One more post about the new kitchen

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As I had mentioned, because my wife and I remodeled our kitchen and did most of the work ourselves and for the most part re-purposed existing appliances cabinets, chairs and tables etc...it was quite easy on the budget.
With absolutely beautiful results.
Was talking to a friend this evening who asked about the project and he told me that his kitchen remodel (all done by contractors) cost $60K.
My whole house cost $30K originally (1979) so putting $60k into the kitchen did not seem like something I'd do.
My wife and I then tried to recall what his kitchen looked like and all we could remember was that it was too generic-looking to even leave much of an impression.
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In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 9 Sep 2015 21:26:11 -0500, philo

Congratulations.
I didn't reply to your previous post, because I was jealous. I'm still trying to get Windows to work right.

Wow.

It's hard to relate to prices going up. There was something on the news about a Rosenwald school originally built for 5000 that cost over a million to remodel. I think it was originally built around 1930 and prices have gone up since then.

It sounds like you have a hard-working wife with a head on her shoulders.
--

Stumpy Strumpet
the bimbus
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On 09/09/2015 10:12 PM, micky wrote:

I just found out there is nothing wrong with doing some hard work...and also knowing enough to "farm out" the wallpaper installation.
As to "Windows" I moved over to Linux many years ago.

Yes , my house was $30k in 1979 but when it was new in 1898 I think it was $1500 or so.

Yep...she is not afraid of work.
She married me though, so I'm not sure how bright she is :)
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On 9/9/2015 7:26 PM, philo wrote:

I think when you actively participate in a remodel (assuming you THINK about it), you tend to address issues that a "professional" might overlook or just address in a "checklist" sort of fashion.
Here, we added lots of "extra" electric circuits in the kitchen as it's the biggest power hog in a typical home. Most of our neighbors complain that they can't run a (big) microwave and a convection/toaster oven at the same time (without tripping a breaker). Or, have the refrigerator on a *shared* circuit so if something else trips the breaker, their fridge is off as well (OK if you notice it soon enough).
We also made a point of arranging the two countertop GFCI circuits to alternate duplex receptacles (instead of "left half of counter" and "right half of counter"). So, we can plug in two electric frying pans without fear of tripping a circuit (we *know* how to get them on different circuits).
We ran a special cold water supply line to the sink so that we could provide "unsoftened" water there (in anticipation of lower sodium requirements as we age).
We ran a water line through the wall to the dishwasher with its own shutoff so we don't have "hoses" running through the sink base cabinet to the dishwasher. Likewise, ran the drain line for the dishwasher *in* the wall. And, of course, it's own electric so *that* didn't have to snake through from under the sink.
We moved half of the counters back another foot to give us a bit more counter area, another cabinet and larger work area.
We insulated the *interior* walls to help cut down on noise propagating out from the kitchen.
We installed 4 speakers at ceiling level so we can listen to music without having to lose any counter space to a "radio", etc.
We put a pair of phone/TV/network drops on the counters in case we later opt to put a phone, small TV or even a laptop there.
I *do* wish we had installed a large (4'x4') skylight in the food prep area, though. SWMBO vetoed that idea. I would always welcome extra light!
Of course, there's always the risk that you'll slap yourself up-side-da-head just after you finish... and realize some other thing you *should* have done while you were knee deep in the mess... :-/ Hopefully, yours won't be anything regretful! :>
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On 09/09/2015 10:43 PM, Don Y wrote:
<snip>

Yep...a lot of the planning was done "on the fly".
For example, we moved the kitchen "island" against a wall but due to a gas pipe for the oven I made a guard around it which prevented us from pushing it flush. My wife then asked me to make a "pouch" behind it to fill the 4" of dead space and all of the kitchen utensils and cooking ingredients exactly fit in it and completely got rid of the clutter. The kitchen is amazingly efficient now and all because of a gas pipe being in the way that I had not thought of.

Yep. We went from three kitchen circuits to seven and each "power hog" such as toaster, microwave, refrigerator etc are on their own separate circuits. No problem if I want to make coffee and toast at the same time.
BTW: After I got all the wiring in place, my wife decided it would be better to put the microwave in the pantry. She was also surprised that I said "yes" immediately. It gave me the opportunity to add one more outlet to the house!

