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Varmint's New Kitchen


Varmint
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I just realized this . . . I actually think of my pantry door as additional storage. The walk-in pantry in the new house is set into a corner. There is even space to put double doors. Then I will add something like this to the inside of the doors. I did something like that in the old house and it provided convenient storage for my proliferation of vinegars and other condiments that don't need to be in the fridge.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Pocket doors. Some advice. Should you choose to go with pocket doors, get an extra set of the rollers. And remember not to nail long nails into the walls that contain said pocket doors (something the previous owners of our former house neglected to remember).

Pocket door hardware manufacturers have a way of changing everything so it is NOT interchangable several years from now. And, given that most pocket door rollers are rubber, they will need to be replaced.

Trust me. I know this the hard way. I did a ton a research to replace the rollers on the pocket doors in our former house. Obsolete. The choice was to either rip a big hole in the plaster of the walls and replace not only the rollers, but all of the hardware that goes with it. Or, manufacture rollers.

So, off I trotted to some industrial place that agreed, over the phone, to sell me a rod of delrin. We asked a friend who owns a machine shop to use his shop to manufacture new rollers. (and, while the doors were out, I refinished them -- sanded, followed by stain and shellac). The new rollers were gold. We, not trusting delrin to last a lifetime of use, made an extra set and left them for the buyers, with instructions.

Depending on how long you want to live in your house, and just what the rollers are made of, plan ahead.

I love pocket doors. They are wonderful. They save space. They need to be hung carefully, and by craftsmen. They can be prone to problems, which necessitates hardware on the sides of them. They are more complicated than the average person thinks. While the inside of a door can provide storage, depending on the space, remember that a pocket door takes up almost no space.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Pocket doors.  Some advice.  Should you choose to go with pocket doors, get an extra set of the rollers.  And remember not to nail long nails into the walls that contain said pocket doors (something the previous owners of our former house neglected to remember).

Pocket door hardware manufacturers have a way of changing everything so it is NOT interchangable several years from now.  And, given that most pocket door rollers are rubber, they will need to be replaced.

Trust me.  I know this the hard way.  I did a ton a research to replace the rollers on the pocket doors in our former house.  Obsolete.  The choice was to either rip a big hole in the plaster of the walls and replace not only the rollers, but all of the hardware that goes with it.  Or, manufacture rollers.

So, off I trotted to some industrial place that agreed, over the phone, to sell me a rod of delrin.  We asked a friend who owns a machine shop to use his shop to manufacture new rollers.  (and, while the doors were out, I refinished them -- sanded, followed by stain and shellac).  The new rollers were gold.  We, not trusting delrin to last a lifetime of use, made an extra set and left them for the buyers, with instructions.

Depending on how long you want to live in your house, and just what the rollers are made of, plan ahead.

I love pocket doors.  They are wonderful.  They save space.  They need to be hung carefully, and by craftsmen.  They can be prone to problems, which necessitates hardware on the sides of them.  They are more complicated than the average person thinks.  While the inside of a door can provide storage, depending on the space, remember that a pocket door takes up almost  no space.

When I worked for the Golden Gate Bridge I made up my own pocket doors. Get captive wheels 4 per hanger. with track about $100.00. They will last forever. I had some out on the Bridge for 10 years with no problem. Quite possibly one of the harshest environments in the world. Yes that's what some of those little shacks have. Known as Painter Condos. :biggrin::biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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When I worked for the Golden Gate Bridge I made up my own pocket doors. Get captive wheels 4 per hanger. with track about $100.00. They will last forever. I had some out on the Bridge for 10 years with no problem. Quite possibly one of the harshest environments in the world. Yes that's what some of those little shacks have. Known as Painter Condos. :biggrin:  :biggrin:

Good tip, winesonoma. Pocket doors are indeed an elegant solution to some problems. My sister's house has two that are starting to act up. Well . . . they are about 30 years old and the works may have been replaced before. Replacing with conventional doors is not a good option. Where were you able to find those wheels? She has a good craftsman that she can call on to install.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Maintain, after 18 years in a house built in 1948, that what the wheels are made of makes a big difference. Husband, in the plastics business, said Delrin.

