Kitchen Remodel Question

23 Replies

Hello, I am just getting started in real estate, as this is my first BRRRR project. I am 23, so I lack experience. I have read countless books. However, I know how important experience is, and any advice would be much appreciated.

          Below, I have posted a picture of a specific kitchen that I am remodeling. I prefer to keep as much of the cabinets as possible and just paint, replace hinges and handles. I am not sure if I should move the sink and replace it with an oven or place an oven in another place. Furthermore, I can't figure out where to put a fridge, dishwasher, and microwave. Also, should I add some cabinets or an island? I have a budget of $12,000, excluding flooring. Thank you in advance. 

-Callen Stewart

Lubbock, TX

Is your total budget $12K for property or just $12k for the kitchen? 

IMO I do not believe it is going to be worth trying to save the cabinets if you are adding a dishwasher, range, and microwave vent into them. Also, depending on how the counter top is attached you may end up destroying the bases when you remove it (some people like to screw and nail counter tops down.... it is a pain). 

If you have $12k just for the kitchen then you should be able to find some new middle grade cabinets and lay out the kitchen in a way where the fridge, range, dishwasher, and microwave all fit in and look like they were meant to be there. 

I completely agree with @Jon Reed and would advice to start with a clean slate. Those cabinets are really dated and no amount of paint and hardware will make them look nice. Even as a rental property I'd want a more modern kitchen. Once you factor in the layout issues it's a no brainier. 

I see discounted shaker cabinets all the time online. It would transform that kitchen and add the value you're looking for. You could DIY most of the project (counter tops installed professionally) and save thousands of dollars. 

@Callen Stewart   the layout needs to be functional.  The dishwasher will go next to the sink.  I don't know what is on the other side of the wall on the left, but if it is an outside wall, get your contractor to quote you on moving the electrical for the stove and venting it through the wall vs leaving the stove where it is and venting it through the roof.  Depending where the stove is, put the dishwasher on the other side of the sink.  So if the stove stays where it is, put the dishwasher on the left side of the sink.

I wouldn't buy a microwave for a rental.  If you do, get one that goes above the stove.

Keep the sink where it is. The more plumbing and electrical you have to move, the more expensive it will be and the sink under the window is a typical placement.

If you do end up replacing the cabinets, put them along the wall with the stove, so you have counters on either side of the stove.

for the fridge, you want to create a work triangle, so put it on the wall opposite the stove.

With the appliances, don't go overboard.  Get basic ones.  Avoid fridges requiring water-again this will increase costs, but also there is a good chance a renter pushed the fridge against the wall or moves it and the water line gets broken.

The two options I see are ditching the cabinets or keeping it 100% as it is. As a rental, you probably do not have to come back in with quite as many cabinets either. Possibly just do the back wall, and an island or something similar to that.

I've designed and remodeled many kitchens. Some smaller than this one. Here's what I would do with a $12K budget.

1. Rip it all out and start from scratch. 

2. Keep the existing sink location. Place dishwasher on the right or left side.

3. Place the new base and upper cabinets along the back wall (where sink and window are) and extend them only along the wall where the stove is located in the pic.  So you'll essentially have an "L" shape. 

4. Keep the stove on the same wall. Replace it with a newer brand and surround it on both sides with base cabinets and countertops. Don't place the stove at the end of the cabinets. Better to snug it in between cabinets with countertops on either side. Make sure to leave enough space for the stove when installing cabinets (generally 16" inches but double-check).

5. Place a microwave with built-in venting above the stove. Tip: Buying all your appliances in one place saves money. Look out for black Friday sales too! We've gotten best deals at Best Buy stores that beat out Home Depot & Lowes. Plus, they will often hold them for you until your ready to install.

6. Keep the opposite wall clear for the fridge (make sure you have a fridge outlet there). You do not have to provide a fridge.

We buy our kitchen cabinets through IKEA. They look custom but at warehouse prices. The wall cabinets (upper cabinets) are much easier to install because they run along one metal rod. So instead of drilling holes through the back of every cabinet into the wall, you only place one metal rod and the cabinets easily hook onto the rod with bolts then slide in (left to right). This ensures cabinets are level and makes adjustments and switching out cabinets so much easier! They are also remarkably durable. The cabinet hinges are the best I've ever found thus far. I have them in my own kitchen.

@Annette Hibbler , one thing to  consider if you want to save money, you can buy a cheap hood vent (100-150) as opposed to spending the money on a microwave that also has a vent.  A microwave can be something a tenant brings with them and place on the counter.

Also, I would pick out the appliances you want to purchase and get the measurements on everyone of them.  That way you know how much room you need for your selected appliances when installing cabinets.  For example, I think a range/stove is going to be about 30 inches wide, not 16.  


@Jon Reed

Yes sir, my kitchen budget alone is 12K. I would be in trouble with this property if my total budget was 12K.

I appreciate the advise. Would my best option be to buy just middle grade unpainted cabinets and finish them myself after installment in order to save money?

Thank you for your time and help.

Callen Stewart

@Callen Stewart

For my first flip I used the unfinished cabinets.. however.. it is a huge time suck having to sand them down and stain/finish them. After that first property I now always buy pre-finished cabinets because I decided that my time is better spent doing other improvements. So, either way you can't go wrong.

@Theresa Harris Thank you for all the help. The triangle method makes perfect sense; I have just never had it explained to me like that. 

