Advice On A Kitchen Remodeling Job?

Decorating By knoxcop1 Updated 14 Nov 2011 , 5:21pm by Annabakescakes

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knoxcop1 Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 4:01am
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Hey, Y'all! icon_smile.gif

As many of you probably know by now, my current kitchen is VERY small. I have a 1960's type home, with a "galley" style kitchen. My floor area in the kitchen now is about 5x10. There's only one countertop, on the sink-side, and it's only about 7 feet of workable space, once you take the sink out of the equation.

In order to do just one cake or project efficiently, I literally must keep cleaning as I go (I'd do this anyway--can't deal with clutter), and plan really well for the family's needs too! icon_cry.gif

Ok. DH and I are considering a mortgage loan to create a larger kitchen area. We've paid everything off--cars, bikes, cards, house, etc. We've been completely out of debt for over a year. Married 20 years. Two kids, blah..blah..blah.

Question is: "Would it be worth it?" Most loans we've looked at are at least 15 years in term or longer. We also want to roof the old place and replace the current air/heat unit.

Is there a peace and loveliness (surely there is, right?) that comes with a decently sized kitchen? You know--the kind where people can gather, or a buddy can sit at the island while I'm mixing and squirting? Maybe with a desk area for bills and cake biz...Double oven and all that good stuff?

Or...would you think it'd be better just to tough it out with the kitchen I have? It's in great shape, and the cabinets have been so well taken care of, they're like new almost! This home was built by DH's Mom & Dad, so I'm not thinking we'll be moving any time in the near future. He'll be retiring from the department in 4 years, and I'm thinking of a drop plan in March of this coming year. (In English that means I can leave with $$ and early ret.)

Sorry to take up so much space here, just wanted to throw out some factors in the equation! Thanks for your suggestions and input on this one, CC'ers! thumbs_up.gif


18 replies
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lilmisscantbewrg Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 4:22am
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Hey Knox,
I say go for it..of course, I'm not the one that'll have to make payments on your loan. icon_biggrin.gif I'd love to make my kitchen bigger and it's a decent island or anything, but enough counter space ...well, you can't REALLY have enough counter space, can you? Seriously though, if it will make your life easier, be a gathering place for your family, make you smile when you're in there baking away and the payments won't break you-then it might be worth going into debt again.
*sigh* Oh, to be debt free......

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JanH Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 6:51am
post #3 of 19

Hi Knox,

Our home has a nice sized kitchen and beautiful hickory cabinets and cupboards..

Down side was that there weren't many of them, so I, too, didn't have much counter space icon_sad.gif

Our solution was to have an island made large enough to accomodate a dishwasher with a cabinet for my larger items: kitchenaid and cookie sheets, etc., with a granite countertop.

Not a huge make-over (maybe when we win the lottery) but what a difference it makes.

Now I can be working on several tasks at once or have my baking/cooking stuff all prepped out like the fancy chefs on the foodnetwork icon_smile.gif

I'd say, go for it.

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Zmama Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 7:24am
post #4 of 19

YES it is worth it! I've had kitchens of all sizes, and would (will!) pay for a big one.

What I miss most:
under-counter cupboard with pull out shelves
under-counter cupboard with huge drawers instead of shelves
double ovens
Jenn-Air grill (not mine, friend's kitchen lol)
GOOD, working exhaust fan
lower above-counter cupboards with decorative (ie cake pan!) space

Other niceties:
extra fridge/freezer - good even for non-bakers
hand sink on island
desk space - checking CC while baking icon_lol.gif
walk-in pantry
kids area - microwave, small sink and counter, cupboard, mini fridge

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JanH Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 7:32am
post #5 of 19


When my husband wins the lottery, I'm calling you to do my kitchen make-over icon_smile.gif

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cupcake Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 8:36am
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I have always felt like the kitchen was the HEART of a home or if you prefer the HEART of your business. That is where everyone wants to congregate. The smells of cakes, cookies and food seem to lure the tummys to a common thing, hunger, which brings so many together. This being said I believe the kitchen should be the largest room in the house, or business. Since I practically have lived in a kitchen most of my life, my children and my customers know I would be out of my element if I wasn't making something. You need space and storage, and plenty of countertops to spread out. I have 2-15 ft. prep areas, and one 8 ft and one 6 ft, and still could use more area to work. There never seems to be enough. So, I say go for the remodel, you won't be sorry.

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7yyrt Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 1:59pm
post #7 of 19

On the pro side - if you DO decide to sell your home, a new kitchen is a GREAT selling point! (You also mentioned a new roof. Rain dripping down the cabinets is not attractive...)
On the con side: YOU ARE OUT OF DEBT! Don't be in a hurry to go back into it. Can you save up the money to make the improvements without going into debt by working a few more months?
This should be considered as a part of your retirement planning, the decision you make now will affect that.
Good luck!

