Our Thanksgiving week total kitchen remodel

weedyacresNovember 20, 2007

DH and I took the week off so that we can remodel our kitchen. Our goal is to finish in one week (minus the countertops, since they've got some lead time, and the backsplash, since that comes afterward). Wish us luck!

Here's where we're starting:

And here's the results of day 1: complete removal of everything, down to the gray berber carpet. We found buyers for the cabinets and appliances, and gave away the carpet on freecycle. We took a sawzall to the backsplash drywall and shifted the sink plumbing. Also screwed the floor squeaks to prep for tile.

We did get a jump start a couple weekends ago, demo-ing the tiny built-in pantry, and adding a cutout to push the fridge back into (the wall backs onto the stairwell, so we'll get a counter-depth fridge without a counter-depth price!)

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Great progress on a huge undertaking! What a unique way to get out of cooking that turkey. LOL

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:49AM
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We'll be watching all week, please post progress pics. Work for you, fun for us. Take Aleve and a hot bath every night!!!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Yeah, daily photos before the hot bath: We like to watch!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 10:33AM
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What fun to watch, kind of like Weekend Warriors or should I say Week Warriors. Good luck and keep the progress pictures coming.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 10:55AM
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How brave to do this before Thanksgiving. I hope you have an invite somewhere? Post lots of pics!! What are you going with for your countertops?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 11:43AM
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Yowsers!! Very ambitious but doable. I will watch eagerly every day for updates and progress photos. You do know that there is one new kitchen showing up that took 45 weeks!! Looking forward to seeing what you can do in a week. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 12:15PM
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We're all cheering you on! Good luck!

(Don't let us waste your time...we can wait for replies and maybe daily summaries ;-) ...you can later use this as a journal of the realization of your dream!)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 12:23PM
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AND you took out a closet/pantry?

What is the size of your kitchen? Looks similar to mine- mine's 10'4" X 15'4".

I always find it interesting to see how different people work the same space!

How much are you DIY?

So far I'm impressed!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 12:30PM
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sounds ambitious but fun! keep us posted.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 4:39PM
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First of all, thanks for all your encouragement. It motivates me to drive hard on this, since you're all watching.

Day 2 is over, and on the surface it doesn't look a whole lot different.

DH had to move 4 outlets by 6-12 inches each to accommodate the different sink placement and a tambour. Sounds simple, but it took him all morning. He said he'll never hire out as an electrician unless he's paid by the hour. Then he ran some plumbing for our pot filler, moved an HVAC vent out from under our future penninsula and got the floor by the sink buttoned up. In the meantime, I cut up the old countertop and took a load of kitchen detritus that no one on freecycle even wanted to the dump, selected a paint color and painted the edges of the room (I hate cutting in, so am a big advocate of paint first and then attach things to the wall).

I laid out the outlines of the cabinets and we started the radiant floor heat wire (the red lines on the RH side), but had to quit at 5 for an evening obligation. I had hoped to get all the wire laid by the end of today, but thanks to the electrical taking so long we didn't quite make it. Alas, no time for a bath tonight.

Oh, and the cabinets got delivered today. They completely fill up our 10x14 foyer and spill into the adjoining rooms. We've got our work cut out for us!

Answers to some of your questions:
-yes, we have an invite to Thanksgiving, from a kind friend. Unfortunately we couldn't volunteer to bring much of anything because our appliances aren't being delivered until Friday.
-The granite is (hopefully) Terra Brazilas, but one of the 2 slabs we picked out a few weeks ago got reserved by someone else, and they've been trying to get ahold of the person to see if they still want them. Plan B is to see if they can get some additional slabs in, but don't know timing on that.
-We're 98% DIY, as only the counters will be installed by someone else.
-The kitchen is 13'x13', but we're expanding the footprint out another 6' and adding a penninsula (old breakfast nook). We're then going to bump the exterior wall out and put the nook there. Here's a view looking towards the nook/future penninsula:

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 11:23PM
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I've been trying to pick out a paint color for two months now. I can't believe you picked one out today and started painting. I'm dying to know what color you chose. It looks pretty in the picture.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 11:51PM
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Moving along! I like the paint color too...

I'm with you....paint NOW! (I also hate cutting in and having to mask!) All we're DIYing is paint and, possibly, backsplash and Org Closests & "desk" in FR...I'm hoping the contractor lets us paint b/f hanging cabinets & putting in base & crown molding...we haven't talked to him about it yet.

Are you DIYing the exterior bump-out as well? I can't imagine you'll be able to do that this week as well??!! I wish DH or I had the skills to DIY like you are!

Good luck tomorrow! (I hope you're getting plenty of sleep tonight!)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 12:31AM
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I am totally in awe. Oh how I wish my DH was handy! :) I know it's hard work, but the fruits of your labor will be so worth it! I will be coming back every day for updates that's for sure! Good luck and happy thanksgiving!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 12:58AM
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great! keep us posted. do you mind me asking your budget for the project. looks like you all will end up with a great kitchen for a really reasonable cost. i'm impressed!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 8:07AM
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Day 3...the floor. I've been on my hands and knees for the past 11 hours. We spent a couple hours finishing up the radiant floor wiring, ending up with a pattern that shows you where our cabinets will be (no wire under cabinets).

Then mid-morning we were blessed by angels from heaven...or rather young missionaries from our church who heard we were tiling and asked if they could come join the fun. For free! One of them used to put in floors before he was a missionary, and was practically begging. :-) So they came over for a few hours, and gave us a good jump-start on the floor. We laid down Ditra. This is my first time trying it, and I tell you, I'll never go back to Hardibacker. Two words: NO SCREWS! It is kind of a pain troweling around the wire, but tiling on top of the Ditra goes quickly.

We got the tile started, and then they had to leave for an appointment. Here's them, just before they left.

I started laying tile like a fiend, and my DH was the perfect helper, keeping me supplied with thinset, cutting tiles for the edges, running to Lowe's for supplies. We switched thinsets mid-day, and let me tell you, I'll never use anything but Laticrete again. It spreads so much more easily, even the non-modified stuff we were using. Forget that $5 a bag stuff I got at HD, the Laticrete was worth every penny of the $8 it cost, and then some.

My back felt the toll. Here's a shot of me, towards the end of the day, giving my back a rest while we were letting a new batch of thinset breathe.

And here's how far we got by the time my body called it quits.

The paint color is Sherwin Williams something. I don't know off the top of my head, and I'm too tired to crawl back downstairs to look at the paint chip. Tomorrow...

On the bump-out, HEAVENS NO, we're not doing it this week. We originally had a contractor lined up to do the shell, but he disappeared (luckily not with any money), so it wasn't done pre-kitchen remodel like we had planned. We'll get there.

The whole thing is costing around $30K.

