Author Topic: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal  (Read 7079 times)

Pennycounter

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2019, 07:27:36 AM »
It looks great! Good luck on the cabinet assembly and install. I think it was a good move on the insulation, all the studies are on long term exposure so with the precautions you took, it sounds fine.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2019, 06:08:50 PM »
This weekend we painted the ceiling (not fun) got started on the cabinet assembly. The whole process was pretty simple and we're really impressed with the quality of the construction and finish. Here's a photo of the sorted face frames still in their packaging and two cabinets minus drawers and doors. The one on the left has an extended stile that I'll trim and scribe to the wall.

Assembly is taking a bit longer than expected since we are predrilling and installing all the hinge fittings on the inset face frames before putting the cabinets together. Between that and the time painting we still have about 5 cabinets to go. We decided to wait until next weekend to start installation to give ourselves a full day to measure everything out and get the leveling just right.

Still very excited about the progress and thrilled with the cabinet choices.

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #52 on: August 19, 2019, 08:32:00 AM »
I've been on vacation for a week and you've made a lot of progress while I was away. I can't wait to see the finished kitchen.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #53 on: August 26, 2019, 05:46:19 AM »
Uneven Floors... ugh

We finished building the cabinets except for the pantry cabinet. One of the sides is incorrect so we wrote the company to get a replacement. They've been very responsive so far so I expect it to only be a minor delay.

The real fiasco of the day is our uneven floors. I wrongly assumed that since we were having new subfloors installed and adding plywood to increase the height of the subfloor to match the rest of the house that they would level the floors before installing the hardwoods. I guess I've watched too many episodes of holmes on homes. I went to install the cabinets and found almost an inch drop from the wall to the center of the floor. Our cabinets are inset and the face frame has a leg extension like furniture feet that goes all the way to the floor. If we shim them to level the feet float a quarter inch or more. I really want to avoid adding quarter round because it would defeat the whole point of the clean style of the finished leg. The only other alternative I can think of is to scribe every single cabinet which is beyond my skill and patience.

I contacted the flooring company to see what they're willing to do. I am guessing that reinstalling the floor is out, but I'm hoping they'll be willing to come sand down the high spot along the wall.

Anyone know of any other fixes besides quarter round? Alternative ways to level the floor?

KBecks

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #54 on: August 26, 2019, 06:08:02 AM »
I would go ask this on the Houzz forums.  Good luck!

Papa bear

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2019, 06:32:05 AM »
Uneven Floors... ugh

We finished building the cabinets except for the pantry cabinet. One of the sides is incorrect so we wrote the company to get a replacement. They've been very responsive so far so I expect it to only be a minor delay.

The real fiasco of the day is our uneven floors. I wrongly assumed that since we were having new subfloors installed and adding plywood to increase the height of the subfloor to match the rest of the house that they would level the floors before installing the hardwoods. I guess I've watched too many episodes of holmes on homes. I went to install the cabinets and found almost an inch drop from the wall to the center of the floor. Our cabinets are inset and the face frame has a leg extension like furniture feet that goes all the way to the floor. If we shim them to level the feet float a quarter inch or more. I really want to avoid adding quarter round because it would defeat the whole point of the clean style of the finished leg. The only other alternative I can think of is to scribe every single cabinet which is beyond my skill and patience.

I contacted the flooring company to see what they're willing to do. I am guessing that reinstalling the floor is out, but I'm hoping they'll be willing to come sand down the high spot along the wall.

Anyone know of any other fixes besides quarter round? Alternative ways to level the floor?


Start at your highest point.  Either you have to shim everything up to that level, scribe and cut the cabinet base down on the high floor side, or a combination of the 2. 

This is incredibly common to have to do for an install and I’ve had to do this on every kitchen I’ve ever done for primary residence, new build, rental, or flip.

If you decide to shim, you don’t need 1/4 round or shoe mold, you could just add 1/4” ply over your existing toe kick and paint/stain to match. Shimming can cause issues, namely if you have to go too high, your appliances won’t fit in correctly.  Though, cut too much and it doesn’t help either!

If you already installed your upper cabinets and leveled those, know that your measurement for distance between counter and uppers may change, which could mess up your backsplash design or pattern. 

If you decide to scribe, just get close, it doesn’t have to be perfect, and use a circular saw to cut. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #56 on: September 06, 2019, 07:07:29 AM »
Haven't heard anything in awhile? Did you get your floor situation "leveled" out and cabinets installed? We are finally getting drywall mud on and hopefully will start getting some of our cabinets up next week.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2019, 11:11:41 AM »
It's been 3 weeks. A whole lot happened, including a lot of head scratching, bemoaning the floors, cursing levels that aren't accurate, buying a new level, and DH bonding with the circular saw. I have been to the hardware store way too many times in the last 3 weeks.

