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Show us your 'under $20K' kitchens!

August 18, 2008

There are so many beautiful kitchens on this board!! And so many really expensive ones. Some of the high-end ones are simply jaw-dropping!! But I have also seen some amazing "budget" kitchen renovations too. These kitchens give hope to the budget conscious home owner who wishes he/she could afford to re-do their kitchen, but are frightened by all the talk of $35,000 cabinets. So can you post your before and after pictures?

Comments (155)

  • janie-k

    I decided to add our almost finished kitchen to this thread, since it will likely remain in this almost finished state for a while more.

    Before Kitchen

    Here are the details:
    Cabinets- 5000
    Tile- 600
    Tile Install- 1500
    Elecrical- 2500
    Sheetrock- 1200
    RH Lights- 300
    Pendant Lights- 100
    Hardware- 500
    Appliances- 5500
    Cabiet Install- 300
    Paint & Misc- 300
    Sink- 250
    Faucet- 100
    Countertop Supplies- 300

    Total: $18,450

  • rdsso

    Here is ours we did it about 6 years ago and it was $8000 with appliances but DH was able to do most with help from his Dad and Bil

    Tile - $300
    New cabinet doors - $400
    Appliances $3000
    Backsplash - $250
    Silestone installed $3000
    Sink - HD $350
    Knobs - online - $55
    Misc other - trim, wood and stain $500
    I so wanted hardwood floors or brick floors but our budget would not allow. I told DH I would live with what I had for 5 years and hopefully be able to change the floors but DH gets offended by that idea. Anyway I still love my kitchen.

  • boxerpups

    Hi Everyone,
    I am so inspired. Thanks for showing all your hard work.
    I can not only dare to dream but make it happen.

  • jen19083

    sprengle - I've got info for you on the toekick heater. I had to get down on the floor to see the name of it . . . it's Smiths Environmental Products.

    Good luck!

  • sprengle1

    Thanks, jen19083!

  • buddyrose

    janie k how did you get those cool pendant lights for $100???? I love schoolhouse pendants but never saw them for that price.

    all the kitchens are great. I'm in the beginning stage of my renovation: just purchased cabinets, floor and back splash tiles, sink, faucet & soap dispenser and granite. Next week we (and I mean the guys doing the work!) start ripping the old kitchen out. I've budgeted it to come in about $18,000. Crossing my fingers and will have before and afters in about a month... I HOPE>

  • PRO
  • janie-k

    buddyrose - I'm not sure if you mean the semi-flush ceiling lights? If so, those are from Restoration Hardware and I got them on clearance for $100 each.

    The other pendants (hanging over the breakfast bar and in front of the window over the kitchen sink) are from Lowes for $19 each. The bases were a perfect match to my RH lights and I swapped out the shades with some $3 fluted glass shades to match the optic glass shades on the ceiling fixtures. I searched long and hard for pendants to match and I couldn't find any I liked for less than $200/each. That wasn't going to work because we needed so many. I was in Lowes one day and was shocked to see these and for $20!

  • buffalotina


    If you are looking at this thread still, can I ask where you got that wonderful pot rack next to the stove?

    Your new kitchen looks awesome, beautiful job.



  • rjr220


  • buddyrose

    wow janie k, $100 each from Restoration Hardware is a great deal. They're usually so darn expensive. I love them. and I love how you found the hanging lights from Lowes and just "customized" them to match. Awesome looking. I'm going to the Restoration site right now to see if they're still on sale. LOL thanks.

  • trancegemini_wa

    this thread has been such a huge surprise and inspiration. thanks to everyone who posted their photos. so many different styles and colour combinations and as someone who has a small kitchen im amazed at how some of the posters have managed to be so clever and get as much storage and useable space out of theirs which is so important i know that myself. Im just amazed at what can be done on a budget because we just dont all have the money to rip it all out and start again or spend the big bucks, what a great thread and what beautiful kitchens!

  • skitter_2009

    I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures of your beautiful kitchens. It's amazing what you have done with so little money. Thanks for sharing.

  • PRO
  • pattyk_64

    I love this thread, it's so inspiring!

  • irishstjean

    Janie K - could you tell us where your beautiful white cabinets came from?

    Beautiful work all around - it gives me hope...


