Budget Kitchen Remodel: Catching Up

Plumbing, countertops, sink, faucet! So much has progressed and there are some pictures to prove it, but it’s been a bit crazy so this isn’t a very organized post. Here goes, a quick update…

The plank wall was primed with Kilz No VOC primer, I really like this product…

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…and the walls where countertops were going in were partially painted so I wouldn’t later have to closely paint against brand new counters.

countertop ready paint

I remember when this wall (above) looked like this (below) and I’m very glad to be past that dusty messy stage. Sweet sweet progress!

drywall patching

We installed IKEA Hammarp counters in beech. Unfortunately, we needed just a few inches more than the 98″ larger slab they sell so had to buy a second smaller slab for a total of about $300. It ended up being a fortunate thing when we had a few flaws in the wood we wanted to avoid and had an oops cut that caused us to completely recut one of the pieces. The counters come with these brackets which we just fasted to our cabinets boxes flush to the top, making sure along the way that the counters would sit level and adding shims where needed.

brackets for counters

The beauty of wood countertops is they are natural and can just be conditioned periodically with a mineral oil and beeswax based product. We will periodically condition them to maintain their water resistance and keep them looking good, and if they ever get damaged, we can just sand out the flaw and recoat. Voila. countertop cond

Oliver handled the cooking during this big push to finally get counters and working plumbing (including a sink!) in place.
o cooking

Chad had already done the hard work rerunning our drain line a few inches lower, but still had some plumbing to figure out to connect that new lower line back to the sink drain/garbage disposal. He has learned a lot of plumbing on You Tube. Here he is studying a video with parts in hand 🙂 Chad learned a lot from this video to get a good idea of what parts and pieces go where, but we did ours in plastic drain pipe.

you tube plumbing

We installed the new faucet on the sink, put it in place, and then inserted a drain assembly picked up at Home Depot. The faucet and drain assembly required using plumbers puddy (like play doh for plumbers) following the package instructions. Both went in really, really easy. We put the faucet in before dropping the sink into place which made that a breeze on a brand new sink. The faucet is Kohler and has a great powerful ‘sweep’ spray to really clear crud off plates!

puddy drain assembly

So after 10 days of washing dishes in the bathtub, we had running water! And a functioning drain. I was sooo excited! It was so satisfying to install things that wouldn’t be coming apart again for any next steps. It really is coming together. Can you see the light at the end of this tunnel? It’s still a bit far, I know, but I’m seeing it too!

running sink

Alas, the list update:

Redo backwards plumbing to sink and dishwasher (currently reversed and feeds only cold water to dishwasher!)

Remove floating cabinet, repair dining room floor

Remove upper cabinets

Remove backsplash tile

Replace countertops

Install new sink and faucet

Replace hood with over the range microwave

Added: Finish painting cabinetry, install upper cabs

Sell current hood and microwave (added: and dishwasher) on CL (bonus! sold extra washing machine to couple at HD! +$180)

Install backboard to backsplash wall to ceiling

Install open shelving

Install backboard on island, bar attachment?

New ceiling light

Install undercabinet light

Paint inside pantry, new door knob

Install hutch to dining wall, paint, move light switch

Paint remaining kitchen walls (working on it!)

Replace flooring (done-ish, coming soon!)

Added: Install new quarter round, floor transitions



Budget Kitchen Remodel: Wood Planked Feature Wall

In going with our modified kitchen remodel approach, aka, the budget remodel and not a full gut… we also sacrificed being able to modify the layout. So, one main wall remains the central hub of the kitchen. Previously, it was dark and sliced up by ugly cabinets, a design that did not fully appreciate the angled vaulted ceiling above.

