LTH Home

Kitchen Remodeling Journal

Kitchen Remodeling Journal
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 4
  • Kitchen Remodeling Journal

    Post #1 - January 4th, 2006, 3:54 pm
    Post #1 - January 4th, 2006, 3:54 pm Post #1 - January 4th, 2006, 3:54 pm
    We finally have begun!
    The permit was issued just before Christmas, and JULIE took enough time to mark the dig as clear that the hole wasn't dug until after new year... meaning the village got to collect a second set of bonds from the contractors. I just know I'll eat that somewhere along the line.

    Here's my Flickr Kitchen photoset with a dozen photos of the "Before" kitchen and the hole in the ground.

    They used a cute little backhoe that fit between two fenceposts.

    Every project like this has its surprises. Some I'm already anticipating (such as the conduit from the basement to the second floor that runs through the new passthru), but we've had our first unanticipated: a 4-foot-square, four-foot-deep cone of concrete, under the air conditioner apron (!!), that appears to have been an antenna mast base from the steel sunk into it. The backhoe rang my house like a gong when it first hit it, and it was fun to watch him flip the thing out of the hole with the backhoe's "fingernails". I wish I'd gotten pix of that, but I've been looking for my camera for weeks, and only located it last night.

    I'm still trying to figure out whether I'll just use Flickr for the photostream, or tack it onto a blog so I can vamp some more.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #2 - January 4th, 2006, 5:04 pm
    Post #2 - January 4th, 2006, 5:04 pm Post #2 - January 4th, 2006, 5:04 pm
    HI,

    I was looking over your pictures. You indicated your cabinets are worn after 12 years.

    I have cabinets in a butler's pantry, which are as old as house or 101 years old though somehow look ok. My kitchen cabinets are 36 years old and really showing their wear.

    What do you consider to be a reasonable life expectancy for kitchen cabinets?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - January 4th, 2006, 7:34 pm
    Post #3 - January 4th, 2006, 7:34 pm Post #3 - January 4th, 2006, 7:34 pm
    It's not the wood that's worn, it's the white gloss paint that we put on the doors and fronts 12 1/2 years ago that's wearing down at the edges and corners and things. The dog did her part by the trash (see the photo by the sink).

    The hinges are pretty much all in good shape, a couple of the magnetic hold-em-closed thingies need replacement (no big deal) and a few of the knobs have stripped screws, so rotate even when the screws are tightened.

    I truly have no idea when those things are *expected* to be replaced.

    But mainly, they're cheap cabinets, with large front frames that stop big pots, pans and platters from going in. The drawers don't come all the way out, and waste huge amounts of side space. There's just not nearly enough of them.

    So lots, lots, lots of cabinets.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - January 5th, 2006, 7:37 am
    Post #4 - January 5th, 2006, 7:37 am Post #4 - January 5th, 2006, 7:37 am
    It's not the wood that's worn, it's the white gloss paint that we put on the doors and fronts 12 1/2 years ago that's wearing down at the edges and corners and things. The dog did her part by the trash (see the photo by the sink).


    I feel better now. I thought those were installed 12 years now and were ready for pasture. Kitchen remodeling is so expensive you'd hate for the lifetime to be soooo short.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - January 5th, 2006, 8:18 am
    Post #5 - January 5th, 2006, 8:18 am Post #5 - January 5th, 2006, 8:18 am
    C2,

    Some of the cabinets in our kitchen will be 60 years old next year and are just fine. I don't think you have much to worry about as long as you maintain them.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - January 5th, 2006, 8:43 am
    Post #6 - January 5th, 2006, 8:43 am Post #6 - January 5th, 2006, 8:43 am
    The difference between cabinets made 60+ years ago and those made today is that the old ones will be made out of solid pieces of wood and the new ones will more likely be made out of some sort of plywood type material with a veneer. That cannot be expected to last without some refacing or something after 20 or 30 years, but then, it's assumed that somebody will want to redo the whole kitchen within that time frame anyway. Hence they are, on a 20-30 year timeframe, disposable cabinets, something which the cabinets in a house built any time before World War II would never have dreamed of being.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #7 - January 6th, 2006, 4:26 pm
    Post #7 - January 6th, 2006, 4:26 pm Post #7 - January 6th, 2006, 4:26 pm
    Day 4 (previous post was actually day 2).

