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  1. #81
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    Jun 2005
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    Ahoy! I just confirmed the plans with our contractors to start our kitchen renovation this summer. I feel sort of sick about it. I do super duper want the kitchen to be done, but I so totally do not want to deal with this project. We MAY end up moving out for part of it in the end, but I'm planning right now as though we will live at our house while it's happening. I'm wondering if others who have done this can help me think through what I need to do to prepare for that? Taurus, ahem.

    The *idea* is for them to start July 1, when we head out of town for 10 days. Then by the time we return, at least they will have done the demo, and etc. We haven't confirmed the start date with them yet, but I think because of the holiday they're going to want to start 1 week prior - they keep saying 'the end of June'. We could also make that work, I think, if we stay at a hotel for a few nights before our trip. I'm guessing it will take them 8-ish weeks, but I'm hoping the major stuff is done by the time DD returns to school on August 17. We will also be away the week before DD returns to school, so I'm hoping that could be a chance for them to do a last big push for whatever is needed... My husband went from being adamantly opposed, even angry at the idea, to moving out to now thinking maybe it's a good idea. Ha!

    Our kitchen opens into our dining room (where we eat), so both of those areas are going to be pretty much off limits I think. I was thinking we could move our outdoor table and chairs from the side patio to the main patio near the grill and make that our 'main' dining table when we eat at home. It will need to be power washed because it's been under a sappy tree all winter. (It doesn't rain in the summer in CA - knock on wood.) We could also eat in front of the TV - haha - but that's adjacent to the kitchen and I'm not sure how dusty/accessible it will be on a daily basis. We will move our fridge to the garage and plug it in, so we will still have that at least. We also have a deep freezer out there. DD will be out of school, but she will be going to summer camp so we will still need to make her lunches everyday. In addition to eating outside, I think we will need to set up a prep kitchen area (with a folding table, I think) for things like making lunches, but I can't figure out where to put that. The garage, maybe, but it's pretty dirty out there and also it will be filled with construction stuff I'm assuming. Need to think on that. We will set up our microwave too. Maybe a hot plate? Our grill has a side burner but we don't typically use it. I guess we could. My intent is to cook and freeze a ton of stuff for DD in the deep freezer, like muffins, pancakes, waffles, pasta sauce, etc. Maybe some cookies for desperate times. Frankly I'm sure we will just eat out/get delivery a bunch, but even I have my limits for that and sometimes just want home food. In addition to everything mentioned, I need to figure out what to do with the pantry items IF we include the pantry in the renovation. And I will need to stock up (cringe) on paper plates, cups, plastic utensils, etc. The LESS dishes I have to wash, the better life will be. Finally, I'm going to schedule packers to come and pack up the kitchen and associated crap in 1 day so that we can wait to do that until the last possible minute. I need to really figure out which items I should remove before then so that they don't get packed (since I'm not packing, I will never find them if they're packed by mistake!) - I would love any tips here if anyone has them. I think we will just have to stack those boxes floor to ceiling basically in the guest room.

    We are having our initial meeting with the contractors next Wednesday. In between now and then, I have to fill out their design survey and find time to pin a million more ideas to pinterest. I have no idea what I even want for sure at this point, it's pretty much a hot mess. I would love to know anyone's kitchen "must haves" too! Mine are really dumb. I love our lazy susan; I want drawers for pots and pans; I want that flip out thing for sponges; I want a divided cabinet for cookie sheets, etc... I would love to make a dedicated tupperware/lunch supplies area, if that's possible, so all of that crap is corralled together. I don't want an exposed space for hanging wine glasses (we have this now and it just collects junk underneath the glasses), I don't really care about a place for cookbooks, I would rather have functional space. Also, my unfun husband won't let me get a new stove or fridge, so that's a bummer. But we will be getting a new dishwasher because ours is the WORST THING EVER.

    I'll also try to take some 'before' pics. I should put the caveat that our kitchen floor is totally jacked up (broken tiles, not glued down, etc) and that is the complete driver for this entire project. If not for the floor, we might just live with our old kitchen forever!

    ooooook, that was a lot! You are awesome if you read all that!
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Laura I would totally put in one of the pop up cabinets for my mixer and food processor to get them off the counter. Maybe some kind of appliance garage for the toaster. I would also make sure your sink is big and deep enough to deal with large cookie sheets etc.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    Married 8.5.2001
    DS 6.8.2005 DD 10.3.2007 DD 4.22.2011

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    I gleefully read every word. This is my pretty much my favorite topic. You can imagine how much fun I am at parties, tee hee.

