Looking for Rehab Suggestions Please - Posted by Brad S (CA)

Posted by Brad S on February 25, 2001 at 19:33:27:


Looking for Rehab Suggestions Please - Posted by Brad S (CA)

Posted by Brad S (CA) on February 24, 2001 at 18:57:09:

Ok, here’s the story,

I have a house that is worth approximately $230,000 - $240,000 in a middle class, blue collar type area. It is in CA so the value doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality (for those of you from out of town that can buy a high quality home for that value). It is a 1160 square feet, 3 bedrooms/1.5 bath house.

I am planning on totally gutting the kitchens and adding brand new cabinets with new appliances along with other work to the house. I am wondering where I should concentrate my money.

SHould I put in good quality, pre-assembled cabinets and average appliances…or average quality unassembled cabinets (that will still look good) with average appliances…or should I think about higher quality appliances.

I have a bid for new good quality, framed, cabinets for around $3,500. Or, I may be able to get the unassembled, unframed, cabinets for signifianctly less, maybe $2,000 or so.

I am also thinking of adding a small center island to increase storage and add a eating counter, since the house does not have a real dining area.

please help with suggestions and comments on the kitchen as well as other areas to spend or save money on.

The basic question is what fix-up can I do to sell the house quickly for a good price. Advice from those of you with rehab experience would be welcome as well as others.

Another perspective… - Posted by lyal

Posted by lyal on February 26, 2001 at 08:27:24:

Just another idea here. I have done several rehabs and the trap I try to avoid (been there…) is to rehab as if I was going to live there. I have done kitchen rehabs where I kept the cabinets that were there but had them spray painted with a good quality white enamel and installed inexpensive brass hardware (NOT the solid brass stuff of course…). I had new laminate installed on the countertops over the stuff that was already there and had the sink replaced with one of the polished stainless sinks (looks like chrome plate) with a new faucet and a chrome soap dispenser.
Added some used appliances and it looked great. The cost was less than a grand including the appliances and labor.

Re: Looking for Rehab Suggestions Please - Posted by Ron (MD)

Posted by Ron (MD) on February 24, 2001 at 21:46:14:


I think SPD gave some good suggestions. I rehab in a lower price range, so I can’t speak with much authority here, but I do have a few thoughts.

SPD mentioned Home Depot Mill’s Pride cabinets. I use their “Classic” style. They come in kit form and must be assembled. What is remarkable to me is that I often see the exact same style in high-end (i.e., $300k+) houses. It is a very popular, modern look and Home Depot guarantees them.

A second thing SPD mentioned was a built-in microwave. I sometimes put these in a $70k house, especially if I don’t have much room for counterspace or I want to “sex” it up a bit. You can buy these for about $200, on a good sale. It does require special wiring and installation, but it gives an upscale look.

Finally, one thing to look for in your area is a scratch and dent outlet for appliances. Even though I deal at the lower end, I always use new, upgraded appliances. However, I buy them from a local distributor of scratch and dents. I don’t take just any beat up appliance, but the damage is often on the side and not visible once the appliance is in place. If you are going to do rehabs on a regular business and can give repeat business, these guys will hold good ones for you. This will allow you to have the best of both worlds…upgraded appliances at a lower price. Couple that with the Mill’s Pride cabinets and built in microwave and I’m getting excited.

Good luck.

Ron Guy

Re: Looking for Rehab Suggestions Please - Posted by SPD

Posted by SPD on February 24, 2001 at 21:01:47:

When I gutted my kitchen, I stuck to these basic features which stand out: I kept all cabinets and appliances White(makes everything look bigger);countertops are your choice. If youre completely regutting, try installing the fridge, stove, and sink in a “triangle” pattern-meaning if you were standing in the middle of the kitchen, you would be standing in the middle of the triangle…this allows appliances not to interfere with each other, and gives you countertop space between each appliance for preparing meals. Unless you have a living room and dining room, I would install that eating island or extension if you have the room. If its a small kitchen, you may want to raise the ceilings to add a spatial feel. I used the Mills Pride brand sold at Home Depot for my kitchen and spent about 2400, which included a bunch of nice but unnecessary features(a bunch of extra shelves I never used), so you could probably spend less depending on size. Some other nice features would be a lazy susan in an unused corner, sliding waste container under the sink, plenty of GFI’s for the appliances, a combo range hood/microwave(if youre short on counterspace), the icemaker option on a fridge is nice and inexpensive to add on any kitchen. I didnt add a dishwasher(no room), but I would definitely recommend one as well as a garbage disposal.
Hope this helps,