Kitchen photo plan

So, to remedy this ugly wall, I found a budget friendly way to make this wall a true feature of the kitchen, avoid lots of tedious drywall repair from the damage the previous tile removal made, and make the wall function reasonably as a backsplash without the cost of tile. Originally we were thinking maybe beadboard, but I was worried it would look too “country”, and instead I found this idea for a planked wall on another blog, Sweet Pickins. We used plywood utility panels we found at Lowe’s, cut into 6″ strips, that were maple as opposed to artificial wood so it was slightly more expensive than it appears Sweet Pickins used. But this project for our one wall rang in at $100 in materials ($25 per 8′ by 4′ sheet) and about 3 nights of ‘after the baby goes to bed’ effort, maybe 6-8 hours total including prepping for paint.

Since we were aiming for a level gap appropriate for a caulk line against our counters, we set our cut counter pieces in place temporarily for the first plank, started at the bottom and worked our way up. You will need a good long level for this, checking the board as you work your way across with nails and hammer (or a nail gun if you have one). We were quite thorough and put two nails through at each stud. See how nasty the wall behind still is? Since we’re covering it all and sealing it all up with paint after, this let us get by with little effort on repairing this main wall.

hammer first plankWe took our planks full length across the right side, and let all the seams stack up above the oven area on the left because this would mostly be covered by oven, microwave, and cabinet. It seemed like a better option to make the cuts and puddy a few seams in the few small visible areas there than have them scattered all over in more visible areas of the whole wall. Made the process pretty easy too. We paired our boards that would be side by side ahead of time based on their width matching up since the cuts from Lowe’s were not exact (bad enough actually they didn’t make us pay for the cuts in the end!).

plank measuring

planks stacking up  planks almost doneOne factor we were pretty proud of in this project is we used no power tools- save for the few times we used the electric mouse sander for some edges. This was all the old fashion way with straight edge, pencil, hand saw, hammer, and nails.

handsaws at nightIt took us about 3 nights of cutting and nailing planks, trying to feed O whatever was on hand for dinner- like “here’s a whole tomato, kiddo. have fun!”plank break O eats tomatoAfter the final pieces were in place, Chad used a nail set to sink all the nail heads, and I used wood putty on all the nail head holes and visible seams above the oven. Sanded, repeated on the seams, and we were ready for primer, paint, and polyurethane to seal it. What do you think?

finished planks

We dropped all our cut countertop pieces and sink in just for a photo op. It’s these moments that keep us going on this!

List update:

Redo backwards plumbing to sink and dishwasher (currently reversed and feeds only cold water to dishwasher!)

Remove floating cabinet, repair dining room floor (done, coming soon!)

Remove upper cabinets

Remove backsplash tile

Replace countertops (done, coming soon!)

Install new sink and faucet (done, coming soon!)

Replace hood with over the range microwave

Sell current hood and microwave (added: and dishwasher) on CL

Install backboard to backsplash wall to ceiling

Install open shelving

Install backboard on island, bar attachment?

New ceiling light

Install undercabinet light

Paint inside pantry, new door knob

Install hutch to dining wall, paint, move light switch

Paint remaining kitchen walls

Replace flooring (done-ish, coming soon!)

 

Budget Kitchen Remodel: Dust, Dust, Dust

Just an update today- lots happening in the kitchen over the past two weeks. Last week was mostly about planning, plumbing, patching drywall, sanding, smoothing, mudding, sanding and whole lot of dust. Chad took the lead on the plumbing work which involved moving our sink drain in the kitchen back wall down a few inches to accommodate our plan for a deeper sink and adjusting the supply fittings under the sink. We had a day off work together where we dropped O at daycare and tackled the countertop cutting and fitting, as well as dry fitting the apron sink which was a lot of serious work to get done. More details on those processes later (how to do your own countertops with only a circular saw and $200!). Everything else we do when O goes to bed at night so pardon the bad photo lighting. Here’s some pics to welcome you into our mess 🙂

I came home from a meeting last Thursday night and found our sink on the curb and Chad waiting for me to help carry the countertop outside to join it. I was thrilled! Like, literally, I was thrilled to find pieces of my kitchen on the curb. Progress!!

