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Kitchen Remodeling


Dave Hatfield
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Truth is, the entire room is 20' long, but I'm trying to reserve a hunk of the room for an area that I can use as a very small study/seating area. Several architect friends have been generous with their advice, and I've ended up with two competing floor plans: island v. penninsla.  Going with a galley seems to waste a lot of floor space.  Truthfully, the penninsula plan is much more efficient. But I crave an island, and I fear the penninsula will feel too confining. Any penninsula fans out there?

So,you're really working with a space that's @ 20 x 11. I probably would have killed to get that extra 3 or 4 feet. I still think an island is untenable unless you can free one of the "long" walls of cabinets and counter. A penninsula will depend on the doorways/flow along the length of the room. But, not knowing your room, I'll bet you could have an awesome penninsula somewhere in your space. If you can show us som more detail of your space, I'm sure you'llget some opinions. You'll definitely get mine (fwiw) but it sounds like we've been groping with similar issues for the last couple years.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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It's funny that I also had the same size to work with, plus a small pantry area. In that space, I have the 1/2 bathroom and laundry room, a similar constraint. I also don't see an island happening for you, the old table and chairs maybe the best plan as they are mobile, a pennisula if it's got a function, sink/dishwasher or range integrated in.

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thanks coquus and rgruby. i have access to a scanner at the office, i'll post my floorplan sometime next week. it's very awkward because of my 3 doorways (although one can be moved), plumbing that runs upstairs to other condos, an unusuable wall because the building chimney is directly behind it...in other words, the joys of having a condo carved out of an old victorian floorplan. on the other hand, for a city-dweller, i'm fortunate to have such a large space for a kitchen.


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  • 1 month later...

I came across this on ebay - people remodeling what appears to be a rather new kitchen have had their builder remove the cabinets, island, appliances and etc and store then in their garage.

They are offering the entire package and so for have received only one bid.

take a look: kitchen components on ebay

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm bumping this back up, if for no other reason that I told Dave I'd try to add my kitchen reno experience to this thread.

In a nutshell: it's a nightmare.

Well, maybe not a nightmare. But it's still been almost three months without a kitchen sink. Our reno started Dec. 1 - the kitchen was gutted (which took about an hour - I'll post photos later if I still have them. there wasn't much to gut). The flooring guys came in and did their thing - stripped out the five layers of flooring (well, removed four - they left the original plank stuff) and rebuilt up. So far so good. Then the cabinet installers came and did their thing. Three weeks after the start of the reno, the kitchen was probably 90% done. The last 10% is still in progress. Even though the first three weeks were the most turmoil, noise, dust (well, except for the drywall stuff) and general inconvenience, I don't think that was the most frustrating part. Because pretty much every day it felt like progress was being made. After that, it kind of felt like we were really close to having a kitchen, but that not much was happening. Less invasive? Less disruptive to the daily routine? Perhaps. Less satisfying? Yup. Progress, or even the illusion thereof, would be nice.

the countertops have been delayed - they moved over the hols and had to get their tools recertified. They didn't know this. Delay. My contractor (who did the floor, cut down a half wall, and fixed up the myriad drywall and plaster booboos) was seemingly less interested in attending to the niggling little bits that were left after the flooring (mostly the plaster and drywall things) so what seemed to me like it could have been done in an afternoon or two seemed to take weeks. I'm doing the painting (still not done), my wife threw her back out. Delays, delays. Contractor on holidays for a couple of weeks. Brutally cold here, kid sick. Didn't feel like having the vent hood folks come and put a hole in my kitchen wall when it was minus twenty so haven't even tried to schedule them yet. Next week maybe.

When I can post photos, I have an interesting connundrum (sp?) with something we found.

Got the dishwasher hooked up temporarily. A godsend.

A couple loose ends with the cabinet install (different folks than the contractors). Difficulty getting hold of them.

Budget? What budget? - Actually pretty close to what I expected. Except for the floor, but that was the result of many layers of floor over 125 years, most of them done poorly, having to be removed, and then the florr built up again ( the original floor would have been a step down from the rest of the house). So, additional expense there was not entirely unexpected - we knew there were subfloors, we just didn't know how many.

So, getting closer, but still lots of loose ends.

will try and post some photos in the next week or two. In the meantime, I'm going to try and finish the painting.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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  • 2 weeks later...

Everyone from local restaurant supply places and chefs, to the equipment manufacturer told me that installing pro equipment in a home is a big mistake. I know a lot of people here have considered this, so I thought I'd share my recent experience.