  • janie-k

    Hi Jen,
    Our cabinets were from a local custom cabinet maker. I had priced options from Home Depot, Lowes and another local home improvement store... all the bids came in around $8-9K for our kitchen, not including inset cabinets or the breakfast bar. After getting sticker shock from the big box stores, I decided to try some local custom places. I got quotes from 2 and they were both were under 7K for paint grade inset cabs. I did do the painting myself to save some $. I was very clear on what I wanted for our kitchen, so custom was the right choice for our kitchen :)

  • Buehl - We Want SW Back Unconditionally

    With the economy in the condition it is, I think this thread and others like it will become more and more useful. So, I know this is very late to the game, but if any subsequent posters could include the following info in their posts, I think we will help people tremendously:

    • Year of remodel

    • Scope of remodel

      • cabinets? (no change/facelift (clean/refinish/paint/other)/new doors/new cabinets (custom/semi-custom/stock/IKEA/other))

      • flooring? (no change/refinish/new (vinyl/laminate/wood/tile/other))

      • lighting? (recessed/track/pendants/under or over cabinet/etc.)

      • move/change/add plumbing or electric?

      • structural changes? (remove/change/add walls, windows, etc.)

      • ceiling?

      • backsplash?

      • appliances...new/keep/mix (what was new what wasn't) and "level" of appliances (basic/mid/high/pro)

      • countertop? (no change/laminate/laminate HD/quartz/granite/soapstone/marble/wood/SS/tile/etc.)

      • plumbing fixtures? (reuse/new (material & finish: sink(s), faucet(s), soap dispensers, etc.))

    • What & how much was DIY?

    • Country & area of that country (e.g., USA, northeast)

  • brankulo


  • peachiepie

    There is hope for me and my kitchen in the future. These are beautifully done affordable kitchens.I love the creativity. Glad this forum exists.

    Marita 40: Those are some of the most colorful pictures I have seen in a kitchen. Can you share where you found them or point me to a website?


  • camargo

    OK, I'll give it a shot in the spirit of "giving back" for having learned so much here, and, of course, in the spirit of a shameless excuse to post more pics:

    Year of remodel: 2008-2009

    Scope of remodel

    cabinets? New cabinets; Ikea.

    flooring? Replaced vinyl sheet flooring with rectified porcelain tile over a Ditra Schluter membrane.

    lighting? Replaced one central light fixture with 7 can lights and under cabinet lighting

    move/change/add plumbing or electric? Lots :). New electrical circuits for induction cooktop, vent and double ovens, new circuits and outlets as needed for code. New sink water lines and drain, including an unforseen and unbudgeted need to run a new vent and tie in to main stack in attic.

    structural changes? Yup, one non load-bearing wall between kitchen and dining room removed.

    ceiling? existing

    backsplash? Ceramic tile backsplash

    appliances? All new--umm, mid-range? LG fridge, GE Profile induction cooktop, Bosch dishwasher and Bosch double ovens.

    countertop? New Silestone quartz countertops

    plumbing fixtures? New Sink (Vigo) and faucet (Ikea)

    What & how much was DIY? All DIY except for most electrical, countertops, and plumbing.

    Country & area of that country? USA, New England (brrr)

    Whole thing, including unexpected plumbing overruns and all materials, was about $17,000, a bit more than we'd budgeted. Here are some before pics:

    And after:

  • malhgold

    that's fantastic! what a change! can you tell me which door style the white doors are? great job!

  • camargo

    Thanks, malhgold! White doors are Rubrik -- they are white glass.

  • buddyrose

    I love looking at these kitchens. Mine is almost finished. I was able to stay just under $20,000. I'm still waiting for my 2 schoolhouse lights, some cabinet pulls on back order and one cabinet door that had to be replaced. Before and Afters in another week I HOPE. I'm so close to being done! But after looking at some of the great looking ones here, I hate mine! Don't worry, it will pass. LOL

  • desertsteph

    wow - I won't have near 20K to do mine but hope it at least turns out better than it is now...lol!

    I love getting ideas - and hope for those of you posting here tho!