kitchen disaster sink out

The following week was a loooot of drywall repair. The three places at the countertop sides (far left, far right, and next to frig) were damaged badly by removing the tile. The main wall we were less worried about because we have a different plan for that wall. So, I spent about a week patching and repairing. I used a puddy knife to scrape as much old grout away as I could, then used mesh drywall tape to cover really bad spots where the wall was ripped. Then patiently applied joint compound, let it dry, sanded smooth, repeat, repeat as needed.

drywall patching

One end was really badly damaged when the counters came out so it seemed easier to cut the whole part out and patch with a new patch piece of drywall. You can by just small patch pieces about 2′ by 2′ for a few bucks that are easy to work with so it’s a good way to go. 
cut out patch
hole patched

We opened up our new IKEA Hammarp countertops in birch and worked on the cuts (see lots of measurement notes in previous post!) last Friday. And it was soooo exciting to place that first piece on the cabinet box and start to see my vision come together.

first countertop piece

We also worked on modifying the sink cabinet and dry fitting all the pieces in their places. Sad part was to take it all back apart for us to finish the work on the back wall, but was exciting to see it all fitting together! We did it this way because this was the only day we could both be home with O in daycare to get all the cutting, fitting, cutting, fitting, sanding, fitting again, etc done and have it all ready to go for installation later we were ready for those steps. Can you begin to see the vision too?

countertop dry fits

We made more progress this holiday weekend that I’ll get updated later, but here’s the list til here. The list hasn’t really changed much since most of the work we’ve been doing has been prep work (plumbing, patching, etc) but it’s about to start moving quickly! And still under my 2K budget cap 🙂


List

Redo backwards plumbing to sink and dishwasher (currently reversed and feeds only cold water to dishwasher!)

Remove floating cabinet, repair dining room floor

Remove upper cabinets

Remove backsplash tile

Replace countertops

Install new sink and faucet

Replace hood with over the range microwave

Sell current hood and microwave on CL

Install backboard to backsplash wall to ceiling

Install open shelving

Install backboard on island, bar attachment?

New ceiling light

Install undercabinet light

Paint inside pantry, new door knob

Install hutch to dining wall, paint, move light switch

Paint remaining kitchen walls

Replace flooring

 

Budget Kitchen Remodel: Shopping and Demolition

Let the games begin. I warned/promised Chad I would not dilly dally on moving this kitchen plan along. So, the shopping began. IKEA, Home Depot, Amazon, Lowe’s… a living room full of boxes of beautiful things I can’t wait to install (and a pile of old stuff building up to repurpose or trash). IKEA delivered our butcher block counters and Domsjo farm sink, but was so late on the delivery day, they later returned our entire $99 delivery fee. Yay!

shopping pile

Taking down cabinets and existing lighting was rewarding. Someone put lots of extra screws in weird places so this was kind of interesting to get done.

chad start demo

Then I took Oliver for a long walk over a couple of evenings while Chad cracked away at removing the old tile leaving this lovely mess.

tile out

We later decided to just take down all the cabinets, including the two that will go back up, because we’ll need to raise them anyway and it will be easier to do the wall finishing we have planned- more on that later. Nothing like spending money on a pile of waiting-to-be-installed shiny things and demolishing half your kitchen to light a fire for getting this project done! Yet, after getting this far, we learned our new over-the-range microwave should ideally have a dedicated circuit. For that matter, there are other electrical adjustments we wanted made in the house (additional circuit for future bathroom and bedroom in basement, additional 220 circuit for future fantasy master closet washer/dryer) so we had to hold up a couple weeks to get an electrician friend to come set us up (for a bargain, but still some unanticipated expense). So this has been our kitchen the past two weeks- functional, but a little dangerous looking and certainly not pretty 🙂

tile cabs all out

Needless to say, the kitchen has become mostly off-limits for little feet and hands… “Dad, what are you doing behind the fridge?”

