Change the layout, trench the slab! Hurray for scope creep!

kksmamaNovember 11, 2013

I made wonderful food and enjoyed a lot of time with my friends and family in a kitchen I hated for ten years. If I had liked the cabinets or counter tops, or had the gumption to paint them, I'd still have that kitchen.

But it doesn't make sense to put new counters on awful cabinets, and replacing both at once is expensive. Most the of people I consulted just asked if I was keeping the existing floor plan and advised that doing so would be more affordable - they didn't explore or evaluate beyond the cabinets they were selling.

Turns out that moving plumbing really isn't the big deal I imagined, especially if one is changing cabinets anyway. The functional advantages to changing my layout cannot be overstated - and it looks better, too.

Advice: Do not spend five figures on a remodel without being sure your layout is optimized, and don't accept someone's word that you can't/shouldn't do something just because THEY can't/won't get paid for doing it.

(ok, who else wants a turn up on this soapbox?)

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I am right in this position right now. The plan was to take out this wall between the back door and the kitchen area. Plans were made, drawn up and I was excited about my new kitchen. I have now been told that it might be impractical since this turns out to be a load bearing wall! We are already over our budget so I am not keen on spending more putting in a new beam to open it up. Why did the planner and gc not realize this before my hopes were all set for an island. Nobody bothered to look in the wall to see what is there before plans were all finalized and. Now if I leave the wall the kitchen will be updated, but not with my island.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 4:47PM
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@renov8r - When it comes to decisions like that, we tried to look at the extra cost over the number of years that we would be using our kitchen, instead of just the up front cost. Since we intend to stay in this house for quite a few years, the cost per year of a particular change made it a much easier decision. Of course, it all depends on really how much that you can realistically swing up front. For us, we did end up going for some things that did increase the scope and cost, but cost per year breakdown wasn't too bad. So far, we don't have any regrets.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Renov8r, if getting an island is one of your top goals, do not proceed without getting it! Moving the load bearing wall may not be the only way, consider posting your plans here for more ideas. And please consider getting opinions/bids from another KD and GC - these folks let you down after pumping you up, that isn't a great beginning.

It occurs to me that an important corollary to "don't accept someone's word that you can't/shouldn't do something just because THEY can't/won't get paid for doing it" is this:
"don't accept someone's word that the only way to do something is the way that just so happens to make them, or cost you, money."

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 5:36PM
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