First complete kitchen remodel. Need some advice

24 Replies

This is our company's first complete kitchen remodel. On the first few we just painted the cabinets, swapped out the hardware, new flooring etc. On this one we are going all out and doing a full remodel. I haven't finishing demoing the remaining cabinets, but you should be able to get the idea. The approximate room size is 10' x 14'. There is an open basement below, and I am already redoing the supply lines in the basement so a little re-arranging isn't a big deal.

Also this used to be a split dining room and kitchen, but I took out half of the wall splitting them, so there has to be some sort of eat in area or counter to eat at. The approximate sale value is 80k to 90k

Layout Ideas? Thoughts? Materials? Musings?

Pictures -

Hey @Christopher Boggs - here are a few of my thoughts, after doing a few gut jobs on kitchens.

1.) Cabinets: I always get mine from Lowes. They have some real nice cherry looking cabinets, that will run about $2000 for the kitchen (maybe more, but there are good ways to cut down cabinets by being creative with corners and using some open shelving.

2.) Counters - I use laminate, prefab, in most lower end kitchens. The in-stock stuff from Home Depot or Lowes.

3.) Faucet - There is a really nice one at Costco for $80. Well worth it.

4.) Appliances - I find that if you are going to go with new appliances, it isn't that much more to upgrade to stainless steel. It makes lower end homes look so much nicer. I always find the cheaper fridges (usually at Sears) and then choose the stainless option.

5.) Floor: Home Depot has some really nice 18" Travertine tile for $2/sq ft. It looks like a Million Dollar kitchen when it's in. It also cuts nice on a tile saw, but you have to have a fairly large tile saw, being 18" tile. Or, you could just use the Allure interlocking vinyl flooring, which I use a lot on lower end flips. I get the stuff that looks like Tile. It's water resistant, looks amazing, and goes down in about 2 hours. It's also easy to transport.

Hope that helps! It's my 2 cents anyways!

Chris, i think you have the right idea. Since the price point is 80-90K. The simple idea that you have already determined is a breakfast bar. Do that and add granite. In California i am having huge success with White kitchen. i just recently did a similar kitchen 10' x 14' .

Not sure if i can post that link or not here. A moderator will let us know. Any way take a look. it might give you some ideas. You can skip to 4.:57 to get to the finished kitchen. keep me posted with the finish!

Michael Galloway

If you could see that remodel thread with all the pics! Oh! It is SUCH a great job they did, and you probably want to ask that guy for some more advice on the process! I mean, they did an OUTSTANDING job!! :) I'll try to find it.. lol!

Here it is! :

@Brandon Turner - A few questions for you

Cabinets - Have you had better luck with Lowes vs Home Depot cabinets. I only ask because there is a Home depot 2 min away, and a lowes 30 mins away.

Counters - I thought laminate was kinda out of date. Have you found that you don't get the value back for spending money on solid surface like corian or granite?

Flooring - I just put that allure vinyl plank tile in my last rehab, but I was thinking tile on this one, and I actually just picked up a MK-101 10" saw for $150 (+$100 in parts). So that shouldn't be a problem, but do you think 18" tile will make the room look smaller?

@Michael Galloway - Your flip looks amazing. The video really showcases the differences. I need to do that on my next flip.

Do you guys think a large breakfast bar is a good substitute for a dining room? Because this room used to be both a kitchen and dining room.

@Christopher Boggs I've never ordered from Home Depot, but that's because my Home Depot doesn't have any in-stock, and the special order are too expensive. My Lowes is 30 minutes away, as well. I just paid the $100 for delivery.

Laminate is sometimes outdated, but it totally depends on your competition. In my area, I don't see anyone with Granite. I've done it, once, but I was the only one. It's a cost that I don't see a payoff here. But again, your area might be different.

I don't think 18" makes it look small - I think it actually makes it feel more expansive. See the photo below for my recent flip:

As you can see, we took out the left side wall as well, which proved to be a HUGE job, as it was a double load bearing wall (2 of them, spaced 3 feet apart... it was a $3000 mess!) But it opened nicely up into the dining room.

@Brandon Turner WOW... You did a great job. Tile backsplash and floor, color on walls, beautiful cabinets for the price, moulding, and changed out light. Very well thought out.

Has anyone tried IKEA cabinets?

@Brandon Turner & @Michael Galloway - I got price quote from a cabinet wholesale in my city. They supposedly buy in bulk to lower there prices. The cabinets are supposed to be pretty high end (Solid Wood Construction, Solid Maple Dovetailed, Slow Close Drawers) I have the option of four different finisheds, and they come assembled. I put the quote and the cabinets they quoted below.

Their Website -

Cabinet Layout -

Price Quoted - $1450

They seem like nice cabinets, but that price seems pretty cheap. What do you guys think?

Karen M. - I've tested Ikea's prices but they are still too expensive for me. They ended up being around 4k for the same cabinets I got from Lowes for almost half that. But I'm sure the Ikea ones are nicer.

@Christopher Boggs - it seems reasonable for me. By any chance does that price include install? That would be great!

Before you rip those old ones out, though - are you sure you want to? They seem half-way decent to me and with a good paint job, new hinges, and new hardware - they'd look really nice I bet. Probably could do the whole thing for $200. Are you sure you aren't over-improving? What are the comps like? Just a thought!

The lowes / Home depot builder grade are both comparable so if lowes is closer to you, use them. Nice thing about going this route, especially when new to this is they will design the layout to fit your kitchen and budget. Take good measurements and you can do it all right on their system.