My back hurts, my knees are sore, and my pinkies are tingly (?!?!?!) So right now, I'm taking your advice and heading for a long soak in this:

Talk to you tomorrow.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 10:58PM
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WOW! I'm a shower-girl myself, but even I would take a tub in that! Might I assume that was a prior "week project?" What great progress you made, and how fab that you had friends that could come help - and that were knowledgeable to boot. Awesome! Checking back in was worth it! Will y'all take the day off for Tgiving (Happy Thanksgiving all, btw)? GOOD LUCK!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 11:10PM
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I don't like to put up "me too" posts so I'm really excited to be the first to say your tile is GORGEOUS! And I'm guessing the satisfaction is worth the backache :) Wow! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 11:14PM
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The tub was part of a 5-month master bath remodel, in which we tore up floors, moved plumbing, built walls, and put it back together again. We didn't have the luxury of that much time on the kitchen, since we don't have a spare one as we do bathrooms.

Thanks so much for everyone's support...it really helps at the end of the day to see people cheering us on.

The paint is Sherwin Williams "Nomadic Desert."

And now back to the tiling.....Think of us when you're getting your tryptophan comas. :-)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 8:56AM
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Thanks for the paint name. I know I have that sample, so I'll have to go look it up. You guys are simply amazing. I can't believe you're getting everything done so fast and that bathroom is to die for.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 12:12PM
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I'm so impressed with how much you have done. My DH & I did all our tiling in the entry and 2 baths. It's a lot of work and I know how much you are aching. I hope you continue to have angels dropping in to help and I'm glad you had some time to soak. It's so fun to check in every day to see the progress. It's beautiful!!!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 1:14PM
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We're off to Thanksgiving dinner, but managed to get a lot more tiled by noon. All that's left is about 40 square feet.

I'll start grouting the first half tonight.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Hurrah for you and the great progress you've made so far! I'm one other person who will be following your project and sending good wishes!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 8:19PM
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After porking out and hanging with friends for a few hours, we decided to engage in one more spurt of productivity. My DH did some final drywall sanding, found the cabinets that we are going to install tomorrow, and I grouted a section of the floor. We used epoxy grout, which requires 3 rounds of cleaning, but I'm really liking how it looks. Oh, the knees, the back, the shoulders, the butt...we'll see if I can make it through another day of hands-and-knees work.

Here's the view back from the dining room, where you can see what a difference grout makes.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 11:03PM
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I'm loving watching this--love the pic of you on the floor LOL...OH do I understand. You've already inspired me with a way to use some space I couldnt' figure out -- I'm putting in a pantry, oddly enough, while you're taking yours out--thanks! The Law of Conservation of Pantries at work :)

A question: what is the paint, if you can remember, in the room through the door in the back of the kitchen? I know you're busy and bushed, but if by any chance you can think of it, I'd be so very much obliged...thanks.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 11:12PM
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OK, I can see you're young and energetic. All I can say is...can I adopt you? And you DH too? lol But seriously, y'all rock!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 12:43AM
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wow. what a fabulous job you are doing! Can't wait to see today's pictures.

This is like our own private DIY network kitchen remodel (minus the commercials and annoying hosts)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 9:41AM
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I'm so impressed. Love your tub area (did you do that too?!!!) So tell me, do you have music playing in the background while you work and if so, what kind do you listen to. Just curious because when we DIY it keeps us energized and you both seem to have so much. The floor looks wonderful. Following along...

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 10:41AM
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weedy, you are amazing and doing a fantstic job. i want you to know that i feel for you and your poor knees and back. make sure to get enough sleep to rest those muscles and joints.

i am thoroughly enjoying watching your progress. thanks for sharing with us.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 10:53AM
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This is so impressive and so fun to "watch" from afar. I am at the same time jealous of your talents and relieved that someone else will be doing my work.

buffetgirl: "This is like our own private DIY network kitchen remodel (minus the commercials and annoying hosts)" LOL! I had the exact same thought! :)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 10:56AM
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Today it felt like we started putting things back together. I spent the morning doing more grouting and laying the rest of the tile. It's not technically done on the far side, but we'll wait until we do the bump-out addition, and then tie in and tile the rest. One final grout session tomorrow morning on that final batch and no more hands and knees! Strangely enough, though I woke up just as sore today as I was on Wed and Thu, by the end of the day the stiffness seemed to be subsiding. Either my body's finally getting used to the position or the nearness to the end is psyching my body into feeling better.

Meanwhile DH did his final round of drywall sanding and mudding. He's a perfectionist, and determined to make every wall perfectly straight. :-p Then he went down in the crawl space and ran the electrical to hook up the wall oven.

Then we FINALLY started on the cabinets. This is where it gets fun, perhaps mostly because it's done standing up. :-) We started on the "pantry wall" which has all the full- height cupboards, hoping to knock down some of the space hogs in our foyer. We sorted out the 4 cabinets we needed from among the 87 boxes there, and maneuvered them in.

While cabinet hanging isn't rocket science, we're not exactly pros. That leads to exchanges like this:
DH (opening and closing the pantry door): This door drags on the ground.
Me: Yeah, that's not very good design. I guess we'll just have to shim it a little so it's off the ground.
DH: If I designed this, I'd put a couple inches at the bottom so it was off the ground further.
Me (suddenly connecting the dots): Oh, that must be what this is for (pulling the contraption pictured below out of the cabinet).

We proceed to heave the pantries and oven cabinet up onto their bases, and screw them in. Then we've got an over-fridge cabinet to suspend between two pantry cabinets. We debate how best to position it up on the wall. We can't nail a 2x4 like you normally do for base cabinets, because there's a hole in the wall that we're recessing the fridge into. Our final solution: I put a stepstool where the fridge goes, climb on the first step, bend over slightly, and DH lifts up the cabinet and sets it on my shoulders/back. He then directs me "higher" or "lower" and I bend/unbend my knees accordingly. He adjusts the tilt so that it's level, puts the screws in, and I'm done. Well, not quite. We had some shimming to do on the backs of the cabinets to make the faces flush. But you get the idea.

DH then went to work on the oven cabinet, breaking open the oven box to get dimensions and instructions. Here's a shot of my good-looking better half.

While he carefully marked the needed opening size and meticulously cut the hole larger, I went to work on the roll-out trays in the pantries. I sat down on the floor, laid all the parts out, read the directions and step by step got the first tray installed in about 20 minutes. Once I knew the routine, and that half the plastic parts and screws weren't used in our configuration, the next 3 went a lot faster. And I whipped out the entire 2nd pantry's trays in 20 minutes total. Yeah, I could do this for a living. NOT!

So here's wall #1, our "pantry wall." Oven needs to be inserted, and final wall cabinet (for the microwave) added to the end.

It's finally starting to feel like a real kitchen!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 11:04PM
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I was wondering why you took the original pantry out. Now I get it. I love the white cabinets! Just curious, what color and type of countertops are you putting in there?


