Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kitchen Renovation: How It Came To Be

Even the day we put the offer in on our house, we knew we would want to redo the kitchen at some point.  It was pretty awful.

But we knew it would be a big project (i.e. mucho $$), so we didn't expect to do it right away.  And then there was the whole wedding thing that took up a lot of time and money.  Well, the tax man was pretty good to us this year, so the discussions of what to do with our sudden "fortune" ensued.

We threw around a few ideas.  Pay off B's truck so we have no car payments? (Paid mine off as my Christmas present to myself - woot!) Save it? Buy me a new car? (maybe that was just my idea...) Redo the basement?  Kitchen renovation?  So many choices...and only enough $$ for one (or two).

B is always on the lookout for sales of things we'll eventually need, and noticed that Lowe's was running a sale on in stock Hickory cabinets.  We had looked at them in passing before and at that point decided we liked the style.  So we figured it couldn't hurt to at least go in and see what we would be looking at for cost.

After an exciting 3.5 hour Friday night date with the kitchen designer at Lowe's we had a quote - and a less than thrilling design.  It was essentially the same design we had previously. Which we strongly disliked.

We hosted our first holiday this year - Easter - and mentioned to my grandparents we were deciding between the kitchen and the basement for our next project.  My Grandpa said "Do the kitchen. You see it everyday."  The next major house project was decided.  But should we do it now, or pay off the truck?

A friend (happens to be our tile guy who also made an appearance in the wine/screw/vice grip fiasco) said "there's plenty of time left on your truck, just do the kitchen." YES! Thank YOU!

So, we needed better options, cause if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right and the way we wanted.  B stopped by our local lumber store - yard? whatever - and dropped off the dimensions of the kitchen with a designer there.

A few days later, we received an e-mail with two brand-spankin' new designs that we LOVED.  The part we didn't love? The price.  So, being the bargain shoppers we are, we called Lowe's to make an appointment for some changes.

Lowe's: "The person you worked with isn't here, she's working the day shift now."
B: "Well that's fine, we just want to make some changes, we'll work with anyone."
Lowe's: "Uh you can't do that. It doesn't work that way."

A letter to corporate and call from the manager later and we had some apologies on our hands.  Lucky for them, Home Depot was less than forthcoming with a quote.  After asking the dimensions she said something like "between $3,000 and $10,000".  Right. Thanks for being specific.

Now to wrap it up: Met with local lumber store/yard/whatever - price was higher than we liked. Told Lowe's we could get a better price - aka kind of exaggerated the truth - they upgraded us to all plywood (which is apparently a really good thing *shrug*) and gave us 10% off.  We told them HD was having a granite sale (100% true!), and got ourselves 10% off that too.

We still ended up spending more than we wanted I'm sure, I haven't even bothered to add up all the receipts.  But I don't regret it.  I'm happy when I look at my kitchen, I enjoy being in it - cooking, doing dishes, standing there staring at it in all its glory - whatever.  Maybe the novelty will wear off, especially with the doing dishes part, but I we truly love it and I don't think we could have asked for more.  It's completely us and there's no doubt it added substantial value to our home.

All the remains of the previous kitchen is what amounts to maybe one sheet of drywall, and the garbage disposal. (Ok fine, and the ceiling and skylight. But still.)  Not knowing when it'll be 100% finished, here's a couple before and afters from approximately the same angles.

So much more 2010, so much less 1960s.

(See me struggling with these side by side pictures? Yea, I'm working on it... bear with me, please? I'd rather get posts up at this point, we're working on the getting it pretty thing.)


K said...

It looks great! I'm so jealous - can't wait to do our kitchen!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Wow! Hard to believe that's the same room! I'd say you definitely deserve a few days off (at least!) before tackling the mudroom project. :)

Have a great weekend!

S said...

K - its alot of work, but sooooo worth it.

Julia - Thanks for stopping by! I have to keep looking at the befores to remember what it actually used to look like!