Friday, March 4, 2011

Kitchen Redo...for now Part II

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before
So when I left off, all the pieces were coming together figuratively at least. We needed to hang the cabinets, and install the appliances. While I consider myself quite handy and have learned a lot about DIY and hojme repair, I also know my limitations. I also know that even if I did figure out how to do those tasks, the time lost would be greater than paying someone who knows what they are doing not to mention the quality would not be as good.

Enter the Handy Man. From a referral from a friend, I contacted Mr Handyman and he was willing to come over and take a look. What I really liked from the beginning was, as we went over each task, he talked to me as if I could do it myself. "What you do is cut a small hole and insert a stud," or "you drill a couple of holes and use finishing nails".
Before Cabinet and Wine Rack
When it came time to talk about price he said that it works out best if we either come up with a full days worth of work, or just enough things so that they could take on a second job the same day. If we go over 6 hours, it's a full day rate anyway. Not a problem, as the wheels in my head started to spin.

Remember ABT and their expensive installation service? Mr Handyman knew how to do most of that as well. So when I bought the appliances, I decided that ABT could install the stove and the microhood, Mr Handyman and his crew could do the refrigerator and the dishwasher. My reasoning was that if worse came to worse, I could certainly figure out the dishwasher and the fridge on my own, or at least live a few days cleaning dishes manually and not having ice in the freezer.

After Cabinet and Wine Rack
The timing worked out beautifuly as the appliances arrived just as they finished the cabinets. The developer who put my condo together apparently placed the applainces first and then built the granite around it. The stove was wedged in and we worried we were gonna lose some tiles when ABT removed the old stove.

Luckily, the guys from ABT were not last in their class at Appliance Installation School They knew what they were doing and were able to remove the stove without breaking any tiles -- however ,they determined that they would have to remove some for the new microwave to open properly. Did i mention how lucky it was to have Mr Handyman right there!

So we had Mr Handyman:

  • Hang a Cabinet and wine rack
  • reinforce our curtain rod
  • connect the butcher block top to the island
  • cut and install the kickflap to the island
  • connect the dishwasher
  • connect the refrigerator
  • hang a pot rack
  • attempt to fix our accordian closet doors that won't stay shut

All for $390, materials included.  It would have cost me $250 to have ABT install the fridge and dishwasher so for another buck fifty, I got so much more.

Kitchen Redo complete...for now

I mentioned a few blogs ago about our plan to update our kitchen to increase and optimize the storage space. After over a month of having cabinets and pot racks cluttering up our dinning room, this project is finally done. It took a lot of coordination for all the moving pieces to come together, but in the end, it was worth it.

Originally we were going to build our own island using base cabinets and find a cheap piece of discontinued or slightly damaged granite for the top. Instead we found an already built island and butcher block top at HOBO for much less (~$400) than we could build. 

While at HOBO we found that we could buy a cabinet for the unused space for about $100.  But the question was, how to best optimize the space, server our current needs and possibly help our resale value at some future point.  The answer of course was wine rack!

If we wanted a bigger cabinet it would cost more money and we were trying to keep this project at a reasonable cost.  As luck would have it, HOBO had some stock cabinet and wine racks that came very close to matching my current kitchen. 


Next came the appliances.  My old appliances are at least 10 years old.  They might last another 10 years or they may fail one by one over the next decade, requiring replacing.  We decided that updating them served several purposes.  First, we have new, pretty looking stainless steel appliances that potential buyers desire.  Second, we have more updated appliances that are better functioning than their decade old counterparts.  Finally, we rationalized that if we are gonna be stuck here for a long time, we might as well make the best of it.

After researching appliances and costs, I learned that the Big Box stores all delivered for free and most did the free hall away too because they do this.  But they all charged a premium for installation.  For instance, the cost to install the microhood is about the cost of the microhood.  Of course once I saw what was involved with installing a microhood I realized why it cost so much and is worth every penny.   

After comparing all the Big Box stores deals on appliances, I determined that the package deal at ABT was our best option.  I also figured they were likely to have a good President's Day Sale.  Of course when we went and saw the appliance packages, we realized that we wanted better.   So you could call it the ole bait and switch except no one forced us to upgrade our appliances and the sales person did not try to pressure us in any way.

He did put together a wonder quartet of refrigerators, dishwasher, stove and microhood that wasn't at the low end of quality (or price) but wasn't at the extreme high end either.  We got a solid dish washer, an awesome stove, a decent microwave and as an unexpected bonus, a french door refrigerator. 

to be continued....