    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 11:17PM
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Amazing progress! Lookin' goooooooood!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 11:39PM
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INCREDIBLE! I am so impressed with those of you that are handy. I am a wee bit handy, but the DH is decidedly NOT - LOL - so I must live vicariously through you folks that can actually accomplish things like this. Truly awesome! Love the progress pics! Keep 'em coming! :)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 1:24AM
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This is so much fun...Like time lapse photography. It's how we all wish our kitchens could go together. Thanks for sharing this way!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 4:38AM
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You guys ROCK!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!Keep up the good work.
It looks beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 6:13AM
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weedyacres, We've been following along your progress and may I just say that my jaw has been dropping lower and lower all week. Here we've been engaged in a DIY loft/attic insulation project ... since September. & we hired out the demolition and will have someone come and do the drywall installation and plaster in the room. So really, pretty much just shoring up the attic for ventilation, the baffles and various insulation was all we were fielding. Indeed we'd set ourselves the goal to finish the needful this weekend. So while you're doing a full project this week, we were doing the insulation. Needless to say ... I saw your first and second posts listing your goals including tiling, radiant heat installation, electrical and plumbing and thought rather indulgently to myself: "Children! They know not of what they speak." Well color me roundly impressed. You move fast! I can't imagine tiling all that area in one week let alone a day and a half! Even with angels of mercy coming to attend. Indeed, it took me a week to do the radiant heat/tiling step in a tiny 5'x8' bathroom between all the prep before the installation. Yeah Laticrete rocks!

Anyhow, we did finish our insulation step yesterday so hope to enjoy the rest of the weekend luxuriating that we're done until the painting stage.

Meanwhile good luck with your project. Like plenty others, we'll be watching and cheering you on.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 8:44AM
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I realized I've left a few questions unanswered, so while DH does his final--yes, really final this time--drywall sanding, I'll jump on here quickly.

Paint color in dining room: If you're talking about that greenish color, it came with the house, so I don't know what it is. We're going to repaint it another shade of green when we get to it, and add hardwood floors.

Sound track: It definitely makes the work less laborious. We've run the gamut: a CD changer full of Green Day, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Avril Lavigne, and Love & Rockets (my collection); a country station on the radio (DH's choice); classical music that was on after NPR's Morning Edition that we were listening to; Christmas tunes on some random station, until I heard 3 versions of "White Christmas" in 4 hours and decided that was enough.

Cabinets & Counters: Cabinets are Kraftmaid maple with Vanilla Bean Glaze (actually a cream color). The counters will hopefully be Terra Brazilas granite. The photo below shows 3 samples: TB from a slab that's too gray; TB from a slab with more golden brown in it, which we like; and I forget the name of the 3rd, but it's our plan B if we can't get the slabs of TB we want (someone else has one of them reserved and they haven't been able to find out if they're really taking it or not).

And now a question of advice for all of you: This door goes from the kitchen into a garage entry/mud room, with a laundry room (going to make it into a walk-in pantry) and powder room beyond. We're going to continue the tiling, but haven't decided whether to just continue the kitchen pattern or put a little border on the doorway threshold and do a different (probably plainer) pattern on the other side. Opinions?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 8:54AM
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Yours is the first post I look for when my home page opens. Maybe that`s sad to have TKF as my home page 2 1/2 years after my kitchen was finished - but that is a topic for another thread.
Anyway - love watching your progress. Your energy is amazing. Reminds me of our younger days when we stripped and refinished all the wood in our old house. To do that now - I would be absolutely crazy. So enjoy your ability to do this job. And thank you for sharing the journey with us.

All the very best,

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 9:00AM
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I like the idea of a little change-up in the tile for the pantry. Even with a simpler pattern, the change would add interest.

Keep it up--you guys are amazing!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 9:06AM
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It's amazing how a granite can look so different. I really like the one on the right.

I think I would keep the tile pattern the same.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 9:23AM
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I wanted to find some more pictures of your granite, but I can't find anything on it. Does it go by a different name?


    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 9:45AM
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The third granite choice, the one on the right, looks just like mine! It's Saphire Brown.

I'm just amazed how quickly you're coming along. Looking forward to seeing the next pics.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 9:46AM
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About the tiling in mudroom...my choice would be to continue with the same pattern. It's beautiful...
don't disturb the continuity.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 10:12AM
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This is great fun, watching your work come along so quickly: Thanks for inviting us!

I don't think you can go wrong with the tile either way. It's beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 10:49AM
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I stand in awe of your project. How did you and your DH LEARN to do all of this - were you just interested and simply made it your business to teach yourselves the necessary skills or ...? Just curious, because I would love to have more skills but have no clue where to start!

Congratulations on a GREAT job, and what looks like it will be a beautiful kitchen. Like so many others, I love following your progress and it's been the first thread I look for when I check into the forum this week!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 10:55AM
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Fantastic progress!

Re the tiling, if you're trying to make the kitchen very separate from what's beyond the threshold, go for the transition (you can buy door jam tiles, btw). That gives you an "ah" moment when you transition from the lesser areas into the kitchen proper. On the other hand, continuing your kitchen tile into the mudroom and beyond will tie the spaces together and elevate the mudroom and pantry to being part of the kitchen space.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 11:03AM
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absolutely amazing! You guys are doing a great job. Can't wait to see tomorrow's "episode".

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 12:14PM
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Just shaking my head in amazement at how quickly and how nicely your project is going. Might have to smack you both for making it look so easy, LOL! Seriously, it looks terrific so far, and I'm in awe. Can't wait to see the next chapter, too!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 1:14PM
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Boy was today a fantastic day. We had all the wall cabinets up by lunch. They needed very little shimming, so it was just a matter of unpacking them, throwing them up on the 2x4 and screwing them in.

Our appliances (range & dishwasher) were delivered as we were starting the base cabinets. We filled up around the room, then put the island in the middle, electrified it (we were lucky because the previous wiring for the dishwasher was right under where we put our island.

We installed the wall oven, and DH found out he had strung the wrong wire (10/2 instead of 10/3), which bummed him out. We put the fridge into the pantry wall, sunk back under the stairs, and I absolutely LOVE how it looks (counter depth look without the counter depth price or loss of cubic footage).

So here (drumroll, please) are the photos:

Our punchlist:
Counters (measuring Monday)
Install dishwasher (have to wait until sink & disposal are hooked up, and the faucet, which we bought online last week, hasn't arrived yet)
Install potfiller (again, waiting for its arrival)
Put panels around island (using doors like you see on the wall and base cabinets around the end)
Install penninsula cabinets (they go where we just grouted today, so need to wait until the grout is cured)
Install the 3 doors that were missing from the cabinets when delivered (with nice polite note saying they'd be shipped separately)
Crown molding
Light rail

We could have continued on for a few more hours and done the crown and light rail, but we contemplated for about 5 seconds and decided at 5:30 that we deserved a relaxing evening out. So we're headed out for a steak dinner. And, of course, a stop by HD to pick up some supplies.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 7:04PM
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Wow! I am simply amazed! Your kitchen is looking wonderful, and I can't believe you are doing this all so quickly. Thanks for posting the play by play...I am really enjoying following your progress. Even dh (who's bored to tears by nearly all things kitchen) was interested to see how you've come along.

BTW - is that the new GE Profile double oven range with the small oven on top? It looks like it might be but I can't see for sure.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 7:25PM
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Great job! What did you finally decide to do about the tile? I think either way will work. Enjoy your evening out and rest up...you deserve it...tomorrow's another day!

