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Redwinger

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Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Redwinger » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:10 pm

NJ and I are thinking it is time to remodel our kitchen. We love our home except the kitchen is small. So, the remodel will involve moving a wall or two, plus the usual stuff. For those who have been through this kitchen re-do process what can I learn from your mistakes or what would you have done differently given the chance?
Thanks.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Carl Eppig » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:22 pm

I think it would be better if you gave us the new dimensions of the new kitchen. This will give us the info to incluce an island or not. This could alter recommendations significantly. Good luck with you project, but you should be prepared to suffer. Just ask Jenise!
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:39 pm

Just do it. My wife has been dithering over what to do with ours for about eight years now.

(There is hope, though. As I speak, she's talking with a design person who is set to bring a contractor in quite soon. Hallelujah!!!!)
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Redwinger

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Redwinger » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:50 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:Just do it. My wife has been dithering over what to do with ours for about eight years now.

Mike-
You are probably right, although we've only been dithering a mere 2.5 years. I figure 2012 is the right time and I have a few more $$ available that previously was spent on wine.
BP
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Howie Hart

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Howie Hart » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:03 pm

Install electric wiring, that way you can get rid of the ice box. Refrigerators are handy. :D
Seriously, run lots of different circuits for electric appliances. I need to do this. Right now, if I have the ceiling lights on, run the microwave and coffee maker at the same time, the breaker will trip.
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Drew Hall

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Drew Hall » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:01 pm

We just finished a partial kitchen makeover; it's been 5+ years and numerous changes, as well as a complete master bath makeover that was completed a week ago.
#1 rule, don't remodel around any holiday. Contractors and Subs want to be off also. So they'll give you 1 to 4 hours a day which
slows down the process.
#2 rule, If you can't supervise the remodel, hire someone to do that. Contractors are not always on site when Subs are.
#3 rule, if you don't like something, SAY SO before it becomes permanent. I didn't like how the Subs put in a shower tile decorative strip and made them remove it and correct it....it's hard for them to understand your vision sometimes.
#4 rule, Try to get everyone on board re. to arrival times. We had Subs who stated the day before that they'd be returning the
following day at 8AM only to arrive at noon.
Not a rule but be prepared for some additional stress in your life. :shock:

Drew
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Jenise

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Jenise » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:08 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:I think it would be better if you gave us the new dimensions of the new kitchen. This will give us the info to incluce an island or not. This could alter recommendations significantly. Good luck with you project, but you should be prepared to suffer. Just ask Jenise!


Good point, but even some people who have room for an island don't want one. I can't stand the circular traffic jam myself, and wanted to be able to crisscross the kitchen at will, so though I had room I skipped an island and built a 42" wide peninsula between the stove and the clean-up sink. Everybody told me no because they'd been hoodwinked into the "work triangle" as the only good kitchen layout or into thinking an island (often with the stove top in it, see previous "work triangle") was the only way to gain counter space. I clenched my teeth and persisted with my peninsula, and could not be happier; I'd be miserable with any other layout. I use it every single day, and for several things: an extra work station if a friend is over and we're doing multiple things, plating, staging things already prepped but not yet served, accumulation of dirty dishes after large dinner parties since one side of the peninsula blends into the clean-up station, and layout space for hand-dry items. NJ might not need any of those tasks, but knowing what a great baker she is I would bet she'd love to have a big fat workspace wider than a conventional counter. The fact that my peninsula obstructs a direct approach to the sink from the stove is no problem at all, just a few extra steps. Meanwhile, if we have a dinner party and the kitchen is chock full of guests, I have enough room that I can generally work around them with only the occasional body having to be relocated. :)
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Cynthia Wenslow

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Cynthia Wenslow » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:24 pm

Jenise wrote: Meanwhile, if we have a dinner party and the kitchen is chock full of guests, I have enough room that I can generally work around them with only the occasional body having to be relocated. :)