  • buddyrose

    I can't wait till I'm completely done. It's too nerve wracking. LOL

    First pix is prior owners and their kitchen with their things. Very country. Had charm with the shelves and open spaces but up close the counters were higher than stove, cabs were ancient and floor (pergo raised 1" over green&white peel&stick tiles THAT WERE CROOKED!) WAS A HORROR. Their sink was old, their faucet was leaking. So I ripped everything out including 4 layers of old floors and 1 1/2 walls to re-sheet rock to make level.

    Next pix is room gutted! Rest are kitchen 99% complete.

    To keep costs down, I kept their white fridge and stove. So my microwave and dishwasher had to be white too. Because I kept stove I had to get granite that would "flow" with it cuz electric cooktop is black&blue flecks. I like dark granite and Sapphire Blue has blue flecks so that was okay.

    ***Right now I'm waiting back ordered cabinet pulls and have one missing cab. door (door was cracked). That's why some cab doors don't have pulls.***

    And I ordered a schoolhouse pendant for over sink and semi-flush schoolhouse to replace white metal hanging lights in front of other kitchen window. The porcelain floors are more white in real life. The flash makes them look darker and browner. They look more like Calcutta marble. When stove and fridge die, I may replace with stainless. I'll decide then. Room is NOT decorated yet. I'm still renovating my house so it looks like a white explosion. I'll add color with display things on cabinet tops etc. etc. Please remember it's not 100% done. But I go back to work next week and won't be playing online as much: ;-)

    Cabinets: Mid-Continent Maple painted white-half price sale: $4,858
    Sears Kenmore dishwasher-hate the color with cabs :-( $683
    GE microwave $316
    Blanco sink, strainer, faucet, soap disp: $477
    Sapphire Blue granite: $2049
    Porcelain floor, subway back splash, grout: $1,214
    2 school house Lights (not in yet) $256
    Electrician (dedicated microwave outlet, ceiling fan etc.: $300
    Labor (did EVERYTHING inc. all new Arts&Craft trim: $9,000
    stove & fridge already there: $0

  • buddyrose

    DONE!!!! This last photo shows the granite. There are flecks of blue in it. pretty.

  • reedrune

    Well, we have finished our remodel! Our kitchen space is very strange - we have a 50's ranch, just under 900 SF total... i'm not sure what the original plan was for the kitchen, but we shoehorned as much storage as we could get in!

    Our favorite part is probably a toss-up between the stove and remaking the shallow pantry space into a built in pantry with a spot for the doggie's dishes.

    Total cost was around $12,000, (13K with the fridge, which we bought last summer). I tried to note costs below, but a lot of misc is left out.

    Here're the details:
    Year of remodel: 2009
    Scope of remodel
    o Cabinets: Ikea Lidingo $2,500, hardware was around $450 from Restoration Hardware
    o Flooring: Slate and handscraped mahogany $600 flooring, $500 installation (Lumber liquidators)
    o Lighting:
    $265 undercab (Pegasus)
    $85 ceiling fixtures (Home depot and Ikea)
    $60 nickel switchplates (Home depot)
    o Plumbing
    Labor - $275 to install new sink and faucet, install completely new dishwasher and slide in range.
    Sink  Ikea Domsjo (apron front single) $ 175
    Facuet  Kohler Vinnata Chrome $300 (ebay)
    o Electric -
    Labor - $980 to install 3 new GFI outlets, 5 new undercab direct wire xenon lights, move one ceiling fixture, add new outlets for microwave and dishwasher
    o Structural changes: removed soffit (DIY)
    o Ceiling: No changes
    o Backsplash:
    Beadboard  from kit from home depot with upper and lower trim. $180
    Subway tile behind stove (Tile Shop) $110
    Labor  included with total below
    o Appliances...New range, dishwasher, OTR microwave $1650  all Ikea/Whirlpool. Our fridge was new last summer  itÂs a Summit and was around $1,000  itÂs small  24" deep, 24" wide and 75" high. All are midrange.
    o Countertop: Butcherblock from Ikea  around $300 for countertops, $50 for Waterlox
    Â What & how much was DIY?
    o We assembled the cabinets, did the demo, installed the slate, did the painting and patching.
    o Our contractor was around $2,700 and he installed the flooring, the cabinets, the tile and beadboard backsplashes, did all the trimwork and grouted the slate that we installed.
    Â Country & area of that country USA, Midwest (Minneapolis)

    And... here're the pics, also posted on the main board:
    Before Table/Sink view

    After Table/Sink view

    Before Stove view

    After Stove view

    Before Sink view

    After Sink view

  • writersblock

    It looks great, reedrune! I especially like the way you managed to make a horizontal cabinet fit in with the more traditional look of your kitchen. What a change from that middle-of-the-night effect you had before!