gate O

But now we have our new wiring and are ready to attack the final wall preparations (moving microwave vent up in wall to allow better clearance above stove, put in receptacle for new dedicated microwave circuit, put in outlet/junction box for under cabinet lighting switch). That’s where we are now… and making lots of lists and measurements for getting the wall planking (oops, just spilled the beans a little on that!) and countertops cut and installed next!
math

There may be some late nights and longs days without sink and plumbing ahead soon, so please help keep us motivated! Also, let me use this platform to thank everyone for the birthday gifts and wishes these past couples weeks!


List update:

Redo backwards plumbing to sink and dishwasher (currently reversed and feeds only cold water to dishwasher!)

Remove floating cabinet, repair dining room floor

Remove upper cabinets

Remove backsplash tile

Replace countertops

Install new sink and faucet

Replace hood with over the range microwave

Sell current hood and microwave on CL

Install backboard to backsplash wall to ceiling

Install open shelving

Install backboard on island, bar attachment?

New ceiling light

Install undercabinet light

Paint inside pantry, new door knob

Install hutch to dining wall, paint, move light switch

Paint remaining kitchen walls

Replace flooring



 

Budget Kitchen Remodel Plan & List

Time to share the plan forming up for the kitchen. I know it will take us some time to get it all done. But here’s the general plan and our to-do list at the bottom of the page. I look forward to crossing these things off over the next several weeks- hopefully mostly done with it before October?

Kitchen photo plan

The apron front sink from IKEA with new faucet butcher block counters will look like this, where they also retrofitted an existing sink cabinet to accommodate the apron front. With this choice we can get a bigger overall and deeper sink that will still fit the width of the existing sink cabinet and will have a great look also. I was torn about not having an undermount which I loved in Pittsburgh, but I know we’ll love this too.

Once the cabinets are down and that back wall is redone, we’ll add rustic open shelving, hoping for a look sort of along these lines…

And I’m leaning towards this light, similar to a Pottery Barn light, but from Overstock for a fraction of the price…

And here’s the to-do list!

Redo backwards plumbing to sink and dishwasher (currently reversed and feeds only cold water to dishwasher!)

Remove floating cabinet, repair dining room floor

Remove upper cabinets

Remove backsplash tile

Replace countertops

Install new sink and faucet

Replace hood with over the range microwave

Sell current hood and microwave on CL

Install backboard to backsplash wall to ceiling

Install open shelving

Install backboard on island, bar attachment?

New ceiling light

Install undercabinet light

Paint inside pantry, new door knob

Install hutch to dining wall, paint, move light switch

Paint remaining kitchen walls

Replace flooring

Budget Friendly Kitchen Remodel… a woman with a (new) plan

So this is happening at our house now:

step 1

Some back story… when we moved in last December, I had plans for a quick kitchen remodel on a 2-3K budget. People told me I was nuts. Kitchens cost 20K and up. Upon moving in, they got to me and I too agreed and thought “the cabinets have to go, they are too crummy and not worth the time to repaint” and the “layout doesn’t work,” everything needs to be redone to really make this kitchen right. So my mental budget for the kitchen grew and the plan brewed and brewed. Then we paid the tax bill (some unexpected quirks with my fellowship and maternity leave stuff, rental property, etc), then our Pittsburgh basement flooded and the central AC up there died… and I always toss around in my mind how a potential second child (no, no, this is not that) will clean us out with doubled daycare costs. So the big kitchen gut was seeming farther and farther away. (this is what your kitchen looks like when you skip dishes and paint instead)

chaos

 

