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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-23-2005, 02:58 PM   #21
 
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

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All stones are porous. * Soapstone is actually less porous than granite, but it is a softer stone. * Our fireplace is made from soapstone, and we love the look and feel of it, but it was used primarily for its ability to retain and transmit heat.
I think that once granite is polished, it is not porus. IOW - Water will sit on top of it and not be absorbed.
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-23-2005, 03:05 PM   #22
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

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I think that once granite is polished, it is not porus. IOW - Water will sit on top of it and not be absorbed.
I'd bet your granite is sealed, and probably needs to be resealed every few years. Soapstone is pretty easy to maintain. A little mineral oil is all you need, and it's soft enough that you can sand out scratches.

In any case, there are lots of materials out there. Chosing them is all part of the fun of remodeling
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-23-2005, 03:08 PM   #23
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

Some folks think "cheap" is inexpensive. Encourage him to think about life-cycle cost.

I have treaded softly on room size issue as it seemed as if that wasn't an option. I don't know what is behind the interior wall but if it is a dining room, or other potentially available space, consider opening it up. If it is load-bearing you may well be able to 'beam it' across. I agree with others, think out of the box here. There is no harm in inviting a college design or architect student in to prepare a plan as a class project. This room needs light. If there is an attic above it then you have room for recessed light fixtures.

Updating this kitchen will more than pay for itself when the day comes that you sell the house- even 20 years from now. This is the time to consider bringing the electrical and plumbing system in that room up to current code. Get a building permit for that so that when it does come time to sell the house the buyer's inspector won't have an opening to re-negotiate the price. What you do in the kitchen will communicate volumes to a subsequent purchaser. If it looks done on the cheap they will wonder what else was done in the same manor. Some of you will remember my comment about developer-built homes. They invest in a fancy kitchen and short-change the hidden stuff. If your kitchen details look cheap the buyer may assume short-cuts were taken elsewhere as well.

I don't want you to think I want you to go overboard on fancy do-dads. Spend your remodeling money WISELY.

Just like planning a vacation, half the fun is learning about what you want to do when you get there. Talk to kitchen remodelers.
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-23-2005, 06:07 PM   #24
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

Hi arrete,

I am just finishing remodeling a 1953 kitchen. The purpose is to sell the house so we may have some fundamental differences in direction but here goes...

Paster walls are should be preserved if they are in reasonable shape. My cabinets are not much different from yours. Ifyou like the layout of the kitchen consider refinishing the cabs and possibly re-plating the old or buying new hardware. I removed all the doors and drawer fronts sanded them and poly'ed. Hinges and pulls are the old wrought iron look. Those got degreased and coppered. The cabs when finished looked real good.

The counter top was chipped and ad badly worn as was the white cast iron sink.

BTW before I forget. Two remodellers I consulted mentioned that many of todays smaller kitchens dont have dishwashers. People dont entertain as much as they used to or whatever. I can tell you that in my house DW runs the DW only about once per week....So I took the advice to heart and the house I'm rehabbing gets no dishwasher. Never had one anyway.

Back to the counter top. Since the top although worn was smooth and tight at the seams, I shopped for appropriate formica sheet and simply relayered over the existing top. It came out well. Not excellent but pretty good.

The idea besides resale was to preserve the country kitchen look. The speckled stone and marble tops so popular today didnt look right....New range hood, light fixturers, elect. recept. and switches, paint, and tiled half wall around the table area, and finally new baseboards on top of new floor covering and PRESTO. My wife likes it. I do too.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-23-2005, 08:20 PM   #25
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

Hey, I've got a stove exactly like yours! If you can remember those harvest golds and avocado greens that were popular a few years back, you might think about the trends that could change reagarding those fancy Corian and granite counter tops people are going with these days. I am giving my kitchen a face lift and decided to go with formica type laminate for counters. It's at least half the price and you can get styles that look similar to about any trendy material on the market. I plan on sticking with neutral and light colors where possible as I think they tend to avoid becoming obsolete and the brigher colors increase the sense of having a larger space. Even though tile flooring is popular in my area, again I'm going with more traditional vinyl. Your cabinet replacements are going to hit your wallet pretty hard and if they can be salvaged I consider painting them a lighter color or having them refaced. If you have a bigger budget or are going to start knocking out walls, there are plenty more options, but those would be my basics.

