MOVING kitchen instead of reno in place plans

breezygirlNovember 24, 2010

I've been posting layout for our new kitchen on the Kitchen Forum since early in the year trying to get this kitchen right. With comments there, I've gotten to a decent plan. I posted this over there, but thought I would do so here also as I've heard about the experts hanging out on this forum.

Details: Forever house. I'm the main cook, but DH dabbles and helps plate the kids meals. Kids are now 13 months and 5 y.o. (Boy, when we started this baby was 3 months.) We will need homework and friend space for them in the future. We have lots of large gatherings both informal and formal where I cook everything. Cooking is one of my passions. I need two ovens and at least 36" of cooktop space. I also need area for guests to help me prep as "potluck" is a dirty word in my house.

The kitchen reno is part of a larger house project. We planned originally to keep the kitchen in the same location it is now, but with a 2' wide x 14.5' long bumpout to increase kitchen space. We've struggled to find a layout that gives us enough space for everything. With all of the interesting ideas from my last layout post, I made some changes. Here's my current layout idea with the whole living area we're calling Plan A.

Here's a close up of the sink wall with cabinet arrangement. Forgive the get the idea.(Scale is different here 2 sqs = 1 foot.)

Now we are revisiting the idea of moving the kitchen within the house based on many comments from my last layout post. Since the whole main part of the house you see on the drawing is gutted now, anything is possible. We're open to moving/replacing windows and the slider to the deck/backyard.

The family room now is positioned at the front of the house near the front door. You cannot see anyone approaching the front door until they are staring in that 8' window at you. We don't like this. My thinking has always been that the more private, family-oriented spaces should be more in the back of a house. We're on a cul-de-sac with the garage in front of the house so I can see why they built in the way they did. Coming in from the garage, you enter the family space.

The see-through gas fireplace you see can be adjusted if necessary, but we'd like to have it as a separation between the living spaces. I already knew I didn't want an open "great room" concept, especially after the recent thread about open vs. closed kitchens. ;) I experimented with different layouts trying to see if we could utilize the space we'd plan for the bumpout to make the kitchen more functional. (Cantilevered bumpout has cement supports already poured.) I'm not sure the bumpout would help the kitchen in the new location.

In this drawing called Plan B, the kitchen is now in the old dining room, and the family room and living rooms swap places. The kitchen and family room move to a more private part of the house with a better view. The biggest positive for moving the kitchen is I get a bigger, better kitchen. The biggest negative is that the family room becomes a smaller space. We had a banquette in our old kitchen and absolutely loved it. Guests fought to sit on it. I'm still trying to work one into the new kitchen.

So...what do you think?? Plan A or Plan B?

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Alexina Properties

Hmm, I like Plan B. However, I am not one who likes my kitchen open to the world.

We are in the process of doing something very similar. We have bought an older home and are completely remodeling it before we move in. However, we are doing that because we have been in non stop remodeling for almost 18 months on present home and we are sick of it. (remodeling)

So we are flipping the dining room and kitchen. The kitchen becomes the dining room and the dining room becomes the kitchen. The plumber was out yesterday and the plan is doable.

I like it because although you still see the kitchen, it is not the first thing you see, and I get a bigger kitchen. Thirty years in tiny kitchens and I would trade bigger kitchen for smaller dining or even living room.

Given you have both a family room and a living room, I don't think it is a mistake to give yourself a bigger kitchen, and to me, a better situation.

I am only a remodeling junky, not an expert, but I like your idea!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 8:39AM
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The expense of moving the DWV lines is usually the driver for 'remodel in place.'

If you can absorb the costs it can be a better solution (especially if you have already stripped out everything).

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 2:22PM
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I know you are concentrating on the kitchen. However when I read that you entertain often and have young children, I see a problem. There are no separate spaces for adults and children. We had a similar setup in a prior house. It's difficult for adults to converse when your and their children are playing within hearing. As the children get bigger, the noise level also grows. What your plan shows is one big area, with a visual separation -- the fireplace. Perhaps you already have a basement playroom kids can use when they can play without constant supervision.

I doubt you want your family entrance (from the garage) directly into a LR. This works for us: Between our garage and kitchen is a long, rectangular back hall with laundry at one end and closets and powder room at the other. The door from the garage and door into the kitchen are opposite one another on the long walls of the rectangle.

What percentage of the house does this represent? Half? More than half? Must you stay within the existing house's exterior walls? Why is this house your 'forever' house?

In some cases 'remodeling/rearranging' isn't worth the time, mess and money. If the resulting spaces won't work for you, they just won't. It sounds like you've been at this for some time. I'm trying to step back and see if there are other alternatives. (Moving? Adding space?)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 12:27PM
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Computerklutz--Thanks! A bigger and more-functioning kitchen is worth trading something.

Brickeyee--I have to admit that I had to google DWV lines! DH, who is not a plumber, thought this was doable. I'll consult a plumber (haven't settled on the ONE yet) to make sure. The house is 40 years old and this is the first remodel. Huge crawl space under the house. There isn't any plumbing in the back of the house though, except for exterior garden hose lines. The expense may be worth it, depending on what it is.

Chisue--This drawing represents just over half of the house. The other half is bedrooms. Here's a crude drawing of what it looks like.

We are adding a real master bath on the other end of the house. This also enlarges bed 3 a bit. I live near Seattle. Basements aren't common in my area.

This is our forever house. We are in our early 40's--not just starting out. We searched for over a year to find this house. We've heavily considered moving over the last couple of years during our remodel ponderings, but ruled in out. We just finished 11 years of hard work on the gardens. We have a great lot, but it needed a ton of work. Our garden was featured on last year's county Master Gardener's tour. Our neighborhood is centrally located in a great school district with a private lake, security, and many neighborhood children's activities. Plus, we only have one income now and can't afford a big house with more room like we'd like. Plus, I can almost guarantee that the kitchen in a new house wouldn't fit our habits so we'd have to remodel it anyway. We need to make this space work for us, with tradeoffs that are acceptable.

Oh, and we had planned for years to add a second story onto the house, but found out we can't. Our foundation is unfilled cinderblock. It won't support a second floor. I mentioned above that we planned a bumpout of the kitchen to accomodate a bigger kitchen so there is the potential of slightly more room there, but I'm not sure how we could use that potential space it if we move the rooms around.

I posted this drawing of my "mudroom" idea over on the this thread in the kitchen forum. I think this would help a lot!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 3:59PM
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Someone on the kitchen forum suggested moving your linen closet. Are you considering that? I only ask, since there might be room for one at the end of the hall, on the new addition.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 1:30PM
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No room at the other end of the house for the linen closet. My drawing up there is pretty poor. The hallway doesn't actually extend to the outside wall of the house. It ends at the door for Bed #3.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 4:06PM
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