We have a minimal number of "modern" appliances and no dish washer and no garbage disposer. The deal is: My wife does the cooking and I do the dishes. We put the kitchen waste not likely to attract squirrels into the compost pile.

The only disturbing noise in our kitchen is me and my bad eating habits...I guess to stop that my wife could shove some insulation down my gullet!

We did put in new lighting. After some debate we went with Halogen and it works well.

After all was done, we were sitting in the kitchen yesterday and talking about what we might have forgotten. All we could come up with was that it would have been nice perhaps to have the vinyl (or whatever it's made out of) flooring removed and had a wooden floor put it.
Not only would that delayed the completion date of the project...it probably would have been out of my budget ...plus since it would not have matched the wooden floor in the dining room...to have had both floors replaced would have made it just too large of a project.

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On 9/10/2015 1:48 AM, philo wrote:

We did most of ours "up front". We wanted to raise the ceiling, move the peninsula, remove the cabinets *over* the peninsula, add a pony wall behind the stove, etc. So, we had to plan carefully to ensure we ended up with enough cabinet space, the right sorts of cabinets, electric outlets in the right locations, etc.

We only had one "gotcha" -- a vent stack that had to be moved several inches. No *easy* way of knowing that it would be in the way ahead of time. But, thankfully, it was an easy fix.

There were no GFCI circuits in the kitchen when we started. A *single* GFCI handled the bathrooms, garage *and* outdoor outlets. We took the opportunity to add/replace those circuits with 5 GFCI-protected.

We opted from the start to move the microwave into the small pantry. It freed up a lot of counter space after deciding to remove the cabinets over the peninsula (thus no place for an "undercounter" microwave). This also let that "load" move off the countertop circuits onto one of the less used circuits in the kitchen.

I don't think we've used the dishwasher, yet! :> With just the two of us, there are seldom enough dishes to warrant running the dishwasher. OTOH, the disposal sees frequent use.

The house floorplan has the "informal" areas (kitchen, family room) separated from the "formal" areas (dining room, living room) by the kitchen wall. The extra insulation helps keep food prep noises from distracting folks in the living or dining areas. It also is a good buffer to isolate the family room and living room activities (each has a TV and is a suitable gathering place for people).

We didn't like the halogen lights. Too "stark" (color). We arranged recessed lights above the counters with a separate circuit above the sink area (so you can have "reduced lighting" in the early morning hours, there -- instead of facing a room full of bright lights). We added under the counter lighting controlled from wall switches (instead of having to reach up under the counters and fumble around looking for a switch).
The "hallway" side of the kitchen could use a bit more light. OTOH, you don't *do* anything over there other than walk *through* the kitchen (and there's plenty of light for that.
We also arranged for the kitchen lights to be controlled in any of three locations: at the north end, south end and from the sink.

I think you'd probably then want to *cover* it with something. Kitchens, IME, want to be easy to "mop clean". Too easy for things to get spilled, there.

Belatedly, we realized that we wanted better shelving in the large pantry (size of a small walk-in closet). I wanted the shelves to be adjustable instead of "fixed". But, they are 3' wide and 3' deep so supporting them (plus whatever is piled *on* them) is a bit of a challenge.
Additionally, I wanted to be able to *tie* the shelves into the walls (instead of just *setting* a shelf on a support) so that I could use them to attach sliding drawers/trays, lazy susans, etc.
So, I've been fabricating supports out of 1/2 x 3/4 cold rolled steel bars in which I've drilled holes every inch along the length. A bracket on the underside of each shelf will spring-load pegs into these brackets (two on each side) so the shelf won't be able to move up, down or in/out until they are retracted.
The 1/2" thickness was chosen to coincide with the thickness of the drywall on each side of the pantry -- so the supports are *in* the wall instead of *on* the wall.
Had this sort of thing been left to a (sub)contractor, we'd have ended up with COTS shelf supports and much *smaller* shelves!
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On 09/10/2015 06:45 AM, Don Y wrote:

Well, the ceiling was raised 25 years ago. The previous owner put in a drop-ceiling which did exactly that...it dropped. It happened about an hour after my daughter told me it was going to fall.
I took a wreaking bar and entirely gutted the kitchen and put in 5/8" drywall, walls and ceiling. The entire first floor is 9' ceilings. I have a friend who is over seven feet tall who says there are few houses as comfortable as ours.

