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Varmint's New Kitchen


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I'll try and get some photos in the next couple of days -- definitely by the weekend.

The boys made a lot of progress when we were on vacation. The cabinets are installed, the floor and countertops are nearly done, and everything is looking great. I had the workers tear up the eating bar countertop, as the cantilevered portion wasn't as sturdy as I would have preferred. Thus, we've cut two of the corners into 45 degree angles and we're installing industrial grade angle iron (actually, steel) into the plywood decking for stability. This should give us all the support that is needed.

The floor isn't done because I didn't order enough floor tiles. Four more boxes were picked up yesterday.

There was one other glitch. The wall at the end of the SubZeros (closest to the eating bar) was built in a location different than the original plans. This was necessary because of the structural elements. However, my carpenter failed to mention this to me, and as a result, our bookshelf and shallow cabinet at the other end of the SubZeros was too wide. Fortunately, we found a local cabinet maker to cut them back.

I'll really try to get some photos up, but I've got to work on taxes tonight!

Dean McCord


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These pictures aren't all that dramatic, and they don't really show how much work the workers have done in the last two weeks. Part of the problem is that so much of the countertops is covered with protective cardboard and tape, so you can't see what they've done. Second, reinforcing the eating bar took a lot of creativity and some time, but it'll be a great solution.

So, onto the pictures.


This gives you a view of the eating bar. Notice that I've cut the end corner off at a 45 degree angle. You can also see the structural steel that has been added. Note also that my low voltage mini-lights have been wired. I went ahead and stuck in the bulbs -- the actual fixtures will look a lot different with the cobalt glass "shades."


This should give you a better idea of the structural reinforcements we've added. In addition, we've added more steel under the eating area, which has been covered with wood as a mini-brace. Hard to explain, but this is damn solid now. They'll lay the tile down again on Monday.


A view of the far end of the eating bar and the closet door, which is ajar.


A view of the kitchen from the closet area. That long counter has been tiled and the sink has been installed. I'm just not moving the cardboard off so you can see!


Here's a view of the peninsular eating bar from the kitchen. This will comfortably seat 7 people! Oh, and the sink is just sitting there to keep it out of the way.


My baking area. The countertops are almost done here. Notice the small area of marble that I saved from "the maze." They haven't done the grouting of these tiles yet. You also get a decent idea of the floor color. The floor tiles have been completely installed, but the grouting hasn't been done. That's to happen on Monday.


A better angle of the marble work area. The wood trim on the countertop is covered with protective tape by the marble. And the granite tile backsplash has been cut, but not installed yet.


A closer look at my floor.

Although it appears that there's tons of work to be done still, that's deceptive. By the end of next week (which would be 8 weeks of work), the kitchen will essentially be done, except for some trim and "punchlist" type of work. They'll install the last cabinet and bookshelf, move in the updated SubZeros, install the range, do the backsplashes, finish the trim work (including baseboards and molding), grout the tiles (floor and counter), install fixtures, install cabinet hardware, finish the doors. Again, that's not a lot of work, all things considered.

We've had it very easy with the second kitchen and have eaten quite well (thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!). However, now I just want to cook!

Dean McCord


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Two words. Holy Shit. Make that a few more words. What do you mean it doesn't look like much has happened! Bet you are thinking that that "interim kitchen" is looking pretty paltry, and you are aching to cook big time!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Eating bar has been re-tiled, and the steel reinforcements are amazing. Backsplashes have been installed, as has the trimwork around the old large windows. Swinging door is installed. They'll be doing the grouting on the countertops, backsplashes, and floor tomorrow. They'll start finishing the support beams that are over and through the eating bar.

We'll get the SubZeros and range installed on Thursday. They'll do the painting on Thursday or Friday -- which isn't a lot of work (although we've yet to decide on paint color!). Heh, heh -- we're getting there! We need to get the plumbers over to take care of the sinks, disposals and faucets.

And, of course, we have the dreaded inspections. Ugh.