    Some of the framing is up for the footings. The guy working on it has disappeared, but it certainly doesn't look done to me. Mt Prospect needs 3 inspections for the concrete work: (1) after the framing for the footings, (2) after pouring the footings and framing the pour for the walls, (3) after completion. The foundation was supposed to be done this week, but the concrete subcontractors...
    The General Contractor wrote:...they're behind because of the rain this week, so they were out pouring a garage in Palatine. It's better this way because the hole won't be full of mud.

    Like I care about somebody else's garage. If they'd framed it when they dug the hole (they were gone by 11AM that day), it wouldn't have been the least bit muddy.

    Five new pictures, if you like timbers staked in lines. It was visually more interesting when the laser level was in the hole.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - January 9th, 2006, 10:28 am
    Post #8 - January 9th, 2006, 10:28 am Post #8 - January 9th, 2006, 10:28 am
    Perhaps they're juggling multiple jobs at once, but it only seems like the concrete contractor can work on my house for a couple hours a day.

    The forms for the footings appear to be done now (they worked Saturday morning). Now we wait for an inspection. 4 new photos, still pretty darn dull. We've got appointments to order to cabinets (Thomasville through Home Depot) and appliances (Abt, of course) tomorrow and tonight. Still have to pick out faucets and tile, and a couple more light fixtures for the mud room/back foyer (oxymoron?) and pantry.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #9 - January 9th, 2006, 12:11 pm
    Post #9 - January 9th, 2006, 12:11 pm Post #9 - January 9th, 2006, 12:11 pm
    We've got appointments to order to cabinets (Thomasville through Home Depot) and appliances (Abt, of course) tomorrow and tonight. Still have to pick out faucets and tile, and a couple more light fixtures for the mud room/back foyer (oxymoron?) and pantry.


    How long is this project supposed to take? I have to admit to being quite startled the cabinets haven't been ordered yet.

    I have a friend who did a kitchen overhaul in one week. She made sure absolutely everything was present at her home before she let them begin work.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - January 9th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    Post #10 - January 9th, 2006, 12:44 pm Post #10 - January 9th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    yup ... it's gonna take at least 4-6 weeks to get the top-O'-the-line Thomasville cabinets from Home Despot. And the appliances might not be in stock, either.

    Granted, my recent remodel wasn't nearly as big as this but I still had everything lined up before I even called a contractor.
  • Post #11 - January 9th, 2006, 1:16 pm
    Post #11 - January 9th, 2006, 1:16 pm Post #11 - January 9th, 2006, 1:16 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:How long is this project supposed to take? I have to admit to being quite startled the cabinets haven't been ordered yet.

    Home Depot told me 4 weeks, Abt told me most of it would be less than that. I was told by my general contractor to expect to have them ready "right after Valentine's." I didn't want to order anything earlier, because we only got the building permit just before new year's.

    On the other hand, I'm suspicious of the contractor's schedule. One rainy or snowy week could slow things down significantly, until the new room is roofed. All I've got is a hole in the ground with some timbers staked up (and four rebars drilled into my existing foundations as of this morning).

    I worry things are going to go off-schedule around the time the new room is roofed, because then they'll break through the wall to the old kitchen, and discover some nightmare in the walls that will put me without water and power for a week.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #12 - January 10th, 2006, 2:31 pm
    Post #12 - January 10th, 2006, 2:31 pm Post #12 - January 10th, 2006, 2:31 pm
    Progress: Appliances are ordered - no problem on delivery.
    (Cabinets will be ordered tonight, barring stupid emergencies)
    Inspector OK'd the forms for the footings, so we can pour those. Good that it's warm out.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #13 - January 12th, 2006, 12:16 pm
    Post #13 - January 12th, 2006, 12:16 pm Post #13 - January 12th, 2006, 12:16 pm
    Thursday, 1/12:
    Concrete guys came out, added the sleeve for the link between drain tile and sump pump, and cut the notch in the existing foundation walls to improve waterproofing vs a simple face-to-face bond.

