I’ve lived in my house for 15 years, no nearly 16 years, and I’ve done bits and pieces to the house, but have steered away from doing the expensive updates like kitchen and bathroom.
However, I finally bit the bullet and planned and implemented a kitchen renovation.
There were aspects of my old kitchen I hated apart from it’s very dated look. I always battled with the kitchen taps no matter how often the washers were replaced and I even replaced the taps themselves a couple of years ago. Whoever tiled didn’t grout half of them. And some tiles were broken around the kitchen taps. I’d also perfected a closing technique for some cupboards that didn’t sit flush.
I didn’t really have much bench space. See how much space the old double kitchen sink takes up?
The old oven took twice as long to cook something as it should. There used to be a cupboard next to it which I removed prior to these photos.
The pantry cupboards were never straight so never closed properly. The post it notes are for the demo guys.
In typical me fashion, I went from thinking I’d get the kitchen done in July, to getting the kitchen and bathroom done in September, back to just doing the kitchen in September. The reason for it happening recently was that I house-sat for friends so I didn’t have to be at home to live through the reno. I pulled out of the bathroom reno because of the cost and logistics. I don’t have the luxury of a second bathroom to use so it would have been a real hassle. And the vague promise of one place saying they could do it in two weeks morphed into the more likely reality of it taking around four or more weeks. So I’ll have to build up to that one financially and emotionally.
But the kitchen went ahead. I called a local company and the person who was going to come around to have a look cancelled on me that morning and never called me back.
I went with organising and managing the trades myself and I think I did a pretty good job as I haven’t come out the other end with a horror story of renovations.
I didn’t really change the footprint of the kitchen and even managed to keep some of the cupboards. The old oven was happily thrown out (well it went the way of scrap metal collection along with the kitchen sink and other bits and pieces) and new oven and a dishwasher ordered. Yes, a dishwasher.
The image below is after the demo. It took a day to remove the cupboards and the tiles. See all the gaps at the bottom of the walls?
If you ever do a kitchen this is roughly what will happen.
You will umm and ahh over making any decisions but you will eventually make decisions about what you want.
As I used pretty much the same configuration as it was in, I didn’t use a kitchen designer or come up with a design myself as I was trying to save some money.
I found an excellent cabinet maker to do the cupboards. He was great. He was happy to reuse what I could which wasn’t all that much in the end really. I recommend an excellent cabinet maker.
I’ve got drawers – soft closing drawers at that. Who knew one could be so easily pleased by soft closing drawers. Get soft closing drawers.
I’ve got cupboards that close easily. I now don’t have to lift up the door handle to adjust the cupboard door so that it will close.
I packed up everything in the kitchen and moved it out. Luckily I’ve got a back room. This seemed to take forever and made me realise how long packing up the whole house would take.
Two friends came in and removed everything that was being replaced, and removed tiles. I paid them for this and it took a full day.
I got a 3m skip for them to use for rubbish and got them to keep the sink and oven aside so they can be collected for scrap metal. There was a bit of room left in the skip so I filled it up with other rubbish lying around. What a great feeling!
After the demolition, an electrician and plumber came in to get things ready for the dishwasher and new powerpoints and lights. If whoever is doing your demo isn’t comfortable with electrical and power you’ll need the plumber and electrician before demo starts, but mine were. An electric cable going to a powerpoint went pop scaring the hell out of them so luckily nobody was electrocuted. I knew the previous house owner was a DIY fella so I’m not surprised about the dodgy wiring.
When you’re figuring out what you want electrically, you realise that a powerpoint on that side of the kitchen is a brilliant idea and let’s add more lighting so you can see what you’re cooking (the oven is in an old chimney alcove). I’ll be going from two usable power outlets in the kitchen to about six and that’s not counting the ones that are used by the fridge, the kettle/toaster, and oven. I’ve got LED lights under my cupboards and under the chimney/stove area. Wow. I love it.
After electrical/plumbing prep is done get your cabinets put in. Your soft closing drawers and lined up cupboards. He had his work cut out for him in my old house with non straight floors and walls so I don’t think a flat pack kitchen would have worked for me.
Next is tiling.
Then the plumber and electrican come back to do their second fix and you get the plumber to do a couple of other jobs around the place that you’ve been putting off. After all, what’s a few extra bucks on top of a kitchen reno?
Last but not least my mates who did the demo came back to do the painting.
Then I was left with putting stuff away and trying to decide what goes where. I’ve lost a bit of cupboard space because of the dishwasher.
All up it took two weeks.
Friday/Saturday – pack up and move out
Monday – demolition
Tuesday/Wednesday – electrical and plumbing first fix
Wednesday/Thursday – cabinet installation
Sunday – tiling preparation (this was because of my old wobbly walls (house is not brick and built pre-plasterboard) so board was put up as a good base for the tiles)
Monday/Tuesday – tiling
Wednesday – electrical second fix
Thursday – painting
Friday – plumbing second fix, cleaning up and starting to move back in.
Below are the after photos.
You can see the LED strip lighting underneath one of the cupboards and a new powerpoint in a place I never had one before. The dishwasher should be sitting flush with the cupboards. One should read the instructions before installation.
See the gap underneath the oven below? I’m getting the cabinet maker back to make a box to sit underneath it. One because the oven’s legs are wobbly (nothing to do with installation), two because it will look neater.
This is the decluttered benchtop. It WILL stay that way!
I still love being able to use a tap that I don’t have to battle with.
What you can’t see in the photo below is the roman blind I installed myself. I’m a little bit handy, and not afraid to use a drill.