<snipped but read>

WE have so little counter space, the microwave in the pantry...kind of a last minute decision...was one of the better moves.

<snipped but read>

The main halogen light is on a dimmer so we can adjust it "down" if necessary.

Now that the construction is done my wife and I both gave the floor several good cleanings. Though it's 25 years old it's really in decent shape...just two very small cracks that are almost invisible. A while back we paid a friend who needed money to clean it and they basically put sealer over the dirt and pretty much gummed things up...and it took several good scrubbings to undo that mess. Now that it's clean it looks pretty nice...we have not even put the shiner on yet.

I made a few changes in the pantry...put in one smaller stainless steel shelf that was originally the drop leaf from the kitchen island. There was a nice looking put badly damaged oaken table in there missing legs that I had sitting on top of a cabinet. One day I found some perfect legs for it out near someone's trash so I took them home. I was with a friend at the time who is a scavenger and he said "You are even worse than I am!"
Weird thing is I knew I needed them...I pictured something in my house needing them,.,,but did not recall exactly what until I got home. My friend really laughed when I told him I needed the legs but could not remember exactly why.

Yep...it's usually good to make your own stuff...a contractor would use "off the shelf" product that would work but possibly not 100% ideal for the situation.
One other comment:
Since we ended up getting rid of a lot of junk we did not need from the kitchen....I surprised my wife and for the last few weeks have been getting my 30 year old crap out of the attic and basement. I got rid of so much clutter I was now able to find a few things that I wanted but could never find.
One of them was my little pin-ball machine from when I was 5 years old...It's a great antique that I will put in my office after I get all the dust cleaned out of it.
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On 9/10/2015 7:13 AM, philo wrote:

Ours was a soffit that hid some HVAC ductwork. But, the ductwork was off to one side -- yet the ceiling *throughout* the kitchen suffered this ~13inch reduction in height.
Raising the ceiling thus required moving the ductwork and demo'ing the carpentry that implemented the soffit. But, that left us with a ceiling with a slight pitch (house has "flat" roof so "ceiling" is really the underside of the *roof* joists). So, had to then build a soffit with a very slight taper to yield a ceiling that was parallel to the floor. Otherwise, there would be a tapered "gap" above the upper cabinets (HIGHLIGHTING the slope of the ceiling)
As the ceiling of the kitchen extends into the family room, this means doing the same in the family room, as well (which is easily three times the size of the kitchen area).

While we *could* have left it in place, it really represented a big chunk of lost counterspace. E.g., when I do my holiday baking, there is nowhere near enough counterspace to cool the 20 dozen cookies while finishing *baking* them!

The two kitchen lighting circuits are on dimmers. With just the lights over the sink on -- and on at lowest setting -- it's almost like a nightlight; you can just make out the outlines of all the counters, appliances, etc. in a pitch black house. We will eventually have to replace the light switches with "smarter" ones as the dimmer function is currently present in *one* location (recall each light can be controlled from any of three locations!). So, you often turn a light ON at one location and have to walk to another location to tweek the intensity. (We discipline ourselves to leave one circuit set at high and the other at low)
*I* enjoyed the brightness that the halogens provided. But, we didn't like the "color" of the light.

We have (ceramic) tile, here -- I guess it's a "southwestern thing". It's great for cleanup (damp mop) but unforgiving when it comes to things being dropped onto it (e.g., glass jars). While a wooden floor might have a *tiny* bit of "bounce", this just causes everything to shatter on impact.

A lot of folks don't have the imagination or skills to be able to formulate their own solutions to varied problems (e.g., my dishwasher replumbing).

