Mar 24, 2009

Kitchen in the Garage

Everyone says their garage is a mess, but we really mean it. Renting a dumpster for several hundred dollars doesn't sound appealing so I've taken it on as a challenge to slowly get rid of all our demolition mess through our weekly trash pick up. Easier said than done, because we have a mini trash can (it's cheaper, and prior to this kitchen project we didn't product much trash).

Ideally, the old cabinets would be in such great condition that we would repurpose them in the garage for extra storage and organization. But they didn't even have backers, you'd see the wall when you opened the cabinets. And some genius painted that white to trick you. So it's all rubbish. We even tried to burn some cabinet parts in our fire pit but it created a raging smelly smokey fire. There were no shortcuts, we had to hack it all into small pieces for the trash over the course of several weeks, maybe even months. My wrist took a beating and somehow my pinky as well. We've thought about sneaking it into neighbors' empty trash bins, and business dumpsters, and even at the dumpsters at our old apartment. I'm just so impatient, I want the non-choppable, oddly shaped, non-bendable old oven hood gone. Is that so wrong?

Mar 23, 2009

Kitchen Guts

I was so naive in my last post. We were so not close.

This weekend we completely gutted our kitchen down to the concrete foundation. This was an unexpected step, we didn't plan on removing the flooring. But while trying to remove our range, we realize it was caught on old linoleum flooring. We also realized that there was a smell under all that flooring. The smell of dampness and mold and all kinds of nasty bacteria.

And we discovered the source of it all, evidence of an old leak that had a clamp with screw... and scorch marks on the stud all around the copper pipe. That explains the horrible smell under the sink! Who fixes a hole with a clamp? Did I mention that all the plumbing was running through the old cabinets. That made for lots of holes through cabinets, unusable cabinet space, drainage noises, and unsightly drain pipes - I will not have that in my new beautiful cabinets. And I will not have smells under my floor.

We purchased some copper piping, learned how to weld, and created a new route for the drain pipes (through the half wall behind the sink). So in addition to being electricians, we are plumbers now.

And the fun doesn't end there. The next surprise was removing the adhesive from the linoleum flooring. That stuff is thick and bonds to bare concrete really well. It was instense labor. We tried all 'green' methods such as boiling water, wet towels, a blow torch, and old fashioned manual labor with a floor scraper. Finally, we resorted to chemicals. And when it comes to chemicals, this stuff was hardcore and highly effective.

On a side note: welding is fun, we encourage you to try it.

Mar 20, 2009

D-day (D as in Demo, Demo as in Demolition)

Today we unleashed all our angst and stress to destroy our kitchen. I thoroughly enjoyed this process. How many chances do you get to have a party with your power tools without any care in the world (aside from your own personal safety of course)? Power tools rock, especially when you don't care about what they are touching. The beauty of poorly constructed cabinets is that they are a breeze to demolish.

Once we remove the old cabinets, just a little clean up and painting and the new ones go in! We are so close!

Mar 15, 2009

Burgundy Cab

Our new cabinets have arrived! We ordered the ready-to-assemble cabinets from Home Depot called Distinctions (made by KraftMaid), the style we chose was Glendale Burgundy. This is a new line so there's little information on it, but since it's parent company makes high end cabinetry, we thought we'd give it a go. We've promised Joann at Home Depot that once we're done with the kitchen, we'll bring her a photo to show future customers (we know the HD staff by name now). We also opened a HD credit card and saved $200!

The cabinets are still in boxes in our garage since there's no room until the old cabinets are gone. But like kids on Christmas morning, we couldn't wait to open up some boxes to see what we got. Here is our sink base cabinet. It was pretty easy to put together, and even had the European style footing which will make it a breeze to install (this is what I say now).

We made a slight miscalculation of an inch with the cabinets and realized that our existing fridge would not fit. We hadn't planned on replacing it just yet, but it being the only non-stainless steel appliance in our new kitchen, we weren't disappointed :)

I posted our fridge for sale on craigslist and it was sold the day our new fridge arrived. After lots of research, we opted for a stainless steel french door energy efficient fridge (which qualifies for a rebate from the electric company). I don't like paying top dollar for the stainless steel appearance, but with such a small kitchen I think it'll help open it up (like a reflective mirror). Plus, since we are doing this all ourselves and it's a small kitchen, we can afford to splurge a bit here and there. The french doors (like our previous side-by-side fridge) can be opened one at a time and won't block the entire kitchen, but can also fit a pizza box which our old fridge couldn't. And we anticipate several pizza boxes in our near future.

The new fridge is currently sitting proudly in our living room. Is it normal to love a kitchen appliance so much?

Mar 7, 2009

No room for Yell-o

We erased all traces of the dingy yellow paint that covered our downstairs. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with yellow when done right, but that wasn't the case here, and it didn't go with anything we had. We have a lot of natural lighting during the day and with the yellow walls, you needed sunglasses to be in here.

The new color we originally chose was Behr's Mochachino, which is slightly darker and warmer than our Behr's Chocolate Froth upstairs. However, instead of being a warm brown like one would expect, it looked awfully greenish (see photo above). And we had 4 (unreturnable) gallons of it. It looked completely different on the walls than on the paint chip and online. Again, probably all that natural lighting overload that we have. We decided to use it on one wall as an accent wall that surrounds the sliding doors which will lead nicely into the backyard.

Instead of taking anymore chances, we bought a sample of Shark Fin, and decided that looked too blue and cold. So we finally chose and stuck with Wheat Bread. With the yellow gone for good, it's instantly more updated and calmer (feeling) downstairs. It's amazing what a coat of paint can do.

Tip: prime before attempting to paint over glossy paint. It will make the paint stick a lot better, and your job a lot easier. Especially if you want to annihilate the color underneath.

Any suggestions for the remaining 3 gallons of Mochachino? And do you think our accent wall looks intentional?