Posted by Jon on December 11, 2003 at 11:34:08:
In Reply to: Just like that! posted by Michelle on December 03, 2003 at 11:15:42:
are some things my wife and I did when updating our severely outdated 1955 ranch.
We ripped out all the old cabinets outselves...this was a pain in the ass but probably saved us a couple grand since the cabinets were originally stick built on site...they came out piece by piece.
I have a friend who is an electrician and helped him run new wiring in the kitchen and house, just grunt work but things went pretty fast with 2 people. When he was building his house this summer I helped him with some things. Enlisting friends that are capable is a great way to get things done inexpensively...and you get some experience. Just remember to return the favor when they need you.
My wife painted the kitchen and did a great job too. One thing to remember, old white walls hide many imperfections that other colors cannot. Our new paint is a maple color and the old '50's cement board really shows it's irregularities.
The cabinets are midrange oak with a honey finish (artcraft I think). These aren't the most expensive but they have dove tailed construction and look awesome. We went with black knobs and pulls because all the new appliances are black.
The flooring is a midrange vinyl floor that looks like tile...no kidding, it fools everyone that comes over. We also carried that same flooring type into the bathroom.
I did the trim work around the floors and windows using oak colonial and matching the stain to the cabinets as close as possible. The thing with this is, ya gotta have the tools or know someone that will lend you theirs...and help out.
The counter top is just a laminate but has the look of stained concrete...sort of a burnished brown. When my wife brought home the sample I was like...brown!? Are you kidding!? It looks great so points for her.
If I had to pick where we went overboard, I'd say it was in the lighting and appliances but I don't regret it. Good lighting in a kitchen is necessary and we went from 3 light fixtures on the ceiling to 4, and added 3 under the counter halogens. The new microwave over the cooktop has a set of built in lights and a fan. This way all counter and cooking space can be lit up.
Our appliances consisted of a black cooktop and stove that we bought a few years back and had retrofitted into the new cabinet design. We did purchase a new fridge (not my idea), microwave, and built in dishwasher to match the older appliances. They all came with rebates so that at least took the sting out of the price tag. I also found that local dealers can be just as competetive as the big chains, and when something breaks...because it will, the local guys are there immediately. Getting that service from a big chain doesn't always happen.
Lastly, make sure the layout of the kitchen suits you. Our old layout was probably fine for 1955 but bad for now days. We shuffled some appliances around in the design, got rid of a useless pennisula, and put a nice pantry on a wall that never had anything on it. We're really happy and it's seems like a perfect blend of quality work and functional design. If I can track down the before and after photos i
ll send you some.By the way the cost was about $25000 and that got us a new kitchen, bathroom, refinished hardwood floors in the 3 bedrooms, updated electrical system, carpeted hallway, and new entry doors and new oak doors on 2 floor to ceiling built-in closets. So whatever you can do yourself without creating more work for the other people that have to install and build things, do it. Good luck!
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