Now I know who to call when I need help relocating bodies, which happens more frequently than one might imagine. :D
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John Treder

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by John Treder » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:50 am

When I was a small boy, Grandma's kitchen had a table covered with oilcloth in the middle. There was an icebox when I was very small, replaced by a refrigerator later, on one side, and the stove and sink were on the opposite wall. Most of the counter work got done on the table, I think. (I was 8 years old the last time I saw that kitchen.)
Mom and Dad's house in Santa Clara had a roughly L-shaped kitchen. If you're standing inside the L, the window over the sink looks out to the left, with some counter and the refrigerator to your right (top of the L). The stove is on the "short leg", with more counter space on both sides of it. (Yeah, the short leg is longer than the vertical leg.) There is also a small counter opposite the counter to the left of the stove, which I used for stashing stuff I'd need later.
That was a very efficient kitchen, with the two triangles (sink, cooking & prep counter, stove), (refrigerator, prep & baking counter, sink) both convenient.
Here in Santa Rosa, the kitchen is quite small. I miss the 24' of total counter space. The stove is opposite the sink and the large counter to the left of the sink. The refrigerator is to the right of the sink, and around the corner, with a short counter at your right hand as you're at the sink. I'm forever dripping stuff on the floor going from the sink or big counter to its left, to and from the stove.
I think my ideal would be to have a U-shaped kitchen with the sink at the bottom of the U, and the refrigerator on one side and the stove on the other. With lots of counter space. Again I perceive two work triangles, in this case with a good-sized counter at the center of each triangle.
I don't think I'll get to work in a place like that in my lifetime.

John
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:14 pm

Anyone ever hear of something along the lines of a "retractable peninsula"? We have an oddly-sized kitchen that's a bit too open in the middle for efficiency but too small for an island or full time peninsula. Our designer mentioned the idea of a surface that would slide out from one of the counters, perhaps with a foldable leg for stability. I guess it would be like a slide-out cutting board on steroids. This would allow for some extra work surface without klotzing up the traffic patterns of the kitchen. (The traffic patterns are important as the kitchen is in the center of the house and has doors going into four other areas.) I've not seen such a thing and wonder if it would work well or not.
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Jenise » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:06 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:Anyone ever hear of something along the lines of a "retractable peninsula"? We have an oddly-sized kitchen that's a bit too open in the middle for efficiency but too small for an island or full time peninsula. Our designer mentioned the idea of a surface that would slide out from one of the counters, perhaps with a foldable leg for stability. I guess it would be like a slide-out cutting board on steroids. This would allow for some extra work surface without klotzing up the traffic patterns of the kitchen. (The traffic patterns are important as the kitchen is in the center of the house and has doors going into four other areas.) I've not seen such a thing and wonder if it would work well or not.


We toyed with something like that too, and even something on wheels that could be moved to whereever it was going to be the most helpful, in or out of the way. Ines Nyby has small butcher block island on wheels that functions that way, as she has a relatively small kitchen in a 100 year old house that itself is a small L shape and there was no other way to add counter space. She prepares food on it, plates food on it, and sometimes sets and hors d'ouvre there when company's over. We eventually determined that our new space was definitely going to be wide enough to afford a permanent peninsula (one can easily move direct from prep space to stove and prep space to fridge or pantry without having to go around it). I've not seen it done in a kitchen, but my father's wife had a telescoping dining room table that worked on that same principal, and did it very well.
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Jenise » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:12 pm

Drew Hall wrote:#3 rule, if you don't like something, SAY SO before it becomes permanent. I didn't like how the Subs put in a shower tile decorative strip and made them remove it and correct it....


