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Kitchen Reno

11th January 2007


The first thing I did was remove the old gas cook top (an uncommonly large 70’s model) and the built in oven. I replaced them both with a professional series gas range and a built in microwave cabinet. This would save me quite a bit of room. I lost the drawers under the oven, but gained several feet of counter top. At the same time I increased the size of the adjacent den/living room by 10-20 square feet. I moved the refrigerator surround over about 2 feet to gain this space in the living room. I had hoped to keep the original walnut stained plywood cabinets doors. I planned to sand and paint them. It probably would have worked out OK but I made so many changes to cabinet layout several of them no longer fit. The decorative routing would not allow me to resize them. I could have tried to duplicate them, but if I was going to all that trouble, I decided to go ahead and redo them all.


Once I decided to replace all of the cabinet doors I also decided to move the dishwasher. Moving it to the other side of the kitchen placed it closer to the sink as well as making it a bit more inconspicuous. I also gained a large drawer in that space so it was worth the effort. I then sanded and painted the face frames and shelves. I got stock sheet vinyl from Lowe’s for the counter top. I was able to get 2 sheets of 4×8 which was way too much material for less than what the right amount would have cost me to special order. I plan on using the excess to cover the under-sink shelves and will have some left over to cover work benches in the garage. The back splash design came directly from a home depot tile display. I chose it because I already had the white tiles left over from a previous bath remodel. All I needed were the colored tiles and the white trim pieces. The entire back splash cost less than $50.00.

The doors went together very quickly. I already had all of the tools needed from a previous kitchen remodel. All I had to buy was the wood. I had hoped to use the glass I saved from the sliding glass doors, to make the top row of doors, but the glass was tempered and could not be cut. I ended up using plywood for all of the doors. I went with poplar for the rails and styles and cabinet grade birch plywood for the panels Normally I would have used rock maple but I thought poplar would be easier to work with. It may have worked out that way, but I will most likely go back to maple the next time. The benefit of the small saving of time sanding the joints was lost on quality. maple machines much nicer than poplar. On the other hand poplar was less expensive so its a 6 of one type deal.


Once the kitchen was to this stage (first of May 2008) I started planning on selling the property. Technically I still had about 5-10% of the work left to do but the place looked completely habitable. In fact it was. Much of the remaining work involved decorating which I wouldn’t even attempt. Up to this point I kept everything rather simple. White walls and woodwork, safe colored tile etc. The kitchen back splash was the only decorating I had attempted and I kept it fairly simple. I would get help from others later who would supply some very interesting decorating ideas.


If I learned one thing since starting this project it that you need to be flexible in dealing with problems and situations as they arise. You need some basic knowledge and a plan but you need to adapt as you go along. I’ll explain more as I bring this adventure to an end in the remaining blog posts. Yes it will eventually end.

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