I'll get more pictures up in the next couple of days.

Dean McCord


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Grouting of countertops, backsplashes, and floor is complete. We installed a new wood transition strip between the laundry room and kitchen. I'm not exactly sure what they're doing today (hopefully installing my range!). The electrician will be here today, pretty much completing his work. The plumber comes tomorrow to finish his work, installing the fixtures and disposals.

We'll be painting the ceiling and trim white, but the walls will be cobalt blue. We figured the blue walls (and there's not a lot of wallspace) will further bring the blue out of the granite. Much more colorful than I anticipated, but it'll be quite pretty.

I'll post new photos Friday night or on the weekend. Prepare to be dazzled!!! :raz:

Dean McCord


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Here's some updated pictures. I don't have time to provide comments tonight, but I'll get to it soon.






The countertop edging needs to be refinished around the corners, which I asked them to round off and sand down.






Dishwashers, plumbing, disposals, and fixtures will all be installed tomorrow.





My swinging pantry door.



Dean McCord


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The kitchen looks wonderful - an unbelievable transformation. You must be thrilled :biggrin:

A question regarding the granite tiles. I would love to replace my outdated arborite but have decided the house does not warrent the expense of granite. since we may move in a couple of years. Can I ask you the price of the grantite tiles? I am assuming that they are considerably cheaper than slab grantie and something I could do as a DIY project (I have done lots of tiling).


Life is short, eat dessert first

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A question regarding the granite tiles.  I would love to replace my outdated arborite but have decided the house does not warrent the expense of granite. since we may move in a couple of years.  Can I ask you the price of the grantite tiles?  I am assuming that they are considerably cheaper than slab grantie and something I could do as a DIY project (I have done lots of tiling).

I can probably answer that a little more accurately for you as we're both in the same city :biggrin:

Granite tiles (12" x 12") can retail anywhere from $1 a piece for discontinued tiles, to $30 a piece for primo colours from a granite shop. Figure out how many square feet you'll need (be sure to add about 20% to allow for cutting and breakage) then go check out local tiles stores ... even home centres. You can expect to pay around $12-$15 per square foot on average, less if the line is discontinued, or not a good seller.

PM me if you need help in finding sources.


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Varmint, I am jealous. All I could see is outlets. You have outlets everywhere. That is so cool. I'm currently stuck with one four-plex and one duplex, neither of which are conveniently located. BTW, everything else looks great.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Very cool. I'm jealous and it hasn't been that long since we did our kitchen!

Susan mentioned the number of outlets -- very nice. The only place that I see where you could use another outlet is at the eating bar. There is only one at the end of the penninsula by the stove. I would want one on the free end of the penninsula. That might be a place where you might want to set up a guest cook someday, standing on the eating side of the counter. I was wondering if an outlet could still be installed flat on the countertop or next to the the track lighting on the ceiling or under the counter extension behind the dishwasher? Althought it's probably not necessary, and I'm just obsessing. :laugh:

I love the baking area, btw, especially the corner of the window where there's no frame, very cool.

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There is an outlet at the end of the peninsula, under the overhang. You can barely see it in the first picture. I didn't want to be able to see it for the most part.

As far as the granite tile is concerned, this is blue pearl from Norway. The pictures truly don't do it justice, by the way. It's fairly common, but because of its blue components, it's in the mid-level price range. The retailers around here generally sell it for about 18 to 24 dollars a square foot. However, I was able to find a local tile store that sold it for 9 bucks a foot. That was an easy decision.

You definitely want a dark grout with this tile, and we went with black. It ends up drying as a charcoal color, but my guys did such a good job that when you stand a few feet away, the counters look like a solid slab rather than a bunch of tiles.

I'm quite please with the small shelf around the windows. We had such a shelf previously, but the way the guys did this is a huge improvement. I'll see if I can't pull up a photo of the old kitchen for comparison purposes.

Today is a slow day for the carpenters, but not for the plumber. I can't wait to have the faucets installed!

