A New Kitchen* -- a 21 day wonder

(with time off for Christmas and New Year)

New Kitchen 1/8/03
our house

Actual construction (and deconstruction) started on December 19, 2002. Of course planning had gone on for a couple of months. The kitchen project began when my Dear Husband Robert said to me in early October, "The stove is giving out and will not last much longer than two more months." We had never had a good venting system and our house was always filled with old cooking odors. This was the opportunity to buy our dream stove -- a JennAir downdraft duel-fuel range. Our house is up on piles so it is very easy to vent down through the floor.

I started drawing plans. We applied for a $15,000 second mortgage. We called a contractor and were told most of their kitchens ran around $60,000. "It's just a small kitchen -- 10' x 10' " I said. He said his son did small jobs. The son said he could do a new kitchen for $30,000 (not including the appliances). That was too rich for our budget.

We went to Home Depot and Lowes and visited with the kitchen designers. "We just want something very simple," we said. "Sure" they said and tapped away at their computers. "Voila -- a simple kitchen installed by the store, $20,000 (not including the range)." Huh...? we said.

Back to homemade plans. I used my quilt program -- QuiltPro -- and made full scale drawings. I printed them out at a 3-percent scale. I did EIGHTEEN (18) plans in all.

Chris in his shop working on countertopI found a great resource on the internet. Chris Futrick of Timbernation.com. Chris is in Pennsylvania and he builds furniture and butcher block cutting boards. I asked him to make a 30" x 50" radius end butcher block counter top. "No problem" he said. "I'll get going right away and ship it the day after Christmas."

We found some inexpensive assembled cabinets at Lowes hidden way at the back of the store. They were paint grade ash wood. Somehow the kitchen designer had failed to mention them when we went for our consultation.

We bought almost everything else at Home Depot. We took a class on flooring (floating floors) and the demonstration convinced us that we liked one called "Traffic Master Renaissance" by Shaw. It was on sale! And Sears had the JennAir range on sale right before Christmas, too.

The old kitchen I forgot to take "before" pictures of the old kitchen, but here is some of it now.

An old friend, Casey Porter, just happened to have some time off from his regular job and he was willing to start work on the 19th of December.

fixtureMy haircutter's husband is an electrician -- Dave Partain owns DEK Electric in our neighboring town, Brentwood. He just happened to have a day for us on the 21st. He installed the new 220 circuit for the range, new plugs, switches, and new light fixtures.

glueless flooringCasey was a wonder! He could do anything. He tore out the old stuff, built a new chase for the heater/air conditioning vent, installed cabinets, put in the stove, made the countertops, plumbed the new sink, installed the flooring, and painted the kitchen!

tempered glass backsplashHe finished putting up the tempered glass backsplash with the poster behind it on the evening of the 7th of January, 2003.

view of kitchenOn the 8th the butcher block countertop arrived and we were done!

first loaf from the new ovenMy DH baked his first loaf of bread in the new oven today (1/10/03). The grandchildren came by for a visit and were thrilled. "Robert hasn't baked bread in a long time," said Spencer. "We really want some," said Victor. They are all coming to dinner next Wednesday when the dining room should be back in order. Robert cooks lots of good things.
Here are drawings of the old and new kitchens:

old kitchennew kitchen
*total cost under $10,000
We put up the towel rack ourselves! Williams-Sonoma towel rack

Go back to my home pageHome Page or send e-mail Christine Thresh

Created: 1/10/03 Updated: 2/14/03