Kitchen Renovation: Things We Learned

Our kitchen is almost finished!
Our kitchen is almost finished!

We’re just days away from being finished with our kitchen renovation, and we’ve learned quite a bit along the way.  Here are a few of the things we picked up in this process, which has been percolating in my head for many years.

I have been staring at a stain on the kitchen ceiling for more than 10 years, and that’s one of the motivators that pushed me to decide to go for this.   By the way, the cardboard will be replaced with a black granite top in a few days!

Projects like this bring a couple closer together.  Spending time painting walls and ceilings and shopping for drawer pulls and countertops is time that we added together.  As we move along in our lives, we need to create these opportunities to work as a team, and this project provided that in spades.

Despite my usual assumption that almost everything you have done to your house will end up costing more than you think it will, in our case, it’s cost us less.  Just now the electrician left and after he couldn’t do what we wanted him to do, he said he’d credit us $100 on our bill.  We didn’t really need to have that timer installed in the upstairs bathroom anyway.

Some contractors are a perfect choice for the job. In our case, we have to salute Steve Mizula who is a neighbor and is totally connected. The benefits of  having a local guy do this is that he’s friends with the retired electrician who lives just two streets from us, and he also is buddies with the plumbers who are in the village. This meant that when he needed either of them to show up, they were there, and the same was true for the permits and inspections. It’s much easier when you deal with a guy on his own turf.

We broke this big kitchen renovation into two phases, because we can’t afford to rip out all of the old cabinets and mess with the windows during this go-round. But we had Steve design a plan so we knew what the next steps would be, and it gave him an extra incentive to do a great job, knowing a bigger project lies ahead.