Saturday, August 31, 2013

Making a Kitchen, Part 3: What next?

In case you missed it:
Making a Kitchen, Part 2: A Day in the Life

The cabinets are finished! I have built every cabinet and every drawer that will go in my kitchen. At the beginning of the summer, in my naivete, I blissfully imagined that I would spend a couple of weeks building cabinets, and that we would have the old kitchen demo-ed and the new kitchen installed by the time school started. Well, it didn't quite happen that way. The cabinets took the entire summer! They say that renovations always take longer than you think they will, and I'm learning this first hand.

My thoughts now have been turned to what I should do next. I'm actually feeling a little lost. I spent so much time on those cabinets that it feels strange not to have any more building to do. Thanks to a suggestion from my sister, and a great online article about kitchen renovation, I made a detailed list of everything that needs to be done in the kitchen. Now that I have a pretty clear plan, I'm feeling much better.

My Kitchen To-Do List

Prepare for demo:
-Set up temporary kitchen
     -Move fridge, range, small oven
     -Stock up on paper dishes, plastic ware, disposable pans
     -Plan easy meals
-Box up and label everything that won't be in temporary kitchen
-Throw away what won't be kept
-Remove everything not attached
-Arrange for disposal – dumpster, pickup truck?
-Take “before” pictures

Demo kitchen:
-Shut off power
-Remove microwave
      -Disconnect and cap wires
      -Remove screws
-Remove flooring
-Shut off water
-Uninstall and remove dishwasher
-Remove sink and fittings
-Remove cabinet doors and drawers
-Disassemble and remove counter
-Remove a/c vent
-Remove base cabinets
      -Unscrew if screws were used, pry gently with pry bar if nails were used
-Remove wall cabinets
-Pull up carpet in dining room

Prep for new kitchen:
-Repair walls
-Prime and paint walls
-Locate and mark studs on floor and ceiling
-Prepare floor
      -Fill areas that are dipped, buckled, bulging
      -Fill any holes or gauges
      -Countersink any nail or screw heads that are sticking up
      -Thoroughly clean floor

-Rip paper into stone-looking pieces about 12 inches
-Wrinkle then smooth each piece
-Mix glue (not all at once) using 3:1 ratio of water to glue
-Glue paper to floor
      -Cover piece of paper with glue mixture
      -Press smoothly onto floor
      -Overlap pieces to allow for shrinkage
      -Edge pieces go along the edge
      -Paper yourself out of the room – don't get trapped in a corner
-Let dry
-Stain floor
      -Cut in several inches around edges
      -Open windows for ventilation
      -Mop on stain using extension pole and stain pad
      -Feather edges, mop yourself out
-Let dry 1-2 days
-Seal floor
      -1 coat water-based polyurethane, then sand when dry
      -About 12 more coats, sanding after every other one, about an hour to dry in between
-Let cure for a few days

-While floor is curing, build island
-Veneer visible sides of cabinets with bead board or ¼-inch ply
-Cover floor with protective covering
-Install wall cabinets
      -Chalk line to mark position of all studs
      -Chalk line to mark top of counter
      -Chalk line 18-19 inches above previous line – bottom of wall cabinets
      -Nail temporary 1x2 ledger, top of board lines up with line, nail into studs
      -Screw into studs through cleats and bottom of back
      -Each should be attached to at least 2 studs. If not use toggle bolt as additional fastener
      -Screw adjacent units together, making faces flush
      -Recheck for level and plumb
      -Remove ledger, repair holes in wall
      -Paint wall cabinets
-Install base cabinets
      -Cut opening for a/c vent
      -Place cabinets in position, shimming as necessary
      -Screw adjacent units together, making faces flush
      -Check for plumb, shimming as necessary
      -Screw entire length of cabinets into wall through top cleat and into wall studs
      -Install toe kick and vent cover
      -Paint base cabinets
-Build, paint, and install doors and drawer fronts
-Attach door knobs and drawer pulls
-Attach island to floor with toe nails or angle brackets, making it level and plumb
-Install decorative corbels under wall cabinets

