linda_wal

Kitchen design and allowances

S W
September 4, 2019
last modified: September 4, 2019

I had an original post at https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5773347/how-is-this-house-plan#24532836 for house design and got terrific suggestions. So, I'm going to utilize the same for my kitchen design too. A quick search gave me another post that got very similar floor plan as mine and I like the layout quite well. I wish I could get windows flanking range, but I have garage there. Below are the design I found and my floor plans. Please opine.

Another question I have is on allowance. Builder's spec sheet says:

  1. Kitchen & Bath cabinets, countertops, mirrors and bath hardware: $20,000 (materials only)
  2. Kitchen & Bath plumbing fixtures $ 7,000.00 (materials only)

Combined, I have $27000 for the above and I already made a list of plumbing fixtures and vanities for $8,550. That leaves $18500 for kitchen cabinets and counter tops. My wish is to get good quality white shaker cabinets and granite/quartz counter tops. Again, I can use $18500 just to buy materials. I would like to get input from experts here to see whether I'll be able to get something like the second picture attached here in that $18500.


Attachments:

1. A layout I saw on another post that I like.

2 & 3. A "wishlist" kitchen I would like to see (layouts are bit different, but the changes are negligible)

4. Floor plan

1.



2.



3.



4.



Comments (29)

  • S W

    Here is the list I prepared to for vanities and plumbing fixtures:




  • cpartist

    Another question I have is on allowance. Builder's spec sheet says:

    1. Kitchen & Bath cabinets, countertops, mirrors and bath hardware: $20,000 (materials only)
    2. Kitchen & Bath plumbing fixtures $ 7,000.00 (materials only)

    Combined, I have $27000 for the above and I already made a list of plumbing fixtures and vanities for $8,550. That leaves $18500 for kitchen cabinets and counter tops. My wish is to get good quality white shaker cabinets and granite/quartz counter tops. Again, I can use $18500 just to buy materials. I would like to get input from experts here to see whether I'll be able to get something like the second picture attached here in that $18500.

    As long as you're ok with cheapchinesecrapola builder grade cabinets, and cheap level 1 granite done by a hack granite fabricator, it might be doable. The problem is those upper cabinets with glass inserts are expensive.

    If you want a mid grade kitchen with semi custom cabinets, the answer is a resounding no especially since your kitchen is not small.

    My kitchen is about the same size as yours and my cabinets go up to my 10' ceiling (glass uppers on one wall). I priced out several semi-custom brands without inset cabinets. I wound up with European boxes with shaker style full overlay doors. The semi custom brands were almost double or triple (depending on brand) your leftover budget of $18,500. (Shiloh, Kraftmaid, etc) Just the cabinets!!! I wound up going fully custom with Mennonite cabinets and while a heck of a lot cheaper, they still were more for just cabinets than what you have left in your budget. Granted you'll save a few bucks (maybe 1-2,000) for not having a custom wood hood or paneled dishwasher and fridge, but not enough to mean you'll get a quality cabinet for that price. And with the exception of Shiloh, inset cabinets cost more too.

    Where are you getting two master bath sink faucets for $150 each?

    I wish I could get windows flanking range, but I have garage there

    The garage could be moved down towards the front of the house and that would allow for windows in the kitchen on that wall as shown in your other thread. (See my earlier post showing that)

    A layout I saw on another post that I like.

    Two problems. One your crossing zones. When we cook, we take food out of the fridge, bring it to the sink to wash (notice how you'd be crossing the cooking zone?), prep between sink and cooktop and the cook the food.

    The other problem is the ideal spacing between appliances shouldn't be more than 9'. The distance between sink and fridge is a lot more in the version you like. Of course a great way to correct this is to add a prep sink to the island and then you'll have two prep zones too.

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  • S W

    cpartist, I'm not going to spend more than $20,000 on cabinets and counter tops. So, I have to go with whatever I get for that amount. I know one can spend $10,000 or $1M for kitchen, but in my case I have to go for an RTA, Cliqstudios, IKEA, Lowes, Home Depot quality.

  • live_wire_oak

    You can get a nice basic no frills entry level kitchen for that. Except your kitchen is TWICE the size of a standard entry level kitchen. No frills at all being the key to even getting close to your budget. You just have to accept the drawbacks of the stock sizes and builder quality that you will be dealing with. Give up every upgrade that you have in your head. No quartz counters. No glass anything. No wood hood. No interior fittings.

    Will your builder actually allow you to provide materials outside of his sources on this build? Labor? If not, you need to increase the budget in order to fill up that big room in even a modestly priced line.

    Or, half the kitchen size. It does seem to be oversized for a budget build.

  • shirlpp

    You could do the smaller top cabinets at a later date, however, the budget still seems tight.

  • Kaylie

    Are you allowed to buy the materials yourself?

  • Ig222

    As Ikea is one of the brand you quote, try to go to their planner and to design a kitchen of the same size and to determine how much i would cost with doors of your choice. Then measure the countertops and find how much they would cost at one of the place you list.