The things I've spurged a bit on are a Swanstone sink (I always had trouble keeping those stainless sink looking nice), an energy efficient frig, and an over the counter micro wave. I've found a few good deals in shopping for appliances and watching sales.
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 03:54 AM   #26
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

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I'm going to risk bringing up an old thread, but check out IKEA's online catalog and consider the free-standing cabinetry. *
Ed
Arrete:

This month's issue of Elle Decor features an architect who remodelled her Park Avenue kitchen with Ikea cabinets. *

Granite, even polished and sealed, can stain. *Came home from a two week vacation to a six inch oil stain, the result of something that leaked.

According to design principles, the galley kitchen is the most efficient with the sink in the middle of the work triangle composed of stove / sink / frig. * Big mega kitches are simply a series of galley shapes. If you look at your kitchen, your work pattern would be almost smiley shaped.
Can the frig be moved? *What about putting a doorway where the frig is and moving that to the back wall and running countertop/ cabinets along that wall?

I think the skylight shouldn't be too expensive to install. *You can get them with automatic covers if you're concerned about too much heat from the sun.

Would recommend lots of three pronged outlets above counter level.

Kitchen in the house I grew up in had marble tile. Very easy to clean and don't remember things breaking. *Glasses and jars routinely fell without calamity. *When lived overseas, kitchens had HARD ceramic tile floors which I HATED since everything except tupperware broke when dropped.

I think wood flooring in one's own kitchen is no more work to maintain than linoleum. *Had a Bruce solid wood floor for many years (about 4) without problem. *Year 5 a tenant moved in and when he moved out 5 years later, a couple of planks near the sink were damaged by a leaking faucet and sitting water ( apt sat empty while he was hospitalized for several months). *So I think it's okay if it's owner maintained.

Have lots of fun! Sounds like a good excuse to treat yourself to a big cafe mocha at Barnes and Nobles and peruse all the kitchen books and magazines.

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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 06:09 AM   #27
 
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

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If you can remember those harvest golds and avocado greens that were popular a few years back, you might think about the trends that could change reagarding those fancy Corian and granite counter tops people are going with these days.
Roger,

That is the beauty of Granite. I've seen granite counter tops in houses over a hundred years old. Formica counter tops in trendy artificial colors will go out of style.

Granite never goes out of style! - It's a substance from nature.
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 06:30 AM   #28
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

I think everyone had some great ideas. One place to read up on every minute detail of kitchen remodeling is to go over to ThatHomeSite.com http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitchbath/ It's the home of the truly kitchen obsessed. A lot of the posters are doing kitchens that are way over the top, and more focused on form than function, but they're very good at answering questions, and if you tell them you're doing a budget project, they'll have a million cost cutting ideas.

I think the first thing you need to ask yourself is, does the kitchen function the way you like? Do you have enough counterspace? Enough pantry space? Would you like some of the pull-outs and extras new cabinets offer? Is there anything other than the age/condition of the materials in the kitchen that bothers you? If not, the job is just cosmetic, and those are fairly simple remodels. Budget just depends on the quality of the materials used.

We've done a middling cosmetic job on our 1940's kitchen (with a 70's really bad update), and subsequently made a couple of other changes which have made our kitchen at least moderately functional. Eventually, I plan to do a massive rip out walls and spend a small fortune type update to bring the kitchen back into period appearance with the house (1884) and vastly improve the function. We're some of those nutty DIYers, so we usually splurge on materials and save on labor.

In your kitchen, without changing the physical space (which would be my solution), I'd consider if you could at least move the doorway by the fridge to the center of that wall, then go with a galley kitchen. You'd gain more counter and pantry space. You could have 24 inches of cabinet/countertop depth on both sides with a 36 inch isle 42-48" is ideal, but 36" will do in a one cook kitchen if there's no traffic through it. Is the bright spot on the far side of the bar another window or a doorway? If it's a window, I'd stretch the galley out to the other wall and possibly opt for using the back wall for 12- 18inch deep pantries, shelving, and a narrow "landing zone" type counter and move the fridge to the spot where the bar is now.

