2007 April

Kitchen Remodel

Em might be the cook but the kitchen will forever belong to my brother Will. He arrived Wednesday night from Fort Myers, Florida and on Friday morning, while visiting IKEA with my parents he suggested that we remodel the kitchen. His logic was that since he was there we might as well take advantage of him!

Amazingly, over the next 2.5 days we got 85% of the work done and by the time I drove Willy to the airport on Monday morning we had a fully functional kitchen. As of June however, I'm still wrapping up the details.

The total cost of the remodel was under $5,000. To see a breakdown of the costs please click here. The link takes you to an Excel spreadsheet with costs for all major items.

When I first saw this house I knew that I would take out a large portion of the wall between the kitchen and living room. I opened up the wall in the beginning of April, before my brother's visit.

Their was nothing wrong with the kitchen that came with the house, but we didn't really like the Formica countertops, vinyl floor, and dated cabinets; they didn't function very well.

I didn't want to take out so much of the drywall but was forced to do so because of the wiring. The wire in the third bay from the right goes to the outlet in the bathroom, talk about crazy wiring. That reminds me, I need to fix the outlet in the bathroom since I disconnected it.

Uh, Em, maybe I should have used a bigger header. Actually, the weight on the beam is very minimal as it is only due to the ceiling and not the roof.

And this is what the kitchen was like for two weeks before Will arrived. Had he not visited I'm sure it would still look like this.

Bamboo graces our floor. I measured and cut, Will pounded it into place, and Em used the nail gun. They both did an incredible job as you can see by inspecting the joints.

Amazingly, by Saturday afternoon the bamboo floor was in and we were assembling the cabinets. Em found that she could work much more efficiently in a dress. Or she took off for a few hours to go to a wedding.

A few weeks after Will left, on May 5th to be exact, I broke down all of the cabinets and somehow packed it all into Paddy Luna, our Passat wagon (we tried to give the cabinets to Urban Ore but they don't take particle board). On the way to the Berkeley Transfer Station Em and I made bets about how much it all weighed. The final tally was 900 pounds and Em won the bet.

I'm actually sitting at the counter you are looking at writing this caption. The counter is 48 inches high so 34-inch tall stools are needed (normal stools are only 30 inches tall). As of the end of June I still need to finish minor trim work.

And here is the 95% complete north side of the kitchen. I installed the hood too high and need to lower it. It is stainless steel but we haven't taken off the protective white covering yet.

And here is the south side of the kitchen featuring a new farm sink, oak counters, and birch cabinets.