Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Cost of Remodeling: The Little Things

When I started this project, I didn’t sit down and work out how much each item would cost. I had a set amount of money that I needed to work within and I did a lot of research to get the best possible materials/appliances for the best cost (without using big box stores). So far, we are doing pretty good and I think we will come close to within 10% of what we had to spend. But I am always surprised at the cost of the miscellaneous or unaccounted for items. Some examples:

Backsplash: Just trying to find something we liked for the backsplash was a daunting task. We initially went into a really nice tile store that probably had 5,000 samples (seriously). I crawled around on the floor with my counter/cab/floor samples checking every one out. By the time we left I was almost in tears—due to both the price of things and the overwhelming number of choices. By happenstance, while looking for slate for the foyer at United Tile, Brilliant Daughter found the perfect combination for the backsplash. It is comprised of 12x12 tiles (14 sf), 2x2 tiles (7sf), and random glass/rock tiles (3 sf). I paid $533.14 for the order. When I went to pick it up a week later it was in two boxes. Two 12x12x4” boxes. I told the man there must be some mistake. I mean, really, how can two small boxes like this cost $533.14? But there was no mistake. Dammit.
Wood: Yes, we decided to move a small wall and change the doorway, as well as lay hardwood floors. While I knew this would necessitate lots of plywood (16 sheets to be exact), 2x4 lumber, 2 new beams, and nails—four trips to OK Lumber yielded receipts totaling $798.02. That’s with the contractor’s 10% discount! To be fair, there are also non-wood items purchased: a large roll of insulation (to meet current code), a 500 sf roll of kraft paper, 7 joist hangers, several saw blades, and a few other things that I don’t even know what they are. I feel bad not only for my pocketbook, but for all the trees.

Electrical Supplies: We are fortunate to have a son who is a licensed electrician, which saved us paying for 18-20 hours of labor (at a minimum of $50/hr). But code required us to redo every single piece of electrical wiring in the kitchen. This means all the old had to be pulled out and we had to install all new wiring, boxes, junction boxes, GFI outlets…and the actual lighting configuration. In order to decrease energy consumption, California adopted an energy code (Title 24) that significantly impacts lighting in new and remodeled homes. This necessitates that at least 50% of installed wattage in a kitchen must be from fluorescent, CFL or HID lights. We just put in new ceiling cans last year, but we could not reuse the three large center cans, as they were not fluorescent. That meant pulling those out and replacing them with fluorescent, as well as adding two undercabinet fluorescent lights. So far, supplies have run $640.30 and I still do not have the undercab lights, switchplates, outlets, or the eating area light fixture. While we did get the contractor discount on most of those supplies, and the labor was free, this is gonna run us over $1000. A bit more than I had budgeted for, unfortunately.

Such is the way of things I guess.


SFKrista said...

How exciting, love the pics! So cool that you designed it yourself too...the barn doors are a great idea. one step at a time, good luck. xo--Krista

Mrs. B said...

So good to hear from you! I've been remiss since your relocation, but I promise to be better!

Debby S. said...

Wait until you add in the cost of faucet (look for the all metal one, don't even look at plastic and make sure the parts are all metal as the plastic falls apart). Then think about any mats for the kitchen to cut down on scuffing of those floors. I am sure there is more. I've been there, done that. But the outcome is wonderful. Debby