How many kitchen remodels have you done?

firstmmoJune 3, 2013

I noticed that there are a number of "repeat offenders" LOL of kitchen remodelers on this forum. I just saw Hobokenkitchen's reveal and I know that's not the first of hers. There are a number of people who I have been following over the years and have seen a few of their kitchens too. What number remodel are you on? Do you feel like you get better and better at this?

Today we picked up our permit and have started demo of our newest house remodel. This will be number 3 for us, a far cry from some of you who have done so many more. I must admit that I enjoy getting to "try again", and am excited (but hoping I can have the endurance) for another year of remodeling a whole house. We have already moved twice in the past 8 months and will be moving back again once the remodel finishes. I fear I may get tired of this process, but I do find inspiration in the posts of all the GWers!

How do you keep going? What motivates you to do it again?

Here's my rancher 1970s kitchen that just got demo'd today.

Check out the 3" of space between the micro and the range...when there's a pot on the stove, you can't even see inside it. The space is so low.

When I get the chance I will also post pics of the rental kitchen we are in. So quirky! It has black lacquered counters and mirrored backsplash, but interestingly, a portion of the counter is SS. Seems vintage 1970s too.

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I've only done one reno. And I will probably only ever do the one. We saved and waited many years to get a new kitchen. I don't plan to ever move, and I know we won't be able to afford a new kitchen in the future. I envy all of you who have the money to keep moving and doing it again and again.

Edited to add that I see some of you reno'ing kitchens in your second home. I won't be lucky (read wealthy) enough to ever own one of those either. And I still need to pay for college in the future for our two small kids.

This post was edited by breezygirl on Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 12:20

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:17AM
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Same kitchen 1st a minor redo, then 20 years later a complete gut. Never want to do another.

If I have to do another kitchen it would be in a different house.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 6:44AM
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Wow! I am amazed as well. One reno only club here. I'll admit I enjoy living vicariously through all of you who are able to do a reno, then go do another reno. Are people moving that often? I can't imagine the expenses! I am astounded by the inflated house prices in other parts of the country as it is. I feel like, once I have my house situated the way I want it, after the renos, I am free to move onto other passions.

I am curious about multiple renovations. Are you all moving into the new renos every time? Are the renos job/building industry related? Is it your passion? How do you find the time to keep doing it again? Does it become your primary "job"?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 6:46AM
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This will be my first, though I found GW back in 2007 when we were planning a kitchen/bathroom renovation for a prior residence. We ended up selling later that year before pulling the trigger on the reno.

I would love to keep kitchen planning/fantasizing for many kitchens, but only want to live through the renovation traumas once.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:12AM
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Just one, and never again. Well, unless it's in a home I'm not living in during the reno. I do feel like I learned so much from the first, and it would be fun to apply that knowledge.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:28AM
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Kristen Hallock

We are on our 2nd. We remodelled our last kitchen and then ended up moving 1.5 years later. Now we've lived in this house for almost 7 years and we are finally remodeling the kitchen. Both remodels were complete DIY jobs. I've been without a kitchen since early April. Hoping it will be mostly done in 4-6 weeks.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:50AM
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PS Love the 70s house you're working on now, firsthouse!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:59AM
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I added granite counters to my kitchen so I could sell, a minor renovation. We bought another house in the same neighborhood and gutted it- that's kitchen #2, which I really like and still live there.

We renovated an investment property around the same time, #3. On that one, I made a big mistake with the dishwasher not having enough clearance to open! I had to take it out and get a smaller dishwasher. The cabinets were stock from Lowes.

I'm finishing #4 right now, an Ikea kitchen. I've definitely gotten better! I've really enjoyed it, and hope to make a profit by selling the house soon. I would like to do another one if I can buy low enough.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:08AM
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Bought our first home in 1984, completely gutted and re-did kitchen in 1986. Just completed a "refresh" of the same kitchen with new appliances, countertops, cabinet doors. Both times DIY...I call this most recent makeover "last time around"

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:21AM
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I've heard the average is 2.4 or such, same as kids. Most folks I see are only one, few with 2, more is rare but I had one client who was on #19.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:22AM
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We are on our 3rd reno.

The first was our small L-shaped kitchen in our first home, which was built in 1959. We removed the knotty pine cabinets and Z-Brick from the walls (yuck). Changed the layout to be a U-shape. Installed new cabinets and new appliances. The previous layout didn't have a dishwasher, so we definitely wanted one in the new layout. We did everything ourselves except for the counters (laminate).

