The Great Kitchen Makeover – Part II

Gosh, it has been a long time since the last update. That’s because we have been working constantly on our project and haven’t had time to post. Our goal was to have it done in time for our first home exchange of the year on Memorial Day weekend and we made it. With mere hours to spare!

Every project has three parts: getting ready to do, doing, and cleaning up afterwards. Which means only 1/3 of the time are you actually getting something done. Planning, getting all the pieces together, having all the tools handy, and disposing of construction debris all take far more time than you would ever think possible.

First we had to do all the rewiring while the walls were out, then put up new walls. We used cement board for the places where tile will go later. It was exciting to see our new island take shape. But in the middle of all this, we realized that the old wooden ceiling had to go. We hadn’t planned on doing that but it was necessary in order to make provision for the ceiling fan  and lights we wanted.

So the old ceiling came down. Carolyn and I went to Home Depot, rented a sheetrock lift and installed the new ceiling ourselves in a day. A very busy day, but a productive one. And now, the ceiling is the same in the kitchen and dining room. It looks terrific and we were glad we did it in the end, but it added about a week to our timeline.


One of our goals was to always have a functioning stove, sink and refrigerator throughout the project. Yes, the fridge lived in front of the slider for a while and we had to do without the ice maker. And yes, the old kitchen sink was set in a piece of surplus plywood and yes the stove got disconnected, moved about and reconnected as needed. But we were able to prepare our meals like (more or less) normal people and not get take-out every night. Having the temporary sink allowed me to do all the plumbing necessary to get the hot and cold water feeds in place, do the new drain pipe and make provision for the ice maker and dishwasher water supplies.

Next it was time to box in the chimney. The last time around, we took the walls down around the chimney and left it exposed. But that was then. This is now. Exposed brick was no longer part of the plan. So we boxed the chimney in again. But first, provisions had to be made for placing the TV on the wall when we are done. Running coax cable and electrical wire is best done before the finish walls go up.


After the wall cabinets were installed, it was time to run the duct work for the range hood. Which meant cutting a hole in the side of the house and installing a weatherproof vent outside. I’m not handy with sheet metal. That job took the best part of a day.

And then finally the base cabinets went in, the refrigerator moved to its permanent home and our new stove arrived. Ta Dah! It’s starting to look like a real kitchen.


And then the granite we had selected back in January finally arrived. Oh, happy day!


In a few  hours, it was done and our new kitchen was nearly complete, including our fancy new composite granite sink and oh so trendy faucet.



The new stove not only looks terrific, it cooks really, really fast. The oven heats up in minutes and the burners have to be kept on low to avoid overcooking. We love it. The stove came with a matching 2 drawer dishwasher. We haven’t used it yet. Frankly, we are a little intimidated by it. It is so much more complex than our trusty old KitchenAid!

And so, the end of our project is near. We have our dining room back:


And the kitchen is done, too, save for small details like putting up the tile on the wall behind the stove and deciding where the paper towels and pot holders should go. Once we have all the bases covered, you are all invited to come over and ogle our creation. We are pretty darn pleased with it!



About Steve Hanley

Totally enamored with my family, my grandkids, and seeing the world.
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7 Responses to The Great Kitchen Makeover – Part II

  1. Carolyn Fortuna says:

    I love the post! The story and the accompanying pictures definitely show the journey well. I love our new kitchen!

  2. Gary Paul says:

    Looks really great – the dinning room looks much more open and expansive.

    • Steve Hanley says:

      Did you mean expansive or expensive, Gary? Truly, it is both. Moving part of the former kitchen space into the dining room area was critical to making the whole plan work. I credit Carolyn with coming up with the idea on the first place. But I have to say, the entire process has been a collaboration. Thank God we have similar tastes!

  3. Jason says:

    It has been a while. I was wondering what you’ve been doing. I love the pictures. Nice remodel. My mom just recently had our kitchen remodelled. It looks really nice.

  4. Very nice! And what a great feelng it is to have something like this finished!!

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