Kitchen Remodel (And Other Home Renovations)

Kitchen Remodel (And Other Home Renovations)
This may sound weird coming from someone who is in their mid-30s, but up to now, I haven’t ever known what it’s like to attempt my own kitchen remodel.

So, even though I dabbled on rehab projects like Rental Property SH #1 and Rental Property SH #3 way back in the day, my current on-going project to fix up my first personal residence in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) out her in Manila has felt like an entirely new experience.

For sure, though, I have no regrets with putting my “adult life” on hold during my 20s (focused almost entirely on the path to early FI, instead), as the many years I spent renting/living below my means/sacrificing/etc. have made everything that’s happening today, possible.

Starting Point

With that said, I’m excited to share with you all this current journey of remodeling my kitchen; I’m basically starting from scratch.

As you can see below, the developer of this particular condo project didn’t provide much more than a skeleton to work with…

kitchen remodel starting point bare bones
Launch Point

Since this past April, I’ve been consulting with lots of different design centers, trying to hone in on a kitchen remodel design that I like…

Here’s one example…

kitchen remodel proposal BGC
Kitchen remodel design proposal

I do very much like: the high-gloss cabinets, seamless (no handles), and soft-close hinges…

In regards to the countertop, I’m gravitating towards going with sparkly white quartz (this is what I was debating getting in 2015 when I worked on Rental Property SH #3, before ultimately settling with a White Carrara marble countertop).

Unlike in 2015, this time around, for a countertop, it’s sparkly white quartz ftw!

Kitchen Sink and Faucet

Lately, I’ve been trying to find the “right” kitchen sink.

The one above looks pretty good, but for 10,500 PHP (~$206 USD), I think I can find cheaper…

Also, I spent some time debating whether or not I wanted to go with a single-bowl LARGE sink, or a dual-bowl…

Here’s a dual-bowl sink going for 16,500 PHP (~$324 USD).

As of now, I’m leaning towards going with a single-bowl LARGE sink…

The single-bowl LARGE sink shown below (700 mm wide) is one that’s currently in the lead for purchasing…

large single kitchen sink

It’s got some rubber “sound proof” padding…

And it’s priced at ~8,000 PHP (~$157 USD), so it’s more affordable than the sinks shown earlier…

Turning our attention over to kitchen faucets, prices are all over the place…

For example, you’ll even come across stuff like the following, selling for an outrageous 22,000 PHP (~$431 USD).

expensive kitchen faucet BGC
Pricey stuff

Yeah, thanks but no thanks!

I turned to Lazada instead, and picked up a pull-out faucet for ~2,000 PHP (~$39 USD), instead…

Lazada kitchen faucet

A lot of times, you can sacrifice “top quality” for something much more practical (i.e., 1/10x the price) out here in Manila, when looking for home renovation products to purchase… Again, it’s very much hit and miss, and price disparity (and discovery) is truly something to behold (for instance, I tend to avoid American imported goods as much as possible; Made in USA typically comes with it an exorbitant price tag)…

Returns and Exchanges (It’s NOT Easy)

And don’t get me started on trying to exchange/return items out here in the Philippines… It’s NOT easy at all!

Amazon, where are you when I need you?!?

Most stores won’t give you cash back for a return (even if it’s their fault, like say the item breaks), and it’s very common to only be compensated store credit… Many times, I’ve tried to return items I purchased that were UNOPENED, and the seller(s) remain adamant that they would only take items back for store credit. To add insult to injury, some stores will even hit you with a 10% restocking fee for an UNOPENED item!


So yeah, you’ve got to be extra careful and 1,000% sure that what you’re buying is indeed what you want, or it’s gonna be a nightmare trying to return/exchange items..

Range Hood and Cooktop

Anyway, moving on, I also need to purchase a range hood, and in the Philippines, it looks like Elba is the most popular choice.

A traditional range hood is what I’m after…

I’m budgeting around ~8,000 PHP (~$157 USD) for a dual motor Elba range hood model…

For the cooktop, I’m probably going to buy an induction one, also Elba (to match, I suppose)…

The following 2-burner induction cooktop goes for about ~23,000 PHP (~$450 USD)…

Elba 2-burner induction stove

Elba also has a 4-burner model, but although it might fit in my kitchen, for a studio unit (with not much room to begin with), I think it’s a tad overkill…

Elba 4-burner induction stove

Most likely, I’ll go with the former 2-burner Elba cooktop for my kitchen.


Lastly, on the topic of stuff pertaining to home renovations, I really would like to (eventually) own a personal washer/dryer, but at this stage of the game, they’re kind of pricey… and I do worry about things like longevity/reliability/etc.

To be honest, I really don’t know anyone who owns one of the following models, and online reviews are very scarce, as well…

The following is a LG direct drive 10.5 kg/7 kg washer/dryer combo…

Which is EXACTLY the same price, 46,995 PHP (~$921 USD) as the following Panasonic 10 kg/6 kg washer/dryer combo…

Decisions, decisions…

For now, the plan is to go with neither of the two machines, and stick to the local shop downstairs (which is due to open imminently) for laundry…


This is my first kitchen remodel, ever, for a personal residence… So far, it’s been a fun learning process. There’s been lots of running around town and having to talk to different people…

Ultimately, I wanna be able to transform this…

kitchen remodel starting point bare bones

Into something like THIS!

kitchen remodel proposal BGC

As I mentioned in a previous post, I feel like I’m about ~80% complete with jazzing up my home. Getting the kitchen remodel completed (hopefully soon) will do much to wrap up a process that began this past April.

Tentatively speaking, it would be most AWESOME to have the kitchen remodel squared away before the end of November.

Remember what the bathroom originally looked like?

Not much utility with the old sink setup…

Transformations are fun!

Much better!

Hopefully, the kitchen remodel will be a success too.


I’m still settling in, but doing my best to enjoy the ride!


Let me know your thoughts, ideas, opinions. Am I on the right track with this kitchen remodel? What do you like? Dislike? Are there much better options out there that I haven’t yet considered?


Keep up the fight!

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10 months ago

You are not gambling anymore?

10 months ago

Go for the split duo-sink, that allow you to let pressure boiler cooked food drip dry in a sink on the left (rice, beans, etc), while you to wash your greasy hands or food recipients in the right sink, at the same time. Go for larger tiles (% area of ceramic tiles to cement joining higher = far easier cleanup). Go for a tile color scheme that is hiding dried up ‘water and other splash’ driplets, so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time on arduous ceramic tile cleanups. Go around naked or use a Bali type… Read more »