Dear PoPville – Remodeling a Small Kitchen

Dear PoPville,

I’m thinking about remodeling my kitchen, which is pretty small–approximately 8′ x 10′. I don’t want anything fancy–just a pull and replace job, but I got an estimate from one of the big remodeling companies that seemed wildly too high. My sense is that the company is mainly equipped to do larger-scale jobs, and was just not willing to negotiate with me or figure out some common sense ways to keep the cost down. (I know kitchens aren’t cheap, but $30,000 for a job that didn’t require any construction or relocating of appliances in a space that small just didn’t seem reasonable, or anywhere within my budget.) I was wondering if anyone out there has had a positive experience with a small remodeling job on a kitchen or bathroom and has a person or company they could recommend.


For those who’ve had their kitchens redone – how much did it cost you?

43 Comment

  • Check out Panda Kitchen. They did our kitchen. Extremely affordable, 0% financing for a year, and a great install.

  • Assume you don’t have time to do much of the legwork yourself? If you do, you can save oodles of money.

  • hate to say it, but IKEA usually has good deals…they quoted me $10,000 for the remodel on a kitchen with the same dimensions as yours (although I would be responsible for taking out the cabinets). check their website, they sometimes have installation deals and/or free flooring if you spend $XX.XX…etc. they also have a design tool online that’s pretty good to give you an idea of how your vision will look….Good luck. V

    • I agree on IKEA. If you’re doing the demo and install yourself (I promise it’s not that hard), it’s a great deal. Our kitchen is probably twice that big, and we did the whole thing for $10K or less. Bonus savings if you can wait for IKEA to have a kitchen sale, which I believe happens in April.

      • i was just at the cp ikea, it is 20% off until mid april, but i think you have to buy 5k worth of goods.

    • I also used Ikea and was really happy with it. It ended up being about $15K for everything including demolition, adding a small wall, some rewiring, and tiling the floor. The cheapest cabinet doors they sell feel cheap, but the nicer ones are great.

  • you are getting screwed for sure. I used Residential Renovators (bob Nunes) for new floors (tile). granite counter tops, painting the walls and ceiling, finishing off the “pass through” between kitchen and living room and installing a new bar top. Less than 5k. Bob was able to get me a discount on the granite cause it was an overstocked item I think. granted none of this included appliances but if you can shop for those on your own that might be cheaper.

  • I did my own. Ikea cabinets, Ikea/M&M scratch and dent appliances, USA hardwood flooring, and Ikea butcher block countertops. Spent under $5k for the whole thing. Ended up doing the plumbing and electrical work myself- it’s not as hard as it looked. Estimates from contractors ranged from $20k to $45k.

  • I haven’t redone my kitchen yet, but when I do, I’m planning to go with IKEA. My real estate agent recommended them for kitchens; he’d used their supplies (and one of the contractors who installs IKEA kitchens) for at least one place he’d redone.

    I hear that IKEA faucets are not to be trusted, but I’m definitely planning to go with IKEA for cabinets.

    • Second that. Ikea cabinets are great – faucets not. Good planning tool and lots of counter options too.

  • I had my 7′ x 7′ kitchen completely redone (full gut job, all new everything) for $20k, so yeah, $30k is a scam. I’d love to give you the name of my contractor but he moved to Florida several months ago, more’s the pity…

  • I spent about $30,000 to renovate a small kitchen – that included taking down a wall, moving plumbing, electrical work, wood cabinets, new appliances, flooring, countertops, lighting…

    I looked at Ikea cabinets but didn’t care for them.

    • we just spent around 35k to completely gut and re-do an entire 1 BR/ 1 BA apartment (including all new kitchen, all knew bath, all new hard wood floors, etc.)

      • And this is important because…?

        • $35k for a whole apartment is a whole lot more bang for your buck than $30 for just a kitchen….

          • It really depends, doesn’t it? You’d have to know what kind of appliances (top of the line or Home Depot special), cabinets (real wood vs particle board)…quality finishes or contractor grade etc in order to compare.

        • As “me” said below, [email protected], it’s to illustrate that the OP is being quoted a lot of money. and btw everything we did was high end.

          • It also matters when the renovations were done – last month, last year, 5 years ago.

            I’ve been looking into getting my kitchen redone and quotes have been coming in between $25,000 – 35,000.

          • we finished this week . . .

          • Nah, high end appliances in the kitchen alone would run over $10,000. By high end, you must mean top of the line Kenmore or GE. That doesn’t count.

  • I’m looking for somebody to replace my kitchen cabinet doors and trim. If anybody knows of someone.