    How do you like the Summit fridge?

  • buddyrose

    reedrune, I love how your kitchen turned out and I'm SHOCKED at how little your contractor cost: $2,700!!!! Okay maybe Minn. is much better for prices than the North East but still. My contractor was $9 grand. He had 3 guys with him and did do wood work, back entrance and powder room tile floors in addition to everything else but I'm still SHOCKED and JEALOUS of the diff. in our costs and looks. Congratulations.

  • writersblock

    Did you do ikea, buddyrose?

  • reedrune

    Thanks folks!

    Writersblock - I'm really happy with the way the horizontal turned out as well. That was a wierd space, because of how tall the fridge is - getting all the cabs to line up. Plus, I like the look of glass cabs, but not the messiness inside them, so I was happy to add a little glass with the horizontal, but not a ton. And we really love the summit - it's such a great size, and a lot more budget friendly than some of the other options we saw - ours is 24 deep and 24 wide, and about 74 inches tall. It IS small, though. We can't stock up at Costco! We live a few blocks away from our neighborhood grocery store, so we shop every few days. We got ours as a floor model, no damage, but marked down to $999! It was a good deal!

    Buddyrose - I think our contractor charges out to what is around $65 an hour - so that was for about 5 days of work. One day for flooring, 2 days for cabinet install and installing the venting to the exterior, 1 day for trim and beadboard and then two half days for tilework, grouting and finishing things. In addition, our electrician was just under 1K and the plumber was $275. Our contractor had one guy working with him part-time - it's actually his partner, who normally does the design work for their business, but is starting to help out with the install as well. We thought it was a good deal, but we still did quite a bit of work ourselves, all the demo, the slate install and the endless patching, sanding and painting!

  • writersblock

    >marked down to $999! It was a good deal!

    I'll say! Thanks, reedrune.

  • buddyrose

    writersblock: cabinets were Mid-Continent - Maple painted white with all upgrades like Blum soft shut drawers, plywood sides etc.

    reedrune - my contractor was $45 an hour but the amount of work they did (I did NOTHING) took them 2 1/2 weeks. And I was here every day so I know everything they did. So I guess that's the difference: amount of time. I feel better. ;-) Your kitchen looks spectacular. I wish I could have upgraded my appliances now but that will come later.

  • reedrune

    buddyrose! ha! So now I can be SHOCKED that your labor is so much more cost-effective!! :-) We did a LOT of work, and right now it's sort of UGH because there's a lot of little things left to do... maybe we should have had the contractor do everything...I'm so sick of cleaning paintbrushes!

    Our appliances - it's sort of strange, since we bought during the Ikea kitchen sale, we got three new appliances (range, microwave and dishwasher) - because that gave us a larger discount. Otherwise, we probably would have at least waited on the stove, although I'm so glad we did the slide-in now!

  • buddyrose

    reedrune, I thought about a slide in and then said "the hell with it, this isn't my primary residence!". LOL

    It's a beach house!!!

  • buddyrose

    Finally got the lights installed. i like my beach house kitchen more than my City one now that it's done.

  • regmoses

    We did a total renovation of our newly bought 1970s-era house in Sept. 2008 for about $17K. We changed almost every room, but the kitchen/family room area is the most drastic. Still have the dining room left ...

    Went went local building supply store. Worked with a great designer who really made it fun for us and then had the greatest installer. I can't wait to save enough $ to hire him to do custom work in my mudroom - someday!

    Here are the basics:
    Sequoia cabinetry, custom work and installation - $12K
    Wilsonart HD laminate (crystalline onyx, I think) - $1,200
    Lighting (recess and pendants) - $350
    Wood floors - $1,200
    Window - $300
    Barstools - $160
    Appliances - all pretty basic - $2,100
    Drywall replacement - $500

    Got tons of cabinets, glazed finish, black accent pieces, crown molding to the ceiling, upgraded solid wood drawer bottoms, pull-out trash cabinet, two cupboards with pull-outs, and lots of drawers.