    You may want to prepare yourself for delays. Our kitchen reno lasted much longer than we anticipated. We thought it would take around 2.5-3 months but it took a bit over six months. But that included adding 150 square feet to the kitchen, opening up a wall to the family room, relocating the laundry room entrance, adding a mudroom (stolen from other interior space), relocating the entrance from the garage to the mudroom. We didnít initially plan on the mudroom or laundry entrance and garage entrance moves but we had to reconfigure thanks to an I beam somehow getting installed a few inches off from the plans. The new plan was so much better but it also cost a lot more and took longer. Itís true what they say-double the budget and timeline. Plus the waiting time for the various inspections slowed things up. Then of course add in the no-show contractors to cause delays with other trades. I donít think I could be away during construction. I pretty much came home everyday at lunch just to check on the progress and there always seemed to be so many unforeseen decisions to make. But I can be an obsessive control freak about those things.

    Youíre wise to plan ahead for living without a kitchen. We set up shop in the rec room which worked well because we had the new refrigerator and freezer already stored in there. We had a table with a microwave, hot plate, and toaster oven which served our needs pretty well. There was a laundry sink in the next room which was nice but still a pain. We quickly gave up trying to be green and embraced paper plates and all things disposable. I recall going through a lot of ziploc bags. Donít forget a can opener and more importantly, a wine opener. I was able to make my usual Christmas candy (turtles and peanut butter cups) all with the hot plate. Not ideal but doable. We packed all the kitchen items in boxes and had everything in the rec room so we could get our hands on it if we needed anything. One pantry was left intact so we didnít really have to move the food so not much help there.

    Good idea to cook and freeze as much as possible. Being forced to eat out/order take out gets old fast. Thankfully this was before DD so we only had ourselves to worry about.

    Unless you are planning to stay with your existing floorplan and exact same cabinet layout, I would really recommend hiring an independent fee based kitchen designer (one not associated with your contractor or a cabinet line or store). They can really make a difference with the functionality as well as the aesthetics. You can always take a stab at your own layout using a program before meeting with a designer or the contractor. Think about how you want use your kitchen and map out where you want every little thing to go. I found that very helpful-I used a 3-D program I found online which was pretty cool. We took those plans to the architect to draw up the plans which were required for the permit. Iíve read architects arenít always great with kitchen functionality.

    Any chance you could talk our DH into new appliances? When you have to get replacements someday youíll be stuck retrofitting with the exact same size you have now to fit your cabinets. I saved a ton of money by sourcing my own appliances, sinks, faucets, hardware, etc. The GC will have mark-ups and may not be interested in finding you the very best price.

    A few random must haves:
    -Drawers, drawers, and more drawers. I have only regular cabinets under the sinks and one the backside of the island. All plates, dishes, pots/pans, mixing bowls, plastic containers, utensils, you name it, itís in drawer stacks and the wider the drawer the better it functions. Plan what will be in each drawer to you know how deep each one needs to be. Also love having the spices in a drawer next to the cooktop. I traded in upper cabinets for big windows. I only have glasses/cups in uppers. A deep drawer should work well for your lunch supplies.
    -Add an electrical outlet to the pantry-whether for food or a broom/cleaning pantry. I was told this but waited too late to tell the contractor and I regret it. I could do it now but it would be a huge ordeal. Iíd love to be able to charge my stick vacuum in the broom closet.
    -Pull out trash-didnít do it and regret it.
    -Sheet pan/cutting board divided cabinet above the ovens-love it.
    -Upper cabinets to the ceiling-good to store items you donít use often and you donít have gunk collecting on top of cabinets
    -Sink-we went from a divided sink to a deep single basin with a sink grid and itís life changing, lol.
    -Built in soap dispenser-it can be a pain to add soap to that stupid little container underneath so I took it off and ran plastic tubing from the dispenser to a ginormous bottle of hand soap in the cabinet-the tubing was less than a dollar or you can buy a kit (called NeverMT or something like that).
    -Single lever faucet-no separate handle to clean around
    -Recessed fridge-if your fridge is full depth you can possibly recess it a few inches into the wall depending on what is behind there or you can make your cabinets deeper on each side.
    -Under cabinet lights-love this both for task lighting and looks real purdy-get these hardwired and connected to your regular light switches near the entrances
    -Angled under cabinet electric strips-to avoid seeing electrical outlets in the backsplash (aka backsplash acne). Angled so itís easy to get to. Iíd only have traditional wall outlets where have something plugged in all the time (coffee maker, toaster, etc.) so you do not see cords dangling to the power strip. I donít keep anything plugged in so I only have the power strips.
    -Recessed power strips on side of the island underneath the counter overhang-same thing, avoids the outlet on the side of the island-most municipalities require an outlet on islands.
    -The best cabinet liner ever invented is called Cushy Cupboards