    I just got new countertops and used Countertop Guru. Ask for Winkhel the owner…. he did an excellent job for a reasonable price.

  • First let me say, I hope you live in a Coop or Condo, because I wouldn’t want to remodel a kitchen, if I lived in rental property. However, $30,000 seems like a lot. I would check around and get other estimates. I agree with Victor, check out IKEA, Home Depot, and Lowes.

  • Are the cabinets in good condition? If so, you may want to consider getting a hand-held sander, taking the doors off, sanding doors and the fraimwork, painting them with a white color (white does wonders for making a space look bigger) and then installing new hardware. I did this a few years back and all it cost me was the price of the paint and hardware. I did pay someone to put a new floor down (ceramic tile total cost was less than $1000) and then I purchased new appliances. I am saving for new counter tops. In the end I will have spent only about $2000 (excluding appliances) and my kitchen looks awesome.

  • $30k for your job is a rip off. Kitchens are ridiculously expensive but for your size and what you want that price is bs.

    We redid ours ourselves but had the help of a friend who is a carpenter.

    I’m not sure what price range you are considering – but depending on what you want – you can definitely get a much better price by looking around.

  • I don’t get it, I had my basement, 750 square feet done, including having to dig up part of the space to get the DCRA legal height, seperating out the electrical, installing a bath and kitchen (granite countertop), ceramic tile floor, all for approximately $65K.

  • Try doing it with a pro. Cheaper will look cheap and will fall apart.

  • ZD of Zee Dee Touch just did our kitchen and he was fantastic. We, too, wanted a remodel and had a ridiculous estimate from a bigger company. We also used Ikea cabinets, which look and function beautifully – especially for a small kitchen. They did an amazing job, were really fast, and did more work for less than half the money the other guys wanted.

  • Have you considered cabinet refacing? Much cheaper and if you need to add a cabinet or two, they can handle it.

  • My kitchen is about the same size as that in my rental unit and I did all Ikea. It was very affordable and looks like a more expensive kitchen when you slap some granite on top and a nice backsplash on the wall.

  • It’s been about 9 years but my 8×10 kitchen cost $17K and that included leveling the floors, taking out the old plaster walls, a heated floor, new cabinets from Home Depot, a Corian counter top (more forgiving than stone), a $500 sink, new dishwasher, garbage disposal and new lights.
    So yeah, $30K is a bit much.
    Pick another contractor who actually does small spaces, it will save you a lot in headaches when you have to try to convince them to not stuff big things into a tiny space. They are out there. Ask friends with small spaces who’d they recommend. Demand to see a portfolio of work done in similar sized spaces.
    I’ve had Something Different Contracting do most of the work in my house. They are not cheap, but they understand limited space.

  • 30k is a rip off – I have a small kitchen in our now-rental property, when I bought the place I gutted the entire place for about 20k.
    I agree with ikea cabinets – the software is really easy to design your space.

    Consider a small fridge, which would save you space for more (valuable) cabinets. Invest in good counters (I went with Ice Stone), which can offset the typical look of Ikea cabinets. Same with door pulls and whatnot – a little cost there can make it look WAY nicer than just plain ikea. Ikea install isn’t much and given that their cabinets are a pain in the ass I highly recommend that (and their measuring service can save you a huge headache).

    I can’t recommend my contractor who ended up sort of crapping out at the end of the project, so I had to find someone else to finish it.

    • lol – “$30k is a rip off” but you ended up getting screwed by your contractor.

      always remember, you can have any two, but only two, of the following:

      – inexpensive
      – fast
      – high quality

      • I gave him a pass because his father died suddenly and he was not in the right state to finish a project (esp one involving heavy machines). He did excellent work until his dad died.

  • not replacing appliances and not including the counter top 3k (that also included a new window and rebuilding a wall. i bought my cabinets wholesale, tiles were in sale at home depot and did it all myself.

  • I was just back at my old place today to pick up the mail and do some other things, and there was an IKEA flyer advertising a sale on their kitchens from July 4 through August 19. It’s 10% off if you spend $3,500 or more, or 20% off if you spend $4,500 or more.

    This is on the kitchen stuff itself, not the contractor installation. I’m not sure if the deal in April is a better one (maybe 20% off no matter what the price, or 20% off at a lower threshold?), but I just wanted to throw that out there for the OP. Heck, I might even take advantage of it myself!

  • I did my own plan, used ikea for cabinets and appliances (didnt redo floor), bought granite from my contractor’s “guy” and came out at about $8K for a galley kitchen of comparable size …

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