Wishing you a day w/no problems....smooth sailing!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 7:55PM
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Absolutely fantastic!!! Especially love the way your pantry/frig/oven wall looks. Whenever you get a chance, would you be able to take a direct pic of how the frig fits in there? Also, how far back did you recess the refrigerator? Again, congrats!!!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 9:49PM
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WOW! That is one sweet kitchen! WAY TO GO!


PS If you don't have anything to do over Christmas vacation.....just kidding! Our kitchen will have to wait until next summer....

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 10:06PM
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This is an amazing ride you've taken us on!

Thanks, you guys are awesome and your new kitchen is beautiful!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 10:31PM
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It looks fantastic! And great job on the fridge. I wish I had the room to do that.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 11:05PM
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Continually impressed! And I have to say, that conversation about cabinets in OUR house wouldn't have been nearly so... ummm... polite! DH and I make a good team in the long haul, but no denying conversations of the "But you said YOU were going to do that" "No I didn't" "Yes you did" "You always/you never" variety are not uncommon in the proces... lol

Congratulations to you - it's BEAUTIFUL!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 11:09PM
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Okay, so if y'all can do this in a week, why are my guys taking 7 weeks??? Hmmm....apparently it is going to take 4 or 5 business days to install the cabs (and get the sink base to fit the Shaw sink) - you guys did it in 2 days! They SEEM to be working really hard... so what gives? Truly, I am speechless!!! I can't wait for tomorrow night to see all the crown. Also interested in what type of pulls you've chosen...I tell ya', this is more interesting than tv! :) SO COOL!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 12:25AM
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Absolutely wonderful. I love your cabinet and color choices. Can you give us a hand? We're on week 11 of a slightly smaller diy remodel.

Thank for sharing your project with us...keep the pics coming!!!!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 9:16AM
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I'll give you a drumroll and a standing ovation - WOW - looking good!!!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 9:44AM
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OMG, OMG, OMG!!! Can you guys come do my bathrooms (kitchen's done already)? Please?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 10:15AM
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This is Fabo!!! :) Will you be my friends???

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 3:03PM
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Sorry if this disappoints those of you waiting for the latest installment/episode of our kitchen remodel, but Sunday is our day of rest, so we went to church in the morning and are taking the rest of the day off from heavy construction, and planning our schedule to finish up the punch list next week. The one exception is our penninsula cabinets, which we've got to get in place for the counter people to come measure tomorrow. I'll post photos of that.

We're both going back to work tomorrow, so we'll be back to our normal routine of DH, who works afternoon shift, doing house stuff in the morning, and me doing house stuff in the evening. We'll keep you updated, but our progress won't be quite as fast since we can't work 12 hour days (alas). And hopefully the faucets will be here soon. I miss my sink!

In the meantime, I've got some catch-up to do on your notes above.
Here's a better shot of our range. Yes, it's the GE Profile double oven. I had wanted a cooktop, but my DH fell in love with this range (thinking of all the chocolate chip cookies he could efficiently bake in the smaller top oven), and since he rarely has strong opinions about things like this, I try to accommodate him on the rare occasions that he does have them.

Here's the fridge from the front, straight on...

and from the stairwell, looking up at the RH corner of the fridge.

We built the "hole" about 12" deep (we framed and drywalled back 12" from the front of the wall), and the fridge fills about 6 inches of it, plus a little for the tubing stuff. If you scroll up to some of the earlier photos on this thread, you can get an idea of how we did the hole.

We're using birdcage pulls, like this:

I'll spray paint them bronze, because I got them free with my cabinets, and they only came in one color. Because we've got tons of drawers, some of them quite large, I'm toying with the idea of using handles on them instead, something like this:

Advice/opinions welcome on this one.

How do you become a DIY-er? Well, my DH grew up working on stuff with his dad, he worked for a short time after HS wiring houses with a guy, and is by trade a mechanic, so he's done that kind of stuff for ages. I'm more of the "self-taught" variety. I think it starts out by not being afraid to take on this kind of stuff, as basic as assembling a piece of furniture or a toy for your kid. You just read the directions and dive in. When you want to do a project, there's a wealth of info out there to teach you how. I've bought books (Black & Decker has some really good ones), and that's how I learned to do things like tile and build a deck for our whirlpool tub. The people at the big box stores are great too: many are former installers of some kind and are happy to tell you how-to. So don't be afraid to ask them all your stupid questions. The Saturday classes aren't very helpful; they're more like general overviews. A few years ago I took a continuing ed class on basic wiring, and then switched a few light fixtures and rewired a lamp.

And of course there's the internet. Gardenweb, which I only discovered a month ago, is great, and I've posted a couple "how do I fix this weird problem" questions in various forums and gotten great help. Or google what you want. We've got stomp ceilings and need to do some repair where we took down a wall, so I googled "stomp ceilings" and found a couple links that explained how it was done, then went to Lowe's and asked a clerk for the tool (I could also have asked him how it's done and he likely would have given me a brief tutorial).

I'm also an HGTV addict, and while the shows can sometimes focus more on the drama than the how-to, I've learned a lot and gotten some great ideas from them.

Final advice is invest in tools. You don't have to buy the most expensive ones (my mitre saw and table saw were $100 each and they're great workhorses), but there are tools that make just about anything way easier, invented by the pros who do this stuff all the time. Even things like a plastic template to use to get all your drawer and door pulls in the same place to a little rubber spatula thing that's great for making caulk smooth in the joints.

On the subject of tools, my favorite tool of all, has to be this:

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 3:06PM
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I'm glad to see I'm not the only wife who helps and loves power tools - the only thing nice we own are our power tools. You summed it up well - classes aren't helpful, books are and then internet is depending on what you are doing. We did our kitchen DIY, but have some finish work. We did our windows this summer, which we liked doing a lot and now we're back to the wallpaper removal, refinishing the plaster walls. If you all get bored, there is plenty to do at our house... especially with the bathroom..I'm jealous but we only have one bathroom so redoing that right now is not an option.

With our tools, we found buying the mid-level tools for most things is worth it - the cheap ones break/die - and you can find good deals. I found a great deal at the Sears Outlet/repair center on our band saw (my husband needed it to match the miter saw and table saw).

How is that Paslode? We need a framing gun as we only have brad guns for our air compressor and were debating something like that vs. one that goes with the air compressor. My husband wanted something that can handle stronger nails but those were $$$ in less you can find a deal.

We got rid of HGTV and cable - too many bright ideas... put that money into tools .

Your kitchen is lovely!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 3:22PM
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pcjs: Love the Paslode, definitely get the angled nailer, not the straight one. Ebay has the best deals...reconditioned ones for around $200 (vs. $350 new). This one's a finish nailer, but if we end up doing framing we'll definitely get a framing nailer as well. It's lightweight and uncorded, two big plusses.