    Sorry, that got really long. Good luck and I canít wait to follow along.

  4. #84
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    Jun 2005
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    It's funny how some peoples "must haves" are things I've never even thought of, you know? That's why I love this thread. I only have 2 minutes but briefly:

    - We keep almost all of our small appliances in our lazy susan, plus mixing bowls, etc. It's great for that and I will probably stick with it. I keep my kitchenaid mixer and coffee maker only on the counter.
    - But this reminds me I would like to find a better microwave solution, maybe above the stove?
    - My husband will not relent on the appliances because we just bought them 3-4 years ago when we moved in here. It could change, but it's unlikely.
    - YES drawers for everything I possibly can. I HATE having things stacked in cabinets, it's one of my biggest pet peeves to have to take 9 things out to get what I want.
    - AWESOME call on the can opener and wine opener not getting packed! Those are the types of tips I definitely need.
    - I do think the renovation will run long, because it always happens. So I am planning for that - blah.

    I should have said it's a straight pull and replace. Our house is pretty small and the kitchen area is pretty much maxed out. We aren't moving any walls because we would lose half the cabinets, it would screw up the room behind, etc. There's no room to push the wall out into the yard. Our house was renovated in the 90s where the current kitchen was added brand new (but really cheaply) and they doubled the square footage of the house in order to do it. So we are limited in the footprint. We might tweak the configuration minorly in the designer has something great, but otherwise we are just updating in our current footprint. We are using the same design/build firm that did our bathrooms. I like the design sense they have and I think they 'get' our style, which helps. I am wondering though how many of the "fun" kitchen-y things they will suggest, so I'm trying to get a lead on my must haves for those.

    Please keep the ideas coming, this is great!
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  5. #85
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    Jul 2006
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    Second under cabinet lights. I would not put micro over stove even if it has an exhaust. They never work great. Put a real exhaust fan in a hood. Micro in cabinet- either upper or lower.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    I would get the drawers that pull all the way out and that self shut. I'd also suggest a hot water tap at the stove. I agree about the under cabinet lights. Good luck!
    Do you compost? I'd love to have a dedicated hidden space for the compost bin that isn't under the sink. A drawer or cabinet with the trash /recycling bins and a smaller one for compost would be ideal for me.

  7. #87
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    Hmm so much under cabinet light love! We have them now and I don't think I've ever used them once?! I wonder what I'm missing. Brb going to take pics
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  8. #88
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    Nov 2007
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    Is there a possibility for a "command center" to be included-a small desk area maybe? I seem to remember pays from you in the past about organizing command center calendars, etc., but can't think of specifics. If you have the chance to build that area in I'd do that.

  9. #89
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    Jun 2005
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    There isn't space for that but that would be a good idea. Although I've made a great (for me) command center on the wall around the corner from the kitchen with calendars and cork boards. No desk though.

    Here are some pics I just took. Don't mind the mess, this week has been ridiculous and I'm prepping for a Daisy meeting + "camping" this weekend.

    Full view of kitchen:


    Left side:


    Closer view:


    Right side - note my husband's liquor is OOC:


    Closer view 1:


    Closer view 2:


    ^ that closed door you see in the background is our pantry closet

    Sorry the pics are probably huge. I'm on my phone.
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  10. #90
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    May 2006
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    <short person here> I would like my microwave to be somewhere other than in an upper cabinet. I don't like lifting hot dishes/food over my head (ok, it's probably shoulder height). I also worry the kids will spill something on themselves. They have to use a stool to reach.

    <cross posted> I see yours in on the counter. I wish I had counter space in my kitchen to do that.

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