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Varmint

Varmint's New Kitchen

394 posts in this topic

When Mrs. Varmint and I agreed to buy her family home from her parents 6 years ago, I did so with one condition: that we'd renovate the kitchen within a year -- 2 at the most. Well, after a 6-year wait, we're ready to go.

Thanks to all the great suggestions from our great members here at the eGullet Society (all of which is contained in this monstrosity of a thread), I've come up with a solid plan.

This thread will focus on all the details of the renovation. I'll include drawings, budgets, permitting, costs, and all the highs and lows a family of 6 could experience.

First, however, I should show you the plans.

gallery_137_434_1104966050.jpg

I drew these, following the ideas y'all helped me develop and refined by Arne Salvesen CKD (aka Daddy-A), who has provided great advice from a professional design perspective. Let me go over the plans briefly:

Along the counter where the main sink is located (bottom right), we'll start with a 27 inch full-height double-doored pantry that'll house the microwave. We'll then have 36" of base cabinets/countertop (two cabinets, one of which will be a trash pull-out) with about 33" of upper cabinets. The sink will consist of a 39" base cabinet housing a Blanco 510-874. The dishwasher is next, followed by 22-1/2" of base cabinet. To the right of the sink (if you're standing at the sink) will be 42" of upper cabinets. There's currently a circuit breaker box on that wall, which we'll flip to the other side. We'll also consolidate an existing 6 light switch panel down to 3 switches.

The baking area (the complete "L") will likely consist of a slab of white marble cut from the existing kitchen (the short side of the "L") and the rest will be tile -- likely granite. Arne has suggested using a "magic corner" in the blind corner of that region. This is a new product to me, but I think it's pretty cool. Go to this page, and then click on the first thumbnail for a video showing how this works. My Kitchen-Aid mixer will sit on the counter in the corner -- an area that rarely gets used anyhow. After the magic corner comes the oven and then 33 inches of base cabinets. We're expanding the pantry by about 4 feet. This makes for a very narrow doorway (27"), but I'm thinking of installing a restaurant-style swinging door there to make things easy. If anyone wants to research this type of door for me, please do so.

Over to the cooking area, we'll have 15 inches of base and upper cabinet, then the range/hood, and then 24 inches of lower cabinet (with pull-outs for cookware) with 36" of upper cabinet. The corner of the eating bar will be a bit unusual: I don't want a lazy susan in this corner, so the unusually shaped cabinet will have the doors facing out, with no hardware. This gives me some storage space for rarely used stuff. Note that the closet is new, too.

Moving clockwise, we'll have a 21 inch base cabinet followed by a prep sink (Elkay LFR 1915) and then a second dishwasher. The little block with an "X" represents a post, as it will be replacing a load bearing wall tying into an I-beam over the eating bar.

Down to the Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, there will be a 2 inch wall built in at the end which we'll paint with magnetic paint, creating a giant place to hang our refrigerator magnets. It should be pretty damn cool. To the right of the freezer is a strange configuration of "desk" area and bookshelves. I've marked it with an asterisk. This is strange because the base cabinet will be almost functionless, as the area under there houses some return-air ducts from the adjacent room. This surface will likely consist of a slab of marble from the existing countertop. Above the marble will be a high bookshelf for "some" of my cookbooks!

I've worked out a number of other details, but I'll provide those as we go along.

I met with one contractor on Monday and will meet with another tomorrow. I'll also fill y'all in on those details later on.

I'll be sure to include lots of photos, specifications, equipment choices, price lists, etc. I'll try not to hide anything from you, as this should be a learning experience, and if mistakes are made, you can pick on me! It should be fun, however.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I look forward to voyueristically (is that even a word?) following your trials and tribulations. Thanks for starting this follow-up discussion.

And the Magic Corner rocks!


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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Looking good Varmint, although I think you missed drawing in the windows! :wink:

Thanks for the link to the Magic Corner video ... I'll be using that with my clients for sure. Make sure you get the new one from Kessebohmer. The video shows the old style, where you pull open the door first, then have to stop before you swing it to the side. The new unit has not "stop", it's all one smooth motion.

Re the "magntic" panel to the left of the Sub Zeros ... unless you're going to be running electrical, you should be able to use a 3/4" "fridge panel" (from your cabinet supplier) rather than building a wall. Might be simpler.

Sounds like you're ready. One last thing ... make sure you and Mrs. Varmint go out for at least one romantic dinner before this all starts. Remind yourselves how much you love each other. You'll need those memories during the renovation!

A.

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Why don't you just go ahead and subtitle this thread, "Chronicle of a Happy Marriage Ending in Divorce." :laugh:

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Looks way too efficient. Takes all the fun out of hanging out in Varmint's kitchen and being in just the wrong place as he moves to and fro.

