Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Tale of a Kitchen Remodel

I first introduced you to my home a few months ago where you got a glimpse of what our lovely kitchen looked like the day we moved in, it's probably what sold us on the place. Kidding of course.

Kitchen on move in day

The layout was really not great. The cabinets were the crappiest I've seen in a long time. To say the craftsmanship was poor is a complement. Normally in such a small kitchen you would attempt to maximize what space you have to it's greatest potential. Not this kitchen. The opposite was true actually. There was a rather large built in pantry on one side of the fridge and other side of the fridge was a 50 gallon water heater. While the idea of having a pantry in the kitchen is nice, there isn't really room in a 10'x7' kitchen for that large of a pantry. And the location of the water heater made it so that corner of the kitchen was unusable and all of the cabinets had to be pushed forward several feet. Both things took up so much space therefore both had to go.


We tore everything in the kitchen out. Those were the crummiest kitchen cabinets ever. The faucet on the kitchen sink had been leaking for so long that the entire bottom of the sink base cabinet was completely rotten and fell apart. Apparently the best solution to that problem was to leave all of the moldy rotten particle board under the sink and just cover it with a piece of plywood. That was an interesting discovery.


Tearing out all of the kitchen cabinets led to other interesting discoveries, like a wall of cinder block. That sure didn't make it easy to hang cabinets. It's always a surprise when you try to hang something on the walls of this condo. You never know what you're going to find and a what you think will be a simple project never is.


Out came that giant water heater that was taking up so much valuable space in the kitchen. In its place came a "squat" water heater. It's only 10 gallons smaller than the original heater but is short enough to fit underneath the kitchen cabinets. We cut away part of the corner cabinet so that we could install it around the water heater.

dig those stylish safety glasses


We moved into the condo in September and the above photo shows the progress we were able to make in time for Thanksgiving. The fact that the kitchen was even functional was impressive to us. That piece of plywood in the foreground was the stand in for countertops. I covered it with a vinyl tablecloth so it wasn't quite so ugly and was easier to clean up.

the kitchen now

And here is where the kitchen is at today (I think I played with this picture too much on picnik). A year later and it is still not complete although a lot of progress has been made. All of the cabinets are up. There are new granites countertops. The hardware has been installed. We still need to finish the trim molding and install a toe kick (so the dog can stop throwing all his balls under the cabinets and then crying about it). I obviously left out a lot of details but feel free to ask any questions you'd like about the process. When it is finally complete I'll take some nicer detail shots and give you a list of all of our resources.

For more updates on this remodeling project check out this post.


  1. Tale of the Kitchen Remodel... squat water heater... GENIUS!
    & I love those wall racks!!!

  2. thanks, i like have as few things on the countertop as possible.

    everyone fought me on the water heater and told me it wouldn't work but now there it is happy hiding under the counter out of site.

  3. If you have any more pics, and tips and tricks for how you did that I would love to hear them!!

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  5. Wow, I am so glad I stumbled upon your website. I have been struggling with what I want to do in my outdated dark kitchen, and this is exactly what I was looking for!

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  7. Well,

    You have done a great job.

    Kitchen remodeling is certainly a very enticing project. There are many things that one wants in the kitchen. Expensive work tops, quality appliances and cupboards. while remodeling the kitchen one has to do little research on kitchen cabinets.

  8. The photos you have shown are very good see, can i get some more tips and techniques on remodeling a kitchen and also the pictures.

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  10. WoW it looks like you now what your doing!
    Cabinet Depot