First off, the fine piece of equipment that I've been cooking on for the last 6 months. BTU output is approximately that of a Bic lighter:

gallery_24615_4198_330175.jpg

Primarily, I wanted a stove with much higher output. I had 9 feet to work with, so I figured I'd use the whole space and get some additional toys to fill it up.

For the project, I first called the local building inspector and discussed my plan - he said that in our township, no special inspections or permits were required, as long as things were installed according to manufacturer's specifications. I also later contacted my insurance company to make sure nothing special was needed from them - they said commercial equipment in a home is fine. (Nationwide)

I decided on a 60" stove with 2' of griddle and 6 burners, a standard sized deep fryer, and a "jet" wok burner. In total, 552,000 BTU/hr. The "before" picture:

gallery_24615_4198_54951.jpg

First, the pantry was removed, and pipes+electrical relocated. Existing drywall was removed and replaced with a double layer of 1/2" fireproof cementboard. Also, a 9' x 4' sloped hood was installed.

gallery_24615_4198_221464.jpg

The hood was sized so that it extended by at least 6 inches on all sides. It vents out the back wall. Next, this exhaust fan:

gallery_24615_4198_121216.jpg

was installed on the roof:

gallery_24615_4198_162343.jpg

Removing the pantry left holes in the tile floor, so we cut out the old section of floor, put down 1/4" plywood and new tiles. Also, installed stainless steel over all exposed cementboard:

gallery_24615_4198_466134.jpg

We ran a 1.25" gas line from the main house line, then split that into 3 3/4" connections. Finally, the equipment was moved in and hooked up:

gallery_24615_4198_187109.jpg

gallery_24615_4198_193248.jpg

Approximate project costs: Range $4200, Wok burner $800, Deep Fryer $800, Hood $1700, Ductwork $1300, Electrical $300, Gas Lines $1050, Exhaust Fan + Grease Trap $1400, Floor $500, Carpenter $1500, Materials $500. Total around $14,000.

I've had this in place for about 3 days now. So the big question - am I glad I did it? Absolutely! I can't begin to explain what a pleasure this is to cook with, compared to what I was using. For instance, I like to make fried cabbage (in goose fat!) - typically I'd get all 4 burners going with various sized pans on that old stove, or do the cabbage in small batches on one or two burners. (Otherwise it sort of steams before it carmelizes.) Last night I shredded an entire cabbage, spread the whole pile over the griddle, and had perfectly done fried cabbage in 10(?) minutes.

The burners are 32,000 BTU/hr each - where I would previously use multiple (10k and 7k) burners and cook in small batches, now I can use a single large pan.

I find that I'm using the wok burner more than anything else. Vegetables cook in minutes. I'll put some oil and turn on the burner full-blast; in maybe 10 secconds the oil is close to smoking. I'll add the vegetables and salt, and cook for 20-60 seconds - this carmelizes the outsides, but the insides are still raw. (It's possible to end up with veggies that are at once both burned and raw.) Then I'll add a bit of water, which effectively lowers the temperature to 212, and cook until they are soft. Then, a quick final blast to evaporate any remaining water. Meat - even when cut fairly small - gets brown and delicious on the outside, and stays pink on the inside.

I haven't fired up the deep fryer yet. It was a huge pain to clean initially, and I'd imagine even moreso when dealing with hot oil. So, I'll reserve judgement on that item.

But so far, I'm thrilled with the new setup.

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Personally, I would've shot for an even 600,000 BTUs, but that's just me...

:wink:

Congrats on a sweet setup!

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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That a sweet setup for a house!

I have a small kitchen and just for you to have all that room to put that is great.

I noticed that in the pic of the hood, there is no ansul or fire suppression system. Do you not need one in a residential application?

I am interested in what your typical gas bill would be for a regular home gas range compared to the various ranges that you are running.

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If I did the calculations right, the pilot lights eat about $60 of natural gas bill each month, though in the winter it's a wash, since the furnace would tend to run less. If I turn on everything full-blast, the whole setup eats $6.30/hr in gas.

Most people I talked to said the ansul system would be a waste - it only triggers if the hood temperature exceeds 1200F, which means a pretty massive grease fire. I did buy a "B-C" type fire extinguisher to keep nearby.

Edited by Teppy (log)
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I admire your system and your courage.

As a Nuclear Engineer, former Shift Fire Chief and later Fire Marshal for a Nuclear Power Plant, I am more risk intolerant as I have been directly exposed to Fire Fighting Training and the actual conditions of Fire Fighting and the results from inadequate knowledge of Fire Protection Principles. After looking at commercial ranges (Vulcan) and exploring the hazards, I elected to install a Viking system meeting residential NFPA standards.