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peg818 Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 2:00pm
post #8 of 19

I think if you are planning to retire soon, you really want to consider this, if you can get that loan paid off in the 4 years before you retire i say go for it. But if it were me i wouldn't want to be looking at retirement with a mortgage.

Will a larger kitchen be worth it, of course it would. the kitchen will add value to your house too. You say you need to do the roof and the heating/air over too. So you maynot have much of a choice to do a mortgage, if you do, you must look at it this way, you will be able to write the interest off on your taxes, where if you go with a personal loan you won't have that tax write off.

But as i said in the begining, just cause you take a 15 year loan out doesn't mean you cann't pay it off sooner, as long as there isn't any penalties for doing so.

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OhMyGoodies Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 2:17pm
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I'd like to add my 2 cents here.

IF and ONLY if you can be stable, comfortable, and able to pay your payments after you both retire or even one of your retires, go for it!!!

The reason I say this is because my dad who is almost 70 is partially retired and will fully retire next week after working steadily 60+ hours a week until last year when he partially retired. He gets his monthly check from Social Security and will have income from two rental properties.

Mom still works full time 40+ hours a week on a salary based possition. She will not be retiring for about 15 more years said once the youngest grand child they have guardianship over is graduated from HS she will retire at about 72.

They just took out another mortgage on the house to pay off all debts CC's etc. and dad is obviously worried how they are going to manage with 3 growing boys youngest being only 4 oldest being 9. And with his side work here at home working on chain saws and lawn mowers and such he won't be adding as much as his weekly pay check would've.

He has a brand new pick up, got it 3 years ago with the inheritance from his mother, mom leases her car for 3 years or 5 years and takes it back and leases a newer one lol... says it's cheaper that way... they both have thier medical insurance and such along with the other household bills and the needs of growing boys. The youngest still being in day care at $90.~ a week. Which I have as a stay at home mom offered many many times to take him to relieve that bill but they won't have it lol. But I think soon they will lol.

Anyway I think if you can do it without going deeply into debt then go for it!!! I'd love to have an island that's on wheels for easy moving and such and a dish washer and a nice big Paula Deen stove lol The house we are getting ready to move into has a medium sized kitchen with an older gas stove and not much counter space so we plan to have a small dining table in the kitchen where I can do my decorating and such. Make notes and plan it the way you want and make sure it's dueable and have fun doing it!!!

Good luck with all of this!!!

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doleta Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 3:06pm
post #10 of 19

Hey Knox,
Think very very carefully.
Weigh all options (sounds like that is what you are doing).
Retirement without a mortgage is a pretty sweet deal.
And you say your present kitchen is in great shape, other than being small.
A new pretty kitchen is a wonderful thing.
But, so is being debt free.
Sounds like you are not the type to do something on impulse. So I'm sure you'll do the right thing.

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knoxcop1 Posted 5 Dec 2006 , 5:04pm
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Thanks to everyone here for your consideration and advice! icon_smile.gif

I'm caking and cookie-ing and candy-ing today. It's during these two-or-more-projects-going-in-one-day days that really makes me think I'd sell a kidney for a new kitchen! icon_biggrin.gif Right now, my dining room table is unrecognizeable (sp?). Y'all know the mess I'm talking about! thumbsdown.gif Decorating tools, frosting tubs, etc.

We're in the "thinking seriously" stage right now. And, with the rough times we've seen in our 20 years, that's exactly what we're doing. Seriously thinking! icon_wink.gif

If and when I do get this thing off the ground, I'll be sure and post pics and events.

Oh. And by the way, I'll be shipping y'all over here to K-town to be my consultants on decorating and furnishing! icon_razz.gif Sounds like all of you really know what's great in the kitchen! thumbs_up.gif

DEFINITELY WANT: The double oven, dishwasher, extra freezer space and...and...THE ISLAND. Oh, and counterspace with cabinets! PANTRY! (My storage space right now is where a dishwasher WOULD be.)

WILL ASK FOR AND SEE: The desk area and pull out shelves and hand-sink. Oh. And the Jenn-air...Ahhhh....Just saying the name "Jenn-air" brings with it a state of dreamy calm. icon_rolleyes.gif



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Zmama Posted 6 Dec 2006 , 12:31am
post #12 of 19

Another thing - what is your house layout right now, and how many/ages in household? That makes a big diference in needs vs wants.

I've planned out my house including wiring, etc, already. My dad built his entire house with my lil bro's help, so I gave some help there. If you want, sketch out your layout on graph paper and email it to me. There may be a way of expanding the house or organizing what space you have already to save costs.

Alternative thinking can be a real lifesaver. The house we have now has a horrible layout. However, if the laundry room and bathroom were switched, things would be better. Dividing the huge loft into two rooms would be helpful. Switching the kitchen and livingroom would be great. There are options to anything!