-Cut wood to length
-Seal bottom, 2-3 coats
-Trace and cut hole for sink
-Dry fit for sink placement
-Glue and screw planks to cabinets, one at a time
      -Construction grade adhesive
      -Start with back plank
      -Glue planks to cabinets and to each other
      -Weigh down with something heavy
-Fill seams with wood filler
-Sand and smooth after filler is dry
-7-8 coats of polyurethane

Install sink and disposal

Install dishwasher

Install range hood

Install back splash

Install range and refrigerator

Install lighting fixtures

Hmm, think I'll be a bit busy for the next little while? Yeah, pretty much. Part of me finds this list overwhelming - there's so much to be done! But mostly I'm just excited to take on the next step in this renovation process.

I feel like this post needs pictures or something. So here's a rather crooked picture of a cabinet with drawers. Just because.

Linking to: Link Party Palooza at Tatertots & Jello

Friday, August 2, 2013

Making a Kitchen, Part 2: A Day in the Life

In case you missed it, here's Making a Kitchen, Part 1.

A day in the life of an average stay-at-home mom, who happens to be building cabinets for her kitchen.

7:30 - Wake up to the 3-year-old wandering into our room saying she's hungry. Get dressed groggily, then get her some breakfast.

8:00 - Baby is awake. Nurse him, then give him some solid food while I eat some cereal.

8:30 - Make sure the older kids have something to eat, feed the cat.

9:00 - If it's Jeff's work week, hand off the baby to the 7-year-old. She's such a great helper, and a loving big sister. If it isn't Jeff's work week, then he gets the baby.

After I make sure all the kids are occupied with something fun, and the baby is being taken care of, it's off to my work bench in the back yard to start building.

It's not glamorous, but it's mine and it gets the job done.

First I gather all my tools out of the shed. This includes a drill, a pocket hole kit, clamps of various sizes and uses, a carpenter's square, measuring tape, wood glue, pocket hole screws, hammer, nails, and saws.

I have a variety of saws, which I'm really proud of.

Today I'm working on making the face frame for the corner cabinet that I built yesterday.

Always use eye and ear protection when using power saws!

After getting everything out and set up, I spend the rest of the morning cutting wood, drilling holes, clamping joints, driving screws, and doing it all over again.


I have a limited amount of time in which to do my building. I can only work when my work area is in the shade - it's too hot without it and I tend to get migraines when I work in the sunshine. So I keep an eye on my shadow.

By lunchtime, my shade is gone and I'm ready to pack everything up and put it away. If I have a finished cabinet, Jeff and I bring it inside and find a place to stow it until installation time. If not, I put it in the shed to keep it protected from the elements until the next morning.

Today I have a finished corner cabinet (minus doors, but those will come later, after all the cabinets are built).

When I'm done putting everything away, I join the family for lunch, and spend the rest of the day being a mom. And resting. Lots of resting - carpentry is hard work!

This whole cabinet-building thing is taking a lot longer than I originally thought it would. Picturing this all in my mind a few months ago, I blissfully (ignorantly) thought that we'd have a new kitchen by now. Truth is, if we'd gone ahead and bought pre-made cabinets, we probably would. But I love the sense of accomplishment I get each time I finish building a cabinet. I love looking at my cabinets stashed all over the house and thinking to myself, I built that. And I know that, eventually, when we actually do have all these cabinets installed in our beautiful new kitchen, all the time and effort will be totally worth it.

In case anyone is interested, here's where I got the basic plans to build all the cabinets. They were pretty simple to modify and customize to fit my needs in my kitchen.
Plans for the wall cabinets
Plans for the base cabinets
Plans for the corner wall cabinet

Linking to:
Weekend Wrap-Up Party at Tatertots & Jello
Creative Showcase at Housewife Eclectic  
Project Inspire{d} at Dukes and Duchesses
Think Tank Thursday at Joyful Homemaking