It's been almost two months since I've blogged and four months since our renovation started. Towards the second half of May construction moved into our basement family room, which meant moving lots of crap stuff in and around my craft area. Then came refinishing the floors and stairs, and long story short we got kicked out of the basement area for a huge chunk of time which included access to my computer.
We're now 99% finished with this renovation. My last post in April included demo, framing, rough-ins drywall, and toothing in new hardwood for the kitchen. Then we just waited for the cabinets to arrive.
Here's the general schedule. If you're planning your own remodel, this might be a helpful timeline for estimating your project.
- March 23 - Demo
- March 25 - Frame new walls
- March 27 - Rough-ins for electrical, plumbing, HVAC start
- April 6 - Remove kitchen windows & rough-in for new windows
- April 7 - Lay unfinished oak flooring in kitchen
- April 8 - Drywall up
- April 15 - Remove exterior siding from kitchen front and window install
- April 27 - Cabinets arrive and install begins
- May 13 - Counter install (and sink)
- May 21 - Tile install starts (backsplash and entry floor)
- May 25 - framing and drywall of basement stairs
- May 27 - Floor refinishing/finishing starts -- and repair of existing hardwood needed
- May 27 - Start of replacing stair railings
- June 1 - Electrical & HVAC return to complete & hook up wiring
- June 2 - Living room/dining room floor is ripped up, replaced and refinished recommences
- June 10 - Appliances installed
- June 18 - Residing starts by removal of old aluminum and tyvek'ing house
- June 22 - Window install for the rest of the house
- June 24 - Siding resumes
- June 25 - painting starts and continues through July 2nd
Left to do:
- Replace the gutters and shutters (an afterthought - we were hoping not to have to spend the money)
- Have stair railings stained, and possibly the hall floor refinished
- Paint the front door, garage door, and trim for 2 windows that weren't replaced
Our cabinets are by Shiloh. One of the things we learned is that remodeling/build companies have certain brands that they work with. This little fact hadn't occurred to me - and it's an important one. I assumed that we could have whatever we wanted from the general marketplace. So, if you're looking at remodeling, one of the important questions you need to ask is what products/companies they use, like cabinetry, where you're obligated to use that particular brand.
My requirements for cabinets were 1) flat paneled with absolutely NO trim whatsoever and 2) contemporary look. We choose the Arizona Cypress finish (thermal fused laminate) for the lower cabinets and pantry and Polar White (painted) for the uppers. With this company, you can't get the frameless door (metro style) in a solid wood. Our doors are all mdf and I was a bit concerned with how it would look, until they were installed.
This is right after install. We used a mix of pull out drawers, pull out shelves, and open shelves. The cabinets along the windows are all pull out drawers to hold pots, pans, and baking supplies. Dishes and glassware are going into the white uppers, along with as much of my good china as will fit. We're using the backside of the island to hold small appliances and food right now, which may change as I finish unpacking the POD. Finally, next to the fridge is a large pantry cabinet with slide-out shelves.
It was interesting to watch everything put together, and how meticulously everything was leveled and centered. On the ends of the island they glue a laminate sheet over both cabinets so that it looks like one piece. Then, along the bottom of all the cabinets a matching kickplate is installed.
After the cabinets are installed the countertop guys can come in and measure. The measuring process was surprisingly high-tech. And, apparently the front of part of our house is not totally square. In a week or so they were back to install our countertops.
We chose quartz countertops for our kitchen. We got a lot of pressure from the design firm to go with granite -- and a lower grade of granite, but I dug in my heels for quartz. This is Organic White by Caesarstone. Quartz has the strength of granite, but it's non-porous and never needs sealing. Unlike granite, which is a slab of stone, quartz is 90ish% crushed stone with resin. It's stain-resistant, too. And absolutely beautiful.
I just love these. My kids keep saying, "Mom, back away from the cabinets and stop stroking the counters!"
Seriously, though, I knew we were going to have interest in our marble backsplash so I wanted to keep the countertops close to a solid white. The organic white is not solid, but it's a lovely off-white that matches well with both the polar white cabinets and our marble.
And the bling....
I spent a lot of time looking at Houzz for hardware inspiration. This article - Top 9 Hardware Styles for Flat-Panel Kitchen Cabinets - was particularly useful.
I wanted tab pulls for the lower cabinets. They are sleek and contemporary. We have two different kinds: a 3" tab for swing-out doors and a heavier 8" tab for the wider pull-out drawers and trash. These 8" tabs screw into the backside of the door, instead of the top, because you need sturdier hardward for drawers that either get used all the time or contain heavy items. The upper and pantry cabinets have bar pulls.
And here's the marble before it was grouted. We used Lansdale Carrara Amalfi from the Tile Shop. It is so much prettier in person than on their website. The Tile Shop describes it as "Elegant white marble with dark gray and tan veining." It is a creamy marble, with tan to almost rust-colored veins. It really complements the wood of the cabinets and the light fixtures we have in the rooms.