Dean McCord


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Before and After pictures rule.

I know you'll love cooking in your new kitchen. But, if it were me, I would be having fun just walking back and forth. Swinging my arms around. Dancing a funky dance. And just enjoying all that open space!

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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There is an outlet at the end of the peninsula, under the overhang.  You can barely see it in the first picture. I didn't want to be able to see it for the most part.


Oh, there it is! I feel better now. :raz:

Weren't you going to do a small alcove between the studs somewhere in the stove area?

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I decided against it this week. I like the clean lines of a solid wall.

The plumber is sick, so the faucets, etc. won't go in until Monday. Bummer.

So far, we've spent $49,000 on this project. I suspect our final tally will come in right around $60,000. I had a quasi-budget in the range of 52-58,000, so we're close to being right on track.

Plus, we got a lot more out of this. Much of our house has been completely re-wired, making it far safer. We had our workers fix a drainage problem brought about by the construction behind us. We have new speakers in the kitchen for music! We have the new refrigerator panels, which I failed to include in the budget. We have much fancier (and more elegant) lighting than I anticipated. We've added new light switches in our dining room.

It's very, very cool, and this process has gone far too smoothly. Granted, much of that was brought about because of our second kitchen, which is indeed a luxury.

Now I need to buy some new cookware, right? :wink:

Dean McCord


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Plumbing is done, including faucets, disposals and dishwashers. Electrical is done, including installation of appliances. I have a kick-ass range in place!!!! We'll move the fridge tomorrow (with its fancy new stainless panel). The freezer is not shutting right, so we ordered a new closing piece and a new gasket, which we'll install tomorrow. Hopefully, that'll get it done, as I don't want to buy a new freezer!

The house is a dusty mess, with all the last-minute sheetrock work. I anticipate they'll be painting tomorrow and Thursday. Three of the 4 inspectors come tomorrow. I'll be moving in over the weekend, I believe. Hah!!!

Dean McCord


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So, plans for the First Meal in the New Kitchen?

I've been asked that question several times, and I really don't know. I'm pretty sure I'll fill up a stock pot with water, just to see how long it takes to boil! I'm also likely to break out one of my woks and see how it works on this range. The grates flip over to create a wok ring. I'll be sure to get pictures up this weekend. I'm not sure the painting will be all done (it might be!), but it'll be essentially done. Hell, everything is completely functional right now.

Remaining work:

- Complete drywall work (almost done)

- Add backsplash around support beam

- Stain and seal sanded edging on countertops

- Caulk tops and edges of backsplash

- Add baseboards

- Build frame to cover up hood ductwork

- Raise wall oven 1/4 inch (so oven handle doesn't interfere with opening of magic corner)

- Install cabinet handles

- Add kickplates to pantry door

- Install new gasket and hardware on freezer

- Move freezer and refrigerator to kitchen

- Paint

- Install ceiling and low voltage lighting trim

- Install speakers

- Finish hallway area where old cabinets used to be located

- Clean kitchen 3 times (man, there's still a lot of dust!)

This really isn't a lot of work. I am a bit excited and would even take a day off of work to get stuff back in the house if I knew they'd be done. But, I'll just be patient.

Dean McCord


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  That's it. I'll do a stir fry tonight for Mrs. Varmint and me. Who needs a stinking inspection and certificate of occupancy???

Inspectors be damned--cook, my man! I'm impressed that you actually get inspected. When we redid our kitchen we got a building permit and told them we were doing the work ourselves. I thought that would raise a red flag and we would have inspectors raining down upon us. We never, not once, had anyone come to inspect the work. :shock:

We went back later that summer to get a permit for a deck and no one asked about the kitchen. No one ever asked about the deck, either, and the city building inspector came by later on an unrelated matter but didn't mention anything about either project. It's been 1 1/2 years, so I guess we're OK.., :blink:

Oh, and might I say WOW, what a difference. The kitchen looks fabulous. I'm sure you can't wait to get in there and cook! Woo-hoo!

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