30 year old wheels were likely rubber, which has oxidized, shrunk, and are no longer the size they need to be. Chances of finding replacement wheels for doors of that age are slim. Been there, done that. It's a bitch of a job. Remove everything remotely related to the doors. Not just the trim, but headers, those side pieces, etc. Or, tear into the plaster/drywall, and replace all of the hardware. But, it was worth it (?) for the few months we lived in that house after we did the job.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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When I worked for the Golden Gate Bridge I made up my own pocket doors. Get captive wheels 4 per hanger. with track about $100.00. They will last forever. I had some out on the Bridge for 10 years with no problem. Quite possibly one of the harshest environments in the world. Yes that's what some of those little shacks have. Known as Painter Condos. :biggrin:  :biggrin:

Good tip, winesonoma. Pocket doors are indeed an elegant solution to some problems. My sister's house has two that are starting to act up. Well . . . they are about 30 years old and the works may have been replaced before. Replacing with conventional doors is not a good option. Where were you able to find those wheels? She has a good craftsman that she can call on to install.

I used to get mine from a commercial hardware supplier in San Francisco. You want the kind that say 100-300lb doors.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Pocket doors are not an option, as there isn't enough space for them to go. If we could find some sort of telescoping pocket door, however, that could be an option. I just don't know if such an animal exists.

After sleeping on it, I'm a bit more undecided. We asked the GC to show us some of his cabinetmaker's work, and he wanted us to visit a town an hour away. If this guy is so good and has been in the business for such a long time, why is it so difficult to find samples around here???

I've asked the GC for a bit more of a detailed quote, as the one thing he was a bit wishy-washy on was the cabinet price. I should get some sort of quote early next week, I'd think. I'm still waiting on the quote for the younger guy.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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After sleeping on it, I'm a bit more undecided.  We asked the GC to show us some of his cabinetmaker's work, and he wanted us to visit a town an hour away.  If this guy is so good and has been in the business for such a long time, why is it so difficult to find samples around here???

I've asked the GC for a bit more of a detailed quote, as the one thing he was a bit wishy-washy on was the cabinet price.  I should get some sort of quote early next week, I'd think.  I'm still waiting on the quote for the younger guy.

Two things:

  1. Ask the GC if he has anything closer for you to look at. It could be he wants to show you the "best" work the cabinetmaker has done. Also, make sure you see at least 3 jobs the cabinetmaker has done. Anybody can get one job right. Consistency is the key.
  2. Wait for both quotes, and don't anyone rush you into an "opening in their schedule." If the younger guy is relatively new at this, pricing may take him a bit lobger. The GC is going to have other jobs to compare pricing with, so it's simpler for him to trun the estimate around.

Will the GC "allow" you to come up with your own cabinet supplier? If he won't, there's (likely) a kick-back going on with his cabinet maker. I'll come clean and say this is a personal pet peeve and not based on anything "professional." I hate kick-backs and won't work with any contractor or designer who wants to use them. A GC should use a supplier/trade/service because they do good work, not because they slip a little somethig into his wallet with every job.

A.

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Pocket doors are not an option, as there isn't enough space for them to go.  If we could find some sort of telescoping pocket door, however, that could be an option.  I just don't know if such an animal exists.

There are retractable screen doors (they add a guide track on the floor). My mom has one on her mobile home's breezeway door that had no room for a normal swinging screen-type door and it works great. I haven't found anything similar for non-screen doors, though.

There are, of course, folding doors (check out the image library on the web site) but they aren't good for much other than hiding something visually (sound still goes through).

edited to clarify

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

“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”

 

Tim Oliver

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You might try Bifold doors as they take up less space than a regular door. :biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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After sleeping on it, I'm a bit more undecided.  We asked the GC to show us some of his cabinetmaker's work, and he wanted us to visit a town an hour away.  If this guy is so good and has been in the business for such a long time, why is it so difficult to find samples around here???

