Claire & Jeffrey's Kitchen Renovation: What it Really Cost - A Budget Breakdown

Claire & Jeffrey's Kitchen Renovation: What it Really Cost - A Budget Breakdown

Apr 25, 2013

Name: Claire & Jeffrey
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Type of building: Single-family bungalow, 950 square feet

We've been following along with Claire and Jeffery's kitchen renovation for some time, and last week we posted the impressive results. This week, we're going behind the scenes to answer the big question: how much did it all cost?

Here, we're comparing the actual budget for the renovation with Claire and Jeffrey's projected budget from the beginning of the project

From Claire, on the differences between the proposed and the actual budget:

It wasn't that much of a stretch. There was a moment of panic when I realized we hadn't thought through the fact that tearing all the walls down would ultimately be necessary for running electric up to code. That was definitely an added expense up near $800ish (so. much. joint compound.)

Also, as we began to fall in love with the space, we began to justify a few indulgences, like installing subway tile floor-to-ceiling on the range wall and picking out a statement sconce from Schoolhouse Electric for the center of the room. We also backed ourselves into a corner with the faucet purchase. Long story short, there were only a few options that would even fit in the height we allotted for it. And they were pricey options. 

Also, as the space neared completion, we spent a few extra bucks on details like trying to match the living room baseboard with salvaged trim (rather than installing blah contractor baseboard) and deciding to give the back landing some TLC with new tile, paint, and a chandelier, an extra couple hundred bucks.

Budget Specifics:


    Projected: Free except for when it's not! Additional labor provided by DIY buddies in exchange for beer.
    Actual: $0 + beers

    Difference: $0


    Projected: No design fees, but appx. $500 in building permits. (Grrr.)
    Actual: Design fees: $0, Permits: $620
    Difference: +$120


    • Integrated IKEA dishwasher (can't recall the brand): $860
    • New range, currently undecided on make/model: $900-1200
    • Dishwasher - integrated Whirlpool dishwasher from IKEA, including the Abstrakt  $780 (we got 10% off the whole kitchen - this is the discounted price)
    • Range - Whirlpool (purchased on sale at Best Buy): $800

    Projected Total (high guess): $2060 
    Actual Total: $1580
    Difference: -$480 (from high guess)


    • IKEA DOMSJO sink: $186
    • IKEA LUFTIG exhaust hood: $380
    • Faucet: TBD, appx $200
    • IKEA single DOMSJO sink: $166
    • Garbage Disposal, from Home Depot: $100
    • IKEA Luftig exhaust hood: $340
    • LG Microwave: $180
    Delta 9159-DST Faucet: $290
    Projected Total: $766
    Actual Total: $1076
    Difference: +$310


    • IKEA Abstrakt high gloss white cabinets: $2000
    • Countertops TBD: approx. $300-400 in materials.
    • IKEA cabinets with Abstrakt fronts: $2250
    • DIY concrete countertop - materials & tool rental (including 5 bags Quikrete Countertop Mix, 2 4x8' sheets of melamine to build molds, silicone for sealing mold joints and corners, concrete patching compound, 1 gallon concrete sealer, 1 tub carnuba food safe wax, and $44 for a 24hr concrete mixer rental from Home Depot): $225

    Projected Total (high guess): $2400
    Actual Total: $2475
    Difference: +$75


    Projected: Repair, sand, stain, poly: $200-600, depending on whether we hire it out.
    • Refinish hardwood floor: $280 ($70 to rent drum sander from ACE including sanding belts, $40 to patch and repair floors with salvaged wood, $70 for new oak stair treads leading to basement landing, $100 for stain, 1.5 gallons of semigloss polyurethane, and appropriate brushes to apply said products.)
    • Salvaged wood for recreating the look of 1912 baseboard trim: $100
    • Penny tile - basement landing tile & grout from The Tile Shop: $60

    Projected Total (high guess): $600
    Actual Total: $440
    Difference: -$160


    • MAYBE backsplash tile someday down the road. Appx $300-400.
    • Paint, Behr Irish Mist (or equivalent): appx $60
     3x6" Subway tiles from Home Depot including mastic, grout, and sealer (we already had all tools, including a wet tile saw): $300
    • Wall paint - Behr Irish Mist in eggshell (walls, ceiling, basement stairwell): $80
    • Oil-based time paint: Satin Impervo from Hirshfields for doors, windows, baseboards: $40
    • Back door paint - ACE Canyon Wall A15-7 IN semigloss: $20

    Projected Total (high guess): $460
    Actual Total: $440
    Difference: -$20


    Projected: I'm budgeting in $1000 for all the things that I can't visualize or expect!
    • Various buildings materials from a number of 3 ft long Home Depot receipts including all things needed for electric, plumbing, heating, drywall, joint compound, and tools needs (like sanding discs, various hardware items, etc.): $1300
    • 9' Floating Walnut Shelf (including $55 for LED tape lighting from $285
    • Princeton Junior Sconce from Schoolhouse Electric: $150
    • 2 IKEA OTTAVA pendants: $60
    • Back landing chandelier - Craigslist + paint: $100
    • IKEA RIBBA picture rail: $16
    • IKEA FINTORP kitchen rails (2 sizes combined): $18
    • Kitchen cart from Home Depot ($80) topped with a 24x48" birch butcher block countertop from Menards ($80): $160
    • Counter stools - a discontinued IKEA model that Jeff had sitting around in his art studio. We will replace with something we love when the time is right. $0
    • And  Large "monster" illustration by Jennifer Davis, Small monster by Jeffrey Grutter (yes, as in Claire & Jeffrey - a man of many talents!), Figure painting by the back stairs by David Bonagurio.

    Projected Total: $1000
    Actual Total: $2089
    Difference: +$1089

Total Budget:

    $7,786 (high guess)

Actual Budget:




Readers, Check out the full series to see the whole renovation process, step-by-step. And tune in next week for Claire and Jeffrey's final thoughts on their renovation.

The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

(Images and diary text: Claire Moyle)

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