Kitchen Preliminaries

We lived with our old and inefficient kitchen for quite awhile before we remodeled it. Too long, we both think. There were fits and starts of taking care of some of the more offensive features: like the bathroom sink located at the far end of the kitchen…what was up with that? The window was nailed shut, and being a kitchen without air conditioning and facing west… well, it was Hell’s Kitchen before they coined the name for the show. A new window was first on the nag request list. We opted for a large Marvin casement window. Summer relief!

Winter was something entirely different in this porch-turned-kitchen area. It was drafty and freezing cold- the pipes were threaded through openings cut into the insides of the cabinets- and they tended to freeze. This place had lots of the “what not to do” list of the D-I-Y trade ….

When we finally scrambled enough money together we started the project.

The first thing was the planning… after fortifying with many issues of Kitchen Remodeling magazines and books… my part was to draw up the plan. My husband made a template of the space as it presently was and I began to draw out different ideas that we discussed and scrapped. We finally came upon a plan that involved closing off the back door, moving it to where the windows in the dining room were and moving the basement door, while concealing the bathroom door from the kitchen dining area.Whew! This is the condensed version! About the only thing that stayed the same was the new window and the sink plumbing connection below it. And it was time to fill in the cistern that was half inside and underneath the kitchen and half outside. Mosquitoes in the dead of winter, I kid you not. Funky smells, too.

Some of the challenges included the fact that previous owners had removed lots of the bearing wall- and you could see the roofline was showing results of that fiasco. We wanted a more open design then it had, so took out most of the remaining wall- we put in structural beams and supports – big, thick, specially ordered cedar. My husband totally rebuilt from the inside once we had taken out the old failing particle board walls and whatnot the ingenious former owners had slapped up. We joke now that if a tornado hits everything except this kitchen will go… the studs alone are a backbone few winds will prevail against.

We knew it was bad- we had lived with this kitchen for about seven years, but once you start tearing into the insides of the walls and floors…you get to see just how bad.

So we had a plan, we had the demolition…. next were the innumerable trips to the stores.

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