We decided to be ok with shimming the front of the cabinets and adding trim around the furniture feet. We weren't skilled enough to get the cabinets level solely from scribing. Everything is finally in except the pantry cabinet. Countertops go in tomorrow. We picked out the pieces of the slab we wanted over the weekend.

The electrician is back for the final today and has to move almost every outlet. He measured the height based on the uneven floor so every outlet is at a different height. It's really noticeable now that the cabinets are in. He's not happy and I will have some drywall patching to do, but uneven outlets is one of those things that I think makes a kitchen look really sloppy. If we ever do a project like this again I will paint the cabinet level line across every stud to make sure we avoid this issue. I don't know if this is something a GC would've done for their electrician or if he should've known to check the relative level height of the outlets/switches. In the hall that exits the kitchen by the fridge there's an old set of light switches (for the hallway) and a newly installed kitchen switch within 2 feet of each other and there's about a 6 inch difference in the height. I didn't think I would need to specify to install the new switch at the same height as the switch that's already on that wall.

The plumber comes for his final on Thursday. The vent hood and all my drywall patching will happen Friday. This weekend we get to move all the furniture from this side of the house so the flooring guys can refinish everything at the same time next week.

We're getting close. I am really ready to have the kitchen back.

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2019, 02:20:57 PM »
Good to hear that things are progressing. I just got done posting about my frustrations today on my kitchen remodel thread. Since we have a GC doing most of our project, I should by rights be able to sit on my thumbs and just watch but I find myself constantly pointing out things done wrong to the various tradespeople that were subcontracted which I'm sure has saved us considerable rework time. But as I found out today, even I can't catch 100% of the mistakes they made.

Like you, I just want my kitchen back.


coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #59 on: September 23, 2019, 09:10:57 AM »
@lthenderson Sorry you're going through reno frustrations. It bugs me to no end when as the homeowner you have to catch subcontractors not doing things right. We almost went with a GC, but it sounds like it wouldn't have saved us much trouble. This project has given us a list of people we will definitely use/not use on the next project.

Our electrician installed a different pot light than the one we agreed to without telling us. When I mentioned that the light seemed yellow he said Oh, that's because I had to install the 3000K light because the drywall wasn't in yet. I was pretty annoyed because if he had mentioned that he needed the drywall in I could've easily scheduled him to come back then. He offered to come back and put the 4000K light in which is supposed to be more neutral. I think we're going to agree and do it next week once the floors are done and hope it doesn't turn out too fluorescent feeling.

Question of the day: Does it matter that the counter guys shimmed our very heavy cast iron sink? We followed the installation instructions and installed 2x4 rails for the sink to sit on, including installing a quarter inch lower than the cabinet height. The counter guys used some small scrap pieces of wood to take out that quarter inch so that the sink rests on a piece of wood in the back and two pieces on the cabinet's front apron face (which didn't hold any weight before because of the rails). It's a kohler whitehaven. It seem burly enough that I don't think it will flex or crack the enamel finish, but I am concerned that the weight on the cabinet face frame could be an issue down the road. Does anyone have experience with this? Should we be concerned about the way they modified the sink install?

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #60 on: September 23, 2019, 09:12:15 AM »
I spent way too long debating faucets this weekend. I learned that 1) showrooms are hugely overpriced (not surprised) 2) wayfair has been wonderful about letting me return two faucets we decided we didn't like past the return date 3) the size/shape of the window behind our sink makes current faucets look gargantuan. We ended up ordering a moen bar faucet. I wanted something that would blend and not distract too much from the counters and wouldn't clash with the unlacquered brass hardware we're considering for the cabinets.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #61 on: September 23, 2019, 09:14:20 AM »
counter photos

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #62 on: September 23, 2019, 09:41:40 AM »
Question of the day: Does it matter that the counter guys shimmed our very heavy cast iron sink? We followed the installation instructions and installed 2x4 rails for the sink to sit on, including installing a quarter inch lower than the cabinet height. The counter guys used some small scrap pieces of wood to take out that quarter inch so that the sink rests on a piece of wood in the back and two pieces on the cabinet's front apron face (which didn't hold any weight before because of the rails). It's a kohler whitehaven. It seem burly enough that I don't think it will flex or crack the enamel finish, but I am concerned that the weight on the cabinet face frame could be an issue down the road. Does anyone have experience with this? Should we be concerned about the way they modified the sink install?

