Kitchen Remodel Under $20k
A Labor of Love: Do some work yourself and be selective with your spending for an elegant kitchen remodel on a tight budget.
After long careers working on other people’s homes, we retired and finally had the time to remodel our own. As soon as we finished with that, we realized that we needed something new to do, so we looked for a fixer-upper in historic Old Colorado City. Hoping to remodel and sell the house as an investment, we didn’t want to get involved in a lot of structural work. We bought a simple bungalow from the 1940s with a floor plan that is still relevant today.
We bought the house for $156,000, knowing that the potential for profit was in our sweat equity. To make a decent wage for the time we put into the project, we’d have to make a big impact on the dated house with minimal cash outlay. With that in mind, we made the biggest improvements to the kitchen and its connection to the living room.
The existing kitchen was dark, drab, and closed off from the living room. With the cabinetry, appliances, and sink all aligned on one wall, the layout was inefficient, and the kitchen lacked storage. There was no eating area and one wall had jogs and a tiny closet with the toilet stack inside—not a pleasant surprise to find in a kitchen. The challenge was to make the kitchen work without changing the footprint and to incorporate the room in the rest of the house.
Some of the solutions were obvious: We widened the arched opening into the living room, sacrificed a window for more cabinetry, straightened the jogged wall, and hid the toilet stack inside a new pantry.
To create a more functional working layout, we designed a U-shaped plan with a basic work triangle. But it’s really the peninsula that makes the plan work so well. It allowed…