    Just waiting on the cement truck, due at 1PM.
    It's sunny and 50 degrees out, a great day to pour cement!

    5 new photos, including the inspector's car, and Bill from Rock and Roll Concrete.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #14 - January 12th, 2006, 4:07 pm
    Post #14 - January 12th, 2006, 4:07 pm Post #14 - January 12th, 2006, 4:07 pm
    Still Thursday, January 12 -- busy day.
    I now have concrete in the footings!
    A bunch more photos, some cleverly taken from a high window on the 2nd floor -- I'll be pulling that screen out a lot in the coming weeks.

    The cement truck made a bit of a mess of my yard, though -- they didn't put plywood down in the right spots, I've got some 3-4" deep treadmarks.

    The concrete guys are still supposed to come out again to finish something up, but I can't tell what.

    Now, another inspection.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #15 - January 17th, 2006, 2:22 pm
    Post #15 - January 17th, 2006, 2:22 pm Post #15 - January 17th, 2006, 2:22 pm
    Joel,

    I got the Thomasville catalog from Home Depot the other night. Do you care to advise what cabinet or drawer style you went with? Or shall we wait for the great unveiling?

    Regards.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #16 - January 17th, 2006, 3:56 pm
    Post #16 - January 17th, 2006, 3:56 pm Post #16 - January 17th, 2006, 3:56 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Do you care to advise what cabinet or drawer style you went with?

    Sure.

    It's a "Cider" finish on Maple, door style "Cottage." Pretty basic looking style with a reddish hue.

    Full-extension drawers, a few of their "Pantry" elements, two big cabinets with drawers in the toe-kick.

    A bit of movement on accumulation of parts and pieces: I've received the in-wall stereo (SpeakerCraft Sound Source), and the Radio Shack pieces for the ethernet+RCA jacks to hook up a streaming media device to it, two Grohe faucets were ordered off eBay at about 1/3 list (discontinued color - white on chrome - of the LadyLux Cafe pullout faucet), and picked up the Kohler Executive Chef 2-bowl sink at The Great Indoors for about $100 less than I'd seen it elsewhere.

    Still fussing over countertops and drawer pulls, and we haven't ordered the tile yet. We were planning on about 1/3 of the countertop (island plus baking area) engineered stone (Zodiac "Borealis Blue") and the rest Corian "Stone Washed", to keep costs down, but apparently Corian is 1.5" thick, and all the engineered stone (quartz chips in resin) runs 2cm or 3cm -- making it rather difficult to merge the two on the same cabinet run.

    Meanwhile, I haven't seen the concrete crew since last Thursday, and I'm getting rather peeved.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #17 - January 17th, 2006, 5:17 pm
    Post #17 - January 17th, 2006, 5:17 pm Post #17 - January 17th, 2006, 5:17 pm
    JoelF wrote:It's a "Cider" finish on Maple, door style "Cottage." Pretty basic looking style with a reddish hue.


    The drawers look sort of arts-and-crafts like and the finish a dark honey, at least in the catalog.

    The countertops I would like are soapstone. They are the material often used in school science labs with a black finish. I like that they require little to no maintenance and can tolerate heat.

    As much as I would love to overhaul my kitchen, I can see myself going cuckoo chasing all the details.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - January 18th, 2006, 9:05 am
    Post #18 - January 18th, 2006, 9:05 am Post #18 - January 18th, 2006, 9:05 am
    Definitely going cuckoo. Especially when it's been nearly a week without any progress.