Then, I learned about a new paint my mom used on a project I’m sure she’ll share soon- that is specifically designed to paint old wood furniture without sanding and priming. And I realized my desire for open shelving in the kitchen would largely eliminate several cabinets and having to paint them anyway. SOLD. The kitchen plan was reborn (again!). This time, I’m diving right in before I change my mind 🙂 To satisfy my need to NOT spend money on something I eventually would really rather tear out, etc, the budget is quite small. I’m calling this a 1K remodel (while allowing for 2K when all is said and done- I know how these things go!). I will organize the plan more and share that, but for now, here’s what our base cabinets will look like. Recognize the hardware? I’m going to use the pulls I put in our rental a couple years ago, but removed before moving out. So, that’s $0.

finished drawer

The amazing paint I’m working with is a bit spendy for paint but has great coverage, so one quart will get the base cabinets done easily for about $30. More to come, but just wanted to kick things off to share the chaos I’m starting in the kitchen, and involve you all to keep me accountable to getting this project done quickly and affordably!

 

More EPP… I Can’t Seem To Stop!

I bought some beautiful Phillip Jacobs fabric for the purpose of creating an EPP quilt  (English paper piecing). I used hexagons and created quite a few flowers, but I didn’t like the business of the two prints together. So I got another idea and only used the lettuce print with a leaf print. I’m not finished yet, but I am sure happy with how it’s turning out.

DSC_0009

I hand appliqued all the pieces to the black and then embroidered ferns. I am really enjoying all the hand work. My art quilt friends can’t believe I’m doing all this hand work. But as I have stated before, it is so addicting. I have spent time this weekend quilting it by machine but I haven’t finished it yet. So more later.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today my wonderful mom celebrates the big 6-0. What an amazing birthday year! She has raised two kids, owned multiple businesses, and now lives the dream in retirement. It’s like vacation every day down there in TN! We recently visited for the annual July 4th pilgrimage involving friends and family alike this year. We threw Mom and Dad (who also has an upcoming milestone bday, turning 65 later this month) with a surprise birthday party- that they truly knew nothing about 🙂 Her cake was made from a photo of one of her favorite art quilts “Fox in the Moonlight.”

mom cake

It was great to honor their big bday with many family and some great friends all together- a rare event. Happy 60th, Mom!! I love you!

mom dad cut cake

 

This and That

So much has happened recently! Major landlord chores to kick us off in 2015 including a flooded basement and failing AC unit. Eek. Hopefully I’ll get a picture of the final new product that is finishing up in remodel phase right now. Even though I don’t live there, it’s still exciting to get a brand new basement and bathroom! We added a bit to the insurance money to get a full brand spankin’ new bathroom, complete with redesigned plumbing and proper insulation, a new double pane window, heated floor, big tiled shower. The previous quick DIY job was not up to the task of record cold temps that Pittsburgh saw late this winter. Remember this from our quick redo in 2012?

DSCF8598

Well, here’s where we are now. Pardon the not-great phone picture. So excited for a bathroom that’s not even finished… and not even mine!

new shower in progress rz

Down here in VA, we’ve initiated some landscaping work in our new yard, with my very own lilac, courtesy of O and Chad for Mother’s Day. The real gift of course was Chad chopping out all the overgrown twiggy shrubs outside our family room to make space for my lilac. (Chad convinced me he would need to purchase a chain saw for this- never did use it for this particular project… hmm….)

chopping shrubs

And we’ve been planting a few other items that I’m excited to get some pics of when they become photographable- think very sad hostas stolen and split from our other yard in PA, and dormant shrubs that are basically just sleeping sticks put in the ground for now (=economical landscaping!).

All for now, but wanted to share a bit of the spring crazy that’s been keeping us busy… oh, and bit of this as well 😉

IMG_7282

IMG_7418

o mechanic

 

English Paper Pieced Runner Finished

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DSC_0004Here is my finished EPP table runner. Completely hand done and I loved every minute of making it. I used the backing for my binding by rolling it toward the front and hand sewing it down. I never would have believed how relaxing it was to learn to hand quilt. I’m ready for more. As for my EPP flag, it won first place. It now hangs ready in my home for the 4th of July festivities!

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