Budget Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation
This is the story of our surprise complete farmhouse kitchen renovation from Main St. All in, we completely renovated our 1900 cottage farmhouse kitchen for under $3000! Floor to ceiling!
Not so long ago, we bought a house. This sweet little house was 120 years old and was supposed to be a temporary little house for us to live in while we made some major life changes (think: changing careers and a serious drop in pay in order to spend more time together as a family).
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Well, I hope this has never happened to you, but the house we thought we bought and the house we walked into right after closing with our shiny new keys were two completely different houses. It reeked of cigarette smoke and the dirt was layered much thicker than I remembered from our earlier visits.
I put on my big girl panties and went to work deep cleaning our house, hoping it would only take me 3-4 days to get it spic and span.
Can you tell where this story is going?
Well, the first day we owned the house, we loaded up on cleaning supplies and headed over to our new old house. We cleaned all day, and as my almost-two-year-old was ready to head to bed (at family’s house) that night, I called in the third shift, my husband and cleaning extraordinaire mother-in-law.
They cleaned for even more hours into the night and I laid my head on the pillow to get my little one to sleep hoping that I could walk back into our house the next morning with fresh new confidence. (And let’s not discount the weenie-factor guilt I was experiencing over having my husband and his mom clean the dirty house in my place!!!)
I wish I could tell you that their elbow grease, bleach, and scrubbie bubbles made everything better. But the truth is that when I walked into the house the next morning, the cabinets were streaking with brown (where they did some heavy sanitizing and let it sit overnight). It was at that point I swallowed all of my tuff-girl pride and flipped completely into princess mode, making my case that the kitchen needed to go.
It was at that point I swallowed all of my tuff-girl pride and flipped completely into princess mode, making my case that the kitchen needed to go.
This picture makes the kitchen look so cute and innocent, huh? Don’t let it fool you.
Thankfully, that was an easy pitch to sell because the kitchen was so small anyways and was built with very rustic (and unsealed::disgusting!!!) butcher block countertops and Ikea cabinets (you know, the kind attached to the wall with a rail, so they’re not hard to remove).
See this unsealed homemade butcher block (at the bottom right)?! Gag!
Complete Budget Kitchen Renovation
Here’s how it went down.
Budget Kitchen Renovation: Demo
The next weekend, we quickly got to work pulling out the kitchen, and can I just tell you the relief I felt after seeing those cabinets pulled apart. Girl, there was dirt in all kinds of places I could have never ever gotten a rag into to clean!! So, I’m not a princess after all and I’m so glad we bravely took on this crazy task of renovating our kitchen (and even more relieved I’m not storing food and plates in those cabinets full of…well. I’ll save you the gory details).
First, we turned off the gas to the stove and removed it for safety’s sake. Then we got to taking the cabinets off the walls. It was a crazy fast demo. Except. For the vinyl tile. It was a bear. I would definitely not recommend removing tile linoleum from a 100-year-old house, as I’m fairly certain some of those materials could have been toxic. Yikes. And the glue. The glue was the worst to get off, for sure.
Here’s a photo of the vinyl tiles as we ripped them out and piled them up. It’s a little blurry, but you get the idea.
But the good news is that most of the kitchen renovation was smooth sailing after we got the floor up. Installing a kitchen can be a breeze if you measure correctly and have all the materials you need. We planned our kitchen around an apron double sink from Ikea, and after weeks of waiting, there just weren’t any in stock. So, after ordering our custom countertops, we had to reconfigure the kitchen based on a single basin apron sink. I think it worked out better in the end because a tiny kitchen needs the countertop space more than the sink size. But if it weren’t for that hiccup causing a few shifts and delays, this full farmhouse kitchen renovation would have been finished really quickly.
Budget Kitchen Renovation: Shopping
Lots and lots of shopping went down. I shopped until I found the most affordable (with the most storage) cabinet configuration that would fit in our space. We landed on Ikea cabinets with drawers and Grimslov drawer fronts.
This wasn’t our final choice, but I seriously considered this cabinet configuration and was wooed by the grey. I chose white in the end because our kitchen was so small and needed the light.
I priced out faucets and disposals and flooring. We found our appliances on Craigslist (totally scored there!!!). We ordered our custom WilsonArt Formica countertops (and ordered them again).
I absolutely loved the laminate countertops! They were so beautiful and resilient that I am planning on installing them in my (still budget, but more luxe) kitchen we have now.
After all the old materials were removed, I did a quick scrub down of the walls and repainted them (Moonshine 2140-60 | Benjamin Moore).
There was some water damage by the back door, so Nathan and his dad replaced a small joist beam thing and patched it back up.
Budget Kitchen Renovation: Flooring
I am from the carpet (and probably flooring, too) capital of the world, so I headed to Dalton to snag a deal on flooring. We found a gorgeous gray reclaimed-looking linoleum sheet that would cover the entire kitchen for $100. No kidding. We had linoleum in our old kitchen, and I actually loved it. It was clean (no grout to scrub every few months) and no worries about water damage. Plus, it was easy to install! Bonus.
