Tag Archives: Kitchen Renovation

Woody the Woodchuck

10 Jun

Turns out, when you remove a wall there is some patching to do on the flip side of the coin. Wall patching, floor patching, yep and yep. A la this little beaut. There is definitely a hole there ūüėČ With a matching gap on the other side. Twinsies.

How to patch wood floor

Patching Wood Floor

When we went shopping for the mudding materials, we came back with a few extra essentials. While we were shopping, I saw Jay start to slowly ebb toward the power tools section (never good). We were in the market for an air compressor and nail gun, and although I was *hoping* to find one on craigslist, we landed up getting a shiny new one instead.

Why you ask, well, because there was a crazy-licous Memorial Day sale where the nail gun compressor kit was marked down $100, meaning only $150 green backs had to be exchanged for this new power house. Overall, for the use we are going to get out of this beast, I’ll call that a good use of our simolions. So, Jay got his new tool, and in turn, I got Jay to do some projects around here the man had been dragging his feet on. All in the name of getting a new power tool – man – he knows how to manipulate ūüėČ

Bostitch Air Compressor and Nail Gun

Bostitch Air Compressor

So, power tool in hand, we set off to remedy our little gap of a problem. We needed more wood to patch this baby up. Not a lot of wood, but turns out it’s hard to find little batches of red oak. We probably needed 4 square feet of wood, but we had to buy it in a 20sq foot bundle. Bummer. The good news, we now know we have ample wood in case things go screwy along the way. The bad, the wood came in over budget. In all honesty I’m kind of at the point where I’m sad if things go over budget, but I am also reaching my delirium point with this whole reno, where I just let Jay add things to the shopping cart, so we can just get the project done. I want my kitchen back, I want a dining room to eat dinner at, I want to not have an inch of dust covering my floor when I get up each morning. So $60 vs $20 right now, grumble grumble, whatever.

How to patch wood floor

Red Oak Floor

Speaking of just throwing things into the shopping cart, look at Jay’s handy new set of chisels. I think Jay’s long lost calling is as a sculptor. Grab this man a beret cause he pretty much thought he was Michelangelo. Sans naked sculpted people. And just run with the beret reference, I know, these fancy hats are probably before¬†his time but I think artist and I think beret. Roll with it.

Kobalt Wood Chisel Set

Wood Chisel

I kept walking into the room with Jay all focused on his new art form and listening to my husband say things like – this is so relaxing, I love chiseling wood, can we do more of these projects. I could here the angels singing. Music to my ears, grasshopper.

The first step in this covert little operation was to measure where we wanted the wood piece to end at. ¬†We used our level to make sure that the line was as straight as a whistle. No crooked boards here. Also, another little tip. We tried to stagger each board we cut, so that all the wood didn’t end at the same spot. We wanted the new pieces to look as intentional (and original) as possible, so changing end location helped to achieve this.

How to patch wood floor

Measuring Wood

The next step, well this one freaked me out a little. I knew that the pieces of wood had to come up, but still, taking a screw driver to my wood floor was not my vision of progress. More like mutilation. But, it had to be done, so Jay proceeded as I watched and waited on baited breath. You want to screw 2-3 holes right along the line where you plan to have your piece of wood end. Drilling the holes helps to prevent the wood from splitting as you lift up the board, and defines a clear ending point.

How to patch wood floors

Screwing Hole

Once you’ve added 2-3 holes in the wood, you can start to pry up each piece a bit with a crowbar and rubber mallet. If you put in a sufficient amount of holes, you should find that this keeps the wood from splitting beyond your intended end point. We found that some pieces were harder to remove than others, largely due to extra glue being placed on them, making them stick too much to an adjacent board. We tried to be very careful when prying each board up, since we knew that any screw ups could mean taking out a whole other board.

How to patch wood floor

Removing Wood

Once you get the big pieces up, you have enough left at your end to start chiseling, which is what creates the nice, crisp edge, and makes it look like a newly laid piece. In general, Jay would start by tapping along each line (that he drew with his pencil) and then he would come back through and remove each chunk of wood, one layer at a time. Since it is so important that this edge looks perfectly straight, this took about 25 minutes for each piece of wood that was modified. Luckily, Jay seemed to be enjoying this part of the process for the most part, so that always helps make the minutes pass a bit quicker.

How to replace wood floor


After each piece had been chiseled to our hearts content, the wood looked like the photo below. We tried to maintain the staggered look with each piece of wood. See those laser sharp edges? Jay is such a rockstar.

How to replace wood boards on floor

Replacing Wood Floor


May Monthly Roundup

6 Jun

Spring was a long time coming this year in the mitten, but lucky for us, it seems like mother nature is going to kick it into high gear and bring on summer. About time. Now, instead of wrapping up with a blanket and looking out dismally at snow (yes, it snowed in April), we are knocking out some serious projects. Something about that sunshine just puts the pep in yo step. For a little monthly re-capping, in April, we:

Basement Bathroom Remodel

Started renovating the downstairs bath. After testing lots of paint colors, we landed on Benjamin Moore Northern Cliffs, for both the vanity and the walls. After slapping down some marble tile, we just need some artwork and new lighting before we call this one done.

Benjamin Moore Northern Cliffs

Basement Bathroom

Northern Cliffs Bathroom

Basement Bathroom | After

Bathroom Reveal | Upstairs Bath

Since we already had the tile saw out, we decided to tag team the bathroom renos. Although our upstairs bathroom renovation started in March, we capped this guy off in April. We are still searching for the perfect mirror (procrastinators…) but overall, this room is functioning MUCH better (and looking a bit better, too!).

Completed Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom Renovation

Herringbone Subway Tile

Herringbone Subway Tile

Painted Doors

In addition to ripping out our bathroom(s), we decided to tackle some low hanging fruit too. Sometimes you just have to go for the easy win, right? We painted the last two doors in the house that had previously been paneled and pink. Not my cup of tea.

White painted paneled door

Attic Door | After

Installing Gas Line

After starting the process of reinvisioning our kitchen, we opted to do a gas line switcher-roo and move our oven over onto another wall. We opted to hire this one out. $250 (in my mind) is a small price to pay to have this one checked off the list with all our limbs intact.

How to install a gas line

New Gas Line

Countertops + Cabinets

Wanting a white and bright open kitchen space, Jay and I decided we were looking for something that aesthetically resembled marble, but without the upkeep associated. We found a few winners, and in the end, we are leaning toward Sugarbrush Quartz, through Lowes.

Sugarbrush Quartz with Shaker Cabinet

Sugarbrush Quartz with Shaker Cabinet

Wall Removal

Oh, and I almost forgot, we knocked out a wall. Almost didn’t happen, but gotta tell ya, so. very. glad. it. did. The kitchen/dining room space has been absolutely transformed by this decision. More light, better flow, bigger. Every time I walk into the room now, I smile.

How to remove wall

Removing Wall

Studor Pipe Vent 

And in the spirit of the wall removal, we had to mention our studor solution. Studor may or may not be my new favorite word. ūüėČ

How to install air admittance valve

Installing Studor Pipe

In Search of the Classic Kitchen

29 May

Things are starting to come together with the kitchen, but now it’s gotten to the point where I have to make decisions on some of the detail items, and personally, I think that can be pretty hard. We decided on the kitchen cabinets (and ordered them, eeek!), I’ll do a cost break down on those babies when I can post some before and after pics for ya. My main issue these days is that the cabinet hardware is giving me a run for my money. I’ve found that the hardware that I like the best is of the antique brass variety, but I’m kind of wondering how the brassy hardware will look with all the other colors we have going on in the space, which are mostly grays and whites. Hmmm – thoughts?

I have my eye on this guy for the cabinet pulls. MMMM – yummy. The sad part – this guy is $15. Multiply that by the dozen or so drawers we have and he is looking a bit less appealing.

Antique Brass Hardware

Antique Brass Hardware

If I did splurge and go with the guy above, I’m thinking that this¬†octagonal¬†knob would accompany. But, trouble is they are different¬†manufacturers¬† so there is always a chance that the finishes will not match, which would also be a problem. From the pictures, I think they would be close enough, but it would still be a risk to me.

Antique Brass Hardware

Octagonal Knobs

When we first started the kitchen hunt, I was pretty set on getting our cabinets and hardware from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. Our cabinets have since deviated to the shaker style cabinet through Diamond (Lowe’s), but I am still strongly considering her line of cabinet hardware to compliment our new kitchen. Once again thought, I totally drawn to the gold finishes.

Martha Stewart Hardware

Martha Hardware

What’s even more frustrating to me though, is that they don’t make the same knobs/pulls in all of the finishes. See the gold bin pull on the left there, love it. But they don’t make the same shape in the nickel finish that we are looking at. Grumble grumble. As far as the details for the hardware, the latch that initially made me fall in love with the idea of the Martha Stewart line for our cabinet hardware was this little guy.

Nickel Cabinet Latch

Martha Cabinet Latch

I think popping some of these beauties on a cabinet just makes it look so old school and lovely. We have one cabinet in particular that will come down all the way onto the counter, and I think this type of hardware gives it more of an authentic built-in look.

Martha Stewart Hardware

Martha Stewart Hardware

If we do go with the nickel finish, I’ll use the bin pull for our drawers and the knob on the middle left section for all the cabinets with doors (other than the built-in, which would get the latches above). Really, the hardest thing so far for me has been matching the sink faucet with the cabinet hardware. I’ve stumbled across kitchens (a la pinterest) that are absolutely stunning with brass hardware, but they usually have a brass faucet as well, to tie things together. All the brass sinks I’ve found are either wayyyy out of our price range (like $900 faucets, whoa), or they are builder grade 1980’s brass, which is quite frankly, not the look we are going for.

American Standard Hampton Nickel

American Standard Hampton Nickel

This faucet, from Home Depot has caught my eye. Well within budget, and pretty dashing. If we went with this faucet, I’m thinking the Martha Stewart line would compliment the sink the best. Thoughts? Any metal mixers out there that have some pics they can direct me to of gold hardware looking classy in a white kitchen?

Studor Saved the Day

28 May

So remember this guy, the vent pipe just jutting right through our kitchen causing all kinds of problems. Well after doing some sluething (aka google searching), our initial plan was jut to re-route the pipe, and have it bend into the adjacent exterior wall. But, then we were cordially introduced to Mr. Studor, and oh how he changed our plans. In a very good way ūüėČ

How to remove wall

Wall Removal

When we were spending (another) afternoon in Lowe’s asking away on questions – we had a super friendly dude listen as we blathered on about our vent pipe situation for like 20 mins and when we are done venting (pun intended, he he), he just calmly looks at us and says – have you ever thought about a studor valve. Why no, we hadn’t! By the way, what’s a studor valve (thinks my noggin’). He seemed pretty sure of himself, so he starts walking us over to plumbing and chatting with Jay in coded man talk about studor valves and blah blah blah. I’m just like – dude – does it solve my problemo, let’s just cut to the chase!? Speak my language here!

How to install a studor valve

Air Admittance Valve

Turns out, it does. Instead of routing the vent out into the wall, for $30 you can just by this handy little bopper of a dude and it vents right from under the sink basin. Pros – it allows us to remove the wall without having to worry about rerouting the vent pipe. Cons – (after asking the guy 25 times, he finally came up with) … sometimes studor valves fail after a few years. And I was like – hold the phone – what do you mean, fail? I immediately start to¬†conjure¬†up images of sewage all over my basement floor. But here is what happens – it just starts to stink. Kinda like studor made a tooter, ya know what a mean. And the fix, well, you buy a new one, for another $25-$30 bucks. No harm done. That I can live with, especially if it allows us to proceed full fledged with our little wall removal process, and especially if it’s 3-4 years down the line. Yep – call be shortsighted, but it was a full fledged – onward! – from there.

How to install air admittance valve

Installing Studor Pipe

To get this guy installed, all we had to do was remove the old sink plumbing that was there, and install this new one with the studor pipe attached. Out with the old, in with the new. We had to retrofit the pipe just a bit and cut some of the line off, but overall, it took about 5 minutes.

How to install studor valve

Cutting Pipe

We read online that the one thing that can be affected by installing the studor pipe is the water pressure and flow down in the basement (or in the affected bathroom, in our case this was the basement). So before we committed to actually cutting off the rest of the stack, we made sure to do a quick little water test to see if things were hunky doorey. Guess, what. It was even better than before. Probably since the old drain had tons of hair and gunk in it, but I’ll go ahead and call that a success. ūüėČ

How to install a studor valve

Testing Water

Back up in the kitchen, things were looking like this. Big vented pipe, not going to work with the new kitchen decor.

Studor Valve

Sewer Vent Pipe

Since this pipe goes all the way up into the attic, and is vented up through the roof, Jay popped up into the attic crawl space to saw off the pipe, so that we could remove the section we needed a bit easier. I had this (probably irrational) fear that if Jay joggled the pipe too much, that he would actually disconnect it and make sewer stink flood the house forever, since I was picturing him breaking the line somewhere in between the origination point, and the section we were capping it off at. Luckily, everything went along swimingly.

Capping off sewer vent

PVC Cement

After we had just a stub left to cap, we grabbed some PVC cement to get this guy all wrapped up. Cement, I like the sound of that. Last thing you want is an insufficient seal leading to sewer stink in yo house.

How to cap sewer vent

Sealing Vent

For good measure, we put some on the cap, and on the vent base to make sure we had a perfectly perfect seal. And the final step, capping this baby off on the roof, too. Otherwise we would have rain water falling into this guy up top, which would mean a leaking attic in no time. Here is Jay, conquering his fear of heights and slapping that cap up on the vent.

How to cap sewer vent on ceiling

Capping Sewer Vent

This post is part of the William Morris Project over at Pancakes and French Fries.

Something Has Got to Give

27 May

Sometimes you just get to a point with a renovation where you know you have to do something drastic to make the magic happen. When incremental little steps just won’t do. I hit that moment. At 4pm last Sunday, actually. I just looked at Jay and said – that wall has GOT to come down. Now, mind you, we had played around with the idea of removing the wall, but kind of got sidelined with it, and thought that maybe we would just widen the doorway, or just leave the room as is.

But then, at 4′ o clock on Sunday, I just knew that this wall was not going to live to see another day. Jay, Jay wasn’t so sure such drastic measures had to be taken. He thought we could try talking it out with the wall before we told him to pack his bags, maybe give him a second chance. But I knew it was over. It started with just a little exploration, we wanted to just see what was under the wall. Plus, after we removed the cabinets we noticed that there was a vent popping out that needed some attention any way. It always starts small…

How to remove floor vent

Removing Floor Vent

With the left side of the wall already looking kinda gappy, we decided a bit more exploratory tapping on the other side couldn’t hurt. Here is Jay giving it the initial ceremonial tap.

How to remove wall

Removing Wall

Then, this happened. Kind of one of those things that when you start to get momentum on it, you just keep moving forward. Once we had the first chunk of wall up and out – I started to get really excited. It was really happening! We didn’t let our fears of wall removal stop us. Nope, we conquered it and busted that sucker out! It felt good. It felt great! Liberation from the walls that had constrained us for so long!

How to remove wall

Wall Removal

If you notice in the picture above, there is a slight little wrinkle in our wall removal plans. See that little white vent pipe attached to the second beam. That is our sewer venting stack. The original owner of the house¬†gingerly¬†informed us when we closed that this wall could never be removed, since it had the sewer stack vent line in it. Turns out – with a little bit of research – this little guy could be removed, it was just a matter of¬†re-configuring¬†a few things. Anytime a wall comes down, I think you’re bound to have something in the way. More than anything, it’s just a matter of making sure whatever is in the wall can be¬†re-diverted, etc.

Duct Work In Wall

Duct Work In Wall

On the other side of the wall, we had a lovely stack of duct work, that lucky for us, actually did not connect to anything. Huzza!! It was just chilling there, completely¬†separate¬†from the HVAC system above and below, so that was a relatively easy work around. Just rip it out! ūüėČ

By the time we had moved onto the dining room side of the wall, the plaster was coming out in nice, neat pieces, which really limited the dust in the room, and helped with ease of removal. With a little bit of prying, Jay was able to just rip each piece off the wall. With plaster, there is usually metal lathe at the corners, too, so we had to pull a little harder to get those pieces to come down.

How to remove plaster wall

Removing Plaster From Wall

Also, just to provide a heads up to all reading, we were able to confirm that the wall was absolutely not a load bearing wall, which is obviously crucial to determine prior to grabbing yo sledgehammer. Basically, the information we got that guided us toward knowing this was not load bearing was that the floor joists above the wall ran¬†parallel¬†with the structure. If the joists ran perpendicular, than this would have been a load bearing wall, and we would have needed some type of supporting beam to help keep the house up ūüėČ

This is what we started with in the kitchen and dining room, and here is the¬†layout of the house, if helpful. Basically, it was a 34″‘ door opening that was sufficient, but felt pretty narrow when you passed in between each room.

Removing Non-Load Bearing Wall

Kitchen | Dining Room Before

The biggest difference I noticed right away was how much more light came in through the combined spaces – and – how much larger they felt. The ceilings, especially! Immediately I just looked at Jay with a crazy sauce grin on my face and proclaimed this was the best DIY decision we had ever made. By this point in the demolition process, he was drinking the kool-aid right along with me and smiled on back. ūüôā We were feeling it, man. Demo work at it’s best.

How to remove wall

Wall Removal

Now instead of two rinky dink 9×10 rooms, we have one big ole’ 18×10 room, that feels oh so spacious and oh so open. I can’t even put into words how profound the difference is, but it’s a big deal (at least to us!). Like epic. Plus, our handy little handy man is coming back this week to add a new doorway for a french door off the side of the house and to help re-route some of the electrical. Once we have the door installed, I think this room will be the ca’ts meow. Malcolm conquers.

Blinded By Beauty | Our Appliance Hunt

23 May

I’m a pragmatic girl, so when I got smacked in the face by an un-pragmatic decision – that peeved me. I’m recovering, albeit slowly. So when Jay and I got all pumped about our new appliances we did something very unlike us. We whipped out the credit card and bought those babies without doing our typical round of research. What can I say, the GE Cafe line had me at hello. Their insanely good looks threw me so far off, that I went and bought the least efficient¬†refrigerator¬†out there. Yes, it’s true. Yes, I’m ashamed. Do you see where our fridge is on the energy spectrum. At the top, the very, very top. The good news – there is only a $12 per year difference between our model and the most efficient, but still the penny pinching little greenie in me died a little when Jay showed me. ūüėČ

GE Cafe Fridge Energy Usage

Energy Guide

But, that being said, so far we are totally digging the new additions. Jay stayed home on delivery day to get these bad boys in and it was quite the experience. The guys were super nice, and even brought our old oven out to our garage for us, isn’t that awesome! Here they are bringing the new oven in. They did not use a dolley, rather each had some serious straps on them and they simply lifted the oven (and fridge) up, and hoisted them into the house. To me that seems like quite a recipe for a bad back, but they were super careful about it, so I think they have a system down.

How to Lift Heavy Appliances

Appliance Delivery

We were so excited to see our new appliances coming in that Jay even snapped a photo of them across the street. There they are! About to join our little kitchen family!

GE Cafe Appliances

Appliance Delivery

One thing we noticed off the bat, was that the GE logo was actually black on our appliances, even though the ones we ordered online and had seen in blog land and in stores were actually red. Hmmm, what is the dealo? After a call to build.com (where we got our appliances from) the scoop they gave us was that the newest line of GE Cafe has black logos, so they are actually phasing out the red logos. The only wrinkle this presents us is that the dishwasher we were planning on buying from our local appliance shop, has the red logo. Urgggh. So now we will either have to hunt down a newer one (i.e. not on clearance like the original model we were looking at), or be ok with our logos not matching on the appliances. Still undecided on that one.

GE Cafe Line

GE Cafe Line

When the appliances came, they were hard core wrapped in plastic and protective coatings. We opted to leave the fridge cover on for now, since this guy will actually be chilling in our dining room until we get the kitchen all prepped by removing the cabinetry, painting the walls, etc. The current space for the fridge is actually too small as well, since our new guy is a counter depth unit and the old one was not, which leads to a 3-4 inch difference across.

GE Cafe Fridge

GE Cafe Fridge

So in the mean time, this guy is chilling in our dining room, which quickly went from this:

Double Pedestal Dining Table

Dining Room

To this, when the new appliances arrived. Uggg. Feels like we are officially in the middle of a reno, no?

GE Cafe Fridge

New Dining Room Setup

Here is our new oven. Mighty swanky!! The things we started to realize as we unloaded the goody goods, included the fact that we will have to move the electrical box peaking out above the oven right now so that the cord isn’t visible. We will also have to install another light socket above the current location, since the microwave hood will also need some juice. Just add that baby onto the to-do list!

GE Cafe Oven

GE Cafe Oven

Notice all the packaging on these guys? I’m glad they came sufficiently covered, but MAN it took us nearly two hours to unwrap the oven. No serrriously. That – that is too much packaging, ya think?

Let There Be Gas

21 May

One of the first steps to our little switcheroo in the kitchen was getting a new gas line installed so that we could move the oven along the back wall where the pantry used to be. I’m pretty pumped to get the oven off the wall it’s on right now, since the placement is pretty funky and¬†aesthetically¬† it just doesn’t look good.

Moving Gas Line

Gas Range Switcheroo

Since anytime I think of gas lines, I think of explosions where people lose limbs, I made Jay hire this one out. We found a really nice handyman online and he had our kitchen up and running in no time. Plus, his quote came in $250 less than the other guy, so that bumped him up a notch in our book, too. Both were certified professionals, but this guy worked independently, with no over head, which keeps his costs down. With tax, our total was $252.40. A wee bit higher than I wanted (I’m an internal optimist when it comes to stretching my dollar bills), but overall, I think the move is really going to aid the flow and feel of the kitchen, so it’s a price I’m willing to pay.

Old Gas Line

Old Gas Line

Our last gas line was problematic since it was installed below the joists on the floor, which is a rather large issue if you want to finish off said room at a later date. Since I would love to finish off this room down the road, the low hanging wires and lines really had to get the boot. One of these offending utility lines happened to be our gas line, so moving this guy was going to get us one wee step closer to my dreams of a finished laundry room (down the road, way down the road…)

How to turn off gas

Turning Off Gas

Since we wanted to avoid any explosions, the first step, before any jerry rigging went down was to turn off the gas. Fairly obvious, but then again, I’d hate to read about ya in the papers. Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty.

Gas Line

Gas Line

After the old gas line was popped out, we were left with this. A little beam of sunshine (remember the window right below?). Ahhh – progress!

How to install a gas line

New Gas Line

The best thing about the new gas line, is that it has a flexible tube, versus the rigid piping that was in place before. Which is awesome, since this makes the line much more maneuverable, and easier to bend into places to avoid it falling below the rafters. Winner winner chicken dinner.

How to install gas line

Gas Line In Rafters

Now, instead of coming out beneath the rafters, we have a line that is definitely in the rafters. Huzzah!! That means, if I get an idea in my head one weekend and start thinking about slapping some dry wall up in this joint, I won’t be tackling funky piping falling down beneath the rafters. Hypothetically, that is. Jay – you’ve been warned. ūüôā

New Gas Line

New Gas Line

After this guy was installed, the area was looking like this! Not too exciting ūüôā One thing that I didn’t think of (the handy man suggested it) was to move the line slightly to the right of your desired middle point, since this gives the lines room to bend a bit, versus having to connect straight down, which could be tricky logistically. Always nice when someone else thinks of these (rather practical) things for you ūüôā Now, just to move the new appliances over and into place! Oh, and the whole kitchen gutting thing, there is that, too.

Rip Er’ Out

20 May

It’s gotten to the point we’ve been dreading. The point we’ve been trying to avoid as long as possible. The demo phase of the reno has officially begun. As much as I hate this phase, it also makes me gleefully excited. Like maniacally laughing excited. Sometimes I get like that, you? Kay – maybe it’s just me.

Here is the official before shot. See, most – normal – people would be like, yeah, looks good! Nice kitchen. Me … well, I think we’ve already confirmed my non-normality. So, I’m ripping it out.

Corner pantry storage

Kitchen Corner

And here is a snapshot of all that it stored. Not¬†inconsequential. It’s a decent amount of stuff that will need to find a new storage home.

Kitchen Pantry Storage

Kitchen Pantry Storage

So, once we determined that these cabinets would be the first to get the official heave ho, we started emptying them out. One by one and two by two. And loaded everything out onto our dining room table. These are the moments when it starts to hit you. Uggg. The next few weeks are going to be a barrel of monkeys. My pantry is now officially on my table. I don’t feel like that is where it belongs…

Emptied kitchen cabinets

All Our Kitchen Stuff

After jerry rigging with the cabinets for a bit, and trying to find screws to dismantled the cabinets, we slowly came to the realization that the counters had to come off before any other kitchen related item was going to budge. So, we figured the first step was to start by scoring the glue and silicone that was keeping the counter on the cabinets.

How to remove granite counters

Razor Blade

The scoring helped, but it wasn’t sufficient to completely get the counters off. So Jay did a quick google search and we grabbed a putty knife, hoping that this could get down a little further to continue to break the seal and leverage the counter up more.

How to remove granite counter

Removing Granite Counter

And then, after some major huffing and puffing, that baby came right on up. I did a happy dance, Jay made a happy face. Then we realized that for 5 square feet of counter, granite is heavy. Very, very heavy. He’s smiling here, just wait a few seconds later …

How to remove granite counter

Removing Counter

Of course the Manager had to come by and observe. Make sure everything was up to his standard. He approved. Onward!

The Manager

The Manager

After the granite was up, the screws to remove the cabinets were very easy to access, so the demo from this point was pretty smooth sailing. The cabinets (like the counters) were very substantial, so it definitely took both Jay and I to remove each one (especially the top cabinets).

Removing Cabinets

Removing Cabinets

And after 30 mins, we had a cleared cabinet corner. Demolition success!

Removing Kitchen Cabinets

Removing Cabinets

For now, we will leave the other side of the kitchen intact so that we can have some counter top/storage space throughout the renovation process. Although we do miss the storage now that these cabinets are out, it does feel awfully nice to have a start on this project!

Kitchen Reno | The Lay of the Land

17 May

Ah, the kitchen reno. It’s a love/hate relationship. At this point, I would say we are 10% into the process, which is enough to feel very daunted and enough to feel rather poor by the oncoming onslaught of bills about to come your way ūüėČ You think you budget in every detail, and then…

In order to get a good idea of the lay of the land with cabinetry and counters, we have been shopping around quite a bit. First stop was Lowes. Mainly, because I saw this kitchen via Young House Love (actually a reader re-design from Design Me Gilla) and knew that I had to at least price these babies out and see how the cards stacked to determine if they were within our price range. We are going for all white cabinets with a shaker style door frame. I really like the detail on the front of the ones below, and the full overlay door. Love the poster, too!

Diamond Jamestown Cabinets

Diamond Jamestown Cabinets

When we first started browsing at Lowe’s the first time, the Jamestown cabinet through Diamond estimated a total cost of $3,400 for a 10 x 10 kitchen. Since ours is closer to 9×10, and we are pretty limited on the space that we can put the cabinets in due to door ways and window frames, we thought that we would budget in an extra grand and call it a day. Yeah …. I guess we should have added a few extra k’s. Oye. After the Lowes promo, our kitchen was right at $6,200. For just the cabinets.

Lowes Cabinetry Cost

Lowes Cabinetry

I gotta say – this has been a part of the kitchen reno I’ve found rather perplexing. We didn’t add all that many bells or whistles, so it’s kind of a head scratcher to see the price bump up that much. I think the biggest distinction is that the cost estimates given are only for basic cabinetry, and do not include any ad ons or odd sizes. When we were looking through the line items, the biggest bump was the paint! Just over an extra thousand for the white paint cover. Seriously.

Another bump was the crown molding. Just under $1,000 for that, which definitely means that Jay and I have made an executive decision to put that purty little detail up ourselves. We actually came to this conclusion for a few reasons.

First – We want to be able to do crown throughout the entire kitchen, and if we purchased the manufacturers crown for the kitchen cabinets, we might have difficulty matching (we most likely would have¬†difficulty¬†matching…).

Second – Umm, hello cost savings. After pricing it out, it looks like we will be closer to $200 for the entire room¬†vs. $900 for just. the. cabinets. Yep – that help us make the decision, too. ūüôā

Cabinet Crown Molding

Kitchen Crown

Above is an example of the type of trim I am looking for. Lovely lovely love. Here is a look we are going for overall in the kitchen. Hoping we can pull this off with our ensy teensy kitchen.

Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Renovation

Next up – counter top searching! Looking for an affordable and durable alternative to carrera marble. Along with the rest of the world, right. ūüėČ