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!




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