I've asked the GC for a bit more of a detailed quote, as the one thing he was a bit wishy-washy on was the cabinet price.  I should get some sort of quote early next week, I'd think.  I'm still waiting on the quote for the younger guy.

Two things:

  1. Ask the GC if he has anything closer for you to look at. It could be he wants to show you the "best" work the cabinetmaker has done. Also, make sure you see at least 3 jobs the cabinetmaker has done. Anybody can get one job right. Consistency is the key.
  2. Wait for both quotes, and don't anyone rush you into an "opening in their schedule." If the younger guy is relatively new at this, pricing may take him a bit lobger. The GC is going to have other jobs to compare pricing with, so it's simpler for him to trun the estimate around.

Will the GC "allow" you to come up with your own cabinet supplier? If he won't, there's (likely) a kick-back going on with his cabinet maker. I'll come clean and say this is a personal pet peeve and not based on anything "professional." I hate kick-backs and won't work with any contractor or designer who wants to use them. A GC should use a supplier/trade/service because they do good work, not because they slip a little somethig into his wallet with every job.

A.

I've asked the GC to quote me two prices: one with his cabinetmaker and one where I provide the cabinets and he installs them. I don't think there's any kickback going on here, as this GC does have a lot of integrity. I'm just a lot pickier with my kitchen than I was with my siding!

I just came from Home Depot to look at a couple of items and got a second look at their pricing. Geesh! My cabinets will be better made, built to spec, and will cost 30% less than the so-called medium to high grade cabinet they sell. Unebelievable!

I am going to wait for both quotes. I had the plumber come by today, and now I have to get the HVAC guy onboard, as this should be a pretty simple job for him. I think it's pretty funny how I still find myself vacillating between the two options I have before me. Ultimately, this isn't a difficult job, so I shouldn't worry. But I do!

As far as

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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You might try Bifold doors as they take up less space than a regular door. :biggrin:

The issue is not the space taken up by the door. This remodel job expands an already large pantry by another 16-18 square feet, where I currently have a traditional door.

The issue here is that by bringing the doorway flush to the new counter, if we install a traditional door casing, we'd end up with about a 23 inch door and would be unable to get larger items in and out. I'm trying to come up with ideas to make the passageway at least 26 inches. Eliminating a door frame is the first step. Then it's just a matter of figuring out the rest!

As far as bifold doors are concerned, I just have bad memories of poorly hung closet doors, which sound very cheap to me.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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You might try Bifold doors as they take up less space than a regular door. :biggrin:

The issue is not the space taken up by the door. This remodel job expands an already large pantry by another 16-18 square feet, where I currently have a traditional door.

The issue here is that by bringing the doorway flush to the new counter, if we install a traditional door casing, we'd end up with about a 23 inch door and would be unable to get larger items in and out. I'm trying to come up with ideas to make the passageway at least 26 inches. Eliminating a door frame is the first step. Then it's just a matter of figuring out the rest!

As far as bifold doors are concerned, I just have bad memories of poorly hung closet doors, which sound very cheap to me.

I had folding doors in another house one time for a similar space problem. They were not cheap like some others I have had in rental places and they were trouble free. I think the trick is that they weren't cheap. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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This place has hardware for pocket doors:

Pocket door hardware.

"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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The pocket door would work, but I may have found an even better solution, which I mentioned above: the telescoping pocket door. This company only sells to folks in "the business", but my father-in-law, an architect, is setting up an account with them so we can get all the necessary info. Woo hoo!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Well, if you want a frameless door and maximum entry space, you could always go with one of these.

I had no idea they still made them but saw one just a couple of weeks ago when my friend and I went to her neighbor's home. This is not a "hippy" thing. (This is in an exclusive area of Yorba Linda, the house is 7000 plus square feet and was just remodeled in a "country" style)

She has a little office off of her kitchen and has one of these curtains, with a rooster pattern, red on natural wood, like the butterfly, reversed color on the bottom half.

She had a brochure that showed them with all kinds of pictures, some like Tromp l'Oeil pictures, including one that looked like shelves of books.

In her case the doorway is arched and she did not want to lose the arch but wanted to screen her office from people in the kitchen.

