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Kitchen Remodeling


Dave Hatfield

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14 hours ago, bokeg said:

We're going to be doing a complete kitchen remodel. The plan is to gut the room and completely redo it. How difficult is it to live in the house while something like this is happening? Since both work and school are remote, should we just go rent a beach house for a week or something?

 

We found it very difficult during the remodel. Everything went well and I guess it took 6 weeks.   Different contractors show up when they want to...cabinets are back-ordered or whatever. etc etc.

 

Its going to take more time than a week.

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9 hours ago, gfweb said:

 

We found it very difficult during the remodel. Everything went well and I guess it took 6 weeks.   Different contractors show up when they want to...cabinets are back-ordered or whatever. etc etc.

 

Its going to take more time than a week.

 

No cookware in your living room?

 

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  • 1 month later...

The microwave is shot, oven makes boom boom noises, stove knobs are broken, dishwasher racks falling apart due to rust, parts for the 20 yo fridge are NLA, and laminate peeling off cabinet sides.

I... I don't know what to do.  I'm stuck in a loop.  Been here for 7 years, and likely will be here another 5-10 years.  My cycle of thoughts:

 - swap out appliances as needed, but then, the cabinet delamination is ugly

 - maybe resurface the cabinets, yah?

 - my kitchen doesn't have a hood wtf were the previous owners thinking?!  let's put one in

 - would be great to have space, so keep general location of appliances, but okay fine, need new cabinets

 - the HVAC return will need to be moved, it's in the way

 - kitchen island has a raised side for "bar standing", and the "dining" area on the side wall is very narrow

 - So let's lower and extend kitchen island a little for seating, but okay, would help to take out a bit of the back wall

 - granite countertops will need to change of course, and I want quartz

 - maybe take advantage of empty space and consider a banquette

 - move bathroom over 1ft and turn coat closet into pantry

 - lighting is so randomly overdone and ugly, fix that, too

 - I hate the drapes, let's get some z-wave blinds for the living room, and consider plantation shutters in the kitchen

 - while we're at it, 15-20% of the travertine tile that spans the entire open floor plan is cracked and the entire look is dated

 - this travertine matches the outside porch tile so may be good to change as well

 - oh oh and while outside, let's replace or clean up the rusted railing for the port steps

 

Considering I like nice things (i.e. higher end appliances), and all of a sudden the projected cost on this is going to be staggering and I'd rather save it for future health issues and maybe a couple vacations for some much needed time off.  And then, I am absolutely horrible at making decisions, everything from placement to style to color to material.  I like it all and skimming through magazines and online examples doesn't help.  So rethinking.. since this isn't my forever home, let's just look at changing out the appliances.  And then I see the delaminating cabinets, the missing hood, and the cycle begins again.

 

:(

 

I live alone, enjoy kitchen experiments, recently downsized all my excess stuff, but would like a little more space.  Uggghhhhhh.  Help?

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Such a tough decision @jedovaty.  Not your forever home, but living with a bad kitchen for 10 years is a trial.

 

With a kitchen like that, the place wouldn't be the easiest to sell. But you probably wouldn't fully get back the $30K (give or take) it would take to fix it.

 

Perhaps the best move is to re-do it now...have the joy of a new kitchen...and get the place in shape to eventually sell...or, if options change, just stay there.

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If it is not your forever home then I’m with @gfweb, renovate for resale.  There are so many options nowadays, you could update the kitchen in a way that you can enjoy it without breaking the bank.  It is all about compromises.

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@jedovaty, I think @gfweb and @Okanagancook made good points about remodeling for resale -- in time for YOU to enjoy the results -- and, of course, making compromise choices along the way. When we redid our kitchen my husband couldn't see why I thought it important, and neither did our friend who was a general contractor. Contractor looked at it and said, "what's the matter with it?" and my husband said, "that's what I've been saying!" Then I showed the drawers and cabinet doors falling apart. The flooring that was starting to show bad wear. There was more. My contractor friend asked our budget. When I told him, he said, "Double it" and that turned out to be more or less the case. Still, we've been delighted with our kitchen since it was redone in 2012.