I would strongly advise you to install a Fire Supression System or at a minimum Commercial sized B/C extinguishers at multiple locations. You may even want to contact your FD for some hands on traning on how to properly suppress the various fires you may encounter. Good luck! -Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
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That's about the coolest dang kitchen set up that I've ever seen. Congratulations to you. Will you please let us know when you try the fryer? I'd like to know how that works in a residential setting (esp. how hard it is to clean, how often you must change the oil, type of oil that you use, etc.)

I often fry 10 -15 lbs of food (chicken, fish) for out of town visitors and relatives and I've thought of purchasing this type of fryer to speed up the process. Right now, I use either 2 countertop fryers or one turkey fryer (depending on the numer of guests). I'm looking forward to hearing how this unit works for you. And thanks again for sharing these great pictures.

KBJ

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I admire your system and your courage.

Count me in this camp. I've seen a kitchen fire and would not want to tackle one at home on my own. But your setup looks amazing and I envy much of what you have-- particularly, the wok burner. A friend has one in his kitchen and it makes all the difference. I don't see a broiler or salamander--is it in there somewhere?

This setup maybe permissible in Pittsburg, but would never pass inspection here in Boston, much less in a condo (which is what I have). I'm grateful that I'll be able to get 22K BTUs per burner and an infrared broiler in a residential Blue Star when I finally redo my kitchen.

Enjoy!


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  • 1 month later...

For most of my adult life, I've lived in apartments. The times I wasn't in an apartment, I was in a rental house. My wife and I have landed our first actual house. It's gonna need some work. It's sturdy and structurally fine, but way outdated in the looks department.

Built in 1970, it's your basic brick ranch house, 1 story, but fairly spacious with a big back yard. Plenty of room for a deck and a big honking grill. The house hasn't been touched since it was built, except for a new roof about 7 years ago and a new heat pump last year. Still has the goldenrod shag carpeting in it, and the 1969 Frigidaire fridge, still running.

To the kitchen - We will be trying to combine kitchen and living/dining space by removing and modifying some walls. I'll be building the cabinets myself, we'll do new floors and get rid of the faux wood paneling everywhere. I'm pretty set on Corian countertops, if I can convince my wife. We know we want stainless appliances, looking at one of the Kenmore lines for that. We are going to have to relocate appliances within the kitchen, as the wall between the kitchen and living room will become a snack bar/ countertop type setup. That wall currently houses the stove and dishwasher. The dishwasher can probably stay, but the stove has to move, maybe replaced by the sink. We want an actual diner style booth for the kitchen to save a bit of space when we aren't using the dining room. I'm hoping to find a Denny's that's closing or something for that, since my skills do not go into upholstery at all.

We will also probably take out a wall between the kitchen and utility room, and just make a small closet type room for the washer and dryer. I also want to convert a short wall between the kitchen and dining room to a countertop with storage beneath. That will add about a hundred square feet to the "kitchen area", since it's not going to be confined to one room with four walls and two doors.

I'll need some input on rearranging this stuff. I'm going to the house this weekend to mow the yard (for the first time heh heh) and take some measurements, maybe some pics if I remember my camera.

Oh, and I'll be converting the stove and water heater to natural gas as well. It's in a semi-rural area (city water, though), and they have been known to lose power. This is going to be a blast. And a pain. But I'm prepared for it.

My wife has her mind set on travertine for the kitchen floor. I've already found ceramic tile that looks like travertine, but is, well, ceramic. Anyone have experience with this stuff?

Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)
Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Congratulations! :)

diner style booth for the kitchen to save a bit of space when we aren't using the dining room. I'm hoping to find a Denny's that's closing or something for that, since my skills do not go into upholstery at all.

This one could be an easypeasy upholstery job if you have a staple gun. Buy the pointed staples.

Make the seat a box, with removable lid (the part you sit on).

Apply padding, lay fabric over the padding, staple to bottom of lid.

You can do something similar to the side of the box that will touch your lower legs, or you could paint/varnish/whatever that. For the back rest - ditto: apply padding, lay fabric over padding, stretch and staple to back of the seat. Then attach that to the framework. If you want the back of the back covered, thats a bit trickier, requiring careful folding at the top, and stapling the bottom to the underside of the back.

Travertine - yum, how pretty that would look.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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My wife has her mind set on travertine for the kitchen floor. I've already found ceramic tile that looks like travertine, but is, well, ceramic. Anyone have experience with this stuff?

