Thursday, February 28, 2008

My IKEA Kitchen Planner Plans

I have worked and reworked this plan so many times I can't even begin to explain. And btw, the people at IKEA need to work on their Planner. The darn thing freezes all the time! Which is why I also have graph paper versions of these that I'll post eventually.

My initial plan was to wrap the cabinets all the way to the window. But after I figured out what would go in each cabinet, I realized I just didn't need them.

I also had planned on 39" cabinets but after a trip to IKEA and after showing a couple of houses with them, I realize that I wouldn't be able to see the upper two cabinets, let alone reach into them with a ladder. The pantry at the end will be for dog food and entertaining platters and tiered pieces.

I am still debating on the one 39" cabinet about the dishwasher which would hold all my glasses. My plan, starting from the left, pull out garbage, sink, dishwasher, and two base cabinets for dishes and silverware.

Again, left to right, oven w/ baking trays, flour, etc., fridge w/ cabinets for holiday entertaining pieces, microwave/toaster oven landing so I have a place to put things from the pantry or things I've pulled out of the fridge, then the pantry.

Left to right: pull out for oils/vinegar, etc., onions/potatoes (actually they'll be reversed but I forgot to change it), the stove cabinet will hold all the pots and lids and then the last cabinet will be for my cooking utensils.

The island is actually 6'6" long and 3' wide with 42" walkway all around except for about two feet near the basement door which will have 36". There will also be an island hood (downdrafts are not very effective) above the gas cooktop. Both the cooktop and sink will have the required 18" landing on it's shortest side.

Any suggestions?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Granite Tile Kitchen Counter

I went downstairs to get a better handle on how much stuff I'll actually need to have room for in my new cabinets. Not as much as I thought, btw. And found tile I totally forgot I had! (I'm a Realtor, so people give me random stuff when they're moving.)

I'll post those pics later, but I also stumbled upon several boxes of black granite tile. I was planning on using them in the bathroom once that got remodeled ten years from now. But granite is very slippery when wet, so I was a little aprehensive about that. Which got me it really a good idea to use granite for flooring anywhere? Probably not.

So, I looked online and found a bunch of links for granite tile kitchen counters. The seems aren't overly noticeable, and it'll be a million times cheaper than granite slab. I'm still on the fence but feel free to leave me comments and give me your two cents.

Need Help Designing Your Kitchen or Bath?

Check out the NKBA Kitchen & Bath Planning Guidelines with Access Standards. It tells you how much space you need in between an island and a counter, how big the landings should be next to your sink and basically tells you everything you need to know. It's concise and easy to understand.

It's amazing how many things you don't even thing about taking into consideration. Before you buy your cabinets, check out this site.

Enter the Replacements

On the 19th, the new guys start. Within days the carpenter took down the ceiling and shingles on the outside kitchen wall. He started prepping the kitchen wall to be removed. He put new sheetrock is up on the ceiling. The electrician started switching the service from 60 amp to 200 amp. He installed boxes outside and a new box downstairs.

This closet was suppose to be opened up for access into the living room. But I decided to turn it into a much needed utility closet instead. By keeping it closed, people staying over will have privacy. Also, it would provide a sound barrier if the TV is on in both rooms.

Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

My gut said something was a little off, but I wasn't sure, what do I know about framing? That's when my friend's father, a retired union mason, stopped by and commented that it's obvious how they're doing this so quickly. Uh oh.

Then his plumber friend stopped by...more bad news. Same with the electrician and the hvac guy. They said it wasn't the end of the world, but it wasn't good either.

So I fired the contractors.

Thankfully, I knew random people with different skills who are now fixing and finishing the job. But let's go over what went wrong...

The studs weren't 16 inches on center, nor were they flush or straight. (Also take note of the plumbing. They moved my kitchen sink plumbing, why? I don't know. Now I won't have a functioning sink until the wall comes down and the plumbing can be redone. I've been doing the dishes in my bathroom sink. Not so happy about that.)

Notice how the door is crooked?

They obviously didn't measure anything out. They just framed the door and stuck it in, thus the big gap on the top.

The windows need to be framed since they weren't new construction, but weren't. It's also not shimmed or insulated properly.

And you can see in most of the pictures that the plywood walls are not cut straight and have gaps well over the penny width spacing they're suppose to have.

You're suppose to drill holes in the studs for the wires, not gouge out the studs. And where are the wall plates? If I screwed into that when I hung up a picture or cabinet, I could've set the house on fire!

Since they were installing the recessed lights already, I'm guessing they planned on installing the new ceiling right over the old one! Yeesh.

Under no circumstances do you use 4 inch disposable dryer ducts for regular heating ductwork. Never.

Even with the generic Tyvek they used, I already started getting water after a big storm.

You live and you learn, I guess. I'm just glad I found out what was going before it was too late. My friend said it would've probably been okay for the first couple of years, but then I would've had all sorts of water problems. That is if the house didn't burn down from their shoddy wiring first!

Day 2

Working as fast as they did the first day, they removed and repaired the side wall, installed the side door, sliding doors and windows.

They laid the joists and plywood for the floor.

And they even removed one cabinet and the soffit above my stove. Gotta love that crazy looking wallpaper. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the other soffit is also covering bad wallpaper and not ductwork or wiring.

The Demolition Begins

Once upon a time, I had a little, tiny, galley kitchen. I would dream of bigger cabinets, a pantry and a dishwasher. Oh, to have a dishwasher! How nice that would be. Thanks to my wonderful, benevolent father, that dream is going to come true.

But of course, this is not a simple story of a kitchen getting expanded into the garage. It has been nothing short of an adventure.

First, I hired the wrong contractors. My friend converted her garage into a room and her contractors did a very nice job. Unfortunately, I saw what it looked like after the sheetrock was up. Never base your opinion of a contractor on the final outcome. You need to see what happened during every step.

They started January 8, 2008 and started working like gangbusters. They emptied out the garage and tore down the walls within a matter of hours. That's when we discovered the outside wall of my garage was rotted out and broken, as you can see in the last picture.

And thus the adventure begins...