 

As for decisions: I drove my husband crazy, bringing home multiple cabinet panels and wood samples and flooring samples, leaving them around in strategic spots. Eventually we made all the decisions and got rolling. Were there things I wanted to do but didn't? Sure...but for over 11 years now it's been our happy kitchen, and the focal point of the house.

 

If you want to see what the kitchen looked like in 2005, before remodeling, you can go here.

The post-remodeling photos are scattered a bit more, but they start here.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Best wishes on a difficult decision @jedovaty

 

The one thing NOT to do is wait until you are ready to sell and then do the renovation. That's what my parents did when I was a kid. After living with a falling-apart kitchen for a decade they paid to install a shiny new kitchen for someone else.

 

Can you find a real estate agent you trust, who could advise you on what improvements are most likely to pay off? That might help narrow down your options and break the "paralysis by analysis" loop. Good luck!

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7 hours ago, jedovaty said:

The microwave is shot, ...Uggghhhhhh.  Help?

 

This is a very tall order.  What keeps you in this house?  I humbly suggest you look for one that has more kitchen space and nicer amenities. 

 

Whatever you put into yours now to improve the kitchen, you're unlikely to make back.  I once lived next door to a house that flipped 3 times in 6 years.  Every single time, the buyers sunk $$$$ into different appliances, countertops, cabinetry and flooring. 

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We are in the same boat, but with a shorter timeline. We plan to move in the next 3 years. Our vinyl flooring in the kitchen is shot, our maple cabinets have lost their finish so are very hard to keep clean. We have replaced all appliances at least once except for the fridge which keeps on ticking. We have laminate countertops which I would love to replace with some sort of stone or composite. Given our timeline, doesn't seem worth it. Do I get a great new kitchen to enjoy for a couple of years or look for a place with a dream kitchen and leave the issues to the purchaser. We live on acreage in a rural area and our house is almost 30 years old so there is a real, if sad, possibility that it could be a tear-down. What to do, what to do?

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1 hour ago, MaryIsobel said:

Our vinyl flooring in the kitchen is shot, our maple cabinets have lost their finish so are very hard to keep clean.

 

Are you handy, or do you know someone who is?  You might be surprised how easy and cheap it is to lay down a free-floating vinyl floor.  You may not even need to tear up the existing.  Likewise, given your timeline, prepping and painting cabinets is really easy.  As far as countertops go, as long as you are replacing (i.e., not changing shapes), that can be done inexpensively, too.

 

This is what many owners do prior to sale anyway, so why wait?  Please yourself now, and you won't get hurt.

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I remodeled my kitchen, walls out about 6 years ago.  The microwave died, the stovetop died.  It was all oak 80’s cabinets  in good shape but little counter space.  I took a deep breath or two and did it all.  Even foregoing the Wolf stove and Sub Zero fridge the appliance store wanted me to buy, it was pricey.  And it’s a small galley kitchen.  I am still very happy with it and glad I did it.  That said, make some little changes that make you happy. The cabinet guy did amazing work without any input from me and it has made a huge difference. Maybe get an estimate or two. At least that’s free.

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You are all correct but for the fact that our house is "bastardized construction." The original home was built by my grandfather and great uncle in 1959. When my parents bought the property there was a roughed in house on it, so they followed the existing footprint. When we bought and renovated it down to the floorboards in 1998, we stuck to the existing foorprint  to save money. Walls were/are 8'4" because back in the day, 2x4's were acutally 2x4s and 2 x 8s were actually 2x8 so with the headers and footers, came to 8'4". Drywall nightmare and that is the tip of the iceberg. God bless their souls for building the house for my parents but the strange plumbing and electrical gave us and continues to give us no end of issues. Given the fact that I have lived on this property all my life except for a few years in my late teens and early twenties, it will be very hard for me to leave but what keeps me motivated is the fact that a smaller, newer house and a smaller property will feel like a step up.

Edited by MaryIsobel (log)
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Okay, thank you for the feedback @gfweb, @Okanagancook, @Smithy, and @C. sapidus  :)  After re-reading my post, it may seem like my place is falling apart!  It's not really unless you look at the details, I'm probably a bit dramatic since I'm just.. overwhelmed.

