Let's Get This Party Started

And by party, I mean kitchen renovation....so, where's the party, because it's definitely not at our house any time soon!...BUT, as soon as our casa es completo, the party will DEFINITELY be at our house.  A LOT.  

Renovation Diary 

Day 1 (March 17) – Yay! First day of our kitchen renovation, an exciting day that we have been planning for the three years since we first moved into our house. 

Before I get too involved in what’s happened, I promised I would divulge all the ins and outs of the budget, the pretty and the ugly.  I know home renovations rarely go the way as planned, and especially in a house that was built in 1908.  Oh, if you want to follow along on Instagram, I’m keeping tabs at #daviskitchenredo .

When we first started planning this renovation, we contacted multiple contractors for bids.  Apparently right now in Atlanta, contractors aren’t just doing kitchen renos, they are too busy with whole house renos and our project was too small…..psh, too small??? They don’t want our money.

We did get two contractors to come out and take a look and provide an estimate.  The first guy gave us an estimate of $46,865.00……at first glance that seemed way too much to us considering our kitchen is what I call on the small side and that we do not have that much cabinet or countertop space AND we were keeping our existing flooring and appliances.  But hey,, what did we know, all those years of watching HGTV right down the drain.

As any normal person would do, we got more estimates (on more, I mean only one more since no one would call us back because our project was too small….)

Ok, on to the 2nd contractor.  He gave us a much more detailed budget (I love LOVE, and by love, I mean totally obsessed,  details – bonus) with a total estimate of $29,700.  WHAT??!!!   That was almost half of the first guy, no way.  So, again as any normal person would do, we checked references on the cheaper estimate.  I found someone that had their kitchen renovated by contractor #2 and she invited us over to take a look.  IT was really pretty and they were really happy with the contractor and the results.  I spoke to a few other people as well and all had good things to say.  All good?? That can’t be right, no one is always good.  So I asked what the main problem would be and they all said communication.  OK, so communication is huge to me.  I’m the type of person that always, ALWAYS,  ALWAYS  wants to know what is going on if it pertains to me.  I have my lists (and spreadsheets, and word docs, and graph paper drawings....) and I have to keep track of everything.  Well, since they all loved the final result, we thought why not.  So we hired contractor #2.

I was bored and drew our future kitchen
Here’s the breakdown on the important stuff - $$$$$$$

Total Budget $40.000

Contractor’s Estimate:

Item                                                    Budgeted $$                         Actual Cost
Opening wall to Dining room              $1,000
Demo                                                    $1,500
Kitchen floors                                       $2,000                            *we opted out of this*
Move door to window                         $1,000
Window above Sink                            $1,000
Cabinet install                                      $800
Cabinets                                               $12,500                  $15,025 (who knew they were that much??)
Countertops                                          $4,000                                      $2,635
Electrical                                              $1,000                   
Butler’s pantry                                     $2,000
Butler’s pantry plumbing                     $500
Barn Door                                             $700
Move HVAC vents                               $350
Deck                                                      $2,500
Paint/Trim                                             $1,200
Mudroom fixes                                      $250
Trash Removal                                      $300

JD and I had done a lot of shopping prior to today for items for our renovation:

Item                                    Budgeted $$                         Actual Cost
Kitchen Sink                          $900                                       $813.91
Kitchen Faucet                      $200                                       $325.58
Exterior Door                        $300                                        $841.14
Windows                               $1250                                     $1662.00
Cabinet Hardware                 $200                                          $164.69
Door Hardware                      $100                                          $69.06
Exterior Light                       $150                                          $99.21
Cabinet Lights                       $50                                            
Can Light Trim                      $50
Butcher Block                        $200                                        $341.86
Butler’s Pantry Sink              $100                                         $199.90
Butler’s Pantry Faucet           $100                                         $130.95
Beverage Cooler                    $500                                         $375
Hardware Samples                $25                                            $25.57
Butler’s Pantry lights            $0                                              $134.95
Barstools                               $0                                              $311.00

Total budgeted on misc needs - $4,125
Total spent so far – approximately $23,000 (whew that $40k went fast)

When we first saw the estimate of the 2nd contractor we thought “wow, this is amazing if this actually works”!!  Big fat Fail on our part – we failed to realize that the contractor’s estimate did not cover the items above…did I mention FAIL. 

Even though we failed to realize that, we are still {thankfully} under our total budgeted amount of $40,000.  We were smart enough to add in an extra %15 for unknown items that might pop up during the renovation (we do live in a house built in 1908 after all…) I’ll keep updating the budget as we go through this wonderful process.

Here’s the plan.  And by plan, I do realize that plans change, sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much.

~We are moving the existing door to where the existing window is.