My mom and brother came down to help me install it. We started around lunchtime and finished by dinner. That included meet and greets, planning out the final details before we laid it, trimming, and gluing. It was a total piece of cake. And super cheap flooring at $100 for the whole kitchen. Perfect for our budget farmhouse kitchen.
My sweet goober brother. He’d probably kill me if he knew I put this here. Shhh. Don’t tell him (lookin’ at you, here, mom!).
Budget Kitchen Renovation: Cabinets
Then, I started assembling the cabinets from Ikea. If you’ve assembled anything from Ikea, you can assemble these cabinets. They are much sturdier than their furniture and have a few nuances that are a bit different than regular furniture, but it’s a breeze once you get the first one put together. If you get Ikea cabinets and choose drawers, definitely go for the soft-close bumpers. Those drawers can hold more weight than you think (think: my entire pots and pans cabinet in one drawer), and you’ll be thankful that they aren’t smushing you (or your babies’) fingers!
Budget Kitchen Renovation: Countertops, Plumbing, & Electrical
If you remember the part where our double apron sink never came back in stock but we already ordered our countertops, this is where the waiting game began. I sat the first round of countertops on top of the cabinets (to give us a workspace) while I waited for the countertops to be delivered. We slid important pieces into place (to make sure they fit and get them out of the way) while we waited, but didn’t install them yet.
Because of the reconfiguration, we needed to do some wacky work with the sink plumbing, but we cleared all of it through a professional plumber to make sure we were cool. Whwew. A green light there. It took a few extra days (and cutouts :P) to fight those cabinets into place against the plumbing, though.
Nathan’s dad is hard at work on the plumbing.
We also updated the outlets to GFCI outlets to keep everything as safe as it could be in that old house.
Once the new countertops were delivered, I installed them onto the cabinets. Countertops are literally just screwed into the cabinets from below. Crazy easy. Then, we (we being Nathan and his dad) installed the Ikea farmhouse sink, new disposal, and the dishwasher.
Check out this gorgeous countertop! I just love that it’s such a light pattern, and not too busy.
I did some serious review reading online for disposals. Apparently, they can be pretty temperamental. We landed on this little guy and I think it was more than sufficient. It was also the quietest disposal I’ve ever used. Score!
We were well on our way to a brand new kitchen for less than $3000!
The fridge fit! Nevermind that those countertops weren’t in yet.
I also had a hard time finding a faucet I loved, but I did eventually choose this faucet and it wasn’t long before I just knew it was perfect for this farmhouse kitchen renovation.
After the kitchen plumbing was finished, we installed the cabinet kickboards (the part of the cabinets that hide below it and catch all the crumbs and dirt), painted the trim (this should be been done much earlier, oops!) and installed a few finishing pieces of trim between the cabinets and along the baseboards.
I love how easy it was to install and key this door knob to our other house keys. And yes, that door has had 100 years of “love.”
All in all, I think this farmhouse kitchen renovation turned out gorgeous.
Budget Kitchen Renovation: End Result
Here are a few photos of the finished budget kitchen remodel. If you want to see the whole house, you can see the full home tour here.
Budget Kitchen Renovation: In Review
Would I do it again? After seeing the inside/hidden condition of those old cabinets, absolutely! In a heartbeat!
Was it easy? Considering we were doing 5 projects at once during the kitchen renovation (bathroom, closet, crawl space, and whole house painting, plus work and school), I would say the work was easier than the waiting, so be sure to have everything you need on-hand before you start.
Can a beginner renovate their own kitchen? I believe with enough trips to Home Depot and enough YouTube videos anyone can do a job properly with the right tools. We had lots of tools available to us (plus we knew we could rent what we didn’t have at HD), and some great advice/help with the basic electrical and plumbing work.
If you know how to replace a light switch and glue together pvc, are thorough in your measurements, willing to ask for help at a home improvement store (or from family!), and either buy or rent the tools you need, I’d say definitely!
So, there you have it. Our surprise farmhouse kitchen renovation from our surprise flip house.
That house was full of surprises. 😉
If you’re wondering about our budget breakdown, here is the (approximate) breakdown of our budget.
Final Kitchen Remodel Budget
100 + labor: Vinyl floor
500 + installation in SS appliances including 5 burner gas stove and dishwasher and ice maker in fridge purchased from Craigslist
100 + labor: Garbage Disposal
1330 + labor: Custom cabinets (drawer cabinets) and hardware
200 + labor: Farmhouse/Apron Sink from Ikea
250 + labor: Fancy laminate countertops (not counting our first order that we changed our mind on) from Home Depot
200 + labor: Faucet with pull down spray
30 + labor: New light fixture from Home Depot
100 + labor: GFCI outlets
$2780 Total Renovation Budget