Excellent point, and an additional subset of that: don't accept anything that's short of the way it was supposed to be thinking "It's not what I wanted, but I'll get used to it." I did, and I haven't. You won't either.
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:01 pm

Jenise wrote:We toyed with something like that too, and even something on wheels that could be moved to whereever it was going to be the most helpful, in or out of the way. Ines Nyby has small butcher block island on wheels that functions that way, as she has a relatively small kitchen in a 100 year old house that itself is a small L shape and there was no other way to add counter space. She prepares food on it, plates food on it, and sometimes sets and hors d'ouvre there when company's over. We eventually determined that our new space was definitely going to be wide enough to afford a permanent peninsula (one can easily move direct from prep space to stove and prep space to fridge or pantry without having to go around it). I've not seen it done in a kitchen, but my father's wife had a telescoping dining room table that worked on that same principal, and did it very well.


I think we'd have to go with the slide-out version as we don't really have anywhere to store one on wheels when it wasn't on duty.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Carl Eppig » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:31 pm

Here are some thoughts. We remodeled the kithchen when we bought this then five year old house in 2005. We simply didn't like what came with the house for a variety of reasons. We were able to supplement the existing cabinetry with our own scheme, saving a ton of money. We put cabinets everywhere we possibly could.

We installed granite counters throughout, and in our baths as well. The kitchen is too narrow for an island. As you enter the kitchen door there is a mud room with shelves for cookbooks. Entering the kitchen there is a wall on the left consisting of a Viking microwave, oven, and warmer. We have since replaced the microwave with a GE. Then there is a counter, and then the fridge, a Kenmore. On the right as you enter from the mud room there is a small counter with a DCS stovetop next to it. That takes you to counters and cabinets around the corner to the sink. We have double sink with drains on the right side. Next comes the top of the line Kenmore dishwasher and about six more feet of counter and cabinets.

Other than the problem with the Viking microwave, we have remained completely happy with everything.
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Barb Downunder » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:20 am

Hi
I am in the process of renovating a third kitchen and some of the things I thought about.
You can never, ever, have too many power points ( and single power points are silly! my DB first thing in a house will replace all the singles with double power points)
If a t all possible avoid corner cupboards, this time around I can ,yippee. Even with the lazy susan arrangements they are not a particularly good use of space, but often unavoidable.
I am looking at having mostly drawers rather than cupboards with shelves, easier to get at stuff at the back, particularly with aging and arthritic issues. And most of the drawers will be solid rather than baskets as things tend to fall through!

I have been using IKEA's kitchen design program to assist and it is a great tool, put things in, look at the room from all sides, top and bottom, 3D rotate etc. change it all about. Free to use, no obligations at all and even though I have registered there has been no advertising stuff sent to my email account.


Have fun and good luck!
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Jay Mazzoni » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:59 am

I would suggest paying close attention to lighting. Our kitchen tends to be a gathering place for guests, so K wanted some subdued "mood" lighting for entertaining. That didn't work so well when prepping food before the guests arrive. I suggest having task lighting in specific prep areas. With overhead lighting consider shadows that might be cast in prep areas and plan accordingly to minimize such shadows.

We have a garbage receptacle (and recycling bin) in a pullout "drawer" beneath the counter where we do most of the prep. That's really handy because you can just pull out the drawer and scrape stuff right off the counter into the trash, plus it keeps the trash receptacle out of view.
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by John Treder » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:33 am

What Barb says reminds me. You can get "self-closing" drawers that are very handy, and also slide-out shelves. I imagine the slide-out shelves can be self-closing also, but I haven't experienced them. Also, there is a combination lazy-Susan and slide-out gizmo for corners. I put that in Mom's kitchen when I remodeled it.
Here in Santa Rosa, the below-counter cupboards don't have slide-out shelves. That's high on the fixit list.
And you need a bare minimum of four plug-points on each section of countertop.

