Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kitchen Renovation

I keep getting questions about when I'm going to post something on my blog about my kitchen renovation. I think I'll do it now. I posted these same pictures on Facebook and a friend said 'Well, what about the rest of us that don't do FB?' What do you mean, no Facebook?! Hello?!! OKAY - this one's for you!!

In 2009, I retired from Norman Regional Hospital after 23 years of employment there, and this year in July I decided to cash out one of the 'retirement' funds. Since I had retired, I was no longer eligible to participate in that one and I was going to be charged a hefty 20% fee to be rolled over into another type of fund. I'd been thinking about doing this for about 4 years because the fund manager was mismanaging my money...or so I felt...and I couldn't change companies because it was owned by my employer NRH. I was frustrated at the money loss and thought if I could take that money out, I could do something good with it, such as get a new kitchen put in. At least I could feel the love of where my money was going!!!

When we first moved into this house in 1987, the kitchen was one of the things on our list that we wanted to redo when time and money became available. It was old, dark, and the cabinets were something that belonged in a cheap trailer house - not in our house. The person that lived here before us had some strange ideas about how to do home repairs and slapped white paint over stained wood, layered wallpaper, layered flooring etc. For some reason they went around taking all the support boards from beneath the shelving at the backs of the shelves, which caused the particle board shelving to sag and crumble. It was a mess.

I went to Home Depot in late August and ordered the cabinets and counter tops I wanted. The cabinets arrived in late September and the fun began. We had started demolishing the kitchen around the middle of the month and it has been a roller coaster of ups and downs ever since. Ran out of money...if I knew then what I know now, I would have allotted a certain amount to 'unforeseen complications' rather than spending what I had. We ran into a lot of termite damage, electric rewiring (the house is wired with aluminum except for the kitchen now), and plumbing problems. Takes lots of money to change things out and naively I thought it just meant changing out cabinets!
Delivery of the cabinets:

Heather making sure it is getting done right!

Somewhere I have pictures of Michael having fun with his sledge hammer tearing out the old cabinets, but for some reason they aren't in this file and I could only find this one! I'll post later when I find them!
Here is a picture of the east wall in the kitchen before anything was done:There was very little room on this side of the kitchen to do much of anything. There was about 12-16 inches of counter space on either side of the stove top, so I ended up using the stove as a holding area for various and sundry things. It looks so junked up because I was moving stuff out getting ready to box it up but most days it didn't look much different. I don't know what was going on with all the refrigerator magnets either! I think we started putting them on there when the kids where smaller and just kept adding to them. See the bottom drawer under the cook top? The drawer front literally fell off the drawer the week we moved in and Chuck had to screw it back on because it was just held in place with staples.
Bare walls! Wish I had painted or plastered at this point but all the trades people said they wanted to do it last! If I ever do this renovation thing again, it will be done first thing!
Almost done:
West wall before:

Empty bare walls:
Almost finished:
This is the north wall. I love all the extra work space now. I'm going to rip out the door behind the refrigerator and move it over a couple inches to make things line up. I don't know why a door is there anyway!

South wall! OH MY GOD!!! Look at the kitty...don't freak out! It is such a mess!

South wall with empty bare walls:

There is no 'almost done' photo because nothing else has been done on this end as it holds 'stuff' for the renovation.
My nephew Kevin and his coworker Tom came in to do the electrical work. It's nice to have licensed electricians and plumbers in the family!
This is a good picture of the of my new solar tube I had installed. I had one put in the kitchen and another one in the laundry room (which is getting redone at the same time)! It literally took a week to get used to so much light and to control the urge to turn off the lights all the time!
I had a class the day Kevin finished the electrical work, so he sent me this picture of the new can lights!

Kevin also helped me with more than just the electrical. The next few pictures are part of the reason that it has taken so long to get this far. We had pretty extensive termite damage on the southwest corner wall and the window wall, that had to be repaired before we could move on. It isn't inexpensive to get the termite damage repaired either! We knew 20 years ago we had termites and we had the house sprayed. Then the neighbors moved out and new neighbors moved in and found damage in their house and sprayed. Yep! They moved back to our house again. We've been told any damage is from those years, because there isn't any 'new' damage. Evidently, there's a way to know when something is old or new damage. Hope it's all old anyway! Never know unless you remove the wall board!
This is a picture of Kevin and my brother-in-law Stan working on the termite wall.

Another thing that I found interesting in the renovation was the flooring! When the cabinets

Kevin removed the plaster from the ceiling because he didn't like the idea the contractor was trying to sell me on. The ceiling was scraped and new pieces of wall board patched in to remove all the old damaged spots hidden behind the old dropped ceiling in the kitchen area.
Here are a couple pictures of things I found interesting in the demolishing of the kitchen. This picture shows the flooring. Evidently no one thought about removing anything from the concrete before putting on another layer. There is linoleum, old gold kitchen carpet, and then the kitchen carpet that was put in just before we moved in. Hmmmm....I wondered why it never stayed clean when I got it steam cleaned!

This second picture is of the floor and wall on the west wall. See the hole? We were standing there wondering what it was because it didn't attach to anything and that piece of sheet metal (to the left) was just tented over it. About the time we were about to give up the guessing contest, the A/C came on. Yep - it was a vent. Unfortunately, the vent front was another cabinet down the line and evidently they just pointed the tent thing in that direction - it was supposed to supply the air through a hole in the cabinet base. Another issue is the crack in the floor in the upper left. It goes from about 1 inch wide to about 3 inches wide by the door into the kitchen. I have a sunken living room, so this crack is the transition from the living room to the kitchen. The step down is 6 inches, but I was surprised to see this crack concealed behind the cabinets.

Well that's all that I have for now. I took more pictures, but they're just more of the same. I hope that my non-Facebook friends are happy now that they haven't been discriminated against and can see the work being done! Hey peeps! I tried to friend you gotta click confirm. Until next time....


  1. I cannot even IMAGINE the upheaval you went through with your reno! But you must be positively TICKLED PINK with your new BEAUTIFUL!!

  2. This is Wonderful. Well planned and well done!!
    We too renovated a house from the 70's and in the master alone we found 5 different floorings...there is still a piece undet the vanity that we couldn't get out LOL


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