As the project progresses a couple of time lines would be fun. The first, the timing as promised by the contractor. The second, the real time for the project. :smile:


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Don't let the naysayers get you down. You seem to have a good plan and it looks dreamy, esp. the marble slab.(I'm jealous :raz: )


If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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Looks way too efficient. Takes all the fun out of hanging out in Varmint's kitchen and being in just the wrong place as he moves to and fro.

And getting to know Varmint and any other cooks and helpers in an almost Biblical way as you shimmy through the kitchen. :laugh:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Very cool, Varmint!

I think I'm in the same boat as you. I recently bought my first house fully intending to quickly remodel the kitchen. Then I paid for the house. Then I paid for electrical work, duct cleaning, drywall work, painting. Finally, we can work on the kitchen! I priced countertops. $14,000 for soapstone?!

I don't want to halfass it, so I think I'll be saving up for about the next five years. :biggrin::biggrin:


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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It will be interesting to hear the trials and tribulations of someone else in their kitchen remodel. We are almost through ours and I'm just reading this thread before cooking an inaugural meal on our new stove. (Nothing fancy just bacon and eggs on the griddle.) While exciting, I know for us it has been a very draining experience as well.

Good luck!


Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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OK, time now for some budgetary items.

This is my preliminary budget list for items that I will be purchasing on my own. This includes maple cabinetry (from cabinetrydirect.com, appliances, lighting, floor and countertop tiles, and fixtures, sinks, and other listed items. The cabinetry costs list the price for oak and the 11% added cost for maple. Other "second row" costs include tax. I have NOT included shipping costs, which could add another 600 to this total. I also grossly overestimated the cost for countertops, particularly if I use tile.

I'll have contractors' bids for the construction, electrical and plumbing in the next few days. Excuse the formatting of this, but it's pulled directly from an Excel spread sheet.

CABINETRY

Part No. Description Base Price Adj. Price

MPC2790 Tall Microwave Cabinet -- 27 inches wide 795 882

B21-2ROT Base 1-Door 1-Drawer W/ 2 Roll Out Trays -- 21" wide 422 468

B15FH Base With Full Height Door 1-Door -- 15" wide 214 238

5349-1550DM-1 Single 50qt Pull-Out Waste Container (Rev-A-Shelf) 200 200

W3336 36" Tall Double Door Wall Cabinet-- 33" Wide 356 395

WPE Wall Panel Finished End -- Right 90 100

SB39-1ROT Sink Base W/ 1 Roll Out Tray 435 483

B24D-2ROT Base 2-Door 1-Drawer W/ 2 Roll Out Trays (cut down to 22-1/2") 464 515

BPE Base Panel Finished End 130 144

W4236 36" Tall Double Door Wall Cabinet-- 42" Wide 415 461

WPE Wall Panel Finished End -- Left 90 100

WPE Wall Panel Finished End -- Right 90 100

B30 Standard Base 2-Door 2-Drawer -- 30" wide 421 467

BCB48 Blind Corner Base 1-Door 1-Drawer 403 447

"Magic Corner" 400 400

BOC3030 Base Oven Cabinet 289 321

B33 Standard Base 2-Door 2-Drawer 440 488

DB15-4 4 Drawer Base -- 15" wide 397 441

W1536 Standard Wall - 36" Tall -- 15" Wide 201 223

B24FHS-3ROT Full Height Door Base 1- Door W/ 3 Roll Out Trays -- 24" wide 469 521

W3636 36" Tall Double Door Wall -- 36" wide 375 416

B12FH Base With Full Height Door 1-Door -- Cut to 17 inch depth 194 215

B15FH Base With Full Height Door 1-Door -- Cut to 14" width 214 238

B15FH Base With Full Height Door 1-Door -- 15" wide 214 238

SB24 Sink Base Standard -- Cut to 22 inch width & possible open back 267 296

B18 Standard Base 1-Door 1-Drawer -- 18" wide 272 302

B18 Standard Base 1-Door 1-Drawer -- 18" wide, shallow front, 28" depth 272 330

BW1854 54" Bookcase Wall Open -- Cut to 17-1/2" width, 15" deep 343 420

WD3618 18" Tall Refrigerator Wall Cabinet - 24" Deep -- Make 28" Deep 284 315

WD3618 18" Tall Refrigerator Wall Cabinet - 24" Deep -- Make 28" Deep 284 315

21 Blum Tandem Full Extension Drawer Runner 30 630

SUBTOTAL 11109

APPLIANCES

Range Monogram 36 inch 6 Burner Gas Range - (ZDP36N6HSS) 4949 5,295

Hood GE Monogram ZV950SDSS 36" Chimney Wall Hood 1099 1,176

Wall Oven Monogram Stainless Single Oven - (ZET938SF) 1639 1,754

Main Sink Blanco 510-874 444

Prep Sink Elkay LFR 1915 250

Faucets, disposals 1,000

Dishwasher Maytag MDB9750 Stainless 749 801

Lighting 1,000

SUBTOTAL 11,720

FLOORING

200 Sq. feet 650

COUNTERTOPS

60 Sq. feet 2,000

TOTAL HARD COSTS $25,479


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Looking good Varmint, although I think you missed drawing in the windows! :wink:

That problem has been resolved!


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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You only listed dishwasher once, is that the price for both?

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You only listed dishwasher once, is that the price for both?

I thought Varmint was the dishwasher.

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I have one dishwasher that we'll keep. It's black, but it works well.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I have one dishwasher that we'll keep.  It's black, but it works well.

You can always put a new front plate on it to match the rest of the kitchen.


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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I have one dishwasher that we'll keep.  It's black, but it works well.

Have you pulled off that front panel to see what the reverse looks like? The KA (a Hobart, no less) had a front panel that was a different color (and the right color for my new kitchen).

As an aside. Hope you plan to live in your house for a long time. We thought we were lifers in our old house. So, we redid the kitchen (ourselves; I'm a DIY'er). Not 18 months later, we moved, and had another kitchen to redo. Hate to say it, but I got a discount at the appliance store for being a frequent customer. Yikes. That would be two fridges, two stoves, two ovens, and one dishwasher in less than 2 years. About to tackle the second floor and second ceiling in the same time period. Just call me a glutton for punishment.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Why don't you just go ahead and subtitle this thread, "Chronicle of a Happy Marriage Ending in Divorce."  :laugh:

Now, now. Bob (my husband, the general contractor) says that most good marriages can withstand a kitchen remodel. (But that means that most marriages can't.)

I think if Varmint makes a bacon sachet to stick under Mrs. Varmint's pillow every night, all shall be well.

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Why don't you just go ahead and subtitle this thread, "Chronicle of a Happy Marriage Ending in Divorce."  :laugh:

I -- and my marriage -- have lived through two kitchen remodelings in the same house. The first, a remodel of the existing space. The second, a move of the kitchen to what had been the garage (but we reused all the cabinets).

It's been 15 years since the second and I still get cold chills thinking about them.

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Congratulations, Varm. I'm sure you, Dr. Mrs. Varmint and the Li'l Varmints will pull through just fine. And that magic corner--awesome!

I'm curious as to how you're finding the contractors who will bid on construction.

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One of the contractors did the siding on our house last winter, and I looked at their kitchen work at a nearby house. Another contractor just did a good job on a friend's kitchen. I'll likely use the same plumber we've used for years.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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For your pantry door have you considered a pocket door? When my friends remodeled their kitchen/laundry room and 1/2 bath off the laundry room, they changed the bathroom door to a pocket door which is quite narrow but since there is no hinge offset or frame bumper, the entire doorway is available. It works beautifully and looks nice and there is absolutely no dead space for the door to swing.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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On Monday I met with a young builder who does not have his general contractor's license. He's very creative, talented and energetic. He wants this work badly, primarily (I think) because he'd end up with unbelievable before and after photos! Friends have used him and have been very pleased with his work. I have not yet received his quote. Because of the overall cost of this project, I do not have to use a general contractor. I will need to pull permits for the construction as well as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing.

Earlier today I met with a general contractor who we had previously hired to do our siding. Our siding job was atypical in that our house is a fairly bizarre contemporary style and we put on all cedar siding. They did an excellent job, and we have received literally hundreds of compliments on how our house looks. I've been a bit reluctant to use them, however, as I couldn't imagine those same workers having the creative energies needed for my kitchen. :wink:

The GC informed me that he uses an entirely different crew that does nothing but kitchens, including a master cabinet maker with 30 years of experience. He gave me estimates on all the work: electrical: 2,000-3,000; plumbing: 2,000; cabinetry: 14,000 installed; flooring: 2,000-3,000; HVAC: <1,000; Counters: 3,000; Demo, carpentry, windows: 10,000-14,000. Total: $34,000 to $40,000 including cabinets but excluding appliances. Adding in the 11 grand for appliances, and my budget is right around $50,000. For this size of kitchen with this amount of work, that's about what I expected.

Working with a GC gives me a bit more peace of mind. I'm also impressed with their use of an all-exclusive kitchen crew. I want to look at this cabinet guy's work, but he makes these cabinets on-site and installs them himself. That also gives me comfort, knowing these things will fit.

