NUMMER HOUSE: The kitchen remodel begins

When I bought this house in 2014, I knew that the first thing I wanted to tackle was the superdated kitchen.

And now, it's actually happening! Well, technically, it's been happening since October 1st of last year: the day I got keys to the place and I immediately started banging on the filthy upper cabinets, trying to see how easily they'd come down. Not so easily, it seemed.

Then, in November, I had a bad day. I took it out on the uppers and soffit, ripping them completely with pretty much nothing but my bare hands. It was a huge stress reliever, not to mention money saver.

In December, I took the plunge and ordered all-new Laminate countertops from Home Depot. Man I wish I'd know it would take more than TWO MONTHS to get them manufactured and installed. I would've probably gone with a different company. While I waited for an install date, I check another to-do off my list and installed a new cabinet and fan/light hood above my stove.

And yes, I did all the wiring myself. I've got this whole wiring thing down. 

Eventually an install date for my Laminate was finalized and two very nice gentleman I found on Thumbtack came and detached my plumbing and ripped out the old countertops. I was left with this for two long days of regrettable takeout.

The installers arrived on a crazy snowy, cold day, but managed to do an okay job on the install. There's more to the story, but all-in-all, I am pleased with the results.

The Thumbtack guys came back the next day to re-install the plumbing. I decided (kind of at the last minute) to spent an extra $200.00 and grab a new sink and faucet. Which was a huge disaster. They were here for EIGHT HOURS and had to make two separate runs to Home Depot--mostly because I screwed up the new sink purchase and got one 2" shallower than the old one. The new sink will take some getting used to, but in the end, VICTORY!

Here's a new game I started playing when I bought this house. Basically, it's about taking account of all the new skills, tools, ideas and projects I've learned or taught myself throughout this process. So far with my kitchen project, I've learned how to...

  • ...hire a contractor.
  • ...work/negotiate with contractors (tip: pizza helps).
  • ...find my water shutoff for the whole house.
  • ...find studs... and how not to (yikes).
  • ...use a palm sander.
  • ...properly remove wallpaper.
  • ...properly "tape & mud" to repair drywall.
  • ... to tell how much (or little) construction adhesive is necessary to glue this thing to that thing (tip: avoid those weird caulk gun things and just get the stuff in a hand-held tube).
  • ...wire more than just a light fixture.
  • ...fix a busted dishwasher seal.
  • ...demo, baby. It really is the funnest part.

The work done so far amounts to lots of baby steps and a few big leaps. In the coming weeks, paint and tile will play a huge part. Further down the road, new flooring, a new pantry and island will come into play. But for this moment, I'll bask in the shiny new countertops and sink!

Also, here's a quick paint test for the lower cabinet color. What's you favorite?

From L to R: Deep Royal, Starless Night, Vintage Velvet, Peaceful Night.