolling on your next home or office project. You can also leave comments with us at info@nordalta.com.

Michael Breault is a project coordinator for Nord Alta Construction. You can find the company website at www.nordalta.com. You can also find Michael and Nord Atla Construction on facebook at www.facebook.com/NordAltaConstruction, on twitter at www.twitter.com/Nordalta, and on LinkedIn.

Robert Breault is the president and owner of Nord Alta Construction. You can find the company website at www.nordalta.com. You can also find Robert and Nord Alta Construction on facebook at www.facebook.com/NordAltaContruction and on LinkedIn.