@Tyler W. I know islands can be costly. Do you have any strategies on ways to save money when purchasing/installing the island? Thank you for your time. 

@Annette Hibbler This is excellent advice, and I love the IKEA and the black Friday ideas. Thank you for your time.

@Brian Spies I have looked at the hood vents, and I think it adds great visual appeal to a kitchen. Especially to an appraiser. Haha Thank you for your advice. 

@Callen Stewart , for a rental, these cabinets are still ugly. (Sorry)

IKEA has great looking cabinets and they go on sale twice a year. You can get no interest for two years if you put them on the IKEA credit card, so even better - but only if you're really detailed and can keep track of the payments so you don't miss one, and pay the whole thing off before the end of two years - otherwise you pay interest on the entire amount of the purchase for the entire time.

Note, IKEA discounts come in the form of IKEA credits, so when you purchase your kitchen, purchase half of the cabinets, get the credit and apply to the next purchase, to maximize the savings instantly.

I echo Annette's comments. I got introduced to IKEA cabinets last summer and they are a game changer. Cheap and purdy.

Originally posted by @Annette Hibbler :

I've designed and remodeled many kitchens. Some smaller than this one. Here's what I would do with a $12K budget.

1. Rip it all out and start from scratch. 

2. Keep the existing sink location. Place dishwasher on the right or left side.

3. Place the new base and upper cabinets along the back wall (where sink and window are) and extend them only along the wall where the stove is located in the pic.  So you'll essentially have an "L" shape. 

4. Keep the stove on the same wall. Replace it with a newer brand and surround it on both sides with base cabinets and countertops. Don't place the stove at the end of the cabinets. Better to snug it in between cabinets with countertops on either side. Make sure to leave enough space for the stove when installing cabinets (generally 16" inches but double-check).

5. Place a microwave with built-in venting above the stove. Tip: Buying all your appliances in one place saves money. Look out for black Friday sales too! We've gotten best deals at Best Buy stores that beat out Home Depot & Lowes. Plus, they will often hold them for you until your ready to install.

6. Keep the opposite wall clear for the fridge (make sure you have a fridge outlet there). You do not have to provide a fridge.

We buy our kitchen cabinets through IKEA. They look custom but at warehouse prices. The wall cabinets (upper cabinets) are much easier to install because they run along one metal rod. So instead of drilling holes through the back of every cabinet into the wall, you only place one metal rod and the cabinets easily hook onto the rod with bolts then slide in (left to right). This ensures cabinets are level and makes adjustments and switching out cabinets so much easier! They are also remarkably durable. The cabinet hinges are the best I've ever found thus far. I have them in my own kitchen.

 

Callen for $12k you can get entire kitchen cabinets changed. We do these kind of job on such budget all the time its definitely doable. We normally use white shaker cabinet. If you have hard time finding or designing let me know I can help you out.

@Callen Stewart you have to ditch those cabinets...they are just too dated and modifying isn't going to work. At that age they may be one long piece of cabinet.   and what is the wood thing on the ceiling? 

As for Islands, they are just cabinets in the middle of the kitchen. They don't cost anymore when you don't add electric and a sink to them.  For the back you can use a skin or we have used that wainscoting paneling and trim. You can also buy freestanding islands or let the tenant buy the island cart if they want it.  If you want them to open from both sides they could be pricier but you probably don't need that. 

Search cabinets in the forums and you will see lots of discussions of what kind to use. You have more options then IKEA. 



Option 1) Get yourself a bundle appliance package from HD, lowes or Best buy. This week you can find something around $1,500 for all the appliances (fridge, oven, microwave & dishwasher). Go to lowes sites for cabinets and use the diamond cabinets  (https://diamondnowplanner.com/) as reference. You should able able to get your cabinets for around 3k for shaker style. The non-shaker style can come out cheaper.

Option 2) remove the counter top & take some of the cabinets out & fit the oven/microwave in the same row. This is probably the cheaper less attractive route. I would also still buy bundle appliance package.

There has been a lot of good advice. The L shaped kichen will be the least expensive. I you have a existing vent and electrical for a hood keep that location of the hood.  If you don't a self venting micowave or hood will save you money. I don't know how well they work. Get an estimate. At least here in Sacramento Ca you need receptacles no more then two feet apart. Receptacles on kichen counter  and within two feet of the counter need to be GFI protected. If you do not have GFI look to see if you have a ground wire in the receptacles. If you do not that will have to be added and that will require opening up the sheet rock. Ground Fault Interrupting breakers need a good ground wire to work. From  a lilabilty standpoint kitchens and bathroom should always have working GFI receptacles. 

 In my area I have shopped many an imported cabinet shop and found one that had wood interiors as I prefer wood to melamine or particle board as wood  handles small water mishaps better and heck I'm a cabinet guy. I have not looked at Ikea cabinets on the quality side. It scares me going into Ikea as my wife LOVES Ikea and I try to stay away or let her go solo unless I have all day!

@Callen Stewart if this is a rental you need the kitchen and house to be SAFE, clean and functional. If the existing cabinets can be salvaged then keep them. No need to move things around as it seems like there is a decent amount of space. I also would not add an island for now. You can always do that later but I am familiar with houses in Lubbock and you will be fine without it.

@Annette Hibbler ikea cabinets are extremely overpriced for what you get once you factor all the additional labor needed to assemble and install. There are semi-custom cabinet companies such as Bellmont that make a cabinet 10x the quality of Ikea for 80% of the price, and they come pre assembled

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