Here's our final shot of cabinets: our penninsula at the end of the room that will have a counter extending 10" beyond, for bar seating. This kitchen is feeling HUGE...can't wait to throw a big party.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 6:21PM
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WOW! Wonderful transformation. I can't wait to see the finished product. I wonder if you wouldn't mind sharing the name of your tile and the manufacturer of your cabinetry?


    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 7:01PM
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Your killing me here! Our remodel took 3 months and we hired 95% of it. You definately deserve to rest today and I hope you had a nice steak dinner last night. The kitchen does look huge, I think someone needs to throw YOU a party. So tell me, have you even picked out your backsplash and if so...what is the plan? This is soooo fun for us.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 7:19PM
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I love this! It's inspiring me to consider DIYing some of the things we've put off due to cost...backsplash, etc. You've done a wonderful job!

BTW...the missionaries who helped tile the floor...where are they from? We had a "Missions Sunday" today to talk about our church's missions in Honduras, India, South Africa, and here in Maryland...it got me thinking about your helpers!

Will going back to your other jobs :-) seem like a rest after this past week? Good luck w/the measure tomorrow (Monday). We all can't wait to see the next installment...it's better than Kitchen Renovations on the DIY network!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:53AM
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The cabinets are Kraftmaid, with Vanilla Bean Glaze, Parkdale doors, purchased from HD.

The tile is and Italian porcelain (impressed yet?)....sold at Lowe's as "Rialto Beige" for $2.25/sq ft. :-)

The backsplash is undecided, other than tile of some kind. If we get the Terra Brazilas granite, we'll let it be the focal point and do a simple backsplash. If we get the other, we may kick it up a notch. I like smooth surfaces, so we won't do tumbled marble or slate. Probably a solid color of subway or 6x6 tile, with a decorative strip through it and something a little more interesting over the sink and range.

One of the missionaries is from California and the other is from Idaho. I bet they never thought they'd be tiling a kitchen as part of their service!

Thanks again for all your ongoing support and comments. It helps keep us going.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Weedy -

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain how you got yourself educated in this DIY thing - much appreciated! I'm not sure I'll ever reach your lofty heights of amazingness (I am SO impressed!) but this journey into remodeling has really taken the mystery out of it for this previously-only-rented-and-never-done-this-before gal, and I'm really interested in doing more for myself. Some of it is just so obviously common sense once you've seen it done, and I feel like kind of a dufus for not having done it before!

Again, congrats on a great job - seems like you accomplished pretty much what you had hoped in the time allowed, so I hope you're pleased too! Can't wait to see the completely finished kitchen :)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Can you tell us more about your radiant heat system? What is the manufacturer? Did you buy it on-line? Any other info you can provide would be great. We are looking into putting radiant heat in our bathroom.

Thanks so much for posting your progress with pictures. It is much appreciated.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 1:15PM
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Unbelievable! What a great looking kitchen and so fast! Please tell me you're young and doing this. I am really going to slit my wrists if you're over fifty - not that you looked it, if that was you on the floor ; )

We are DIYers, too. Love those power tools. Right now I am using an electric staple gun to upholster a chair. Really saves the wrist, especially my AGING wrist. lol!

You're going to have a beautiful kitchen! Keep sharing those pics!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 5:09PM
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Awesome transformation! I'm new here and you and your DH are motivating me to start my project that's been in limbo for four years. The room looks so big now - what are the dimensions?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 6:35PM
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cabinlife: The radiant heat is by Warming Systems (warmingsystems.com). They're the only manufacturer I found that sells just the wire that you lay yourself, and it's around $3.69/sq foot (they somehow translate that into linear feet for the roll of wire). There are a number of others that sell the mats, but they run $8/sq ft and up. All you do is tape it to the floor with aluminum tape (it's kind of a pain to trowel the thinset over it). On the other end, there's a thicker wire that you run up the wall and hook into a thermostat. You also have to embed a sensor under a tile so that your thermostat works. We ALMOST forgot to do that, and had to pull up a half-dried tile in our last tiling area. When we do the wall thing, I'll take more photos of how that works. We put it in our bathroom and it's so nice on a winter morning to wake up to that we decided to splurge and do it in the kitchen too. Plus it keeps our master suite noticeably warmer than the rest of the upstairs.

angelcub: I'm 42 and DH is 49 (I always say "a young 49"). Old enough to get a stiff back, that's for sure.

bbtrix: the kitchen is now about 13x19 to the end of the counter that will go on the penninsula. It was about 6 feet shorter. Though even before we put in the penninsula it felt like it had about twice the space of the old kitchen.

And now for today's installment. As I warned, we both had to go back to work today, but DH got the wall oven rewired with the right stuff, and reported that he successfully cooked a pizza in it. (Yeah, we're gourmet). It's a convection oven, as are both units in the range. He also attached two of the missing doors that have arrived late via UPS. One is 1.5" too small. :-(

My job this week is all the trim. I started with the toe kicks, and knocked those out pretty fast. We're waiting to finalize the island location and trim it out until we live with it for a couple weeks and make sure that the spacing we've set it up at is ok.

Then I decided to take on the crown molding. Problem #1 surfaced: Out of the 8 lengths we got, only 4 of them have the proper glaze, so we're going to have to return them. The others look like they missed the step. Here's the contrast:

Anyway, I went ahead and put up a straight portion and a corner portion, then got stuck on the part over the sink. It's only 6" from the ceiling, and my handy Paslode nail gun won't fit into that small of a space. I'll have to consult DH in the morning about how to tackle that one. So here's all I've got.

The granite people are hopefully coming tomorrow to measure. Still unsure whether we can get the slabs we want. In the meantime, we'll keep plugging along.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:31PM
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You guys are awsome!! The kitchen looks great and all the details you have done are fantastic. I REALLY appreciate the time you are taking daily to update us on the progress. It is much better than HGTV, because you respond to our questions. This is such a learning process. My DH and I are planning on DIY our kitchen, but we have 3 months laid out. We are very, very slow and have terrible DIY luck. We will do it taking 1 day off and making 3 day weekends. You are absolutely right about the right tool. It takes the frustration out of the project and actually makes it fun. Congratulations!!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 1:03PM
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You guys are my heroes - I can't even paint evenly!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 2:14PM
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This amazing project needs to be saved in the FKB or FAQ: This is too too cool.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 3:00PM
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As I read the whole page following all your progress, I kept expecting you to put a post that said "April Fools! This really took a couple of months and here are the workers we hired" (with pictures of tile guy, electrician, cabinet installer etc.) But alas, it's not April, and this is for real...unbelievebly optimistic undertaking and incredible follow through with amazing results. And you're not even done!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 3:20PM
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I'm w/Claybabe, this needs to be immortalized! This thread can act as part of your journal! You and your DH have done such a fantastic job...and you're inspiring many of us to "take the plunge" to DIY!

Keep up the great work and we're all waiting to hear more as you have the time and energy!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 3:49PM
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Ah, shucks, you guys are too kind. How do you put things in the FKB/FAQ? (I'm a relative newbie to this site, though I wish I had found it back in April when we started this whole-house remodel thing.)

