Kitchen Remodel

Missed my post yesterday, because I very simply was too tired, sore, and distracted to do so.  This weekend was our long planned kitchen remodel, in which we planned to replace the rest of the cabinets, fix a number of electrical concerns, and repaint the kitchen.  The theory was a 2 day project, which I knew was very optimistic, but I as always underestimated the level of physical effort.  We are not quite done, still a number of cosmetic additions to finish, but overall the kitchen is looking much better.

Long ago, when we first moved in, we applied a faux finish to the walls.  At the time, it was very popular, and I still like the look, but it is definitely dated these days.  At the same time, the cabinets were the original ones from when the house was built back in the 60’s, and had been painted and fixed so many times that they were simply not worthwhile.  We had previously replaced a couple of cabinets, and so we needed to match the same style, along with replacing the rest (and more complicated ones).

Saturday was almost entirely demolition and patching.  With the age of the house, there were numerous areas that needed to be worked around, re-wired, re-plumbed, or just fixed.  Especially of note was the hole in the roof, caused by a slow leak, which also had to be fixed outside on the roof.  The hole ended up needing a fairly large patch of plasterboard, but turned out fairly good.  The new design also required the relocation of the roof lighting, which meant the old holes had to be patched up at the same time.

Saturday night, the wife spent numerous hours spackling, sanding, priming, and painting the now bare walls, to great success.  After several passes on the worse spots, almost all of the areas smoothed out and looked pretty professional.

That led to Sunday morning, with the install of the new cabinets, which ended up taking most of the day.  Of particular difficulty was the cabinet above the microwave, which required both an electric socket relocation, a microwave relocation, and numerous mounting and cable holes.  It was time consuming, but I happily can say that when we went to mount and connect, everything first correctly the first time.  The other challenge was the sink cabinet, due to the existence of old plumbing.  Ended up having to cut out a portion of the back of the cabinet to fit around the pipes, but overall fairly painless.

Finally late on Sunday we reached the counter top and sink.  At this point I made a big tactical mistake, and opted to cut the hole for the sink inside the house (it was cold outside).  Fundamentally I did not expect as much dust as it created – by the time I was done cutting, we had saw dust everywhere – the wife was not amused.  This definitely would have been better done outside on some sawhorses, but I was tired, sore, and just got lazy.  Fortunately, the sink fit correctly, and after a lot of stretching we managed to connect at least a few of the anchors, and seal the sink into place.  This then allowed me to connect most of the water lines late in the evening.

On Monday, I finished connecting the garbage disposal and the sink drains – another major challenge given the dated old piping trying to tie into the modern standards.  However, with a bit of effort, I managed to get it all connected, and consolidated into a small space in the back of the sink (to allow more storage), and even managed to stop all the leaks.  The wife was still worried about water, but happy for the increased storage.  The evening of Monday was then dedicated to trying to improve the stove.  When we replaced it a few years ago, we discovered that the electrical connection was too high, so the stove never fully pushed back to the wall.  It wasn’t a big issue with the microwave as low as it was, but with the new locations, it was much more obvious.  So I had to move the electrical outlet about 12 inches down, which given the much thicker electrical cable and various connections and boxes, was not a simple task.  It was successful though, and we managed to gain another couple of inches when we moved the stove back (though it didn’t fully reach the wall still 🙁 )

Remaining, we have numerous “small” items – attaching knobs and handles, applying trim at the kick plates, reattaching wall shelves, raising and leveling the dishwasher, a custom thin cabinet for next to the wall by the dishwasher (they don’t make them that small), a tile back splash, finish painting, and probably a dozen other small items.  Most likely these will be worked on off and on this week, with this coming weekend another big work time, before we can consider the entire project complete.

In truth, we should have planned for more like 5 days for the project, but I didn’t (and really could not) take the time off.  But from comparing the before and after pictures, even with a lot of items remaining, it is looking far superior to the original.

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