Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kitchen Remodeling Project

No, neither the blog or the blogger has died.  After we returned to our home in Virginia in mid-May, Ina and I have worked hard on a long overdue kitchen remodeling.  Since we have not been traveling it seemed like there wasn't much to write a post about.  The project involved major work including removing a wall; re-routing electric wiring; enlarging a pantry; installing new hardwood flooring; new cabinets; and all new appliances.

With only the two of us doing the work, the project was started in late May and was not completed until mid-July  I have a few pictures:

The first task was to convert a small hallway closet into pantry space.

The next job was to convert the old pantry into a space for the refrigerator.  The old refrigerator was moved to the garage and its adjacent cabinets demolished..

Here framing is underway for the new refrigerator.  The wall and doorway into the dining room has already been removed.

Here is the view from the dining room.  Note the soffit above the old wall cabinet has been removed. Wiring  switches and outlets from the old dining room wall have not yet been relocated.  The vinyl flooring, old appliances, and main cabinets are still in place.

This is a view of the framing needed to accommodate the new larger refrigerator.  About 12 inches of space was taken from the living room.

Here demolition of the main cabinets and removal of the stove and dishwasher is complete. Note that the old vinyl flooring has also been removed.  Since the old vinyl flooring was glued down, it was necessary to remove and replace the sub-flooring with 5/8 inch OSB.

The sub-flooring installed and most of the drywall mudding done.

Hardwood flooring installed; kitchen island and the cabinet over the refrigerator installed.  Installing the flooring (which is hardwood plywood) required a full 8-hour work-day.

Here the main wall cabinets are installed with installation started on the main base cabinets. The cabinets were mail ordered from and required assembly.

The Italian granite countertops and backsplash were installed by a local granite company.

We debated about what sort of backsplash to install, but finally decided that the extra expense of full granite was worth it.   We are very pleased with the final result.

There were no great problems or big mistakes in the project.  However, there were a few important lessons learned.  In planning, one must pay attention to the direction and space required to open appliance and cabinet doors and drawers.  The cabinets are good quality and not hard to assemble.   Although Cabinet King's free design service was good, the resulting parts order left off several small components and one major cabinet.  There were no shipping costs on the large initial order. However, shipping on the missing parts added needless expense.  The recessed lights with LED conversion bulbs really brighten a kitchen with no windows.  Having the counter tops professionally installed is a wise choice unless your have experience working with stone or are using a wood-based counter top material.  One of the most difficult parts of the project was cutting crown, baseboard and chair rail molding.  Molding is always expensive and mistakes result in costly waste. videos are a wonderful source of expertise for areas where you might need helpful instruction.  Use of  a power miter saw made the job much easier.  Likewise, installing the molding was a made significantly easier by use of a finish nail gun. The drywall work was not difficult, but was a messy labor intensive task.   Other tools which made tasks much easier included a Rotozip tool, professional grade drywall trowels, cordless drill, a table saw, sawsall, and a myriad of hand tools.  Finally, the most vital factor in completing the project was a hardworking partner; my wife who worked hard with me as my teammate.