Our 2nd was an update of our 2nd home. The cabinets were fine, as was the granite counters, so we didn't mess with those. We needed to replace a microwave (burned it out) and the dishwasher (on recall), so we ended up changing out all of the appliances for stainless. Changed the electric cooktop to a gas one (hated cleaning the electric cooktop). Added a travertine backsplash. Removed the wall paper. Textured the walls (hired that out). Painted. Changed out the light fixture over the kitchen table. Added under cabinet lighting and moved some of the electrical around.

We are in the middle of our 3rd reno for our home which we bought last summer. Builder basic cabinets and laminate counters. Clutter catcher desk area and pony wall. Ripped everything out, down to the drywall. That included ripping out the pony wall. Carried the hardwoods from the kitchen into the family room and refinished to a lighter color. Cabinets were installed yesterday. We've hired out more for this job (floors, cabinet install, drywall texturing, running a gas line to the cooktop, and granite counters) than for the others. I've been the GC and have done the electrical (rerouting several circuits, two new circuits, recessed lights, and UCL), plumbing, installed ducting for the vent hood, and drywall patching. DW has helped where she could.

I didn't find GW until part way through the planning for our current remodel. I wish I had found it earlier, as it would have made some things easier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Kitchen Remodel Journey

This post was edited by gpraceman on Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 10:56

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Holly- Kay

This is my first reno. If I live through this one I will be amazed. It seems like we run into problems at every turn. My cabinets are constructed beautifully and the stain is lovely but the glazing looks like it was put on by a drunken sailor and wiped down by a five year old. DH is supposed to be calling the cabinet maker today so hopefully we will get that resolved.

I would like to redo the kitchen in our second home but the po put beautiful granite counters and travertine bs in. The cabinets are cherry and a bit dated but still very pretty but the kitchen just isn't me. We have renters there right now so I don't have to even think about another kitchen project for a few years.

We also have a townhouse that we own that is currently being rented out but I doubt I would ever spend the money to renovate that kitchen. We will hopefully sell that property in the next five years.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:34AM
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This our third house and our third kitchen remodel. The first one we stripped to the studs. There was nothing worth saving. The second one was more of a facelift and uncovering (the original cabinets were still there and the beadboard was underneath some awful looking wall papered plywood).
The only original stuff left in our third kitchen was the trim on two doorways and the basement door. But the layout was good.

All three houses were 1920s houses. I love ordinary houses from that time. Our first house was a farmhouse style with a little Victorian influence in the trim. Our second house was Dutch Colonial Revival. And this one is a bungalow with colonial revival influence.

This post was edited by donaleen on Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 12:03

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Two full remodels and one re-facing! Two and a half years ago we remodeled the kitchen in the house we just sold. Before that my last full kitchen remodel was over twenty years ago. In between those homes I had a house where I re-faced all the cabinets. That was time consuming but not particularly hard. Excluding one, all the houses I have seen for a downsize purchase need a kitchen remodel. Most likely we will be at it again soon. Enough time has gone by where husband and I have mostly forgotten about how exhausting it all was and just remember the gratification part.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:03PM
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It sounds like most people end up remodeling when they move. That's definitely the case with our latest remodel. We remodeled an old rancher, then sold that and then moved back into an old rancher. Now trying to re-do that one. I would love to live in a house long enough to have outlasted the home! We have never lived in a house longer than 10 years. Here in CA with the vibrant real estate market and lack of updated homes, many people are forced to buy older outdated homes and then remodel them.

Over the years I have seen a few from Beekeeper, mamadadapaige, hoboken, and others. They seem to be moving for the most part and I can't tell if they are moving from work issues or because it's lucrative to update then sell for a profit.

I hope all of you who currently are in the throes of the remodel, survive it well. You might become addicted and decide to do another :)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:31PM
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I'd say that we have done 2 remodels and one sort of refresh, all on the same kitchen. We bought the house new in 1980. After we moved in we wallpapered. In 1990 we pulled up the carpeting (oh so 80's, but hid a multitude of sins), put in a maple floor and changed the hardware. In 1995 we needed a new refrigerator so we did a ''remodel'': tore out the cabinets over the peninsula, refaced the cabinets with new doors and had the boxes refinished (still oak), and had new storage built around the refrigerator to make it look like it was built in. And then in 2010 we did the big remodel: gutted the kitchen, removed walls, etc. None of this was DIY.

I love our house, our location and especially our kitchen. I also like to live vicariously through other peoples' remodels here, but I would not want do another one if possible. I don't see us moving and like the lord of Downton Sixbey (Jimmy Fallon) "I hope I die heyah!!"

