Kitchen Renovation

So early this year we decided to redo our kitchen. The current kitchen was liveable but not really that great and we had wanted to fix it up for a while.

You can see that it’s pretty big but doesn’t have a big working area because of the eating area at the end by the fridge. We didn’t use it for eating and had put a few storage items there along with microwave, coffee maker, etc.

It seemed that the best plan would be to take out the wall to the dining room to make it more open and also to remove the partial walls/builtin pantry at the other entrance by the stove. So with that plan in mind, we started smashing up the place. We took down most of the cabinets and started smashing the drywall. The wall on the right between the kitchen and living room is both load bearing and mechanical (heating/plumbing/electrical) so we couldn’t take it out.

We left the stove and sink in place and kept the fridge hooked up as well. We had people coming to watch the Superbowl so we wanted at least some form of working area.

Most of the drywall is taken out. Electrical wires that were in the dividing wall are now hanging from the ceiling.

This is the kitchen we used to serve dinner and snacks to our friends on Superbowl Sunday. You can see the beginnings of Sharon’s makeshift kitchen in the dining room. We’re already starting to do a lot of crock pot cooking.

Superbowl over now so no more beating around the bush. The rest of the floor, walls and cabinets are gone although the stove is still usable. Most of the re-wiring is done at this point and so is the plumbing. I had to run a bigger 6 gauge cable for the new stove since it required 50 amp service and the old cable was only rated to 40. 6 gauge cable is seriously thick and stiff. Anyone who said you can’t push on a rope had never worked with this stuff before. I drilled holes through the basement joists and pushed it all the way through to the breaker box. In this picture at the top right you can also see our new ventilation duct. Our stove is huge and required 1200 CFM of ventilation so we had to put in 10″ ductwork. The old duct was just flexible tubing running out into the garage but there was no way to do that in our space so I ran it straight up into the attic through the bathroom closet. The added advantage is that the blower can go in the attic for decreased noise.

Here’s Sharon’s temporary kitchen. It’s a real credit to her organization and planning skills that we actually ate out less during the reno than we normally do. She would cook up a bunch of crock pot recipes on the weekend that we could eat all week and also plan simple meals that could be made on the barbecue. Dishes got washed in the laundry tub in the basement. Through out this renovation, we probably missed the dishwasher most of all.

Work progressed. Wiring and plumbing done so now I can close up the drywall and build a box for the range hood.

Then it’s time to get all the surfaces prepped. Might as well put up the new light fixture as well. We’re still using our old stove. It got moved around a lot but always kept finding its way back.

I don’t have any photos of the tiling going in but it was relatively straight forward. We used the Shluter-Ditra underlayment which seemed to work really well. At this point, things start to go really fast. The cabinet people installed the cabinets in 2 days and the stove and hood fan were delivered at the same time. In this picture we’ve started tiling the backsplash a bit and are still waiting on some cabinet doors. The countertop is in and my undercabinet lights are up. I put them on a motion sensor with a dimmer so when you walk into the kitchen, the lights come up and a few minutes after you leave the fade away. It’s great for midnight snacks.

Now we’re finally almost finished. We still haven’t grouted the tiles on the sink side of the kitchen and there are a couple pieces of floor trim that need to be done but we’ve been cooking and entertaining here for several months and still love it every day.

The sink is huge. You could practically wash a whole cow in it.

 

Now you see why we needed a ridiculous hood fan. To go with our ridiculous stove. The delivery guys couldn’t believe that they were taking a stove that size to a little townhouse. Ultimately we wanted two ovens though and there was no easy way to fit them into the space without taking up too much room. All things considered, it didn’t cost that much more than wall ovens and a gas range anyway.

Lots of big drawers for pots and pans.

Plenty of prep space on the counters.

The little handles beside the stove and sink are little pull-out vertical pantries. We use them for spices, oils, cleaning supplies, etc. Super practical.

Sharon and I would like to send some special thanks to Nathalie at MR Kitchens who helped us design the layout. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted but she was the one who knew all the details and products that could make the space fit together. She took really good care of us. The second person we’d like to acknowledge is Jeremy from Universal Appliances. He helped us pick out appliances out and got us the best deals. When things went horribly wrong with the first stove being dead on arrival, he took extra special care, dealt with GE and the repair people and generally made the whole experience as stress free as possible.