Wit the flat "frontier style" roof, we have no attic. And, on a slab, no basement. Add to this the fact that the garage gets VERY hot for a large portion of the year (we average 65 days above 100F) means we can't even rely on *that* for certain types of storage!
This limits *what* you can squirrel away -- as well as *where* you can stash it! Hand tools, cables, etc. all fare well in the garage. But, some of my electronic stuff has to find a home *indoors* (under beds, in closets, etc.) as it won't tolerate the heat.

I have a full size pinball machine stored in the garage. Prior to moving here, I gave away two others along with a "Tempest" arcade piece (full-size upright). I'd like to set the pintable up on the back porch but fear the neighbors would quickly tire of the bells, etc. (it's an old electromechanical machine so you can't just "turn down the volume")
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On 09/10/2015 12:01 PM, Don Y wrote:

<snipped but all read>
I've added a photo of the "pouch" I made which really cleans up the kitchen
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/q0ng9p3273t4hec/AACqm4RymzY8p7IOnG-Zz72pa?dl=0
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On 9/10/2015 11:20 AM, philo wrote:

Sort of like an "appliance garage" -- but "subterranean"! :>
How do you keep "crud" from falling in there? Or, clean it out after it's fallen in?
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On 09/10/2015 01:30 PM, Don Y wrote:

It is kept so full that not much can fall in...but to clean it...all the jars that the utensils are in can be removed in two seconds.
We've only been using the new kitchen for a week now, so time will tell...but it should be a lot easier to clean than our old kitchen.
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On 9/10/2015 11:44 AM, philo wrote:

I'm more concerned with crumbs and bits of foodstuffs. It seems like you'd almost have to *vacuum* it out?

Eating out works well, too! :>
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On 09/10/2015 01:57 PM, Don Y wrote:

Forgot to mention that there are trays in those pockets that come out... and under the trays we have it lined with folded over paper towels...so it would be easy to clean,

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On 9/10/2015 2:23 PM, philo wrote:
[attrs elided]

We took that approach with the sink base cabinet: had some "custom" trays made that fit wall-to-wall to catch any spills, leaks, etc. before they would put the cabinet itself at risk of damage.
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On 09/10/2015 06:36 PM, Don Y wrote:

I have a pile of lumber in my basement and found that a 36" board for the back plate was just right...went down there and found a 35" board that was just right...Due to all the oddball pieces of scrap lumber, made the whole thing with just three saw cuts.
For this project I had pulled wood out of there all month long...and doggone it, the wood pile does not look like it got any smaller.,
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On 9/10/2015 2:20 PM, philo wrote:

I like that! At hand but not cluttered looking. You keep mustard there? ;o) I hate digging through cupboards or drawers.... I have everything in my pretty-small kitchen at hand, and nothing that has to be removed to get something else. Cookware is hanging on a rod above the kitchen sink...not so low it hits me in the head. I don't have to move more than about 3' to cook, 'cept to take a smoke break.
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On 09/11/2015 02:56 AM, Norminn wrote:

Looks like a mustard jar but it's actually a jar of honey. The guy who helped us with the kitchen left it with us to use when he has coffee.
The kitchen is the most efficient it's ever been.
My wife has invited a small crowd of people over for dinner and drinks tonight.
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Norminn wrote:

fixed in one location. It is kinda mobile we can move it if needed without any problem. Wine racks are converted to storage drawers from island. Did not live long enough in a house to do any kinda rework. We just designed/custom built new house in new neighborhood. After 5 times no more, at 75 I don't feel like having another house built. Downtown condo is sold. Will sell this house when time comes and moving out to cabin for good. Our cabin is near a town, so hospital is close by for an emergency. I have a location code for medvac helicopter landing at my cabin too in case.
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philo posted for all of us...

Not to be critical because I know that I would only do worse. What is the ceiling box at the crown molding?
--
Tekkie

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On 09/11/2015 03:50 PM, Tekkie® wrote:

Ha ha ha...
I made them myself can't you tell?
Quite a few people like them though.
We were going to buy them but my wife did not like the kinds they had in the store, so I just made my own by cutting a 4 x 4
I knew I'd never get the miter right as the old house is not completely square
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