Since it is an under-mount sink, I wonder if they had to shim the countertop to make it level and then that translated in shimming the sink to suck it up to the bottom of the countertop. I would check the installation directions for the sink and see if it says anything for that situation.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #63 on: September 26, 2019, 08:50:35 AM »
We're on day 4 of flooring. All our furniture is in our livingroom and bedroom in the newer side of the house. So far their work looks wonderful. The last two coats of waterbased poly should be done today. I can't wait to get back into the kitchen this week and finish the pantry pullout system and maybe tackle getting some of the doors and drawer fronts on.

I placed our tile order this morning. We went with a white subway tile with a little bit of irregularity in the shape to add some interest.

Still to do:
  • order shelf brackets for the open shelves on either side of the stove
  • order cabinet hardware
  • source wood for bench seat and shelves
  • finish pantry
  • install drawer fronts and doors
  • hang upper cabinets on sink wall
  • pick paint color and paint
  • trim the large window
  • paint window trim
  • install molding
  • install toekicks etc
  • hang light above sink

Final plumbing will be done Saturday so we can at least use the dishwasher and sink then, but I'm kinda loathe to move everything in before we get all the drawer fronts and doors on.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 08:52:16 AM by coffeefueled »

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2019, 07:23:56 AM »
Floors are done! My favorite thing is the new platform in our entryway that leads from the old part of the house to the newer living room. The step down used to be right at the opening so you'd step down then back up to go upstairs. The new platform makes so much more sense and looks like it's always been there.

Now that the floors and cabinets are (mostly) in the kitchen looks incredibly wide. I didn't realize how much space we really had with the poorly used original layout.

Today I hope to install all the pantry pullouts and the rest of the window trim.

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2019, 05:42:28 AM »
Looking great! My flooring is on order and should arrive in a week and a half. We had one cabinet that had to be reordered (kitchen place wrote down wrong measurement) and once we get that, countertops and appliances should be in short order.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #66 on: February 26, 2020, 01:44:51 PM »
Wow I have left this thread unattended for a long while. Kitchen work became a Saturday only thing for months, which really slowed progress. We started using the kitchen in October when the appliances went in so the impetus to finish quickly fell below other priorities.

I have learned a ton in the last 4 months. Fitting the pantry was a pain. If I had it to do over again I would've ordered two narrower pantries instead of one wide box because I was never able to get the thing level and square while building it upright on our wonky floors. It also required rigging the bars/cleats that hold the pantry shelves in way that wouldn't have been necessary in a two side by side boxes set-up. It's livable, but the door gaps on the inset will never be quite right and the face frame gaps from the box a bit on one side which will need caulked and painted. I'm really annoyed with myself over imperfections like that. I think I'd be able to do the whole project better a second time round, but of course there's no do overs on this one. Part of doing this myself for the first time with my beginner skillset is being ok with some imperfection. I'm learning to embrace it and realizing that a lot of contractors in my area probably wouldn't have done much better (which is sad).

I had one completely dumb moment where I installed an upper cabinet upside down so the finished side was facing the wrong direction. I took it down and righted it, but there are a few small holes from the finish screws I used to connect the face frame to the next cabinet. I'm betting no one will notice after the small holes are patched and painted, but darn I wish I had been paying more attention and hadn't a made silly mistake like that.

I still can't get the cabinet face on the pullout trashcan on correctly. I'm using the double-sided tape method suggested for inset cabinets by Cabinet Joint, but there's some play in the pullout's track so I'm having trouble getting the door gaps consistent. When you push on the cabinet face enough to make good connection with the tape it moves the trashcan carriage enough to mess up the alignment once I release the pressure. Now I'm frustrated and ignoring the lack of door until everything else is done.

We went with unlacquered brass hardware after a lot of picture staring and blog reading. It's beautiful. I realized I would've been just as happy with lacquered and it staying permanently shiny. Here's hoping I will like the aged look just as much as DH.

I'm really proud of the window trim which I made and installed myself.

To do list update:
•order shelf brackets for the open shelves on either side of the stove
•order cabinet hardware
•source wood for window seat and open shelves
•finish pantry
•install drawer fronts and doors
•hang upper cabinets on sink wall
•pick paint color and paint
•trim the large window
•paint window trim
•install crown molding
•install toekicks etc
•install window seat
•hang light above sink

 Photos coming soon...