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dldbrou Posted 7 Dec 2006 , 2:59am
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I know this might sound odd, but my dh and I do project remodeling different from the norm. I want to remodel my master bathroom. I have purchased a lavatory that I want, paid cash,and purchased the flooring and paid cash. I buy one thing at a time with cash and store it until I have all the basics. Then my dh and I get in and destroy and rebuild ourselves. We will call on an electrician if needed and plumber when needed. I have not had to take out a loan on any remodeling job. Just know ahead of time exactly what you want. Do not buy into the fads. I am currently saving for a new roof, since hurricane Katrina messed up ours. Insurance only wanted to patch. Did that on the hurricane before and refuse to do it again. Since my dh is afraid of heights we will have to have someone install the roof. I bought a small shed to store stuff for remodeling and it has been a lifesaver. We are always working on some project around our house, but we have learned not to move faster than you can pay. I too have had a very small kitchen (8X5), and we remodeled it ourselves. We knocked down a small pantry and installing a jen-air cook top, dishwasher, double sink with small disposal in the middle of both sinks, double oven, microwave, side by side refrigerator and a double oven (small). It turned out to be a wide galley kitchen. There is nothing fancy, but I put in what worked for me not what everyone else was doing. It pays to plan. My dh will be going through drop next year and I am hoping that he will use the money to pay off our mortgage before he retires. Good luck to you and your dreams.

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knoxcop1 Posted 7 Dec 2006 , 3:49am
post #14 of 19

DLDBROU: Hi! I completely relate. DH and I used to do the exact same thing in our first home. However, he doesn't have a "fixer-upper" bone in his body! icon_cool.gif So what I would always do is save enough up until I had the money for materials, etc. Then we'd hire a handy-dude to put it in. Usually this was a construction worker/plumber/roofer etc., who was working after work and on Saturdays, etc.

Seriously a way to save some CASH! At this home, though---we're strapped for any storage space. There is none. Zippo.

Plus the house needs quite a bit done at one time, and with wanting more room in the kitchen (aka knocking out the rear walls) we'd really need a professional in that capacity!

Believe me--if there was a way to save--oh, say--$10,000? I'd be going for it!

Thanks so much for your input. It's nice to know there's another resourceful caker out there with an 8x5 kitchen! thumbs_up.gif


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dldbrou Posted 7 Dec 2006 , 4:21am
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Okay, next suggestion: Get bids for your projects, put them in order of importance. Take out a loan for one project at a time and pay it off, then move on to the next project. You might be able to get a home equity loan with low rates for a short time frame with no penalities for early payoff. We had to replace our central ac/heat and it cost around $5000 for a two story house. Not sure about the roof, we are having troublel getting someone to give us an estimate. The hurricane has messed up so many houses that the contractors are only working on houses that are making them $$$$$$$$$$.

Hey, just another thought. Write in to one of those makeover shows to fix your house. You might get lucky and they will do it for you for almost nothing. LOL You also might get a weird designer not of your choice.

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tmdoxie Posted 7 Dec 2006 , 3:37pm
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For the first 2 years of college, I was an interior design major, so I know a lot about remodling. Combining my interior design experience and my cake decorating experience, I would say go for it. There are ways that you can do it so it doesnt end up costing a whole lot. Depending on where you live, there may be a local cabinet maker that can make cabinets for you cheaper than going to Home Depot or Lowes. However, Home Depot carries a line called Mill's Pride and it is very affordable. One thing, Home Depot contracts out their building services, so look locally first. Another thing is that unless you ABSOLUTELY ABHOR your current cabinetry, other cabinets can be built to match what you currently own. I would say do a kitchen/family room type remodel and I think the benefits of that make it well worth it.

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knoxcop1 Posted 7 Dec 2006 , 6:29pm
post #17 of 19

TMDOXIE: Funny you should mention the family room-type remodel, because our house is designed in such a way that would make it almost have to be that way!

We've got one of those 1960's type houses that you see about a 100 of every day on the way home. You room on the left, kitchen in back of that, and all the bedrooms to the right. It's one of those houses that has the two bedroom windows on the right of the front door, and then the living room window to the left of the front door as well as the garage/carport on the left, also.

So, if we did remodel the kitchen, the dining/living areas are gonna go right in there... icon_rolleyes.gif

The more I think about it, this house is just getting smaller every day!


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Bonniewright365 Posted 14 Nov 2011 , 2:03pm
post #18 of 19

its good that you want to do remodeling job!

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Annabakescakes Posted 14 Nov 2011 , 5:21pm
post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by Bonniewright365

its good that you want to do remodeling job!

Hey Bonniewright, this thred is 5 years old. You should look at the dates before you take the time to set up an account to SPAM people. icon_lol.gif

But now that I have read this thread I want to know if Knox ever went through with it?

Quote by @%username% on %date%