Today my DH outran me: he taught himself how to stomp ceilings and repaired the part where the built-in pantry was, and was having so much fun he went and fixed a section in our master bath and closet too. He worked on some cabinet aligning and figured out how to attach the crown molding holders to the tight-reach cabinets (with screws), but I had cut the pieces a tad too short, so he didn't actually do it.

When I got home, I attached the valance over the sink, did the section of crown molding over the stove, and was ready to put in the pantry wall portion, but ran out of nails. I couldn't find the box of them upstairs in our "workshop" (this is typical: I organize everything, and DH uses it and puts it somewhere else). I tried to reach him at work, but his cell wasn't working, so I had to humor myself with cutting some pieces of light rail that I'll have to install when he tells me where he put the nails. So no photos tonight. :-( This was so much more productive when we were working 12 hour days together!

The granite people stood us up...don't know what's going on. Tomorrow I need to make a run to HD to do some exchanges: a door that has an unmatching matte finish, a replacement door that's too narrow, 4 pieces of crown and 2 of light rail that aren't glazed. Sigh... We didn't have any problems with our bathroom cabinets; I don't know if this is typical with a large kitchen. Our potfiller arrived, but sink faucet is still AWOL.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:00PM
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Now that you're both back at work, it's still amazing the progress you both are doing. I hate when DH moves my tools! I'm having progress photo withdrawal...

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:26PM
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With Kraftmaid and the trim, I think it is normal. We had minor trim issues with our first order but I forget what now. I ordered more trim for the floor between the cabinets and vinyl from HD (didn't get the cabinets there) thinking it would be easier and it took three tries to get it right. The first time the the trim was marked Cherry Ginger Glaze but it clearly was Maple. I had a huge fight with them over the wood - luckily I keep a spare piece of trim and granite in the car so I ran out to get it as they didn't believe me that I knew my color that well. The second was completely scratched up or something - gratefully I forget and I wouldn't accept it. The third try finally worked out.

I think you did great if those were your only problems. Oh, for our main order we also got a particle board for one that was supposed to be plywood. But, Kraftmaid replaced it. If you read on here others have had horrible problems.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:36PM
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Looks fantastic...and you guys never argue while working all day on a project together?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:47PM
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Heck no....she's got a nail gun!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 6:30AM
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LOL, we don't argue either. My husband knows better - just install what I design and if you don't start the demo, I will . Forget the nail gun (although we have a bunch too) - I got my own crow bar - great for getting projects started. I'm just impressed she does her own molding. I'm not brave enough to do the cuts. That is my husband's job. I did our floor alone but I will not mess with precise cuts - that's my husbands job but I love our miter saw.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 7:58AM
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Ha ha, no it's not just the nail gun that keeps us from fighting. I'm not sure why we work so well together. We're still relative newlyweds (2 years in Jan), so maybe that has something to do with it.

My DH got the potfiller installed today, but really all you can see is a hole in the wall, because he's doing his famous 10-step drywall finishing. I had to work late and then had an evening commitment so I accomplished zilch, other than phone calls to HD and the granite place, and neither issue is resolved yet. Sigh...

BUT, on the positive side, we've come up with a collaborative solution to getting the crown molding and light rail attached that should minimize the corner gaps. I'm going to try it tomorrow, and then, I promise, I'll take photos and reveal our secret (if it works). In the meantime, I need advice on a few things. I'll post in a separate thread.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Consider this a "bump". I think this thread, and the pictures, is such an inspiration, I just have to hope there will be pictures of the finished marvel. Thanks for the fun and faith, Lynn

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 7:35AM
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i love your transformation - and love hearing other women who can do home improvement stuff. i started renovating 10 years ago - loved it so much i got my GC license. we're on our 6th house. my husband helped with the second house, then decided it wasn't his thing. i've got different crews and subs i use to get most of the work done now - so i'm not as hands on as i used to be (and i kind of miss it). you've done such a great job. thanks for taking the time to share all your pictures with us!!!!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 8:22AM
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This has been such a fun reno to watch. My hat goes off to you both for taking on such a huge project! The cabs are wonderful. I've seen them at HD and really liked that finish. They look wonderful in your kitchen and I think that the granite you've picked out will look great with them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that the counter issue will resolve itself quickly. Can't wait to see the next pics!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 9:40AM
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I'm really enjoying this thread. Your kitchen is looking great and your commentary has been really fun and informative. It's good to see another woman that enjoys her tools. I'm having nail gun envy right now!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Just gorgeous!! You are both amazing! I love your bathroom too. Which one of you is the designer or is it both?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 10:42AM
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Good news on the cabinet front. I talked to HD today and they're having Kraftmaid ship out replacement crown molding, light rail and doors ASAP for the ones that aren't right. I didn't even have to haul them back to the store; they'll make the swap when they deliver the replacements.

The granite place confirmed that someone else is taking the slabs we want. Now waiting for them to tell us how long it would take to get new stuff in, and we'll decide whether to go wait or get the 2nd choice stuff (it's called Desert Brown).

Tonight could be called "fun with crown molding." Since there are a few DIY-ers lurking, I'll toss in all the gory details for your reading pleasure (or pain).

Crown molding is very simple in concept, but (so far, IME) difficult to execute. The simplicity: cut 45 degree angles in the stuff (upside down on the mitre saw), and nail it to the cabinets. But when you're nailing it together, albeit with a fabulous Paslode finish nailer, if the piece you're holding shifts ever-so-slightly, the gap at the corner is magnified and, with all the dimension to it, looks bad. On the first couple corners I did this week, DH took some heavy duty construction adhesive to the gap, smashed it together, and taped it until it dried.

What a pain. So, after bouncing ideas of each other and developing another way, we decided to glue the stuff together at the corners BEFORE attaching it to the cabinets, then attach it as one piece.

Here's my first trial, with some light rail. When it dries, I'll just hold the whole thing under the cabinet, align it like I want, and nail it in.

With the basic concept proven, I moved back to the crown, which is a little trickier, because it has 2 parts, which theoretically makes it simpler to do. Piece 1 is a flat thing that you nail to the top of the cabinets. It has a notch in it that matches an indentation in the crown, so you just nest the crown in it and it goes in straight. The piece on the right shows the flat strip nested into the crown, as it would look gazing upward at it from below.

So I precut the 6 pieces needed for the 54" of cabinet over the sink and the side strips.

Then I nailed the crown to the flat strips in each (way easier to do it on a countertop than balancing on a ladder, holding a nail gun at eye level and trying to keep everything lined up). Finally, I propped it up and glued the corners of the crown together with the construction adhesive. There's a lot of precision involved to get it all aligned (note the 2x4, the shim, and the tape), but it wasn't too hard.

The final step on the tallest cabinets will be to GLUE the whole contraption to the tops of the cabinets. This stuff is seriously as strong as nails, and it's not like people are going to be beating on it or anything. That gluing was DH's idea, and spurred mine about assembling the whole thing before attaching it.