I had her send me the URL as I think this is a neat idea.

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

 

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The pocket door would work, but I may have found an even better solution, which I mentioned above:  the telescoping pocket door.  This company only sells to folks in "the business", but my father-in-law, an architect, is setting up an account with them so we can get all the necessary info.  Woo hoo!

You may need a thicker wall. Standard stud is 3 1/2", 2- 1 3/8" thick doors is 2 3/4", Add room for clearence and framing, I'm thinking a 2x6 stud sized wall. Keep doing your homework and it will all work out. :biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I just got the bid from the "young guy," which includes labor only and then an estimate of costs. Best case scenario: $16,000. Worst case scenario, $20,400. Likely scenario, $18,200. Adding sheetrock, lumber, paint, etc. bumps it up a thousand dollars. So, I'm going with $21,000 even. My "budget" (hah!, if anyone truly has a budget for a remodel) is $50,000. Total hard costs are about 26-27 grand. Adding in the electrician, plumber and HVAC, we're looking at $50,000 here, too.

Ultimately, after considering all the pros and cons, I'm going with my gut and hiring the young guy. I think his estimate is realistic, and although the GC gave me some numbers that were somewhat specific, I think he grossly underestimated the cabinets. This is what it all comes down to: feel. I feel comfortable with the young guy. He wants this job more than the GC. He and I think alike, he's creative, and he'll be on site every day, doing the work. Plus, Mrs. Varmint points out, he's really, really cute.

Is this riskier? Yup. But I've got some good contracts that will limit my liability. He has comprehensive liability insurance and his two workers have personal disability policies. I just think that the end product, which is the most important thing to me, will be better with him doing the work.

I guess I need to call him and let him know! Oh, and he can still start around Feb. 1!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I'm with you on the young guy Varmint. Go with your gut. I've been doing that with Facilities projects for more than twenty years and it's never let me down yet.

And he's hungrier. He'll want you to help him build his business by referring people to him so he's probably going to do his best for you.

Congrats!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Ultimately, after considering all the pros and cons, I'm going with my gut and hiring the young guy.  . . . . . Plus, Mrs. Varmint points out, he's really, really cute.

Congratulations on having made a decision. I have to say that the very few regrets in my life have occured when I didn't "listen to my gut." Oops. I forgot. You are a guy. I'm not sure how that works with guys. But, at least Mrs. Varmint approves. That counts for something, probably a lot.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I think that is wonderful Varmint, soonest started, soonest finished. I know we will all be looking forward to reports of the progress, with photos, of course.

"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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Ultimately, after considering all the pros and cons, I'm going with my gut and hiring the young guy.

Are you planning on using him as a GC, or you going to handle that yourself? I would decide and then structure the deal around that decision.

Remember to be very careful in setting up the agreement. Go over expectations up front and talk about how you want to work together.

Congrats and good luck!

-john

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Have you considered putting performance guarantees into your contract to ensure the work gets done on time? I was speaking with a friend last evening who is in the midst of the "apartment renovation from hell." They started last June and it looks like the work won't be done until late February. The last thing you want is the work dragging on.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Bloviatrix brings up a very good point. I have been involved for many years in very large scale contracting and incentives are used extensively. I am thinking of building that into my house contract. Basically, there is a premium available for the contractor if he finishes by a certain date. That can work to my advantage as there is the fact that I am paying for interim financing while the contractor does his thing. Then there are penalties if it drags on beyond a particular date. There are the usual caveats for weather etc. but the concept is there. You may not have to deal with too many caveats since this job will not be subject to weather and such. It is something to think about. I am continuingly appalled about how these kinds of jobs get stretched out when a little incentive contracting could prevent that.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Note that it may not be reasonable to write in completion date incentives if the guy doesn't have the role of a GC. While you could do it for the work he is personally responsible for, the main problem is when the cabinet guy needs to wait for the countertop guy and he has to wait for the plummer (or whatever).

Which isn't to say I don't think they are a good idea. Quite the contrary, actually.

-john

Edited by JohnN (log)
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