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Sophie Wheeler

2978 remodels, refreshes, or new builds. During the real estate boom, I'd do a couple of hundred a year for the builder's group that I worked for. Mostly crappy no feature builder grade oak---you know, the ones most people are trying to get rid of now. :) I've slowed down a lot over the last 6 years of retirement. However, I WILL hit 3000 before they shovel dirt over me. :)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 1:29PM
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I have done 3 and am starting on the 4th. The first and third were new construction. Actually, I did that first kitchen twice. . . we had a house fire one month after we moved in. I almost forgot that I did make quite a few changes after the fire. The one in the middle and the current kitchen are gut remodels.

We also own a rental property and we remodel those kitchens as people move out. We are just finishing up our 5th gut remodel in the apartments. The apartments are more of a "builder's grade" type cabinet, appliances and granite.

Yes, I do feel like I have gotten better and better at it. I've done so much research on GW. With the internet, there is so much more info available than there was the first time I did a kitchen. Also, I've lived in so many different houses that I've experienced lots of good and lots of bad design.

In the midst of this current kitchen remodel (I'm still in the planning stages), my husband dropped that bomb that we might be moving for his job. I'm a little heartbroken. We've been waiting for 5 years to get started while other house projects took precedence. I think I finally have a good plan for this kitchen and I may never get to implement it! Oh well, now I will probably move into another crappy kitchen and wait another 5 years to remodel it. I'm getting a little tired of living in limbo all the time. Every time we move, I look at houses and all the kitchens are bad, really bad. Sometimes ugly, sometimes poor design, sometimes both. I prefer to buy a house on the lower end of our price range and leave some money in the budget so I can remodel the kitchen the way I want it. Unfortunately, it never seems to happen that way.

Sorry, I'm in a bad mood, I guess. The kitchen is such an important part of the home though!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:21PM
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We bought our house in 1989 and about 5 years later we gutted 2 of the 3 bathrooms and I repainted the kitchen cabinets and redid the hardware. About 10 years after that I repainted the kitchen cabinets again, changed the hardware and the counters and added a backsplash. Then about 7-8 years ago the house started to fall apart - leaky plumbing, broken sinks, splitting cabinets, shag carpeting from 1972 (when the house was built) was really becoming disgusting, etc. So in 2010...

we gutted the house. Moved out, went down to studs and plywood and put it back together. We're done. We will retire here.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:58PM
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This is the first, although not a remodel, just a new build. The other was a minor facelift before we sold. Probably won't do another unless we find a dream property to buy and it would be a new build too.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 3:12PM
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One. This one, and it's really a facelift. Unless my fortunes change for the better or worse, I'm probably going to remain in this house for the duration and don't see redoing the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:05PM
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I have done one remodel 30 years ago in our beloved first little home. That was tough with 3 little ones under foot (I sympathize with all the young parents) Now in retirement I am finally getting our kitchen renovation started - something which I have been anticipating for over 25 years. So I am excited, but also very nervous. Most of our friends are downsizing, but we have decided to remodel instead and keep the big home for our kids and grandkids to come and visit us.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:13PM
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Holly- Kay

Renov8r, ours is a retirement reno also. DH is retired. I still have my business but I am starting to seriously consider closing the doors so I can enjoy life. At some point though, when we can no longer do stairs, we may move into our other home that's a rancher.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Like breezy, only one complete kitchen remodel (in 2011), and probably the only one. Not likely to have a second house, not likely to move. DH retired, DD to put through college. We did a facelift on the kitchen in 1990, but it was just finishes. Good thing I'm happy with the new kitchen!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:26PM
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Holy cow hollysprings, that's a lot of renos! And in retirement too.

Seems like a number of people finally re-doing their homes are doing it during retirement. No wonder you guys are tired of the dust and construction and annoying inconveniences! LOL I hope I am NOT still doing this during retirement. We have been using it for income for the past three years while my DH has been unemployed, but by the time I get to retirement I want to be siting back and not dealing with another renovation.

ekbecker, I hope you get to do your renovation!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Three full renovations, and a few minor refreshes. We're young, still, early thirties, and will surely do several more over the years. We do all of our own work and really enjoy it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Two full renovations and this time I'm calling it a facelift of the last reno we did 15 years ago.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Four here, most because of moving and buying fixers. First was an 1880s brick house with a big kitchen that broke every GW (and every sensible) rule: stove next to a doorway, fridge next to stove. Not much useable counterspace. Again: in a big space!

