We bought a new dishwasher today! New to us anyway – we found it on Craig’s List and drove to the other end of town today to pick it up. We paid $100. It currently retails for $645, although the lady who sold it to us said that it’s about 7 -8 years old. It’s fully digital, white with a stainless steel interior. It has a few dings around the door, but it works perfectly, and is a HUGE improvement over the one we have, which we’re pretty sure is original to the house (1980s). The one we’re replacing is black, missing several spikes inside (and where they fell off, the rack has some lovely rust on it), and has a knob to start it. No buttons or LED lights anywhere.
The people who sold us the dishwasher were getting rid of it because they wanted to switch to stainless steel. Works for me – now we don’t have to spend $600 to get a new dishwasher.
I’ve written before about our desire to upgrade our kitchen. We’ve lived here for five years, and have always talked about it, but didn’t think we could afford a remodel. Then a few weeks ago I was talking with my parents about it, and they said that they thought we could do the whole thing for about $3000, if we were careful with our budget and did the work ourselves (with a lot of help from them, which they kindly offered). They also suggested that it might be far easier to get it done now, while I’m still pregnant, than to wait until we have the baby. I suppose a sleeping baby and power saws don’t go well together…
So my husband and I decided to go for it. My biggest complaint with our kitchen has always been space – it’s very small – although the 20+ year old appliances and “butcher block” laminate counters don’t add much to the appeal. I love to cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I’d love to have more space and more storage for all the food we like to buy in bulk. So our plan is to annex the current dining room into the kitchen, and build in counters around it. Then we can make our downstairs living room into a dining room, since we really don’t use it as a living room. It’s more of a decoration and a spot for the cat to sun herself. And she can sun herself just as easily in a dining room.
So here’s the budget so far:
- laminate counters that look like granite. Sounds tacky, but I swear they’re awesome. My mother convinced me to go to Home Depot and check them out, and we were very impressed. Granite started at $50/sq ft, and these counters are $16/sq ft. We need about $70 sq feet of counter top, so about $1120 for counters. (compared with at least $3500 for granite or Corian)
- Floor. We have laminate tiles now. Don’t particularly care for them. Considering tile, but we found a sweet click-together laminate floating wood floor material yesterday, that would only cost $200 including the backing that we would need to put down. Another option we looked at would cost about $400. Still deciding on the floor…
- Dishwasher – $100. Done and done.
- Stove – looking on Craig’s List for glass top stoves. Found several for under $200 but they were already sold. We’ll keep looking and I’m sure we’ll get one for under $200 – there seem to be lots available.
- Sink/faucets – We’re going to try to get these used as well, although I have some specifics in mind. I’d like a high faucet and a deep sink…. Hoping to get both used for under $150.
- Cabinets/shelving. We will have an 8 foot section of new counter top in what is currently the dining room that will need storage underneath. We’re looking at used cabinets, and we’re also considering open shelving. Not sure what this is going to cost because we haven’t decided what we’re going to do yet.
So that’s the rough budget. We’re very confident that we can do it for under $3000. And we can afford that amount. We can pay for it as we go (which would involve putting a little less into our IRAs for the next few months) or we can get a Home Depot credit card and use that to pay for counters, wood for shelving, flooring, and whatever misc. supplies we need. The reason I’m considering the HD card is that they would give us 10% off of the first purchase, up to $2000. So if we put $2000 on the card, we would save $200 right off the bat. Then there’s no interest for 6 months. We’ve used this sort of credit in the past (my husband’s teeth, the computer that we bought through our business account last summer) and been very pleased with it. We’ve always paid everything off before the promotion expiration, and have never paid any interest on this sort of offer. So I’m thinking we’ll do the same thing for the kitchen supplies.
We’re very excited about this kitchen remodel. We’ll keep it as frugal as possible and I’ll write about it along the way. I’d say we’re off to a good start with the $100 dishwasher.