That is a door hiding behind the bar...it's moving to the left where the window  is.
~We are replacing the one window above the sink with 3 windows.

all those cabinets? GONE
CJ likes the new window 

~We are removing ALL of the upper cabinets…..JD and I are short people, it’s a pain to drag the step  
    stool out every single time we need something up high….I can reach everything just fine.

~We are opening up the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and creating a peninsula/bar.
Where the large poster is leaning against the wall, that's the one coming down

The wall where the cabinets are to the right of the vent hood - that's going to be an open spot soon!
~All of the appliances are staying in their existing locations.

~We are getting gray base cabinets, white quartz countertops, white farmhouse sink, and brass 
  fixtures and hardware.
WE love the light gray and green

Didn't choose any of these! 

so many choices!

I never realized picking knobs would be so hard
LOVED these! Just couldn't get JD on board

OH my 

Another LOVE, but again JD said no

We really like this look

~We are adding another peninsula/bar at the other end of the kitchen – mirroring the one the opposite   
  end.  Bars.  YAY!

~We are removing our current pantry and replacing it with a custom (and by custom I mean $$$$)  
  hutch.  The hutch will be done in green and stained wood.

Something similar to this...
~We are putting in a doorway with a barn door that goes into the midget bath aka butler’s pantry.
That empty wall? That's where the door to the butler's pantry will be

And this is the door we will try to use for the barn door

~The butler’s pantry will have butcher-block countertops on opposite sides and gray base cabinets.  It 
  will also have a copper sink and a beverage cooler.  The upper shelving will all be open and done   
  with rustic wood shelves.

Similar layout to this that we found at Ikea

~We are keeping the existing floor in the kitchen but need to add flooring to the butler’s pantry.

That’s our plan. And by 'WE' I mean the contractor and his crew :).

Ok, back to day one.

We were told that the contractors would be there around 8:30 in the morning to start work…..and they show up! Score!  They get started right away on demoing our old concrete postage size porch off of our kitchen entrance.  That comes down super-fast.  I have to leave for work, so I wasn’t able to see any progress until I got home.  When I get home, we have a deck.  It’s not quite done yet, but we can walk out of the kitchen onto a new wooden surface.  They still needed to pour and set the footings and build the steps.  JD wanted them to hold off on the railings until he can figure out what he wants (just like a girl -  ha. Negative.  Not like a girl at all).  End of Day 1.  Not as much progress as I was hoping for, but the contractor said they had a lot of other projects they needed to do a few small ticket items on.  Oh well. 

Deck in progress

JD checking out the progress
Floor prep
Here's the rest of the renovation, and to a big glass of wine.

What's in red?  JD's opinions, not facts, just opinions.  FACTS.  ALL FACTS.  BOOM!

Trying Something New: Part Tres

Part Uno - my fitness journey and hurdles along the way. (well that was how many weeks ago on my initial post....)

Part Dos - family happenings aka family drama (yep, think I'm late on this one too)

Part Tres - Home Renovations (ok first post on this, not too bad....even though I did plan on it a few weeks ago)

Here we have it, the last of 'Trying Something New' plan.  Just remember it's a plan, sometimes plans succeed and sometimes plans fail.  I am hoping for the succeeding part.

Last Halloween (October 2015) marked three years for us in our lovely 1908 Folk Victorian Cottage (at least that what the historians tell me it's called).  Some good times and some bad, but we are learning what it takes to raise a 100+ year old structure (AKA the money pit).

Recently we considered selling our second love (shock factor due to getting our property tax in the mail - let's just say it is up over 100% since we first purchased the property).  That along with escalating utility bills (from heating and cooling over 3500 square feet of leaky, non-insulated walls and windows and doors and  floors....the list goes on) and home prices selling for a ton more than when we first moved in.  But then we looked at smaller, more efficient homes in the our hood (we do love Grant Park) and realized that if we sold our house and used the profit (a good chunk of change) to put down on another place, we realized that we could get nothing close to what we wanted.  So the renovations continue.

When we first moved in there was a small list of 'had to fix right now' items and a lot more 'we will take care of it when we get more money and settled' list of items.  Among the most important:

1. Fix half bath in hallway - there was mold halfway up the walls due to a leaky toilet the previous owner did not know how to turn off....

2. Make a nursery out of bonus room by master bedroom - I was 8 months prego when we moved in and didn't have a minute to spare.

3. Fix leaky roof spots (there were several) from years of deferred (NO) maintenance.

4. Find our driveway - back yard was so overgrown, we bought the house before realizing we had a back driveway.

5. Paint - ok, so not exactly a necessity, but it did make the house feel more like home to have non-off white walls everywhere.