    Soapstone is very scratchable -- I don't recall ever seeing a high school lab without some graffiti etched into it. I've seen some beautiful limestone and onyx countertop materials too (including a fossil-laden one at a showroom in Niles across from Jerry's Produce that just made my jaw drop), but again, they'd be very soft compared to granite or engineered stone.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #19 - January 18th, 2006, 3:36 pm
    Post #19 - January 18th, 2006, 3:36 pm Post #19 - January 18th, 2006, 3:36 pm
    JoelF wrote:Soapstone is very scratchable -- I don't recall ever seeing a high school lab without some graffiti etched into it. I've seen some beautiful limestone and onyx countertop materials too (including a fossil-laden one at a showroom in Niles across from Jerry's Produce that just made my jaw drop), but again, they'd be very soft compared to granite or engineered stone.

    Not that there's any hope of remodeling my kitchen any time soon, but I'd be concerned about very hard surfaces and what happens if you drop a plate on it.
  • Post #20 - January 18th, 2006, 3:53 pm
    Post #20 - January 18th, 2006, 3:53 pm Post #20 - January 18th, 2006, 3:53 pm
    LAZ wrote:Not that there's any hope of remodeling my kitchen any time soon, but I'd be concerned about very hard surfaces and what happens if you drop a plate on it.

    So your kitchen is carpeted?

    Seriously: wood, laminate, solid surface, granite, tile... none of them are bouncy enough to save your fine china.

    Hmm... sounds like we need the Mythbusters in on this one.

    I worked as a lab assistant for the high school science dept many years ago, and learned to bounce things off my foot to stop them from shattering. Soapy glassware is very slippery, and I dropped enough to figure the right way to stop from breaking them. I've saved a couple of wine glasses the same way over the years.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #21 - January 19th, 2006, 1:42 pm
    Post #21 - January 19th, 2006, 1:42 pm Post #21 - January 19th, 2006, 1:42 pm
    I've dropped/knocked over several bottles/glasses/bowls/plates onto my new-ish granite countertop and remarkably, the only think that has broken is a tiny little 1 tbsp finger-bowl from Ikea.

    My old crappy laminate was less forgving.

    YMMV.
  • Post #22 - January 19th, 2006, 4:48 pm
    Post #22 - January 19th, 2006, 4:48 pm Post #22 - January 19th, 2006, 4:48 pm
    Between MLK day, a family emergency, and, what I'm starting to think is SOP for contractors, the first work done in a week happened today. The foundation wall forms are almost done (they forgot the metal-cutting saw). Rebar and corners go in tomorrow afternoon, hopefully.

    The UPS guy also dropped off my discount Grohe faucets (I start singing "Wells Fargo Wagon" from Oklahoma when this happens). Surprisingly, they were shipped direct from Grohe -- at about 1/3 list price. Must be discontinuing the white-on-chrome finish, but it looks plenty nice to me.

    3 new pix on the Flickr page.

    {edit} arrggghhh - one of the faucets is scratched up pretty badly. I'll have to see if the original eBay-er will do an exchange, or if I have to go back to Grohe. Worst case scenario: a road trip to Bloomingdale, IL.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #23 - January 23rd, 2006, 3:51 pm
    Post #23 - January 23rd, 2006, 3:51 pm Post #23 - January 23rd, 2006, 3:51 pm
    January 23 - foundation wall forms nearly completed, they had to take a couple parts out to put in the waterproof seal against the existing walls. I'm expecting 2nd-phase village inspection tomorrow, pouring later tomorrow or the next day, and the backfill and removal of the mound of dirt all to happen this week, according to the GC.

    Also: by Friday I should have a big ol' hole cut in my existing basement wall for pass through to the new crawlspace. We're making it big enough so we don't need a hatch at the other end.

    Four new pix. Not much changed, some bracing on the outside, waterproofing materials and rebar at the joints with the house, and snow.

    Lastly, the dealer that sold me the faucets is having a replacement part shipped out. Good folks. If you see stuff offered by "productlady" on eBay, they'll stand behind it.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #24 - January 24th, 2006, 11:28 am
    Post #24 - January 24th, 2006, 11:28 am Post #24 - January 24th, 2006, 11:28 am
    January 24. The foundation wall forms were approved, and the concrete poured this morning! A few new snaps, hard to tell anything different except there's concrete in the forms.