    I dont know whether yur budget is adequate or not because it will depend of the type of doors you choose. NOTE : In my experience, cabinets at HD or Lowes, except for the lowest quality without drawers and glass doors, are more expensive than Ikea.


    This is probably the best way to know. Also, I assume the budget is for cabinets only. So you need to figure out whether they will want a supplement for putting the cabinets together for RTA or Ikea.

  • S W

    Yes, my builder allow to buy materials from 4 different vendors in town. He worked with them for years. He stated that I can use the kitchen design service the vendors offer, sit with them and design the space and select whatever comes for $20,000 and the builder will install it.

  • aziline

    Builders in our area always have the kitchen budget lower than what is reality. You see that being true with your plumbing budget. Based on the price points of your plumbing fixtures it looks like you want higher quality. Do the same with the cabinets.


    It's no fun to have to pay more than you expected but might be more foolish to cut corners or use really cheap cabinets to make that amount work.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    I’ve worked with builders with those types of unrealistic numbers before. Never again. Everyone loses and feels frustrated.


    If your builder restricts you to using one of his 4 suppliers, then you will need to investigate the brands offered by them. Sometimes a smaller and simpler plan will let you put more money into the cabinets.


    To stretch the budget further, I’d suggest buying a second hand 36” H pub table for a temporary island and just pull that out of the job entirely. Maybe find an Ikea cart and put it next to it. Go ahead with the electrical, and if they have to put in a floor outlet under the table, that’s fine.


    To the right of the sink, find a china cabinet on a local resale site and paint. You’ll get that desirable hutch look, and for less than $150. You can redo that in the same cabinet color as the island later.


    Do a 30” range with an inexpensive stainless chimney hood, with a lot of negative space around it, that you can tile after closing. Skip the fridge surround and any wall oven entirely for now. Do that to match the island down the road.


    Plain wire shelving for your panty. No cabinets.


    For bathrooms, if the builder will let you, shop local resale sites for the powder room and kids bath. A bit of paint and creativity takes that out of the cabinet budget as well.


    Put the dollars into the kitchen perimeter and master bath. Use the savings from the other to upgrade into a good American made brand. One that you can use in 3-5 years to do those other cabinets in a complimentary color.


    Skip quartz. Do a basic budget granite. Most will actually wear better in some ways.


    Investigate the brands offered by your local authorized providers, and we can give you a heads up as to what might be the better long term value. I don’t consider things that would break before you get in the new island to be a value, even if they fit the budget now. That’s cost. They’re different.


    Good luck! This is hard. I’ve been there.


  • felizlady

    In my opinion, a dining room should always be fairly close to the kitchen for convenience: bringing out the food for a meal and removing all the dishes and glassware back to the kitchen for washing.

  • Kirsten E.

    The pictured cabinets appear relatively straightforward (simple white shakers and not a lot of drawer bases); however, the price will vary to get them to the ceiling depending on whether your ceilings are 8', 9', or 10'. Lighted glassboxes will also add cost. Additionally, both of those photos have under cabinet lighting, and the first appears to have above cabinet lighting. These are additional electrical costs. Another part of the visual appeal is the appliances; counter depth refrigerators, slide in ranges, and large built-in vent hoods will all add additional cost. That is all to say, the cabinets and counter tops are only two components of those pictures; you also have to consider the electrical costs and appliance costs in the pictured kitchens to achieve the complete look.


    Separate and apart from the aesthetic is that those pictures can't tell you about quality of the cabinets. Even if the aesthetic can be achieved, it might not last long (i.e. abnormally fast wear and tear, chipping, etc.).


    As for the counter top, if you like the more plain white look of the first picture (which might be quartz), I'd also consider a solid surface like Corian to save $$$. Granite and quartz prices vary by manufacturer and slab.


    TL;DR - I think you could likely get the pictured cabinets for the $18,500, but I don't think that would necessarily achieve the desired aesthetic or result in a kitchen with max function or lasting power.


    Good luck!

  • David&Sue Schoch

    Guest Bath - shower stall: Pre-fab panel stall with a shower curtain? Any extra water proofing? Level 2 Bath - tub with hand held shower head: Where does hand held hose connect to the tub spicket [no diverter to wall "spout"]? Water proofing the walls? Plastic panel walls around the tub? M Bath: Ditto Guest bath - maybe less water proofing if a 'shower" is specified. No tile or glass shower doors.

    No listing of the kitchen faucet in your budget - $65 to $350

    Are you 100% sure you can combine the 2 allowances??? You're already over the Plumbing Allowance without the kitchen faucet. Let alone the "upgrade" to add/replace tubs to showers.

    Please be sure your allowances are transferable to OTHER categories. And you know what the bottom line is.

  • PRO
    Kristin Petro Interiors, Inc.

    Your plumbing numbers are missing valves, drains, sinks (unless sinks are include in the vanity number?), trims, handheld hose and connector, tub filler, garbage disposal (if applicable). Also, are bath accessories like TP holders and towel bars included in this allowance?

  • S W

    The whole plumbing and heating expense is $40,000 and the $7,000 is only for plumbing fixtures allowance. The hardware mentioned like tubes and valves are counted separately under "materials".