Next a condo in a small building, gutted and condo-ized somewhere late in the Carter administration. The market was tanking and the developer ran out of money. Nasty white foil cabs that were falling apart. An island with cabs overhead that turned the kitchen into a cave. When the dishwasher was open the oven couldn't open. Walkspace between the island and the sink wall was under 3 feet, so if someone happened to open a lower cab door another person standing by the stove would be trapped. I was a bit cash strapped, so that was a reno that relied heavily on restaurant supply and IKEA.

Last year was a kitchen in the house where we plan to retire.

This year it's in the house where we spend most of the year. Also brick, 1880s. It was done in the late 1990s by a tall guy who didn't cook. If the cab layout wasn't so bad, we might have changed out the counters (4 x 4 tile with sharp corners), painted the cabs, and called it done. But we'll be here for a few more years, so we might as well enjoy a better functioning space. The goal is to make it work better for us and help a bit come resale.

No more renos planned after this one! All have been some DYI.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 7:02PM
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5 gut renovated kitchens and 1 facelift. Only 3 'Gardenweb' kitchens though.

First gut reno was in my flat in London. Picked everything out of a catalogue, went on vacation for a week and came home to a new kitchen. It was perfect for the flat (condo). Nice maple cabinets, laminate counters, new appliances.

Second gut reno was a one bedroom condo in Hoboken. It sold the condo when we decided to buy a FSBO across the street. We asked them to give us a week to sell it. Sold in 2 days. Ahh those were the days.

The facelift was the FSBO. New appliances, counters, pulls and backsplash.
We moved from that 2 bedroom condo after a year into a new construction 2 bedroom condo and made a bunch of money.

We were in the new construction condo 6 months when I started to get a bad feeling about the condo market (2006 I think?), so we sold that condo and made a good profit as we had paid pre construction prices.

We bought the row home in 2006 and discovered Gardenweb! That was gut renovation number 3 and our first high end renovation. It took pretty much a year.
Then DH was laid off and out of work for 6 months. When he got another job it was a 1.5 - 2 hr commute each way so we sold the house (at a great profit) and moved to Philly.

We rented for almost 2 years while the crash was happening and then bought a house in Philly. That was gut renovation number 4.

We ended up renting out the Philly house to go traveling around the world for 4 months before trying for a baby. Then our tenants asked to stay another year and the rent was so good we couldn't refuse. We rented a one bedroom and then a friend's house until we saw our current house on the market and decided to buy it on the spur of the moment. We sold the Philly house for an ok but not amazing profit.

This has been gut renovation number 5.

It's come out beautifully, but we have itchy feet. Anyone want to buy a house? ; )

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Over 35 years - 2 facelifts, 1 reno, 1 gut and 1 new build. While building our home, we said never again. But, you never know...

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:05PM
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So far only the one, we did an entire house and actually still need to finish the exterior. I would do it again in a few years in a heartbeat. For us it was either buy a wreck and put sweat equity into it or buy a house that needed lots of updates and be forced to live with it for a few years. There was very few things on the market that was in our price range and didn't need any or too much work. I'm kind of obsessed with remodeling now even though we have been mostly done for almost a year. I keep trying to convince close friends and relatives they should re-do their kitchens and bathrooms just so I can help them with the reno.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:45PM
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I've done 2. The first was in one of our first homes, a sunny little kitchen. A cabinet refacing, new b-splash, new appliances, new countertops and sink, hardwood floor installation, and painting.

The recent one was in our current home. Ripped out much of a builder's kitchen and now have my dream kitchen!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:46PM
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I've done 2. The first was in one of our first homes, a sunny little kitchen. A cabinet refacing, new b-splash, new appliances, new countertops and sink, hardwood floor installation, and painting.

The recent one was in our current home. Ripped out much of a builder's kitchen and now have my dream kitchen!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:47PM
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firshouse, in your first picture posted, I am already envisioning a beautiful raised ceiling kitchen like the one you recently posted with my beloved Varaluz light. Can't wait to see what you do!. (Really, I've been wondering and looking for updates). I'm sure whatever you do, will cause me to second and third guess most of the decisions I've already made. (And grumble and curse and drink more while I curse and admire....).

This is the second home I've ever owned. We worked with an architect and I found that was the magical ingredient to transform our space. In this house, our cabinets were long horizontal boards (I'm paraphrasing) with doors attached. So, lots of customized, individual cabinets with lots of drawers were a huge improvement. Now, I'm looking at the spacing of the drawer fronts and thinking.... could improve on those. When some things turn out really well, I find I want to amp up the quality of others.

Does everyone second guess their choices?!

Anyway, am delighted to hear you've started. Will very much look forward to progress pictures.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:31PM
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