John
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Redwinger

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Redwinger » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:32 am

Great thoughts/suggestions everyone. Keep 'em coming.
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Carrie L. » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:39 pm

Have the sink face the TV if it's going to be an open plan. The dishwasher and prep cook of the house will most appreciate that!
Do not put the refrig and ovens next to each other. I see more homes with that configuration and it makes me crazy. (Bad Feng Shui!)
Have a slide out drawer large enough to fit two trash containers. One for actual trash and one for recycling.
Install an instant hot water spigot, but forgo the pot filler at the stove. (Those are a waste IMO.)
Cabinets with slide outs for pots and pans are great. I don't have those in my current house but wish I did.
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Christina Georgina » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:26 pm

Seconding the emphasis on drawers and pull out shelves; also the lighting comment, double trash comment and outlet comment. I have a power strip on the edge of my lower height counter and often have the spice grinder, immersion blender and Kitchen Aid plugged in at that level on some projects at the same time

Depending on the quality of your water a in house filter for specified lines can be very nice. We filter the cold water to the master bathroom sink, refrigerator ice maker and to the pot filler with a large filter in the basement . We use the pot filler line for all cooking water uses leaving the cold water in the sink unfiltered for cleaning.

We have a rather narrow U design as you describe with an island outside of the U . The traffic flow for entertaining is great and the island is a secondary cook space with sink and induction hob. One wall of the U is not floor to ceiling but an open lower height counter for pasta, dough and other preps.
This has tured out to be great for entertaining despite the small kitchen proper footprint.

The only change I would make doing it over would be to skip the gas cooktop and go all induction. We use the gas only if the induction is occupied and my husband and I fight to get it first.
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Bill Spohn » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:44 pm

We went through this process on a 60 year old kitchen a few years ago, with limited space.

We were going to put in new flooring, but found wood strip flooring under 4 layers of linoleum. We were going to get new cupboard doors until I realized that the 3/4" plywood doors we had were a Hell of a lot better than the particale board crap many of the home centres were selling, so we painted what we had (also priced custom solid wood doors - aiiee!)

Ended up moving a closet and adding a small counter (now our coffee centre) and installing new counter tops.

We have a breakfast nook area adjacent that offers a table with set up space for dishes etc. We also have a couple of pull out rolling boards (one about 3' wide) that can be pulled out to offer additional assembly space (need a place to put 10 plates while serving).

You can do a lot with limited space with a bit of planning, and I don't miss having an island (really don't like them, in fact). Would I like to have acres of space like Jenise does? You bet, but in an old home, without moving walls, that is rarely possible.

Think about what your living space would be like after you finish the reno and don't do anything you might regret later.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Carl Eppig » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:16 pm

I don't think you have to worry about power outlets. If you are doing the renovation with a permit, which is required here, you will have to comply with current codes. This should mandate all the outlets you will need. 8)
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Carrie L. » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:09 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:Depending on the quality of your water a in house filter for specified lines can be very nice. We filter the cold water to the master bathroom sink, refrigerator ice maker and to the pot filler with a large filter in the basement . We use the pot filler line for all cooking water uses leaving the cold water in the sink unfiltered for cleaning.


Now, THAT is a good idea!!!!!!
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Re: Kitchen Remodel Help.

by Barb Downunder » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:52 am

Carl Eppig wrote:I don't think you have to worry about power outlets. If you are doing the renovation with a permit, which is required here, you will have to comply with current codes. This should mandate all the outlets you will need. 8)


Hi Carl
Certainly compliance is absolutely essential, but I am curious about how it can mandate "all the outlets you will need" ?
I can see that dedicated outlets for major items, oven, cooktop, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, etc could be and should be mandated, but, but, but.... outlets for small appliances and the positioning of such is surely a personal preference not a mandated one ( but then I am way downunder). Are there codes for such things?
As a lab person I work on the principal of one (double) outlet for every meter of counter space, over the top maybe but it really allows flexibility. Electricians do look askance but do it anyway.
In my design parameters for my next kitchen (in our country home where we will retire soon) I am including, also, a pull down power point from the ceiling to service the trolley/island bench, for flexibility in where I can use small appliances and safety, ie no cords crossing open spaces.


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