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #67 on: February 27, 2020, 07:01:25 AM »
I still can't get the cabinet face on the pullout trashcan on correctly. I'm using the double-sided tape method suggested for inset cabinets by Cabinet Joint, but there's some play in the pullout's track so I'm having trouble getting the door gaps consistent. When you push on the cabinet face enough to make good connection with the tape it moves the trashcan carriage enough to mess up the alignment once I release the pressure. Now I'm frustrated and ignoring the lack of door until everything else is done.

Same predicament. Once our kitchen became functional, things slowed way down. I'm just waiting on backsplash which arrived in a U.S. port last week and then once it is installed, our kitchen will be completely done.

By cabinet face are you referring to an inset door on the pullout trashcan? For such a large door, doublestick tape is hard to do but I have another method that works well as long as are putting door pull hardware on the outside of the door. I simply set the door in place, shim the gaps around the perimeter to what you desire and then insert a couple screws temporarily into the holes where the pull hardware is going to go to hold the door face to the drawer body. Pull out the drawer and add the screws from the inside to hold the inset door face on permanently and remove your temporary screws and put on hardware.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #68 on: February 27, 2020, 07:44:43 AM »
@lthenderson unfortunately the trash can carriage only goes half way up the door so that won't work.

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #69 on: February 27, 2020, 07:46:34 AM »
The range wall with hood and the drawer pulls going on...

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2020, 07:48:41 AM »
DIY window trim...

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #71 on: March 04, 2020, 08:09:44 AM »
Water Issues

Last year in the middle of the kitchen renovation I participated in our local ag coop extension's home wellwater testing program. I tested the bathroom sink since the kitchen faucet wasn't in yet. Our well already had a Ph neutralizer, but that's it. The water tested very hard, somewhat acidic, and too much copper and lead (assessed to be from the pipes since rates lowered after letting the water run).

I installed a water softener on everything except the kitchen cold line and outside taps. I didn't want the crazy hard water to destroy our new kitchen appliances. I installed a newer model Ph neutralizer to deal with the acidic water, hoping that would solve our copper/lead leaching issue. It didn't.

I retested the bathroom plus the new kitchen faucet. The kitchen has beautiful (though still extremely hard) water. The bathroom is still high copper/lead despite the Ph neutral water. My guess is that the guest bathroom water line is leaching due to age. It's from the oldest 1930s part of the house. My current plan is to crawl under the house and take a look at the pipe. I think it's a good idea to replace the entire run to that bathroom. Should I consider pex instead of copper? Is that possible to DIY? Most of the house is copper though I think the 1970s addition with our bedroom and bath might be pex.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 08:35:41 AM by coffeefueled »

coffeefueled

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #72 on: March 24, 2020, 08:26:23 AM »
I am the lucky person from my office that is still on shift despite covid-19 reduced staffing. I'll rotate off next week and plan to spend the free time finishing the kitchen and getting some garden work done.

Last weekend I caulked the fine gaps between the cabinets and the walls and wow does that make the project look more professional. The wall behind our pantry has a major outward lean so I plan to cut a triangle to fill the gap and caulk the seams. Had I realized before we ordered the cabinets I would've ordered the pantry with an extra 3 in depth so I could cut it down to match. If I ever do another kitchen reno I'll figure out the wall and floor height and evenness issues at the start of the project. The out of square issues really show the 1930s age of our house - that and anytime you try to hang a picture and can't get a nail into the rocklath walls.

The window seat is in sans top. It'll be a while before I can source hardwood for the top and floating shelves since the local wood companies are shutdown.

This weekend I plan to finish the toe kicks and crown.

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Kitchen Reno/Expansion + 1930s home repairs - project journal
« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2020, 12:40:05 PM »
Yes, caulking goes a long ways towards making things look much more precise. After buying a half dozen tubes and having to return them since all but one were dried up, I stumbled upon my new favorite thing, caulking that comes in a toothpaste like tube. It is more expensive but it has a cap so I can use the same tube to completion before it dries up and I've yet to find one that was dried up at the start. Also since I am using my hand grip to squeeze the caulking out, I find I have more control and when I stop squeezing, the caulking stops coming out unlike my caulk gun which will still continue to ooze out unless I release the pressure.

One advantage we had in our kitchen renovation is that since it was mostly in the addition, everything was plumb and square which made putting the cabinets up much easier. The rest of our house however has a slight tilt to it due to settling which amazingly telegraphs through to the flooring which I ran throughout the addition and existing part of the house. I can see it with a reflection on it and sometimes just kind of perceptively feel it with my feet when shuffling along. But to me, those things add character, more so than the stained ratty carpeting that used to be there.