This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 8 and 2 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between

Friday, October 11, 2013

Kitchen Remodel -- Phase I

What have I been doing you ask? Well we have begun our kitchen facelift! I wouldn't call it a full remodel--we are keeping our current cabinets and countertops, but we are refinishing them all. We are also getting all new appliances (except for a fridge b/c it's only a couple years old).

When Nick and I first started discussing this, I brought up the idea of knocking out the cabinets beneath our cooktop to put in a combo stove/oven so that everything was together in one spot. I figured this would be too expensive because it would not be a DIY job like the rest of the kitchen projects. We decided against it and were planning on just replacing all of the current appliances with new models in black.....until we started pricing things!

Here is the "before" oven and microwave....

....and the "before" cooktop with cabinets below. They are all about 20-30 years old. They still work but are inefficient and very outdated!

We still have a distant hope of trying to sell our house again in a few years, but would like to get some enjoyment out of our updates before then. I started shopping around online for a ceramic cooktop that would replace our old stove, and found that the cheapest one ran about $500-600. Then I started pricing wall ovens and found the cheapest one of those started at around $800+. Right now we were at almost $1500 for just the baseline model oven and stove.

Those who know me are aware that I am a cheap frugal person, and that was just a ridiculous amount to spend. I glanced at a regular range that had a ceramic stove and good size oven--only about $500. I kept looking online but never really found better prices that would make me happy. So then I started thinking back to my original idea of knocking out the old cooktop and cabinets to put in a range instead. I figured with the money we would save just having to buy a range, we could pay for a contractor!

Nick brought up the grand idea that his dad Mark knows how to build a house from the ground up, so we asked him if he was interested in the job. He accepted, and came to work on it the next day! I told him exactly what I wanted, and added some custom shelving on the outer cabinets for my cookbooks. He got right to work and had it done in two days!!

Here is where the oven was.  Mark is going to put in shelves to replace the storage I'm losing under the old cooktop.

Here is where the cooktop was. We took off the cabinet doors and removed the shelves to prepare for demolition.

Mark stayed till about 7pm the first day, and offered to take our little one to stay a couple nights since he was on fall break. Of course Brad was very excited about that and got his suitcase ready to go!

I started hunting online for a new range and found several good deals. I narrowed it down to Sears, Lowes, or Home Depot. Lowes and HD both having 10% off appliance sales, plus free shipping. I decided on one ~$550 range at each place that I wanted to look at, so we went to each store to see them in person. HD didn't have much in stock at the store, so we moved on to Lowes. I didn't find the exact model I had picked, but they had a very similar one in stock that was about $50 more. We kept browsing around and I stumbled upon another range that was pretty much what I wanted and it was cheaper--$499 marked down to $439. I inquired about it to the salesperson and he said it was in stock, and that it rang up only $404! I got free shipping, and I just happened to have a $25 off coupon. Altogether I got it for only $379!

Mark came back in a couple days and finished up the shelving and installation of the stove. For the shelves we bought the wood and brackets at Lowes, then Nick painted the wood white and brackets black. Removing the counter and cabinets around the old cooktop left a little gap, so Mark installed some wood trim around the range for a custom fit. When we refinish the countertops it will all get painted the same color.

Here are the new cabinets he built where the oven was. The tall one is for cutting boards/cookie sheets, and the shelves on the right will be covered by a custom cabinet door we are having made to match the others. We will also paint the inside of these.

And here are my cookbook shelves! I love the brackets and rounded edges. Once everything gets a fresh coat of paint it will all look finished. I can't wait to see the end result!!

We are going to put our old appliances for sale on craigslist to try and recoup some of our costs. I already bought a new microwave and it will be installed soon.

In the end, for the price of JUST a new cooktop, we got a new range, custom shelving, and a redesigned kitchen! Our next project--painting the cabinets.....


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