I now have the 19" ceramic-tile-looks-just-like-travertine flooring. I love it. It is wonderful. Beautiful. There are quite a few reasons that this product is better than real travertine IMHO: cost of the product is less; cost of the installation is less; no sealing required; doesn't stain; doesn't require an absolutely flat floor to install and can be installed using thin set (much easier and cheaper installation process).

However, you will have grout lines, although if you choose a good installer they can be very, very narrow and if you match the grout to the color of the tile they will be barely noticeable.

Also, you will have a tile floor not a stone floor which to some people is a big deal (I live in an area where people make a big deal about what kind of "stuff" you have, personally, I could care less as long as it works and I like the way it looks).

So my vote would be for the ceramic-tile-looks-just-like-travertine flooring. But if money is no object and someone else has to do your cleaning, then I would by all means go for the travertine. Do we get to talk about appliances now?

KBJ

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Oooh, how exciting! Congratulations! When do you plan to start? How long do you think this will take (esp. since it sounds like you're going to do the work yourself)? Do you plan to live in the house during the remodel?

That will add about a hundred square feet to the "kitchen area"

That's about the size of my whole kitchen! :laugh:

What draws you to Corian? Do you have a color in mind? Do you plan on doing an integrated sink?

Do you know what kind of wood and style you want the cabinets to be?

How exciting! Do post pictures when you can! With a house like that, you pretty much have a blank slate. I bet ripping out that carpet will be fun.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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I like the Corian for the following reasons. It is a synthetic surface. It is highly workable and is widely available in a wide variety of colors and textures. It's durable, and the color goes all the way through so you can sand away nicks and stains. Plus it's really good in the microbe department from my research. And yes to the integrated sink. Plus granite countertops just would not fit into the type of house.

I just don't think of solid stone anything in a ranch style house. Most of you would probably fall over for what we got the house for, especially in what will be a bedroom community for a major city soon. The suburbs of Birmingham are within 5 or 6 miles already. The developers are going after the few remaining cotton fields around here. This lot got in under the wire. Considering we are probably going to put 30K into the house, with me being primary labor, and it might just double the value of it. But I ain't moving again. This thing will have to last me 40 years or so, so I may as well do it right. Do all of the modifications for handicapped accessability and all that. Given my wife's health issues, and the somewhat unknown future regarding her mobility, we may as well do it now. That's changing bathrooms and all, but the kitchen will get the primary update. Most of the other stuff is paint and decoration.

I'm a wood kind of guy. I could build butcherblock countertops and make my own wood flooring. I grew up on a farm, and learned a bit about construction and tools. Also a bit of veterinary science, diesel mechanics, chemistry, botany, and many more things. I apprenticed as a luthier (guitar maker) for a couple of years. I can handle just about any home repair. I'd prefer to pay for plumbers, roofers, and electricians, but I could do it in a pinch.

All that to say, I'd love to do an over the top high end hand shellacked highly figured maple cabinet fronts or something. Real world, more than likely solid ash or alder fronts, with a quartersawn maple veneer, stained a compromise color. I think cherry just looks fantastic against stainless, but that may be a bit dark. Oak is not my favorite look. I don't like the grain. There are so many other options.

Appliances are still up in the air a bit, but we do know Kenmore and stainless. Side by side fridge, a seperate deep freeze (I am sick and tired of apartment fridges and the two ice cube tray freezers), gas cooktop (industrial type would be nice, but whatever delivers the highest BTU's available), double ovens, built-in microwave, and a computer. Yes, I'm going to connect the kitchen (being the geek I am) with a laptop, wirelessly. We already have the stand mixer (thanks, Mom).

Of course a garbage disposer and dishwasher. Instant hot water is still an option, but filtration is a requirement. Same for the icemaker in the fridge.

Floors, I would be happy with a laminate wood floor, but the wife wants the travertine. I'm still hoping for the ceramic because of the maintainence issues.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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hey mayhaw man...this might be interesting to you. the person who posted all this stuff is the owner of a restaurant in san francisco. an old boss of mine. he did all the remodeling himself and documented everything.

i'm not saying that the concept or decor is what you're talking about, but i found the photos fascinating and also because i worked for him, i was amazed at what he accomplished himself!

i wish you good luck and i know i would fall over AND roll over in my grave if i knew what you paid for your house. living in the san francisco bay area is pretty scary real estate-wise. there are some tear downs on small lots going for over a million!!!!!!!!!!!

keep us posted on your progress!

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Have you looked at the Kenmore Pro line? I don't know if they offer a cooktop, but just seeing them in the store they look pretty nice (sorry I don't know more about them than that).

I will vouch for my disposal -- it's really, really quiet! And I'm loving having the airswitch in the countertop instead of a wall switch.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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