When we first purchased this home, we really loved everything about it except for two rooms, Jay's bedroom, and our kitchen. The only thing we didn't love about Jay's bedroom was the paint color, and one gallon of paint from Home Depot easily solved that problem. With the kitchen though, there were a laundry list of issues. Nothing was a total deal breaker obviously, but it's an older kitchen, and we we're exited about the prospect of being able to flip it, put a lot of positive equity into it, and hopefully pay off a large portion of our student loans when it comes time to sell.
The first thing I want to change are the cabinets. Along with everyone else in the world right now, I really want white cabinets. I was playing with the idea of painting them white myself, but the hinges are on the outside, and I really want cabinets with European hinges, and a few of the base cabinets are in pretty rough shape, and so ultimately Derek and I decided that we want to just replace them all with new ones.
When our home buying journey first started several years ago in North Carolina, Derek and I were looking into buying a home that was basically perfect minus the part that the entire kitchen had been gutted out during the previous owner's foreclosure process. Before Derek and I thought about putting an offer in on the house, we went to Home Depot to see how much it would be to put an entire kitchen in, and they quoted us $20,000 without appliances, for the cheap cabinets that we didn't even like. Needless to say, we didn't buy that house, and that hefty price tag has always been in the back of our minds since that experience.
Moving forward, after we bought this house, Derek and I learned about cabinet refacing, which means you take the hinges and doors off the cabinet boxes that you currently have, then put large veneer stickers over your existing cabinet boxes to make them the color you want, and then they give you brand new doors for all your cabinet boxes and drawers. Derek and I, thinking this had to be SO MUCH CHEAPER than getting an entire new kitchen, had Home Depot come out again to give us another quote and told us $15,000 JUST FOR DOORS, the cabinet box veneers, tile backslash, and new counter tops. Remember, this is to fix old cabinets that were already roughed up.
We politely told them no thank you, and never talked to them again. At this point though, I was feeling so discouraged. I knew there had to be a way to get the kitchen of my dreams, without having to look into selling various non-necessity organs. I remembered that Ikea did kitchens, and so after doing lots of research, talking to my neighbors who have Ikea kitchens, and learning that the quality of an Ikea kitchen far surpasses the quality of most other items you can find at Ikea, I went onto their site and spent an entire night laying out the floor plan for a new kitchen and the cost was astounding. I learned that night that Derek and I could gut out the cabinets that we have now, and build and install all new ones for a little over $3,000. That was such a game changer, and made me think we actually might be able to afford to remodel our house.
I didn't stop with Ikea though. Since they're a well known, large store, I figured that price had to be inflated a little bit, and so I took to google and typed in "discount cabinets" and found... cabinets.com, so creative with the name, I know. Anyways, I measured all the cabinets in my house, and then picked them out on their site, and boom, even lower than Ikea, for $2,100... and after reading reviews, their still highly rated, and highly recommended. All of a sudden, something someone told us would cost $20,000 years ago, was seeming more and more possible for us by the minute.
Then I recently learned that through a little finagling, you can use credit cards to actually get new kitchen and home items at stores like Home Depot and Lowes for free! Yes, FREE. Know those credit card offers that you get in the mail that you always throw away? Stop throwing them away. Most often they have offers on them like "spend $1,000 in the first three months and you'll get 25,000-50,000 bonus points!" if it has no annual fee for the first year, those are the ones that you want to grab. Between groceries and gas, we spend that $1,000 every three months anyways, so we can charge that to the cards, and then redeem those bonus points for Home Depot or Lowes gift cards and then all of a sudden we have a free $250-$500 (every 10,000 points equals a $100 gift card), to spend at one of those stores for new laminate floors, paint, appliances, whatever, it's there. Cancel the credit cards though as soon as you pay them off, it might ding your credit a couple points, but if you already own your home, and you pay all your other bills on time anyways, it's really not the biggest deal, especially for Derek and I who already have high credit.
I was looking at Home Depot's website last night, and noticed that they sell cabinets that you can install yourself at home on their website too. Just playing around I decided to add in all the cabinets that I needed into my cart, all the appliances, flooring, knobs, and drawer pulls, and my cart came to a whopping $4,500... after paint and new counter-tops which I didn't do online, but mentally adding in about another $2,000 all of a sudden we have a completely new kitchen for $6,500... and if I keep playing the new credit card game, and hoarding those gift cards? We could potentially get it all done for free, or close to it. So if you need us for the next year, we'll be hoarding new credit card offers, and working through this kitchen and dining room area a little at a time.