    Just the levelling off and bolts to do, and covering it all up yet today.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #25 - January 27th, 2006, 8:54 am
    Post #25 - January 27th, 2006, 8:54 am Post #25 - January 27th, 2006, 8:54 am
    January 25 - Forms came off the foundation walls. Two new pictures of naked concrete up on the Flickr page.

    January 26 - Nuthin

    January 27 - Sump hole being dug, drain tile, and a big hole is scheduled to be cut in my existing basement wall for the pass-through. Two more pix of the

    Later -- Five new pictures involving the new 5x3-foot hole in my basement wall. When the concrete guys finish off the drain tile and sump hole, I'll add a couple more of the now-black-coated foundations. Probably about time for an animated GIF of a couple of the views I keep making.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #26 - February 2nd, 2006, 2:20 pm
    Post #26 - February 2nd, 2006, 2:20 pm Post #26 - February 2nd, 2006, 2:20 pm
    So, over the past two days, the drain tile was finished being installed, and gravel deposited over it, and in the crawl space, to be covered shortly with a 'slush coat' of concrete.

    Unfortunately, the village inspector failed the drain tile, saying that it must be covered by a fabric 'sock' to prevent dirt from entering it. More delays.

    10 new pix on Flickr.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #27 - February 13th, 2006, 1:57 pm
    Post #27 - February 13th, 2006, 1:57 pm Post #27 - February 13th, 2006, 1:57 pm
    It's been more than a week since my last update, and a lot has happened:
    • Ordered countertops through Great Outdoors - Zodiaq engineered stone was onsale at 20% off, plus another 10% for a one-day friends-and-family sale. At that price, making part of the countertop Corian would only save us about $400, so we went with it all Boralis Blue, which is similar to granite Blue Pearl, but significantly more blue. The CaesarStone which is a little cheaper had a similar color, but really too fake of a blue.
    • The drain tile was replaced with a sleeved version, and approved by the village (yay!)
    • The 'slop floor' (just a thin layer of concrete) was poured
    • The space around the foundation was backfilled today, and in that course they snapped off my gate post (sigh)

    So now, they can start the real work of building me a new kitchen!
    Three new pix up on flickr showing backfilled, concrete-floored crawl space.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #28 - February 13th, 2006, 3:39 pm
    Post #28 - February 13th, 2006, 3:39 pm Post #28 - February 13th, 2006, 3:39 pm
    Joel,

    How do you compare the color in the link to the color in real life?

    What colors and materials are you considering for the floor?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #29 - February 13th, 2006, 4:18 pm
    Post #29 - February 13th, 2006, 4:18 pm Post #29 - February 13th, 2006, 4:18 pm
    The online color is a little greyer and coarser-grained than the samples I have of Borealis Blue.

    For flooring, we have an off-white (neutral light grey) 20" ceramic tile from Century we've picked out. We're putting about 8-10 contrasting blue tiles in strategic spots, possibly at a 45-degree angle. There is a 6"-high border piece that includes the base color, the blue, and a brown in a nice geometric pattern, that will be used for our countertop backsplash. It ties the counter, cabinet and floor colors together nicely. We used a similar effect in our bathroom, and were very pleased with the results.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #30 - February 13th, 2006, 5:49 pm
    Post #30 - February 13th, 2006, 5:49 pm Post #30 - February 13th, 2006, 5:49 pm
    HI,

    I was inquiring because your cabinets are dark as well as the counter materials. I was sure you were going for something lighter for the floor, which you have done.

    My kitchen has dark cabinets, light counter and until just recently dark flooring. We pulled 5 layers of flooring, yes the charms of this old house, to find a maple floor underneath. We are living with it as-is at the moment before having it refinished. This lighter floor is already giving a lighter feel to the kitchen, where you need all lights on no matter the time of day.

    Looking forward to the next updates.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more