Of all the projects we’ve done, the kitchen remodel has been the most difficult. We refinanced our house in order to make it happen, which in itself was stressful. Trying to get money from a bank when you’re only employed part-time, and your husband is self-employed, isn’t easy. The one thing we had working in our favor is that the property values in Seattle have risen ridiculously since we bought our house 6.5 years ago. Which meant there was an opportunity to refinance and get some cash back to make this renovation happen.
Considering how much work we’d already put into our house, I was happy that the appraiser and bank saw the value in it.
After all was said and done, our budget was around $16,000. And with that we had to tear off the enclosed back porch, rebuild it with a slightly larger footprint and new roofline, finish the new exterior to make the addition match the rest of the house, move doors, add windows, run new electrical and plumbing, buy appliances, kitchen cabinets, and more. So, the budget was spent pretty quickly. We managed to come close, but because of all the unforeseen “little” things, we ended up going over by a few thousand dollars. Still, it is kind of awesome how much money can be saved by doing things yourself. Especially considering that I met with an architect before we started and was told that I’d need at least $140,000 to accomplish my goals.
First, the enclosed, back porch bump-out had to be removed.
There are always surprises when you start opening up an old house. For instance, we found the back porch was being held up by hacked together post and piers. One of which was resting on a stack of broken cedar shingles!
Which is very reminiscent of the time we rebuilt our front porch, and found the old structure was resting on a crumbling brick!
For months we lived with a leaning, interior wall as our only barrier from the elements. Therefore, we rarely left the house, seeing as though it was impossible to properly lock or secure things.
Progress = happiness!
We had to hire someone to frame and re-build the exterior portion of the project. This part of the project far exceeded our DIY capabilities!
Once the builders were finished with their portion of the job, it was up to us to complete it. We’re actually still working on it, a year later. We usually only like to have one project going on at a time, but this addition ripped a hole in our house, in our lives, and we’re still trying to tackle it.
We worked simultaneously on the exterior and the interior. Siding, shingles, windows, venting, insulation, drywall, and flooring throughout the winter. Even in the cold and the rain and the dark.
I’ll admit I was pretty overwhelmed with the daunting task of turning this barn-like shell into a cool kitchen!
We started with insulation. But first we needed to figure out how to insulate a vaulted ceiling. Knowing that we shouldn’t just shove insulation between the rafters without any airflow, I began researching. Turns out there is a product made just for this. Off to Home Depot to buy some attic rafter vents to help keep air flowing from the soffits to the ridge vents.
Once the vents were in place, and the electrical was run, I placed the insulation in and it was time for drywall.
Things always start to feel better, more buttoned up and clean, once the drywall is up, until it’s time to sand it!
Up next…floors: matching existing flooring isn’t easy, but we got lucky!