Kitchen--DIY or professional?

United States
January 31, 2007 5:32pm CST
We are looking to start working on our kitchen, hopefully in the fall. The question is, do we save money and try to do it ourselves (pre-fab cabinets, etc) or get it done professionally, spend more money, but know we are going to get good results. Thoughts? Has anyone done a kitchen youself? What was the outcome?
2 people like this
7 responses
• United States
17 Feb 07
I'm a bit late responding, but I wanted to say that we just finished redoing our kitchen ourselves and it has turned out very well. We spent very little money on it because we got some used cabinets that someone had ripped out of their house that were still in great shape. We just painted them and put new hardware on. We also tiled our own counters and backsplash and put in a new sink and cut a pass-thru into the living room. I should say that I am very handy and was able to borrow many tools from work where I have access to a woodshop. The biggest drawback was that we are very busy, so it took a very long time to complete. We worked in stages and did one section of wall at a time to try and keep the kitchen usable. A professional is going to want to finish, get paid and get on to the next job, while the DIY-er may be more easily distracted, too. If you have already done your bathroom, you probably have all the necessary tools to do the basic cabinets yourselves, then you could hire in a pro if you needed anything more complex done. Planning ahead is really the main thing to make the job go smoothly (or, at least, smoother...). Good Luck.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Feb 07
Thanks for sharing your experience! That's neat that you found good used cabinet.
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
2 Feb 07
Oh yes you will save a lot of money doing it yourself we did our home ourselves and it looked great, we did it ourselves and it put value to the home around $15,000 improvement of the house price but of course it did not cost us this amount of money to do it ourselves, so I wish you the best in improving your home. Professionals rip you off so that is why we did it ourselves and as you can see it made a great improvement to our sale.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 07
LOL, that is a great point. I least I know what we're getting if we do it ourselves.
@rhinoboy (2129)
1 Feb 07
As above, it completely depends on the work that needs to be done. If you need to work on plumbing and electricals, make sure you know what you're doing or get a pro in. If you need to have any work done on gas pipes, don't even attempt it. You're taking your families lives in your hands with this. As for anything else, it's easy enough. Just take your time and get everything as close to perfect as possible. Any mistakes or cut-corners WILL show in the end result.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 07
That is a good point. While we have an electric stove now, I would like to look into making it gas. That would definately require a professional. And while I think anything we do now would be an improvement on our kitchen, I understand your point about cutting corners, because some of our bathroom floor reflects that very point... well actually, the problem was we COULDN'T cut the corners! LOL, alright that was lame...
1 person likes this
@manong05 (5029)
• Philippines
1 Feb 07
One of the best postings I've read so far. My business is doing modular kitchen cabinets and closets, mostly using laminated boards. We fabricate and install in residential homes and offices. My first reaction in reading your post was to help you but your profile says your thousands and thousands of miles away. lol Anyway, here are the things you need to consider. Will you just be doing the cabinets? How about the countertop, plumbing, accessories like pull out wire baskets, pull out pantry, range hood and other accessories? If it's just cabinets both wall and base, you are not going to have any problems using DIY stuff. You just have to follow instructions and have the basic tools like drill, screw bits and level bar. Installing the counter top may pose a little problem since you are going to reinstall the sink and that means working on the plumbing. If you are handyman type, then you don't have any problem. You also may have to do a little electrical work in case you want to install the range hood and few lighting here and there. It depends really on how sophisticated the kitchen you have in mind. If you are talking about simple cabinet work, I would advise you to use DIY cabinets that comes in packages and have fun.
• United States
2 Feb 07
Well thank you for the offer of help, I am sorry that you are halfway across the earth from us. I don't think plumbing should be a problem, the sink should pretty much stay in the same place, and my husband did a fantastic job with the bathroom sink, so I assume he can do the same in the kitchen. I don't think we're looking for anything too fancy, because we don't live in a high end neighborhood, and we don't want to spend more than we are going to make back at a sale. Thank you for your professional input!
@jasper17 (66)
• United States
1 Feb 07
We half did ours ourselves and the rest was done by professionals. It started out ok but it just got to be too much work for us to do ourselves. We did the cabinets ourselves, which was not so bad - hard to do with less than three people, though - and after that had someone come in and fix all the walls, put in the counter and install a backsplash. The results were better with the professionals - I think we're done with the DIY.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 07
Yeah, the work we did in the bathroom definately shows our lack of professionalism, though its not bad... tiles are just more difficult to cut than originally imagined. Thanks for you experience!
• United States
21 Oct 08
My husband and I are big weekend DIY'ers. We are currently working on our kitchen. I totally resurfaced our cabinets myself taking them from 1970's dark wood to a creamy white with black hardware. We have ripped up the linoleum flooring and replaced with tile, painted the walls, and just finished remodeling the island area that has a cooktop. We took it from ugly orange 1970's formica to porcelain beige tile. We replaced the ugly black old dishwasher with a shining stainless stell one. The next thing I want is a new double oven. The old one is black and I would like to have stainless. My fridge is also stainless. I think the final thing will be replacing the ugly orange formica on the main countertop with the same porcelain tile on the island. The main thing is we take one step at a time and do the projects as money allows.
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
19 Mar 07
Well this is something I want to do. I know a professional might get it done faster and easier but then there is the cost aspect. On top of that some professionals aren't all that professional. I've seen some half done jobs by pros and the amatuer does a better job, so at least with you doing it you know what you will get in the end. You know whether you'll put the work into it to get the guality you want. I figure most of the things I want done in there I can do myself. I don't have to mess with gas or electricity. If I did I'd call in a pro for those parts. I may be crazy but I'm not stupid. There are some things for the pro's only and in my opinion that inclued elctricity and gas. If you have the money to use a pro that is great and you can go that way. I don't so will have to do it myself. That's the big difference as well, if you can afford it. You might want to get some prices before deciding either way.