So, as was the motto with all the projects we undertook (and continue to undertake) in the economical restoration of this old family home, we rolled up those shirt sleeves, hunkered down and got to work.
|Not long after we started the kitchen|
#1) I bought used, matching appliances on Craigslist. Seriously. I knew the color and features I was after (for example, a gas stove). I looked daily for listings. I had time on my side. So, I waited. I researched makes and models and finally hit the jackpot. A builder was remodeling a home and switching out a set of newer appliances that were black (just what I wanted!) for stainless. The builder and I met, negotiated on price and I got my newer dishwasher, gas oven/stove and microwave for under $700. Yes, people. I researched what these appliances would have been new and saved at least $900. I still shake my head at the craziness of it. As a side note, the oven did need some new parts and with the labor and service it cost me $200. So, that brought my savings down to about $700. I think that is still awesome.
#2) I carefully used my contractor. I used him for the pieces of work that I just did not have the know-how to DIY well. For example, counter top installation. I had him update the plumbing for the kitchen sink/disposal and plumb in a gas line for the gas stove. He also installed our tile back-splash and new kitchen sink.
#3) We did the work. My husband and I sanded down the walls, repainted them and repainted the ceiling. My husband spend countless hours sanding down the kitchen cabinet doors, removing nearly 80 years of layered paint, and repainted them.
#4) Sensible choices. I opted for a less glamorous, non-granite counter top. My kitchen is a working kitchen. A place of food production. I needed a material that would hold up to my less-than-graceful ways in the kitchen. So, Formica it was, in an updated, faux slate finish. It works for us and was about $1500 less than a granite counter top. We also installed a new, stainless steel kitchen sink. Granted, I was ogling over those fabulous, apron, farm-sinks, that are so en-vogue....but, practicality dictated that I remember how I had been using more and more cast iron cookware, and the thought of those pans clunking against the porcelain farm house sink, chipping and denting it, made me ill.
#5) Updating Fixtures. While the Art Deco look is really cool, it's just not my fave. I choose to replace all of the light switches, electrical outlet covers, lights and cabinet/drawer cabinets with a new, consistent look. This allowed us to get away with keeping the old cabinets and to just spruce them up for a fraction of the dollars.
#6) Accepting help. Sometimes my 'I can do it all!!!!' mentality, gets in the way of allowing others to help because they can and have the goodness of spirit to do so. I fully admit, I am the worst at accepting help. The worst. In the kitchen, it quickly became apparent that I needed help, as move-in date was quickly approaching and the floor looked like this:
Three layers of linoleum, with the final layer likely having asbestos in it and likely, glued with an asbestos based glue. It was the norm of that era. I was a wreck. I had our move-in looming and school was starting in a matter of weeks! My family needed to move in.
We clearly did not have the funds to pay someone to come in and rip out all those layers (3 to be exact) and either refinish the softwood floor underneath (which was our dream) or create a new base layer and put a floating floor on top. I was a mess. It was critical for the floor to be finished in order for us to move in.
My dad came to the rescue. He rounded up a buddy of his, who was an expert in tile flooring installation. They ripped the first two layers of linoleum off and then applied some kind of leveling, liquid material and put down cement board. They created that 'base floor' we desperately needed in and saved our shrinking budget.
My husband was able to put a floating, laminate, wood floor down over the top, and while that was quite an adventure for him (he'd never done it before) it saved us thousands of dollars. I dreamt of having a gorgeous, hard wood floor, but right now, with small kids and pets, this type of floor will hold up well for the cost. (and probably be ready to replace for my dream floor about the time kids are off to college!! Hooray!)
Here is the finished product:
|New-ish Appliances on the cheap with new hardware on the sanded and repainted cabinets|
|New penny tile back-splash and new Formica counter top|
|New stainless steel sink and facet|
|On the opposite side of the kitchen, my make shift, extra shelving with a glimpse at the pretty, blackened walnut, laminate floor we put in. (Apparently my kids eat a lot of Goldfish.)|
I look at my kitchen now (where I spend an ample amount of time daily) and I'm pleased with our results. I feel we did a good job of combining the original elements of this old family home with some updated features and in the process have preserved the look and feel of the space while blending in some modern components. Mission accomplished.
Coming up in the next installment, the new dining room.
To see previous adventures in this crazy, home remodel, visit my page Directory of Posts and scroll down to 2012 Home / Yard Remodel