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Kitchen reno advice needed

May 24, 2019

My 1976 original kitchen needs a reno and refresh. My cabinets are solid maple, in excellent condition except for a few bottom cabinets but outdated with the decorative knob in the middle. What should I do? Change cabinets or work with what I have. Paint cabinets by professional? What Colour? or Stain?

I am planning on buying new appliances, recessed lights, new windows and doors and new flooring. Should I change the plan of the kitchen? Open up wall going to living room.

Do I keep window above sink or replace with larger window?

What type of door do I buy? all window?

Railing in pine wood needs to be changed, remove, paint or stain? with what?

kitchen wall with door going to garage measures 150'' x 230'' wall facing south with sink

Comments (12)

  • gra8fulgal

    Hmmmm those are a lot of considerations to weigh...

    For knocking out the wall, how do you use the space? Do you want an open concept, for entertaining for example? Or do you prefer having distinct spaces?

    Do you have a budget that will allow you to do all of those things or are you going to have to pick some but not others?

    lchartrand59 thanked gra8fulgal
  • DCF440

    Hire a kitchen designer! :-)

    lchartrand59 thanked DCF440
  • PRO

    Start over. With a kitchen designer, and a realistic budget of money and time.. The kitchen did its time. : ) There is nothing to save here. Go on houzz and start making an idea book of kitchens that appeal to you. Then call in a PRO.

    lchartrand59 thanked JAN MOYER
  • live_wire_oak

    Hire a Kitchen Designer. Now.

    lchartrand59 thanked live_wire_oak
  • Isaac

    I agree on hiring a kitchen designer, but also think about why you want to change things. Is the layout bad? Are the materials falling apart? Or do you just want it to look different? Do you have a rough budget number in mind?

    lchartrand59 thanked Isaac
  • doubletrbl

    I would switch out the rail for glass, put in a glass door to the outside and enlarge your window. If you choose to remove/open the wall you might want to consider how you transition the space (ceiling, floor). I would definitely hire a kitchen designer and look to update all the cabinets.

    lchartrand59 thanked doubletrbl
  • Helen

    As others have posted, you need to determine what your budget is first because that is going to determine what can and should be done.

    If you can afford the $25,000 to $50,000 necessary for a gut remodel and having a "perfect" kitchen then take some time to determine exactly what you want that to be in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. Do NOT rush into this as the more time you spend, the better the end result will be.

    When old kitchens are gutted and remodeled, there are some expenses that drive up costs - everything needs to be brought up to Code which means there can be costly electrical work. For example, my electrical panel was not adequate as current Code requires that each appliance needs to be on its own circuit so I needed a new electrical panel which was about $4000. I needed adequate overhead lighting - under cabinet lighting as well as GFCI outlets.

    Of course, I am an extreme example as I originally wanted to redo my kitchen in 2005 (when I packed up for my remodel which I officially started designing in October 2017), I found original plans, quotes and pictures in a file LOL. Life intervened but looking at my original plans, my current kitchen is SO much better than it would have been if I had done it without knowing all that I learned - of course I didn't take all 13 years to research :-).

    If your budget is more modest then determine what your priorities and what you can realistically achieve within that budget and prioritize. If you have DIY skills, that's a way to save money. Do you need new appliances and if so, what level - e.g. are you on a Whirlpool budget - a Bosch Budget or an ultra high end budget - what kind of kitchens are the norm in your neighborhood - if that is a factor. It wasn't for me since resale value and appealing to a mythical future buyer was completely besides the point for me - I spent a LOT of money on stuff that most buyers wouldn't have a clue about - e.g. the average buyer thinks all stainless steel is high end and so a stainless Whirlpool is as good to them as a white Gaggenau :-).

    And also keep in mind that Houzz is to some extent home renovation porn. Most people don't have beautiful state of the art kitchens. They make do with "builder grade" or elderly kitchens and make them work. My prior kitchen was the original 1965 edition - it was ugly and definitely could have a better layout but I managed to cook and entertain quite a bit. I live in a high rise condo so I know how most of my neighbors renovated. At this point, there are almost no original kitchens but many of the units kept the original cabinets and layouts and just refaced - or maybe just painted in some instances. Others kept the layout and put it new cabinets. Others completely gutted including taking down soffits which contained vents - the whole gamut of tastes and budgets. I have a file of the different kitchens and how they were done.

  • apple_pie_order

    What are your goals? Do you have a budget range in mind or are you in the collecting-ideas stage?

    lchartrand59 thanked apple_pie_order
  • ljptwt7

    If I had oodles of money I would hire a kitchen designer and have a new kitchen.
    Your renovation is dependent on budget.
    One possibility I see: instead of a railing, have a pony wall or taller of can depth cabinet for some pantry storage. Since it looks like that area becomes a hallway you can't go too deep.

    lchartrand59 thanked ljptwt7
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    IMO that is often a poor choice . Many mistakes can be avoided along with the additional headaches and cost by biting the bullet at the beginning of this venture. That kitchen could be a lot better than it is and yes it will cost money but well worth it for sure. If you post a to scale floor plan showing doors , windows and the window sizes and more info about how you use the space like is it nessessary to have an table and chairs or could a counter with stools work. Lots of questions and you need to have at least a rough budget in mind.

    lchartrand59 thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • DCF440

    The money you waste fixing things you didn't have the expertise to consider initially will be far beyond the cost of a KD.

    At the very least, interview a few designers and determine costs; it can't hurt, and their fees might not be as bad as you think.

    lchartrand59 thanked DCF440
  • tartanmeup

    All these considerations are dependant on budget, as others have stated. You seem open to anything so my advice is to make a list of what works for you in this space and what doesn't. Functionally then aesthetically. Determine your budget and research a few ideas (e.g. cost of new cabinets, labour to paint...a few numbers to see what's realistic with your budget.) Collect inspiration photos. Research local KDs and get plans and estimates from a couple. They might offer you ideas that never crossed your mind but totally work for you. They might also suggest things that you know won't work for you and that will help fine tune your plans as well.

    lchartrand59 thanked tartanmeup

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