Diary Of My Kitchen Remodel

John Skrabec's occasional diary of his personal kitchen remodeling project. Observations of the ups, downs and expected pratfalls of remodeling an old craftsman bungalow in Northwest Denver.

There are currently 14 blog entries related to this category.

  Just before Christmas, and just in the nick of time, our kitchen was finally done. Well, 98% done at least. There are still a few minor touch up items that need to be finished, but as far as we are concerned, it is done and we couldn't be more happy. It was amazing have Christmas and New Years at our house and having so much space for people to be in the kitchen was absolutely incredible. I am now able to cook without bumping into everyone and the counter space makes preparing and serving meals so much easier and more enjoyable. It was a long road to get here, 3 months when it was supposed to be 6 weeks, but all the headache and frustration was definitely worth it.    Here are some before and after pics to jog your memory since it has been so…
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It feels like my kitchen remodel has been going on forever, and it has, pushing two months now. Luckily, the cabinets and granite are in now and it is finally feeling like the end is in site. The granite instillation is more complicated and fun than I thought so I wanted I would share the process so you know all that is involved.

Once the cabinets arrived, it only took a day to have them in place. Once they were in place, the granite fabricator can come out and do their templating. I figured it would be a guy with a tape measure but I was sure wrong. Instead, the fabricator set up a tri-pod with a laser and outlined the entire countertops to perfection on his Ipad.  

Once the template was done, we then headed to the fabrication shop and sat down

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We have now been living with the remodel for 5 weeks and believe me, are ready for it to be done. Unfortunately it looks like we won't be finished until early December now and not back upstairs in time for Thanksgiving which was our original goal. If things had gone as planned, the electricians would have come first, followed by the plumber, the hardwood floor company, the drywallers and finally the cabinets. As you can imagine, it has not gone as planned and the moral of this blog is that while a contractor will try to keep everything on schedule, expect things to not go as planned and that you are going to have to be very flexible along the way.

As of today, this is how our kitchen looks which is a huge improvement over a week ago. The cabinets have

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When we started our Berkeley kitchen remodel, we thought picking out the countertops would be one of the easier steps. I figured you would just walk in, pick out the counter you want and that would be it. So after taking a quick look at Home Depot and not seeing the look we were going for, it was off to the granite warehouses around town and that is when the information overload began.

There are about 10 major granite and marble warehouses around Denver. The way they work is that you check in, don a nice hard hat, and with their inventory list, start walking up and down the aisles picking out the slabs that you like. Each slab is assigned a category number, typically from 1 to 5 with 1 being the least expensive and 5 the most expensive. The

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When my wife and I bought our house a couple years ago, we started counting down the days until I could tear down the wall dividing the kitchen from the living room and open the entire living area up to one huge, open room. We bought the house from the original owner and while she had taken great care of it all these years, it still looked like it did 50 years ago. We have spent a ton of time and money bringing the major systems back up to date, finishing the basement for more room and working on the yard, but the day has finally come to tackle the kitchen and the kitchen remodel is under way.

Our house is a 50's raised ranch in Berkeley and like most 50's raised ranches, has good space but is very divided. The kitchen is tucked away from the dining

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Cooking can be complicated. Creating a silky-smooth Hollandaise sauce or a perfect paella can drive even the most accomplished chefs nuts. However, there is one culinary creation that strikes fear in the heart of every home cook and even the most accomplished chef de cuisine: the perfect chicken nugget.

Carefully removing the box from the freezer and opening it without suffering a laceration. Determining the precise amount of baking time that it takes to deliver that crispy, golden crust while keeping the chopped, formed and processed chicken product moist and tender on the inside. I'm sweating just thinking about.

Well, fret no more! The geniuses at Frigidaire have a "Chicken Nuggets" setting on their Gallery range. I saw this marvel of modern culinary

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Just in time for the holidays, we've finished our kitchen remodel. It's been a really tough four months, but we're so glad to be done and back into our house. Basement living was NOT for us!

We love our new kitchen, and am really happy with all the choices we made along the way. No regrets at all - at least ones we want to discuss in public. (We'll save those conversations for later. Much later.) Needless to say, a major home remodel project was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. 

Here's some before and after photos...

One of the biggest changes was knocking out this wall, and opening up the room to the stairway and backdoor. This made a big change, and dramatically opened up the space.

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Since we have arts and crafts bungalow with lots of

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A quick update on our kitchen remodel. The countertops and sink are in, and most of the lighting is installed. We chose a black granite countertop because it looked a bit more 'period.' It reminded us of soapstone, but more durable. Its got a unique leathered texture, and a dull matte finish. The sink is hammered copper, and the pendant lights are in a antique bronze finish. Its actually starting to look like a kitchen, and it finally feels we're getting to the end of the project. At this point, we're about three weeks behind. 

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I think the worst thing about embarking on a major home remodeling project is the waiting. Waiting for every step to be completed, so the next one can start. We've been working on this project for nearly one year now. And I'm ready for it to be finished. As we start the third month of construction, the anticipation of having a new kitchen is slowly killing me. At this point, we've been either in demolition mode, or rough construction mode. We've completely ripped up the house, and are now starting to put it back together. The structural, the plumbing, the electrical, the drywall.

Finally I feel we're getting somewhere. This week, the cabinets arrived and their installation began. I've been a bit nervous about them. Throughout the design process, I've felt

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Oh, the joys of home remodeling. Who knew it would be so fun! Now, I considering myself pretty savvy when it comes to home maintenance, remodeling, and real estate in general. I mean, I sell real estate for a living, have renovated four homes over the the last twenty years, and have an undergraduate degree in architecture. But I have to be honest; this little kitchen renovation is driving me crazy.

Although we're only remodeling the kitchen, we also want to refinish all the hardwood floors and the same time. So thinking it would be best if we moved out of the entire first floor, we packed up all our stuff, and either moved it to a off-site storage area, or to the basement. We've squeezed the lives of three people into a few rooms, with a small

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