Monthly Archives: May 2014

Pack It Up, Move It In, Let Me Begin…

It’s been a busy week here, with lots of shuffling cabinets in and out. We finally got the old kitchen sold and moved out, and the counter top came apart without too much of a hassle. I’m happy with what we got for it in the end. Getting the right seller who could move it out was a big help. Three of us had it all disassembled and loaded in a U-Haul in 3 hours or so.

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The old kitchen had been moved out only a few days when I got the call that our new cabinets were in. I set up a day to have them delivered and got them loaded in the house. They took up way more room than I had expected. We had boxes stacked in the dining room, hallway, living room and kitchen. My first task was getting them unpacked and organize the chaos that had taken over the first floor. I temporarily fit the base cabinets in place to see how they would fit. This gave me a good idea of where all the joints would line up.

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Old houses can be tricky. There usually isn’t a level wall in the house but I got lucky hanging the wall cabinets. The first cabinet to go up was in a straight corner. Not much shimming to be done.

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The rest of the cabinets went in without too much trouble. I would definitely recommend installing a ledger below the cabinets to get everything level. It not only helps to keep everything  in line, but it also helps with not having to hold it up before screwing them in. It adds a bit to the wall prep, having to mud and sand before paint, but it’s worth the extra effort.

The discrepancy between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling form side of the room to the other is really noticeable, so we’ll have to figure something out there. Otherwise, they look good! Next weekend we’ll tackle the base cabinets. This week the contractor will be here to remove the window and replace it with a shorter one. More pictures of that progress when it happens.

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And just a reminder of where we started off when we bought the house, and a reminder why that door to the left was holding us back from a much bigger kitchen.

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Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Kitchen

I have always dreamed of doing something BIG with our kitchen space. It’s not the smallest of rooms, but I knew we could do something better with the layout. One of several advantages of building the addition, was moving the door in the kitchen that lead to the porch. It wasn’t a big deal having an entryway there, it worked, but it limited what we could do with the kitchen. Now that the door has been moved and drywalled in, we can think about how our existing kitchen space can be better utilized.

When we bought the house the existing counter space was tiny. Here is all we had when we toured the house in our first visit:

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After we moved the fridge over and added a dishwasher with the new granite countertop several years ago, our counter space more than doubled.

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We didn’t add any significant storage space with that latest addition, but we also didn’t have room for any more cabinets. Once we removed the door to the porch, our options opened up. We met with a local building supply store to talk about our options. Hammond Lumber Company, a family owned business in Maine, has been my go-to for lots of home projects. They helped design and guide me through the process of building the back deck, and countless other projects. Their Kitchen and Bath Design Center has been great in giving us ideas and visuals for what was possible. To give you an idea of the current layout and what we are going to get, take a look at the following image. The left is what we currently have (in less detail) and the right is the future design.

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With the new layout, we’ll make room for a much larger fridge by moving it out from between the two windows to where the stove is currently located. The new stove will move to the center of the longer stretch of countertops. This will make the new stainless steel stove more of a center piece when walking in the house looking down the hallway, and also make a natural seem for the new granite counter top. We’ll have to replace the window in the upper left hand corner of the new sketch with a shorter one to make room for the base cabinet and counter top.

The new design will give us over double the counter and storage space, and give us room for a bigger fridge. We found a great deal at a local big box store on a stainless steel appliance set by Frigidaire, so the entire look of the kitchen will be updated. The new cabinets are larger and higher quality, with slow close hinges and factory finish paint. The crown moulding will help finish it all off.

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The cabinets will be white to help keep the room bright. There is little natural light in this room, and when we removed the door to the porch it got even darker. With the cabinet color picked, we made a trip to our local granite dealer to shop for options. We decided on this lighter colored slab, and Miles seemed to like it too..

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With the cabinets shipping in a few weeks, the most pressing tasks are getting the window replaced for a smaller one, and selling and removing the old kitchen. Hopefully this process happens without any problems. We’ll also need to prep the walls and move some electrical lines and plumbing. We’ll keep you updated as the work progresses!

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Fifteen Minutes of Fame

While wasting time on Facebook recently, I saw a request from a local publisher looking for home renovation stories. I sent them a few pictures of projects that I had done in the past, one being the hidden door, and the recent addition that is still a work in progress. They replied with interest, so we scheduled a quick photo shoot and interview for an article that would eventually appear in the April issue of the Bangor Metro. Check out page 38.

I think the article turned out great!

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A big THANK YOU to the Bangor Metro for stopping by the house!

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