@Brandon Turner Very nice job, yes tearing out load bearing walls does suck but as your picture shows, can make a huge difference. The new engineered lam beams make it easier then over sized wood or steel that we were stuck with years ago though.

Thanks David Niles! And agreed on the Home Depot Vs. Lowes. I have a tiny Home Depot that doesn't carry much. Its the curse of living in the middle of no where!

@Brandon Turner - The price does not include install, but I have some cheap labor to take care of that.

I am new to this, so I can't be sure if I am over improving or not. I looked at all the comp sales in the area and the ones getting the higher dollars have granite and newer cabinets, but maybe its not worth going to high end

The main reason I don't want to keep those cabinets is they limit me adding any more cabinets or counter space. They are homemade cabinets, so I just can't go out and buy more. Also the current fridge opening is too short and the fridge sticks out into the doorway.

I priced the exact same 9 cabinets from home depot

Hampton Bay Stained Finish Cabinets - $1415
Example -

Hampton Bay White Cabinets - $1015
Example -

Hampton Bay Unfinished Cabinets - $700
Example -


I also have the opportunity to buy 18 used cabinets tomorrow which seem to be in nice shape. They have the same shaker style doors the home depot ones do. They are asking $450 for all 18. Any Idea what the cost would be to re-finish/re-paint those cabinets?

@Christopher Boggs I have a similar kitchen and dining room in one of my rentals. I know this might sound crazy, but I would try and squeeze in a dishwasher. Everyone wants a dishwasher. It will cost about the same as a base cabinet. I will try and post fefore and after pics of what I did.



This kitchen was done in '07 when HD was discontinuing Mills Pride RTA cabinets. I was able to get three lowers and five uppers for $550. It's a laminate counter.

I've had no problem renting this house even with the lack of cabinet space. (The sprayer on the faucet has since been removed. I HATE those!)

That's good advice Rob K about the dishwasher. It's a good selling or renting feature.

& @Christopher Boggs - Painting or staining cabinets does take some work. I bought some unfinished ones once and stained them - and they looked terrible, plus took me twice as long as painting (probably spent 20 hours staining... ugh) I won't do that again. I do like painting them though, but it takes time. I think it's worth just buying the pre-finished ones. Either the white or the brown look good, but I like the look of the brown better.

Nice job Mike Galloway! The only thing I would have changed (from a Realtor perspective) is upgrade the master tub to a deeper one, which don't cost much more money and looks more luxurious.
By the way, I'd like to know more about the restucco process that is as cheap as painting. Is it a special process?

Christopher--Do not use laminate counters or flooring! Even in low-end homes people want granite and tile. For a kitchen you should be able to find cheap close out travertine tile.

Put a dishwasher in.

If you can find cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, that's what I would choose. We have an investor in our area that is doing all of his rehabs with white IKEA cabinets and the houses sell fast!

I guess it depends on the type of neighborhood where the house is located. Is it middle-class or upper middle? If so, make the kitchen nice--it sells the house.

rustoleum has a nice cabinet transformation you can get at HD. It's pretty reasonable & looks really good. takes about a weekend with the allowing drying time.

i am in the middle of a rehab & there was no dishwasher. i can only squeeze in an 18" dishwasher but it will help with the rental pool

i updated a ton of cabinets too...about $1200 with menard's (midwestern retail store). they were oak.

Hey @Brandon Turner ...sorry to bring up a posting from a year ago, but I've got a quick question for you about Lowe's. I'm currently deployed, and am looking to do a kitchen remodel on a property that I just purchased. According to their website, they're able to do everything from measuring the room, to designing a layout using a drafting program, creating an itemized budget and even doing the installation. I'm definitely attracted to this idea, because it would minimize the coordination that I would have to do with various contractors from afar. Have you (or anyone else on BP reading this) ever utilized the full spectrum of Lowe's kitchen remodeling services? If so, would you recommend that I go this route? Thanks for the advice!

Tyler Flagg

Hey @Tyler Flagg I haven't - but I wouldn't be totally opposed. However, you should start a thread about this! I'd love to hear what others say!

Will do. Thanks for the quick reply!


If you're willing to put in a little effort, Ikea is what we typically use for cabinets, faucets and countertops. The end result has always been impressive, never any complaints. They have a nice solid wood countertop that is inexpensive and can be cut to size then simply brush on some oil based clear coat to protect it. Any damages can be sanded out and recoated. Ikea goes over very well and is less expensive, looks nicer than Home Depot or Lowes brand cabinets. They are not that hard to put together so you'll get the hang of it quickly (lots of youtube videos on this to help along the way). They also have very clever space savers and pullout pantries in various sizes. Also, I would recommend you use warm neutral paint tones in the main living areas. You can use their online kitchen design to layout it out and then it automatically calculates your inventory supply checklist and price. Print it out and give it to one of the kitchen planners there and they will do the rest. Good luck.

Originally posted by @Annette Hibbler :
They have a nice solid wood countertop that is inexpensive and can be cut to size then simply brush on some oil based clear coat to protect it. Any damages can be sanded out and recoated.

I like the butcher block that Ikea carries, and thought I'd test how well it'd work with tenants. It was a dumb move on my part, thinking I could simply sand and re-oil at turnover. During my last walkthrough, I noticed they'd let enough water stand on it that it swelled and will have to be replaced.

I think it'd look nice on a flip, but be aware that it has potential downsides for long-term.

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