When we began planning out our kitchen design there were a few things we were certain we wanted. One was white shaker cabinets. Another was a large island where the wall currently stood. The last important element was incorporating as much storage as possible in a small area. After taking measurements and getting creative I landed on the following layout:
Tall cabinets that run all the way to the ceiling for extra storage. Drawers next to the sink for easy organizing. And along the back of the ‘island’ (which is really a peninsula since it extends from the wall) we incorporated 12″ deep tall cabinets for even more storage of some of those non-everyday items.
Once we had an idea of the overall design and idea for the layout of the kitchen, we started the arduous process of connecting with contractors to schedule the renovation work. The cop and I knew we’d do some of the work ourselves – the non-professional stuff. By that I mean we weren’t about to experiment with plumbing, electrical or major structural changes, but we’d tackle the small projects ourselves to try to save on labor costs. Because trust me with a kitchen renovation even when you try to save on labor costs they end up running you about $4,000.
Overall our demo and reno steps were to:
- Demo the kitchen and take it down to the studs – DIY
- Remove the wall dividing the family room and kitchen and install necessary beam – professional
- Remove popcorn ceiling, repair the ceiling of the combined three rooms and repair drywall – professional
- Move the plumbing – professional
- Install new electrical: four can lights in the kitchen, two in the family room, circuit for stove and fridge, wiring for range hood and microwave, garbage disposal switch, and required outlets – professional
- Paint walls and ceiling – DIY
- Rip up the linoleum – DIY
- Install flooring – DIY
- Install cabinets and counters – professional (we considered tackling the cabinets, but our cabinet guy included labor in his costs and we wanted to ensure it was done right)
- Vent microwave – professional
With everything lined up we felt pretty good about ourselves and the demo began. Here are a few overview photos of that glorious process.
We stopped when we hit the studs on the wall facing the family room and hung a tarp so that the majority of the construction dust would stay in the kitchen and not all over our family room. And then we waited for the work to begin.
See the funny thing about renovations is that they never quite happen on the timeline you’d expect. We demoed the kitchen and then we happened to go away for the weekend for an out of town wedding. And that weekend Hurricane Matthew struck Savannah. Boy did it ever.
We were extremely lucky and had almost no damage. Our shed exploded in the backyard and we had a few limbs down but really if you’d seen our street you’d know very quickly we were the fortunate ones. About every 4th neighbor had a massive tree down across their yard or on top of their house.
When we finally made it back into town we went without power for about a week. And we could not find a contractor to come do the work.
See we had someone all scheduled to start on that Monday. But the storm threw things off of course. And once people were allowed back into Savannah (we were under mandatory evacuation) there was real work to be done. People had TREES through their LIVING ROOMS. I mean this was really no joke. So we lived without a kitchen for about two months trying to find workmen who could and would take the job. It really was not the best. But honestly it could have been worse, and we felt so blessed that we did not have significant damage to our new house.
When we finally started getting workmen to the house it was slow going. But we eventually got the wall taken down, the beam installed, the drywall completed, the electrical run, the plumbing moved, the cabinets and appliances installed, and then finally the glorious counters were brought in.
Stay tuned for the final reveal of our kitchen renovation along with a source list and costs!