Re: Looking for Rehab Suggestions Please - Posted by Mark (WV)

Posted by Mark (WV) on February 25, 2001 at 21:56:39:

While I can’t help in your area Ron,I just wanted to add for the ones that live in Ohio that MP has a factory in Waverly Ohio that has a discount store that I buy at. It is about 4 hours from me but the prices are about 1/2 of what retail is.So works out to about 1500 to 2000 less than Lowes or Home Depot.Plus they sell doors only,at $ 5 each for rehab jobs.


Re: Looking for Rehab Suggestions Please - Posted by Brad S

Posted by Brad S on February 25, 2001 at 03:45:20:

Thanks for the suggestions.
I appreciate what both you and SPD have to say. I got a few quotes from three different places, including Home Depot, for cabinets. But those quotes were for cabinets that are preassembled and the prices started around $3,500. But I think I may go for the Mills Pride unassembled ones and add a center island with an eating area, since there is no real dining area or room. I am thinking those cabinets may drop the price down to $2,000 or so and I think I could probably handle the assembly and then get someone experienced to install them.

I already bought my microwave exhaust hood, a display model, at Home Depot for a little over $200. I am also considering between a range (combo cooktop and oven) or a built-in 30" electric oven and a separate gas cooktop. I am also planning on putting in a $300 dishwasher. What do you think about the electric oven adn gas cooktop idea? My understanding is that it is the best combination for someone who likes to cook. I want to make sure not to skimp on things that will help sell the house.

Also, the way the L-shaped kitchen is setup with the window etc. doesn’t lend itself to a triangle pattern as SPD suggests and the color I am going with is a natural maple. I like the way it looks and have read that it is one of the popular finishes in kitchens these days (from the Kitchen and bath association). I don’t think it is feasible to raise the kitchen ceiling in this house, but it is a good idea.

One last thing, just to double check, so you see the basic Mills Pride cabinets in higher value homes? So, I should probably not focus on getting a higher quality cabinet since it may not be noticed anyway?

THanks to everyone for there help

Mills Pride vs. Higher Value Homes - Posted by Wayne (MD)

Posted by Wayne (MD) on February 25, 2001 at 19:08:01:

I love doing kitchens, mainly because I love to cook! I used Mills Pride in a small waterfront I renovated several years ago. They were a fantastic value and I had many persons asking about them. I did upgrade them a bit by installing slide out shelving in place of the stationary shelves.

I had an ecclectic mixture of applainces . . . a smallish rather ordinary fridge from Wards; bottom of the line electric range from Sears; top of the line dishwasher from Kitchen Aid; and an absurdly expensive (about $300) faucet from Grohe (sp?). I tiled the counter tops with the cheapest white tile I could buy, but trimmed it beautifully with colored pieces that matched a high quality floor. A real “wow” came when I trimmed the counter edges with oak book case trim (I think that’s what the stuff is called). Very inexpensive. Attached it with screws, then cut and placed plugs over the screw heads. Simple to do and incredibly showy. Fun to do too!

I sold the house for $260K 3 1/2 years ago. The house today would fetch about $350K. The kitchen cost me a total of less than $3,000 then. I did all the work. So yes, you can use them in more expensive houses. It just depends on “how” you do the job. Think like a cook and the ladies will love you for it.

Re: Looking for Rehab Suggestions Please - Posted by Ron (MD)

Posted by Ron (MD) on February 25, 2001 at 07:25:59:


I can’t help you with the specific choice of a stove…like I said, I deal in lower end rehabs.

As for your question about Mill’s Pride cabinets, I do not know if the upscale homes are using Mill’s Pride, I said that they are the same style as the MP classic. Go to Home Depot and ask the salesperson about the differences between Mill’s Pride and the pre-assembled brands. I’m sure there are construction differences, but the appearance is essentially the same.

Ron Guy

Thank you for your comments (NT) - Posted by Brad S

Posted by Brad S on February 25, 2001 at 20:44:12: