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Help! Kitchen Reno (With pics)

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Sep 25, 2012, 01:03 AM
Dj M.
Help! Kitchen Reno (With pics)
I just purchased a 1925 Colonial about 6 months ago, and have been living in it for 5. The majority of work has been cosmetic, up until you walk into the kitchen! I have just about finished tearing out the wood paneling and completely tore out the soffit. We have 8 ft. ceilings. The kitchen has custom cabinets and I wanted to just repaint them and save some money, problem is that their dimensions aren't standard. The base cabs are 33", and the uppers on one wall are 12 1/4", while on the other wall they are closer to 12 1/2". They are also mounted 2" lower than the standard height from the countertop. To those shorter folk this might seem great, except that I'm 6'4, and my girlfriend is 5'7, or mind as well be as tall as me when she puts on the majority of the shoes she owns! So they gotta come up. They seem to be made really well and the wood is solid, it is definitely not particle board. An idea I had was to put a set of smaller cabs on tops of them and then finish it off with some moulding to the ceiling. Or am I just better off buying new, taller cabs?
Next, I want to open up the kitchen to the dining room by turning the one non-load bearing wall down to a half wall. Then throw a countertop on it over a set of bottom cabs to make up for some lost storage space from my next idea. I was thinking of moving the range to end of the small part of the "L" of my kitchen. I would take down those upper cabs and do a white subway tile backsplash with grey grout right up to the ceiling. In the photo you will see the appliances. The refrigerator will move left to where the range was, butted up against the chimney (would have loved to have that extra 2 ft. of space!). Behind where the refrigerator was is where I'd take that wall to a half wall.
I guess I am asking if you agree with my design. I can't move the refrigerator to the opposite side of the kitchen because it is too deep. The range is 25" deep and as is would stick out an inch further than the countertop. With this design I believe I have the functional triangle layout, but is there a better layout I'm missing? Am I getting myself in too deep?
Drywall myself with my moderately experienced father, or contract out? Well lets just start here for now.

Sep 25, 2012, 01:25 PM
Dj, would love to see additional photos of the space and a rough floor plan of the home, including other adjacent rooms.

Sorry but didn't understand all of your post. You mentioned uppers on 2 walls but only 1 wall with uppers is visible in your photo. Can we see where you plan to move the range to? Do you need a gas line for it? How is it vented?

Yes, you could put a row of smaller cabinets on top of the older ones and trim out with moulding. Sometimes these are done with glass fronts for display purposes.

If you decide to paint - be sure to either do it right or have it professionally done. Otherwise, they'll probably chip. It's usually not that expensive to have the fronts professionally sprayed. BTW, drywall's typically inexpensive, too.

Do you plan to change out the countertop, sink or add a backsplash, other than the one you mentioned above the stove? Is that glass block above the sink? What's behind there, i.e. on the other side of that wall?

Personally, I don't believe your plan's optimal. I'd love to see more photos and hear about your home's layout before suggesting another one, however. If you can include the kitchen's dimensions, that'd be great.

Good Luck! All of the above is JMHO.

P.S. I'm sure you know this but the trash can area s/b built-out with either another cabinet, shelves or a false front/dummy panel to hide the can.
Sep 26, 2012, 02:25 AM
Dj M.
The layout is a small L. The shorter wall is 6 ft. Behind that wall is a stairwell to the basement and outside. The long part of the L is roughly 12 ft. There was an addition built off of the kitchen that is about 6.5 ft x 5.5 ft. and is not flush with that 12 ft. wall. Outside where the glass block is, is my driveway that aprons off to the 2 car garage, hence why the addition is not flush.

I am thinking I might have to scrap the cabs. But if I don't, should I take them all off the wall and then drywall? There is going to be quite a bit of plaster repair needed around doors and such.

Yes, for the backsplash we are going to do 3x6 white subway tiles with grey grout. For flooring we originally thought laminate, but 8x16" dark grey porcelin tiles are what we have in mind now. For countertops we are undecided of what material but yes that laminate is going! We will probably do a black stone.

I just put the trash can there because I just pulled out the ancient dishwasher that was there! I grew up without a dishwasher so I'm thinking we might go without.

The range is hooked up to a gas line so I would have to extend it if I put it elsewhere, which ***** because we just had someone put it in when we moved in because it was only set up for electric!

I will post more pictures tomorrow. I am at work (the overnight) so can't do it now. I have a one of the layout. For me I see a red X as of now for my original post. How do I post photos the most efficiently if taking them with an iphone? I can also get out the real point and shoot if needed.
Sep 26, 2012, 10:09 AM
More px would nelp but from what you have shown so far you want to put the stove on that short wall. Is that right? If you do that you will lose the corner cabinet. You will not be able to get into it.

The base cabinets can be raised by removing them, building a 2-3" base and setting the cabinets on them. It is a shame to get rid of the cabinets. The chances of finding such well built cabinets are rare.
Sep 26, 2012, 11:25 AM
Dj, I had some add'l thoughts/ideas and a few more questions based on your last post. Will wait for the photos.

Your initial photo posted, no problem. I've noticed if I hit the reply button instead of signing in first, photos aren't visible.

Take care -
Sep 26, 2012, 03:17 PM
Dj M.
Another angle.

Sep 26, 2012, 03:18 PM
Dj M.
Full layout.

Sep 26, 2012, 03:18 PM
Dj M.
Kitchen dimensions.

Sep 26, 2012, 03:43 PM
Dj M.
Dining room. Demo part of the wall to the left?

Sep 27, 2012, 12:20 AM
Thanks for posting the add'l information. It's very helpful.

Have tons of ideas but curious about your plan for this home. Did you intend to do a quick fix & flip when you purchased it? Or, do you plan to make this your family home and live in it say, more than 5 years? Or, do you see it as a starter home and you'll be moving on, hopefully within 3-5 years?

One important question: thought I saw another door on your original photo (across from the range, below your dw slot) but don't see a doorway on the drawing. Can we add that to the drawing? Does it just go to the driveway? Where's your access to the backyard, assuming you have a yard? Outside the sunroom?

Naturally can see now how that's the dw slot, lol. How does your gf feel about not having a dw? Personally, whatever your future plans for this home, I would definitely add a dw. They're not that expensive and given that you have the plumbing available - why not?

I'll go back to your other, specific questions later, if you have a chance to let me know your plans. They'll make a big difference for my 2 cents.

Sorry, an add'l question: if you had planned to eliminate the dw, does this mean your budget's extremely low? Not that I believe your project requires a huge budget. Don't know the value of the home but that could also make a difference WRT what's appropriate to spend and the updates/improvements you might consider.

Will check back in tomorrow. Take care. JMHO, as usual.
Sep 27, 2012, 01:26 AM
Dj M.
Right now I'd call it a starter home. It is our first home and we are only 24, so I guess a lot could change. It is 1600 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms and a full bath upstairs. That door you see in the original picture is from the small pantry across from the door that goes outside. Sorry I just leaned it up there for now, I didn't want it in the dining room!
There is a half bath though to the left of the addition at the end of the kitchen I didn't put in the layout.
As far as value of the home, I think we have plenty of room. A smaller home across the street sold for 40k more than we paid! We live in a village on one of the most desirable streets. We have a nice central median with street lamps, all the powerlines run through the backyards. The median is planted every year by the people on our street.
But yeah, budget wise ideally would be roughly 5k. Which is why I originally wanted to repurpose the cabinets. Cash is tight adjusting to homeownership!
Sep 27, 2012, 01:28 AM
Dj M.
I will try to get the place cleaned up and post a few more direct pictures of the kitchen too. And of course continue to post pictures of any work I do.
Apr 24, 2013, 11:20 PM