I did the final bit: a corner cabinet, and just as I was gathering up the 6 pieces to bring them down and assemble them, I had a DOH! moment, when I realized I had cut everything on 45 degree angles and the corner cabinet has 135 degree angles on it. ARGHHH!! I had to recut everything. (That's for those of you that think we make it look easy. As DH says, "the way you learn to DIY is to make mistakes and learn from them.")

Anyway, I did finally get everything cut right, and glued together, so here are the two assemblages, awaiting DH's gluing to the cabinets tomorrow.

Speaking of mistakes, DH (who didn't make any progress on his list due to a couple meetings and having to go in early to work) realized he put the flange for the potfiller behind the drywall when it needs to be in front of it (you can see it back on the stove wall in the above photo). So he's going to have to cut a hole and move it out.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 10:45PM
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I am so impressed with your DIY abilities! No contractor's got anything on you. I just wanted to mention that our contractor assembled our molding before he put it up too. When I commented on how nice the corners look, even on our very tricky angles, he told me his secret.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 11:09PM
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alku: I don't know whether to feel triumphant that I figured out a contractor trick or bummed that I went through the pain of the first couple installs when I probably could have found advice somewhere to have made it easier. :-)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 7:30PM
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You kitchen is looking great!

My husband did the same undertile warming system as you did. He laid it himself over a thin layer of cork since we are on a slab. He tested it and it worked. The tile layers laid the tile over it. This was in June.

A month ago we tried to turn it on. It didn't work! He called the company and they sent out a system that could detect where the problem was. Then he had to remove a tile and sure enough, the wire under it was messed up. We think the tilers did it and just covered it up. Anyway, he was able to fix it and all is well now.

The floor is wonderful and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 7:38PM
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DITTO!!!!! WOW!!! Great job!!! I predict a call from HGTV in the near future, asking you to do a series. The response here is proof that a lot of people are interested in DIY projects.

Thanks so much for your thread. We are also DIYers, only we are doing about roughly 80% DIY for a whole house......and working. Your post came at a good time for me because last night we were outside with a spotlight in 30 degree weather putting up cedar siding, and I'm thinking what the heck are we doing?? Then today I saw your post and it gave me encouragement to know others DIY too. We are going at a much slower pace than you are. We have a few more years on you guys, 49 & 56. I must say the satisfaction at the end of each phase is fabulous. I know you will be rewarded with that in the end.

We installed our cabinets, appliances and wood flooring. I'm not good at cutting. I leave that to DH. I do some of the drywall taping. Some of that we do contract out because it takes me so long. I do all the painting/staining and hope to master doing trim work.
We don't have our granite yet either. There was a bit of a "Mars vs Venus" thing going on with that so we are at a standstill. I'm in love with Crema Bordeaux. We have a sample and I catch myself fondling it often.
I love the way you staggered the height of your cabs. I wanted to do that but the man from Mars wanted it all the same height....HE won on that one.

GOOD LUCK!!! We are cheering for you.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 10:22AM
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Thanks for the step-by-step walkthrough on the crown moulding, hadn't thought about pre-assembly before. Crown installation is our project for this week.

Keep the pics and the tips coming!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 1:34PM
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Its like the really old This Old House - you know the originals - where the owners actually helped out and they were using products that the general population used and they went slow, week by week so you could see how it was done. Not like the DIY shows now where in 30 min you have an entirely new kitchen. I'm enjoying reading along!!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 2:33PM
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Y'all are amazing. Looks great!

This IS definitely better than TOH or anything on HGTV...LOL

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 6:03PM
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Glad to hear from the other DIY-ers on this board!

Today we finally had a full day to work again. The faucet arrived Thursday, so DH hit the plumbing like a fiend, and when the dust settled, and after two more trips to the hardware store, we now have a working sink, disposal (with air switch) and dishwasher. Yay, we can actually do more than cook microwave food in our kitchen now! He got the hood in and wired up as well.

I set out to work on the desk area. I ripped out--I mean gently removed--the wall cabinet and the desk area, and all the jury-rigging attached. That left some wall damage behind, so I did the first round of drywall patching, but DH will add his finesse to finish it up. I painted what I could, and we'll install the cabinets later. Here's where that stands.

We attached our pre-fabbed crown molding and light rail too (easy as glue). And I spray-painted a bunch of the knobs bronze. This is how they started out looking. The egg-carton painting trick I picked up on HGTV.

So here's one wall, complete with crown molding, light rail, and knobs. We need to add light rail to the cabinet on the right, but we're going to put a tambour in there, and can't do that until the counters are installed, and then can cut the light rail precisely. And we're still waiting for a couple replacement doors. Other than that, this whole side of the kitchen is done!

So now we are quite literally finished until the replacement cabinet pieces come and the granite gets installed. I won't bore you with the saga of where that all stands, but I'm rather frustrated with it all. The important thing is that we can use it now. Oh, and I still have to decide on and order the drawer pulls.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Beautiful! I logged in during half time to see if you had posted an update. It looks great. I know you are frustrated with waiting for the pieces, etc., but man oh man, you should sit back and take in what all you two have accomplished in such a short time! I just moved in to a brand new house 4 months ago and I wish my kitchen looked like yours.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 11:05PM
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Are you worried about glueing the light rail - we are trying to figure out how to get ours on and I bought a ton of different screws this week as my husband finally cut it last week (I'm not as brave as you to try the cutting). He wants to glue, I want screws. What glue did you use? I worry if we need to take it off, you can't.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 12:06AM
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Dumb question- how are you hooking up your sink without the granite in? We are on month 7 without a kitchen cuz we're waiting for the granite to be installed before we put in the sink and thus attach the DW.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 3:52AM
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pcjs: We used heavy duty construction adhesive (that's what it's called on the tube; you put it in a caulk gun) to glue the light rail together, but nailed the constructed pieces to the cabinet from below.

raehelen: we put a piece of plywood over our sink base, cut a hole for the sink, and dropped it in. It's an undermount sink, but for now we set it up like a drop-in. Then we attached the faucet like normal, as well as the disposal and dishwasher. We'll have to disconnect everything and reinstall it when the granite arrives, but in the meantime it's functional.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 9:16AM
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What kind of nails did you use to get it on - that is where we are stuck as my husband is nervous about getting it exactly centered. He is pregluing the pieces and using the biscuit joiner to hold them together. We debated between screws which is how the guy helping us recommended, the brad nailer (we have 16 and 18 gauge nailers) or gluing (but he's using wood glues but we have construction adhesive too - we have a mini Home Depot/Lowes downstairs).

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 11:54AM
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It's really coming along! How soon will the granite go in?

I think your kitchen is a perfect example of an okay before kitchen and a fabulous after kitchen. I have seen some pretty awful before kitchens but yours wasn't awful. But you had the vision to see how much better it could be.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 11:57AM
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This has been wonderful to follow along. We are still in the planning stage. One thing we are trying to decide is how much we will do. Over the years I have become an accomplished tile layer. DH does drywall and somw wiring. We have to run some gas line; ssems we should let a pro do that.

Had not decided about hanging cabinets.