 

The good news, what I really want to do is slowly becoming apparent - appliances, blinds, and some cabinetry/countertops.  I think the rest, I should hold off.

 

Bad news, how on earth am I going to make the decisions on colors, placement, material, style, etc.  A friend and I will do most of the work.  His wife is an agent and is consulting with one of her friends, a retired interior designer, they've been mocking up different examples for me in some 3D program and it all looks great - there's just.. the details uggghhhh.  Next week we are going into some cabinet stores to look.  I am almost tempted to just give them a $ budget and let them make all the choices, and treat the remodel as if I were buying the home again and dealing with whatever is the result.

 

@MaryIsobel yikes and good luck!!!  😁  If you haven't done so already, you might want to consider what C. Sapidus suggested to me, i.e. talking to a trusted RE agent if you know of one, to help identify what would make sense.  For example, in my neighborhood, a remodel for resale would likely be a waste of money and not worth the headaches, if the goal was to make as much as you can, it'd be better to just rough it out unless there were some serious health and safety issues (which issues would need to be addressed ahead of time).  It varies by neighborhood, of course, and hopefully the agent could counsel you accordingly.  Again, good luck!!!

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18 minutes ago, jedovaty said:

Next week we are going into some cabinet stores to look.  I am almost tempted to just give them a $ budget and let them make all the choices, and treat the remodel as if I were buying the home again and dealing with whatever is the result.

 

Two thoughts:

 

1. Consider Ikea cabinets before you hand $$$ to a cabinet store. We installed ours 15+ years ago and they have held up great.

 

2. Regarding cabinet layout, first inventory everything you have (pots, pans, dishes, pantry, etc.) and - very important - how many linear feet of shelving each takes up. Next, consider what should be where (convenient prep area; trash near the sink; dishes near the dishwasher; pots, pans, and cooking utensils near the stove; etc.). With that info you can figure out where you need drawers, shelves, etc., which gets you 80% of the way there.

 

Good luck!

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I second @C. sapidus's suggestion to investigate IKEA cabinets. My house came with an IKEA kitchen, installed just before I purchased it in 2009.  It's held up very well. 

They have a lot of good organizer units that fit inside their cabinets and drawers, a very good on-line design tool for planning and can certainly be installed by a handy homeowner with sufficient time and a good helper.  My personal complaint is that my seller chose cherry finish, Shaker-style cabinets, which clash horribly with my mid-century modern home.  The seller's agent couldn't stop apologizing for the kitchen!.  Not a disaster, as there are a lot of companies like Semihandmade and others that make cabinet, drawer fronts and trim pieces for IKEA kitchens if their options don't suit your preferences.  

Along with the recommendation to inventory for cabinet planning,  if you need a new dishwasher, absolutely bring some of your most-used dishes when you got shopping to make sure they fit.  I use a lot of pasta bowls and they don't always fit efficiently.

 

Lighting that not consistent in color temp annoys me greatly so I'd want to make sure it's all going to work from ceiling fixtures to recessed cans to under-cabinet fixtures and that under-cabinet lighting is very key for me. 

 

A kitchen re-fresh was at the top of my list when I ended up leaving my job earlier than expected to care for my mom. I still want to do it one of these days!

 

 

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19 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Along with the recommendation to inventory for cabinet planning,  if you need a new dishwasher, absolutely bring some of your most-used dishes when you got shopping to make sure they fit.  I use a lot of pasta bowls and they don't always fit efficiently.

 

Everything blue_dolphin wrote is very helpful, but this is especially helpful. I'll add that I actually have plates that are so wide they just barely fit into my cabinets! I suspect that wall-cabinet depth is probably standard, but if it isn't you should consider that too.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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@C. sapidus Has some great advice.  That’s exactly what I did and had the station idea too.  We had a tea and coffee area where all the cups, tea making equipment and supplies fit together.  Then the prep area with drawers that held knives, mis en place bowls, etc.  we also had an interior designer who had been trained in kitchen design.  I reviewed all my lists of wants, etc. with her and she came up with a plan that needed just a few tweaks.  Well worth the money and I just went with her hardware choices, etc.  she also picked all the colours for our big house.  She was amazing.

Edited by Okanagancook (log)
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