  • Kirsten E.

    Perhaps a certain kind of valve is included in materials, but you need to be sure that what’s being spec’d is what you want and works with your chosen plumbing fixtures. For example, we had an allowance for plumbing fixtures; however, the allowance assumed all pressure balanced showers and I wanted a thermostatic shower in the master, the valves for which are more expensive. Additionally, I wanted increased functionality in the shower (ie handshower) and so diverters were necessary. These costs weren’t included in the original spec, and so the cost was added to the plumbing fixture overage. If your builder confirms the chosen fixtures and all necessary components come to the expected cost, thats great, but I wouldn’t assume; I’d send the specific fixtures and ask for pricing confirmation.

    S W thanked Kirsten E.
  • S W

    Good idea Kirsten. At this point, he is preparing the spec sheet and the detailed breakdown of the budget. I think the points mentioned in your post would be in the next conversation.

  • Susan S

    I put IKEA cabinets and solid surface countertops in my current kitchen over 9 years ago, and they aren't showing any wear or tear, even with me, my husband, my two stepsons, up to 3 dogs at once (just one right now), and 4 cats. I highly recommend both IKEA and solid surface to stay within budget. My kitchen is not as big as yours, but at a 10x13 size in two L shapes (one with a breakfast bar), my cabinets came to $6000 and the countertops were $2000. Even if yours came to double the price of mine based on your kitchen size and price increases over the years, you'd still be well within your budget. If you prefer granite or quartz over solid surface, it's possible you could still do that with the IKEA cabinets and stay in budget.

  • live_wire_oak

    Allowances also typically include install prices within them. Especially for cabinets, where that number varies widely based on the design. If the builder approves Ikea as a 5th possible source, it might save you money on the front end, but the savings will totally evaporate unless you are also allowed to assemble and install yourself. Professional cabinet installers 90/10 hate dealing with IKEA and charge much more to do so than with a standard already assembled line. When you are on a budget, you have to keep the big picture in mind. Saving costs here means nothing if that costs you a lot more elsewhere.

  • cpartist

    cpartist, I'm not going to spend more than $20,000 on cabinets and counter tops. So, I have to go with whatever I get for that amount. I know one can spend $10,000 or $1M for kitchen, but in my case I have to go for an RTA, Cliqstudios, IKEA, Lowes, Home Depot quality.

    Then you really have to lower your expectations as Cooks Kitchen and LWO suggested. And that's not a bad thing either.

    If you have the option of doing Ikea, I would absolutely recommend them. The quality for the price point can't be beat. My first kitchen (Ikea), put in back in 1990 is still being used by the woman who bought my house. I know this because my ex has been in the house since.

    The difference is it won't be inset cabinets. But European boxes with full overlay in a shaker pattern still give the overall feel of the look you're after.

    Quartz too will probably be out of budget. What would be your second choice?

    Corian always gets high marks.

    If the builder approves Ikea as a 5th possible source, it might save you money on the front end, but the savings will totally evaporate unless you are also allowed to assemble and install yourself.

    Agreed. However putting them together is relatively easy.

  • PRO
    CAP Construction, LLC

    If you want stacked cabinets like the ones in the photos you uploaded, they are going to cost a lot more. Your builders allowance is most likely based on a "standard kitchen". Stacked cabinets are not standard. My suggestion would be to discuss your desired kitchen with your builder and go to the kitchen designer/(s) that your builder has suggested and see if it fits in with the builders allowance. The cost of the cabinets can vary significantly based on added accessories, drawers, stacked cabinets, glass inserts etc.

  • acm

    the one drawback with Ikea is that they substituted off-white for white, which bumms a lot of people out. but still worth checking out.

  • S W

    I was able to put together a design with white shaker cabinet collection from the local lumber store and level 3 granite countertops for $20,000 after the discounts and builder price. I have 52 sqft countertop and upgrade from granite 3 to quarts will cost me about $1000. The granite options I liked is 62/sqft including installation and quarts is 80/sqft. So, I have decided to take $1000 from my pocket to get quartz.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    What cabinet brand are they using?

    S W thanked The Cook's Kitchen
  • S W

    They are using Echelon, Aristokraft, ADVANTA, Kraftmaid, Omega and Merillat. I would get from any of these.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    What brand was the quote in? Aristokraft level 1? Merillat Basics? Echelon basic?

  • PRO
    Kristin Petro Interiors, Inc.

    I would double check this information before you agree. Those cabinet lines are all very different price points. I would be surprised if you can get an Omega cabinet for the same price as Aristokraft or Merillat. Make sure the quote you received is for the exact line you want.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    I don't know where you live, but your allowances seem really low to me. And something else to consider: adding another $10K to $20K will eliminate any regret five years from now. Many years ago my husband and I did a major kitchen remodel and an addition. And three years later, we totally regretted not biting the bullet to upgrade the cabinets. The cabinets were OK, but they weren't great. If you're planning to live in this house for many years, you'll be glad you picked something high quality and long-lasting.

  • cpartist

    I wouldn't want those first three. I'd rather have an Ikea kitchen.

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