My cost for getting cabinets from cabinetrydirect.com will be about $12,000, including shipping. I then add in the cost of installation, so it might be the same price. But I'm still giving the GC my cabinet specs to get a firmer quote on those.

One final reason why I'm leaning toward the GC rather than the younger, more energetic guy: when this contractor did our siding, his final price was less than 2% away from his quote. We added some changes, so that added some extra cost, but those were not substantial. This contractor will allow me to buy everything I want to save money. Otherwise, he charges cost + 20%.

Thus, I need to make a decision. The GC can't begin until March, whereas the other guy is freed up the first week of February. However, I've waited this long, so another month or two ain't gonna be a problem. As you can tell, I'm leaning toward the GC, but I want a firmer idea of the cabinet cost.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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A pocket door sounds like a great idea, IF you are neat enough to have your pantry in full view. Personally, I took the door off mine completely; it gave me that much more wall space to hang things on. Only you can answer where you fall on the Martha Stewart organizational scale.

I think your opinion about using a general contractor is sound. Experience is important, and in general, a good contractor attracts the best subcontractors, whereas someone just starting out can have a hard time lining up the best subs. A cabinet maker with 30 years of experience sounds like someone worth waiting for! Anyway, waiting until spring means you won't care as much about eating BBQ'd food out on your patio.

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I've been a bit reluctant to use them, however, as I couldn't imagine those same workers having the creative energies needed for my kitchen.  :wink:

I'd listen to your inner voice here. Mine said that our GC didn't do jobs as large as ours very much, and I think that was the root of some of our problems.

The GC informed me that he uses an entirely different crew that does nothing but kitchens, including a master cabinet maker with 30 years of experience.

I would grill him about his subs. How many jobs and of what scope has he done with each of them? For example, ours recommended a painter which turned out to be a nightmare. In the end, I think his recommendations turned out to be something along the lines where he knew someone who did something similar to what you wanted, as opposed to someone he knew was good at what you needed. If you have a crew that really does the kinds of jobs you need done on a regular basis, they will people lined up that are good. If not, they tend to strech and use less well known folks. Or at least that is how I figured it.

Adding in the 11 grand for appliances, and my budget is right around $50,000.  For this size of kitchen with this amount of work, that's about what I expected.

I know I said it before, but make sure you have some fudge factor in there. The number is bound to go up*, even after doing your homework.

Working with a GC gives me a bit more peace of mind.

I think this is a valid issue.

While we "had" a GC, the deal wasn't really structured that way and our GC didn't really do the job a GC is supposed to. He brought guys in and we struck deals directly with them. Don't do this! You want the GC to have to eat it if he brings in someone who can't do the job or screws stuff up or whatever. You want one deal with the GC and have him deal with the subs. You also want something in your contract with him that calls out that he has that responsibility. Make him deal with juggling the schedules of the subs, etc.

I'm also impressed with their use of an all-exclusive kitchen crew.

As above, grill him about this crew before you get too impressed.

I want to look at this cabinet guy's work, but he makes these cabinets on-site and installs them himself.  That also gives me comfort, knowing these things will fit.

My cost for getting cabinets from cabinetrydirect.com will be about $12,000, including shipping.  I then add in the cost of installation, so it might be the same price.  But I'm still giving the GC my cabinet specs to get a firmer quote on those.

We used a custom cabinet guy as well. I priced out pre-made (Kraftmade? I think, sorry, it is already getting fuzzy) cabinets and I think in the end the prices looked pretty similar.

My take on this after having it finished is that you probably get a bit better quality and consistancy by going pre-made (dovetail joints, etc), but you get a better exterior look with the custom cabinets.

Our cabinets use all high quality hardware (hinges, heavy duty full extension glides, etc) and good sturdy plywood interiors, but the drawers are simple end joints with some staples (and glue!), etc. Interior is all very nice and functional tho. And the exterior is FIRST rate. See the end panel treatments and other little touchs in the photos, below. Some stuff is small but nice like the bead on the bottom of the cabinets. Note that some of this could be simulated with pre-made cabinets. So I think it is a pretty even trade. I suppose it is possible to find custom guys who do dovetails and stuff, but it would certainly be a lot more. In the end I was happy with the result, but I think I would have been happy with the pre-mades as well.

-john

Full Gallery

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kitchen5-640x480.jpg

kitchen3-640x480.jpg

* Ok, it is possible the price won't go up. But I do think it is likely. Obviously the more homework you do the less likely you will have this problem.


Edited by JohnN (log)

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There is a good article about pocket doors and how much floor space one gains by using one.

article here.


"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

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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