You have obvioulsy put a tremendous amount of thought into your design.Do you have a layout with measurements? How much room do you have around your island? (Your layout looks to be quite similar to one that we are working on, though we have a bit more width but not as much length.)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 1:21PM
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Thanks Weedyacres,

Hopefully our granite is coming Tuesday, so I won't bother asking hubby to connect sink now- and I think I don't even want to contemplate why we didn't connect it a couple of months ago (but probably cuz we THOUGHT granite was coming any day...SIGH!)

I have one more question- where did you find ORB spray paint? I've looked everywhere- and I'm going to kick myself if it's available at Lowe's- cuz was just there last week, after enduring an hour wait at the border- but didn't think to look.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 4:18PM
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pcjs: We used 1 1/4" 16 gauge nails. Screws seem like overkill to me, as this stuff isn't exactly load-bearing. Wow, biscuits...your DH must be a real perfectionist woodworker.

happyladi: No, our kitchen wasn't horrible (except for the carpet and the sink), but it was ugly and didn't have enough storage space. I don't know when the granite is coming; we've been going back and forth with the granite place for 3 weeks on what granite is even available. They're 2 hours away, and the original guy we were working with left mid-stream, so we've had to do a lot of starting over and redundant communicating.

dcwesley: The cabinets really aren't hard at all to put in. If you can do basic carpentry and understand how to screw, align, and shim, you can do it. I thought we had put a lot of thought into the design, until I discovered GW and encountered people who planned it for a couple years. Our process started in late August, when we were in HD and the KD, who had helped us with our master bath vanities said, "Wanna buy a kitchen? They're 10% off if you order by Oct 15th." 6 weeks later we were done. I have a design with measurements, but I don't have a scanner to post it. It's 13' wide, though, our island is 24" wide, and right now we have it centered between the walls, with 41" walk space on either side. We're testing that spacing out right now, and will decide whether or not to adjust it before the granite comes.

raehelen: The spray paint is bronze, not ORB, so the sheen is slightly different, but unless you take a knob and put it right next to the faucet, you don't really notice it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 9:03PM
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I can't see your pictures. It says 'bandwidth exceeded' photobucket-


    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 7:29AM
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Yeah, my free account isn't going to work anymore. I upgraded for $$, so they won't be cut off again.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 8:26AM
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Well, I got a nice surprise when the granite company called me this morning and said that they had confirmed that the 2 slabs of Terra Brazilas we originally wanted had been unreserved by another customer, and he was ready to come measure TODAY! So he came by, did his thing, and we should have our counters in 2 weeks. Plus it's cheaper than I was ballpark budgetting. A great day!

So we'll probably be kind-of quiet on this thread for a couple weeks, but will resurrect it again when we get our counters.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 10:39PM
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He's a perfectionist, which is why everything takes forever and he rarely works on it as we have other things going on and I love buying him tools as he loves tools. :) I needed a present for him and it's one of the few he doesn't have. I figure if he ever gets the house done, he will then need to build some matching furniture.

Congrat's on the granite - I'm impressed on how fast you all are pulling this together.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 10:50PM
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Fabulous job--I'm another one who can't get a room painted in under a week, so I really am wowed at the amount of work you've accomplished in such a short time.

I have a question about the light rail--are there pieces behind the visible rail or are they attached directly to the bottom of the cabinets?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 6:58AM
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BUMP!!! The DIYers here on GW all need some inspiration . . . Besides, as someone said earlier - this isn;t a thread to let die.

Our remodel won't be as incredible as yours (nor as fast) but DH is getting out all his hidden electrical and plumbing desires. It's fun to see what you have tackled so successfully.

Keep us posted on the granite.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 10:27PM
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I intend to bump this again as soon as I actually have some progress to report (waiting for granite, replacement crown, drawer handles), it's just been quiet on the kitchen front.

In the meantime, jesemy, here's a photo of a cross section of the light rail, showing how it gets nailed into the cabinet frame above.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 7:56AM
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What an inspiration!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 9:26AM
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BUMP...any updates?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 11:32AM
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Alas, no updates of note. I ordered the drawer handles, only to find out that they were backordered, so we're waiting on that. One of the replacement doors came in, but that's not a very exciting photo to post. :-) Still waiting on the replacement crown and the microwave cabinet (the one we ordered originally wasn't the right size to put the microwave under, so we're swapping it out). The granite will hopefully be arriving this coming week.

We have determined, after living in our kitchen for a couple weeks, that the island and penninsula placement are ok, so this coming week we'll screw them together and add the trim. That'll be worth some photos. And it should be just in time for the granite....

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 5:14PM
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Okay, I'm going to make you all jealous. The weedyacres crew are related to me, and guess what they're giving me for Christmas? Two days of slave labor! Of course, I'd love to have a kitchen that even looked like their BEFORE photo...but they're going to install new vinyl flooring and we'll see what else they have time for. Maybe we'll start our own thread. :)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 4:03PM
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A new vinyl floor depending on what is under it isn't too hard - I did mine alone with only minimal help. I'd be jealous, but I have a handy husband! I wish our before kitchen looked like hers too - I wouldn't have been in such a hurry to do ours.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 8:13PM
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Okay, we're back on track! We had a good workday on Saturday, and knocked off a few lingering projects.

First, we put in the desk area stuff. We took your earlier advice and pulled the upper cabinet away from the back wall by 6", but that added a lot of complexity in fastening it, as it had to be screwed to the side walls. We had to build up about 1.5" on either side, so we did it with plywood and some shaved-down pieces of a pallet. It looked like this:

We got the wall cabinet screwed in, and the desk placed (at counter height), but not fastened yet, because I can't remember how far from the back wall I told the granite guy to go with the counter. So we'll wait to do the final front-to-back positioning until he brings the slabs back.

I still need to add the fillers and the crown to the wall cabinet, but I'm using the filler around the tambour, and need to use it there first, and use the remnants on the desk.

DH worked for 4 hours on the island electrical. We mused, discussed, and brainstormed to figure out what to do on this. We've got decorative panels everywhere, so an outlet in the middle would detract from that. Plug mold (our original idea) would have required one side of the island counter to be a couple inches more overhand, plus it would cover up the top of the decorative doors. So our KD (thanks, Dan!) had this idea:

It's unobtrusive and simple in concept, but to execute my DH not only had to drill the holes in the precise place in the 3/8" plywood skin, but then chisel out a rectangular area behind it, so the outlet could be flush with the outside of the plywood. Whew! We've got one on either side of the center panel, and the entire island is shown here in the finished shot.

I also did the penninsula trim: more plywood, decorative door panels, and corner bead.

We're waiting by the phone with bated breath for our granite guy to call saying they're ready to bring it. They did send us photos of the template, so we know they've got our slabs. Here's one (sorry, don't know how to make it bigger).

And our backordered drawer handles should finally be here on Monday.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 9:05AM
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Looking good! I totally admire that you guys are doing this all yourselves and you're actually finishing it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 9:35AM
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I eagerly await each installment, but this thread is taking FOREVER to load with so many pictures.

Could I vote for opening a second thread?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 12:27PM
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Good idea. I did that here.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 2:33PM
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