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Renovation Diary: Our Kitchen Makeover

faithmitchell1 March 16, 2018

A little introduction to Renovation Diaries; when planning the renovation of our current home I struggled with a number of things. Firstly, I struggled to stay sane and not have a complete meltdown when I realised what we had let ourselves in for (I joke now but at the time it was a real problem). Secondly, I really struggled when trying to calculate the costs of the renovation, being first time buyers I had no clue how much a kitchen would cost, or new carpets. Finally, off the back of the previous issue, I couldn’t find honest, transparent costs without going into the rigmarole of getting builders and quotes from companies – and even when I got them, how would I know whether they were fair or not?

As a result, renovation diaries was coined. An honest, transparent account of a renovation in different parts of the country.


A kitchen renovation is no small task, a fact I can 100% vouch for. When we viewed our house, the kitchen was long, thin and badly laid out, the dining room on the other hand had wonderful high ceilings and a beautiful bay window to the garden.

Needless to say, we decided to do what most of the UK population are doing at the moment – we knocked the two rooms through to create a kitchen/diner and altered the layout of the room slightly so it flowed better. I’m not going to bore everyone with the ins and outs of what we did, but rather briefly explain what we did, how we did it, who we used and the most important aspect – the cost.

What we changed in our kitchen renovation

As previously mentioned, the old kitchen was badly laid out due to lack of space. We decided to block off the old back door and move the garage door about 1 metre along to allow the kitchen to flow in a ‘U’ shape. We then used the old entry to the kitchen to create a cupboard and created one entry to the kitchen by cutting off some of the hallway.

How we renovated our kitchen

When we got quotes for the building work, all of the builders mentioned that the main wall we wanted to knock down was not supporting and why didn’t we do it ourselves? So we did just that.

Knocking down the wall saved us about £1000 and also got rid of a whole load of anger! We also decided against hiring a skip, something that saved us about £700 in the grand scheme of the renovation.

Who we used

After knocking down the wall, there were a few elements of the renovation that we couldn’t do ourselves (and didn’t fancy trying). We got three builders in to quote, and we went with the cheapest. He came with recommendations from a number of people and although we had no issues with the work he did, his finish wasn’t the best – definitely one to note for future.

Once the builders were finished, the plasterers came in and tidied up the mess left by the above. We were very lucky in that my other half’s uncle is a kitchen and bathroom fitter by trade and he had great contacts that we used and he also fitted our kitchen and appliances.

We bought our kitchen from DIY Kitchens after hearing great things on Instagram and visiting the show room in Leeds. After living with out kitchen for a year we can vouch for that, the quality is fantastic and it is so easy to measure everything yourself.

After the kitchen was fitted, we painted the kitchen ourselves and got a local joiner to fit architrave around the doors, skirting and our flooring.

The cost

Building work – £1850

Kitchen units and quartz worktops – £5383

Appliances – £1539

Flooring and underlay – £345

Radiator – £110

Kitchen fitting – £850

Plasterer – £600

Joinery – £400

Architrave and skirting – £110

Paint – £100

Light fittings – £80

Total – £11,367


Obviously, this is just my experience with renovation costs and no renovation is the same so costs will fluctuate from house to house and region. If anyone has any questions, please leave me a comment below or get in touch via my contact page and I’ll try to answer them!


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