As it stands right now, here's our 'To Do' list (here's our original list and photos)

1. paint
2. replace light fixture
3. make and install library shelves
4. refinish gold tufted sofa
5. make window seat bench

Living Room
1. paint
2. install crown moulding
3. paint fireplace
4. replace light fixture
5. make fireplace functional

Original Fireplace Brick

Thought we might like it in white....uh, NO

Ah, just right!

Cleared out and ready to be refinished!

Sanded down, our floor guy was beyond enamored with our floors, he was a big floor nerd
Shiny and new {again} & a tiny silhouette of our dobie in the background

1. create gallery wall (still a work in progress)
2. paint walls
3. paint ceiling
4. replace light fixtures

view from hallway to living room & front door
View from the living room to the hallway and sunroom/playroom at the end 
Dining Room
1. replace missing fireplace tiles
2. paint light fixture
3. paint

1. replace flooring?
2. new cabinets
3. new countertops
4. replace hanging lights
5. paint
6. new layout?

Not bad, I know, but just not enough counter space

and that mint/pastel green has got to go

Ugh, and the stove vent that looks like it got chopped off

Would be so much better if it was open to the dining room

Coffee Station aka the place JD and I fight over
Front Bedroom
1. fix/patch wall leak
2. paint
3. refinish floors
4. closet doors

Mid DIY Paint Job

Painting done, time to reasemble 

Not the neatest, but all painted and DIY old door headboard
Half Bath
1. replace/fix drywall mold
2. replace toilet
3. paint
4. new mirror
5. replace lights

Jack & Jill Bath
1. paint
2. mirror for vintage sink
3. replace toilet
4. refinish floors
5. replace hanging light
6. replace vanity lights

Back bedroom
1. paint
2. refinish floors
3. closet door
4. new light fixture

love the interrogation style single light hanging from the ceiling....
1. refinish floors
2. paint
3. paint trim
4. replace lights
5. new back door
6.  replace windows

Trim Painting time
Oops - wrong touch up color - time to repaint....the whole room
Another paint job done!
New rug {LOVE}

Yep, that's a playroom for sure

See that white door?  That goes to the 'Midget Bath'
1. replace floors
2. replace window(s)
3. new light fixture
4. new door
5. paint

Midget Bathroom (lovingly referred this way due to the my height door and smaller than normal tub size)
1. Remake into a butler's pantry (see below)

The green plastic tile, the palm tree wall paper, the nailed shut window, all so perfect...NOT

Yep, that's a capped off toilet hole.  We get fancy around here.

See that tub?  That's your average short tub.  Even for me, I have to bend my knees

I tried a pano shot with my iPhone so you could take it all in at once

another tub shot - aka the dog bathtub

Even though I don't want this sink for this space, I'm hoping someone else can use it

Laundry Closet
1. add shelving
2. tile flooring
3. paint

Sophie's Room
1. paint
2. new ceiling fan

Master Bedroom
1. paint
2. new light fixture
3. refinish floors

Added a new light fixture

CJ's Room
1. paint
2. add board & batten
3. new light fixture

Master Bathroom
1. replace pedestal sinks with vanity
2. replace tub in surround with free standing tub
3. new shower
4. replace toilet
5. replace vanity lights
6. replace chandelier
7. paint

~whew, that is a list.

Our newest project is a biggie.  The KITCHEN.  If you remember the above list of 'To Do's', just go ahead and squash the kitchen list, because there is soooooo much more to do than those few things.  This list is much more realistic (and expensive):

1. Open wall between dining room and kitchen
2. Take down all upper cabinets
3. Replace single window above sink with 3 windows
4. Move current door to where larger window is
5. Open up wall between kitchen and midget bath (aka butlers pantry)
6. replace all cabinets
7. replace all counter tops
8. replace slate tile with wood flooring to match the rest of the house
9. install subway tile to the ceiling on stove side
10. new farmhouse sink
11. remove existing pantry and replace with furniture like hutch
12. Barn door for butler's pantry entrance
13. Butler's pantry
         a. remove tub and sink
         b. replace window
         c. install lower cabinets on each side
         d. install beverage cooler
         e. install butcher block counter tops on each side
         f. new sink and faucet
         g. add open shelving with reclaimed wood
         h. new light fixtures

Now that ladies and gentlemen is a LIST.

Throughout our renovation, I'll keep you updated on what our budget is and what we have actually spent on things.  We have hired a contractor so we will not be doing the labor ourselves (who has the time for that??).  Our total budget is $40,000, but, I'll detail that for you more next week along with our design.

Will this be my dream kitchen??? Or biggest nightmare???  So exciting!!!

If anyone has any kitchen renovations suggestions, please, send them my way!

As always, JD's comments (appropriate or not) are in red.
Life in the Big House Blog Design by Ipietoon