Here we are, ready or not – it’s kitchen remodel time. It’s our first time doing something like this, but since we [we = Dan] are doing pretty much everything ourselves I thought I would write a bit about what the process has looked like so far.

How do you even start? I wish I would have taken out a library book or listened to a dang podcast about ripping apart your house. Side note: read things.

Kitchen remodel
Grainy photo of our pre-remodeled kitchen.
Kitchen remodel
Let’s do this.

First thing for us was figuring out our motivation and goal for the kitchen remodel. We knew we wanted to sell the house relatively soon, i.e. “flip it.” And deciding on how much we would like to sell it for given the market is helpful. If you want to sell a house in the $250,000 – $350,000 range then what look usually goes along with that? Obviously that’s a large range, don’t worry that’s to keep up the mystery of just how awesome our house is!!

Hint, look at other houses selling in the area at your given price point via Zillow or whatever the non-existent competition to Zillow is. Get nice and nosy and click through pictures of the houses. Someone will be doing it to your house soon. Try to picture your buyer and what this imaginary person will want their kitchen to look like. Trust me, it’s very natural and easy.

OR if your motivation is to renovate for your own pleasure, then congrats millionaire is this kitchen number one or four? But seriously, how fun! Then you get to design everything for you!!

OK so now you’ve looked on Pinterest for so long that you’re crocheting booties for your friend’s friend’s sister’s niece. DAMMIT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DECIDE ON KITCHEN CABINETS. Look through Pinterest or Houzz and get a better idea of what you want to do. Look at prices for materials online and realize the said Pinterest pictures are a false reality you will never inhabit.

Now you’ve decided on what you kinda-sorta want the kitchen to look like. Great! Now just marry an engineer so that they can plan everything.

Kitchen remodel design
Dan made this! So smart.

I’m serious, I would be in a cardboard box if Dan wasn’t in on this.

Here is where I try to describe what we he did. Step one, decide on a budget. Our goal is to flip the house so we are trying to balance the cost of materials with the potential increases to  profit. Does anyone know a formula for this? Because it remains a mystery to me.

If you start the process early enough keep an eye on Home Depot for sales, a scratch and dent store, or Craigslist. We got our fridge at Home Depot since the house didn’t come with one and we needed it quickly. Dan found a new stove on Craigslist for much cheaper than we would have bought in Home Depot. It helps to have a trailer if you go down the Craigslist route.

Step two, find a cabinet company within said budget and figure out what pieces you will need to put in the kitchen. Then put a very large order on your credit card (that you intend to pay off immediately, duh!). At least we get Amazon points – this totally lessens the anxiety. Cry that it costs hundreds of dollars to ship the cabinets. WHAT ABOUT PRIME FREE SHIPPING THRU AMAZON??

Step three, assemble cabinets. This took Dan about 1.5 days and he made it look relatively easy (I say that as I was sipping tea watching him). The only hiccup that I saw was assembling the pantry. As in, it spans the height of the room but you can only easily assemble it when it’s down on the ground. So trying to stand it up after assembly means it doesn’t fit and you have to take it through two sets of doors and down the stairwell to the basement to fully rotate it.

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Cabinet assembly process.
Kitchen remodel
Dang pantry you’re more trouble than you’re worth.

Step four, be an engineer (or anyone with patience) and figure out how much counter top you will need. Submit requests for quotes. Wait.

Kitchen remodel
Dan also made this. So smart.
Picking granite kitchen remodel
Looking at granite. No one was there to help so we ran in between the stacks to figure out which one was which from the quote – supersafe.

Step five while waiting for quotes to come back: destroy kitchen. Leave yourself a bare, unusable room and ponder the philosophy of the stove. Why did you take it for granted? It was beautiful in its own, three decades old way. You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone.

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Good riddance.
Kitchen demolition and remodel
Blank canvas.

Step six: fix the wall where the stupid drop down ceiling boxes were. This takes a lot more work than you would think. Especially since the ceiling drywall size doesn’t match the drywall size that you can easily buy. Dan did many mudding layers and it was not fun. Texture to match the weird ceiling texture. Also not fun.

Stupid wall box thing.
This is the worst part of the whole process.

Step seven: paint. Drink beer while you paint, it improves your skill!

Floating wall.jpg
The giant paint holes are where the new cabinets will live.

Step seven: lay down whatever floor you have. Hopefully it’s not carpet – I know that was a thing but just let it go. We were between tile and wood floor (equally as ridiculous as carpet? Perhaps.) but were swayed by all the trendy people on Houzz. As long as we can make it six months and don’t spill a gigantic pot of soup on the floor then we can count our lucky stars, it’s for the next sucker to deal with!

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Wood floor pic #1
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Wood floor pic #2

Step eight: install your cabinets. That’s about the extent to which I know how cabinets work.

That’s where we are now with the kitchen remodel, I will post once everything is up and running!



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