Really it all depends on how you feel the kitchen functions. I know it's just you and DH most of the time, so that's different than what I'd need with 2 kids at home and a style of cooking that requires lots of counterspace. ;-)

On soapstone: that is the countertop material we're planning to use in the major remodel. It's no porous and no reactive, but softer than granite. from what I've learned it usually has a MOL of 3-4, which makes it about as hard as a marble. We like it because it's period appropriate for the house, can stand up to a child spilling olive oil or spaghetti sauce and leaving it for hours, has an easily repaired finish and it just looks beautiful. But it will run you anywhere from $25-80/sqft depending on whether you're fabricating and installing it yourself or having someone else do it. We'll probably go inbetween, and have the slabs cut to size, and install them ourselves. (I know I'll regret it while I'm working with DH though.)

Even if you keep your current cabinet boxes, you can add some of the little extras like pull out shelves etc. There are companies who make aftermarket accessories.

I can't wait to see the finished product.

Always ;-)
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 07:11 AM   #29
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

Okay, just my 2 cents, but our first house was built in the 1930s, and had a very simple kitchen that was never updated. It was very austere and kinda junky looking. Instead of going crazy and updating it, we painted the walls and cabinets, and splurged on an old stove that perfectly matched from the time period. The couple that bought the house loooooved the kitchen, and it became a selling point. So instead of doing a complete kitchen remodel we bought a stove that became a highlight of the room. When it was all said and done, we probably spent about $1,700 (stove and paint).

I'm going to dream out loud a little bit about your kitchen. I think your kitchen has good bones (the cabinets are cool looking), and with a little elbow grease it could be awesome.

In looking at your kitchen, I would tear out the ceiling tiles and replace with a tin ceiling (cheap through m-boss). I would rip out the floor tiles and replace with cheap and durable linoleum squares in cool colors (we did one bathroom in a checkboard pattern of black and cranberry). I would definitely replace the countertops, but the cabinets are kinda cool - maybe you could stain or paint them an interesting color? The harvest gold IS ucky, but for relatively cheap, you could get a new stove and dishwasher (maybe $400 each - not too bad), and you can actually paint the fridge with latex for the moment. I've also seen refreigerators painted with chalkboard paint, and you can write notes and lists on it. And then the little things: cabinet pulls, light fixtures, etc. are pretty inexpensive.

Looks like a fun project!

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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 08:42 AM   #30
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

Looks as if I need to spill some more information I don't think of it until someone asks. I told you I didn't know the right questions.

About moving the refridgerator. I've taken another picture, and you can see that there are 3 doors in that area - the door to the hallway (next to the fridge) , the next door is to a very narrow pantry (narrow shelving along one wall, and the door next to that goes to the basement. So I can't really run a counter top along there. BTW, the 3 door arrangement drives me crazy, but I can't see a solution. The hallway goes to the bedrooms, and you want a door there to keep down the noise.


On the other side of the penisula is a small eating area (table from the 70s, too) And the bookcase was built by my husband's father. Don't think he'll give it up. Looks like I need to straighten it


I thought about a tin ceiling, too. I was scarred as a teenage by having to wash the tin celing in the dining room, but I'll see if I can get over it.

Everyone has interesting ideas about the cabinents and floor. I'll have to mull them over. One thing to consider is that we aren't going to be doing things to affect resale because if anyone buys our house, they'll probably tear it down and put 2 monsters on the lot. Sad, but true.

Now I have to check out some of these sites and words. I've never heard of some of them.

arrete


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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 08:44 AM   #31
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

It would be interesting to see what an interior decorator would come up with if the client said she wanted to keep the cabinets... I agree with others that they could be rehabbed by replacing the hinges and checking the drawer guides. I suspect they have warn out. Don't purchase cheaply built hardware; you want these to last for many years. The pulls can be almost anything (I like solid metal or china)- they are easy to replace.

The cabinets & doors can be re-finished. Experiment by taking one down and just cleaning it. Wood and varnish darkens with exposure to light. If they are solid wood they could be sanded and a new stain applied. Today varnish is applied in a spray room. See if that service is available in your community.

The above won't cost a lot if you do most of it yourself, but it will take time.

If you remove the wood paneling on the walls try to do that carefully - you might want to use in another way if you decide to refinish the cabinets.

The scalloped piece above the sink doesn't contribute much, and that ceiling tile should go too. It was probably glued on so something will need to be done to repair or hide the mess.

-----
That comment was written before the above was posted...

This room reminds me of my first house- built in the early 70's, complete with family carpenter. You have a LOT of the same wood in this room, refinishing the cabinets would be just a start. Ask your spouse how he feels about major changes in the woodwork. This is an emotional, not a design issue. I am not sure he would accept painting it (and the knots would show).

Remaining in play: new hardware, counter tops, ceiling, flooring, windows, and appliances.
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 08:55 AM   #32
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

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and checking the drawer guides.
Hee, hee. Drawer guides - what a novel concept. There are none. Those bottom drawers drive me crazy. Hard to pull out and put back in.

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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 09:07 AM   #33
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

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Drawer guides - what a novel concept. There are none.
That makes the job that much easier! You want the HEAVY DUTY version.
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 09:45 AM   #34
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

This thread has engaged a whole different set of posters. Lots of interior decorators out there

Now I need to move my barbells out from in front of the stove so I can get some breakfast.

Mikey
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 11:49 AM   #35
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

Watch out for Cut-Throat and his granite counters, he's a rich gigolo and a big spender

Kitchen granite counters are sealed, and do need to periodically be resealed. Dark ones wont show the staining much. Most stone surfaces can stain or burn without care. Pretty and durable though...just make sure you know what you can and cant do with them

I've never had a problem with the plain old grout in a kitchen. I use grout sealer on it and once a year I put some hydrogen peroxide on it, let it sit a while and wipe it off, then reseal it. It helps to use a gray or light brown grout and do not use white tiles unless you love cleaning every 10 minutes.

Funny but tile counters were not a biggie in new england...everyone used formica except for the richy-riches like cut-throat who had corian or granite. The first time I saw one in CA in a house I was going to rent I actually said "look at this #$%#...they put bathroom tile on the kitchen counters! Some cheap idiot no doubt!". I was then informed that tile is fairly standard out here. And I like it...you can put a hot pot on it, cut on it, its almost impossible to stain, and its inexpensive and durable. Hard to beat.

By the way, the 'cheap' approach can have a cost when you sell the house. When I'm looking at a house I can tell when someones done the 'cheap handyman' routine almost right off the bat. I do a VERY thorough inspection myself on those properties and usually find enough mickey-mousing to want to look at something different. My wifes former father-in-law used to own the house I just did a full remodel on and was an el-cheapo mickey mouser extraordinare. I spent a lot of time and money ripping stuff out that was done "quick and cheap" and fixing it.
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 12:51 PM   #36
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

Yeah, yeah, yeah...
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 12:59 PM   #37
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

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Watch out for Cut-Throat and his granite counters, he's a rich gigolo and a big spender
Cut-Throat, I don't think of you that way at all. To me, you are an English Aristocrat.

You do have a good gig though, I have to admit.

Mikey
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 01:13 PM   #38
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

Yeah, Cut-throat and his fancy store bought flies, bottled wines and granite countertops.

All he has to do is perform for his wife periodically and save up the $1 bills she keeps stuffing into his jockstrap.

(LMAO by the way)
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 01:24 PM   #39
 
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

I like Cut-Throat. He is liberal, pretentious, boastful,
full of himself etc etc. Still I think he is basically honest
and somewhat intelligent. The difference is he is not
"an aristocrat" just an ER with too much money and no
shyness about shoving your nose in it. If he was not
a liberal, he would remind me of me

JG
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Re: Remodelling kitchens
Old 02-24-2005, 02:18 PM   #40
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Re: Remodelling kitchens

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Heh, you guys can say anything you want about me, except I don't stoop to using 'store bought flies' unless I'm in a jam.

All of these Atlantic Salmon Flies were tied by yours truly. I use them for Steelhead also. I bring my fly tying kit with on my trout excursions.

[img]
Damn, Cut-throat, you ain't just funning us about fishing, are you? That's some serious Flies. You could move to Louisiana with my Cajun friends and fit right in...
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