    Here are the photos:

    before (we knocked down far wall you see here, ripped out tile, downsized the window, all new drywall)

    We did the demo ourselves - GLADLY (anyone ever seen plastic drawer fronts before?)


  • Rudebekia

    peachie, you asked me a question about my kitchen art work back on April 29. I just saw this thread when it was bumped up again. The ceramic plates are "Wine Country" from artist Mary Naylor, and the prints on the wall (I actually have several of them, only one pictured) are from Suzanne Etienne. I love the work of both of these artists. The Etienne prints can be found at art.com; Mary Naylor's work is at select gallerys that you can probably find by typing in her name to a search engine.

  • jenocurley

    Would love to see more under 20k kitchens.... we are shooting for 13k totally diy . Cant wait to post when it is done.

  • want2bsure

    Janie-K: Where are you, or more importantly, your cabinet maker, located?
    Muscat: Who did your cabinets?
    Tyrak,Raenjapan: Please, please post on "Concrete Countertop" thread that is currently active.
    Thanks to all.

  • furletcity

    We live in N.J. and did the bulk of our remodel last summer, but it was a full year to get to the point weÂre currently at. We were without a stove for 10 months, and without a sink for 8 months.
    We took out a wall to create one large space-$0
    The electric in this wall was moved to an adjoining wall-$0
    Laid cypress wide plank flooring-approx $300
    Cherry cabs, Medallion, cherry-$4100
    GE Café dual fuel-$1700
    Kobe hood-$700
    Tikor sink-$150
    Kohler Simplice faucet-$130
    Island (a repurposed 2 piece hutch)-$300 I am very proud of this! ï
    Custom cherry island top-$800 We installed this ourselves.
    Cable lights above island and under cab lights-$240
    Fridge bought 3 years ago as a scratch and dent-$900
    Dishwasher bought new 4 years ago-$0 A very generous gift!
    Granite counter-$2200

    Our remodel took so long because we did all of the work except for running the LP line(stove), installing the granite, and making the cherry island top.

    The backsplash and a custom pantry unit (to be built next to fridge) are currently on hold as DH lost his job wayyyyy back in Sept.(right after we had paid for our remodel!)

    I love, love, love this post, but it takes me an excruciatingly long time to load it as my internet is dial up.Ugh!
    Good luck to all of you embarking on or in the middle of your remodels! May your dollar go far!

  • phoggie

    I think this is one of my "all time favorites" on this site.....to me it is so much more realistic to what most of us can afford in our budget. Those "over-the-top" ones are fun to look at, but I'd be too afraid to use them because I might make a mess in them. Keep these coming~~~

  • beth

    The photos are truly inspiring. Will our children really look at these beautiful kitchens in 20 or 30 years and want to tear them out? Seems impossible.

  • robin_d

    Ours was right around 20k 3 years ago, but it was a total gut and all I did myself (besides all the design work and purchasing) was and staining/finishing all the trim.

    We may actually finish it some day. :-)

    Before: Half-finished-then-abandoned-legacy-of-the-Exhole


    After three years I still love my 'new' kitchen. :-)

    Here is a link that might be useful: My Amost Mostly Finished Budget Craftsman Kitchen

  • Missing sophie, CP, many others and thei

    Lena, why not just start a new thread and link this one. Many of the pics here are no longer available. Love the topic and idea of lower cost kitchens.

  • THOR, Son of ODIN

    Good idea.

    Show us your 'under $20K' kitchens - 2018 version

    (it was really a shame that we lost all those photos).

  • Missi Rogge (4b IA)

    I was sad to see them gone as well.

  • leslieap10

    2010, Portland, OR

    $10,500, if I remember correctly.

    9x10 kitchen. Custom cabs with plywood boxes. New appliances (counter depth fridge, dishwasher, micro hood, gas range) different brands from sales/outlets. Rejuventation light fixtures. Corian counters. Moved a gas line but it was any easy move. Added a range hood. Stainless undercount sink. Wall mounted faucet was the only new plumbing. Water line for the fridge (the ice maker). Tile backspace. Drywall. Paint. Refinished wood floors. Added outlets. Wwe also replaced the garbage disposal and did our own demo (including dump fee for what we demo'd). Hardware from HD.

    Editted to say we also bought a new blind for the window.

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