Day 3 and some background…

Today is Day 3.. I saw Lady Gaga last night so Paul was on his own.  He finished up his work bench rewiring. Day 4 (Wednesday, September 15th) we’ll move debris, take out more cabinetry and hopefully the shut off valves will be replaced.

Day 1 we tried the shut off valves and they don’t shut off the water (no surprise, they are old and for some reason, we never tried them during the home inspection).  So for our Day 3 update which was quite boring we’ll discuss some of our choices in materials that doesn’t quite fit in the ‘About’

We have a 1940s Cape Cod with an addition done in 1954 (this was the information on the disclosure).  The original kitchen and eating space was TINY, apartment sized even.  They blew out the back and made the dining room and kitchen long.  The kitchen is a little more than 7 1/2 feet wide and the dining room is a little more than 8 but they are over 21 feet long.  The design of the kitchen should have been a galley but they made it into a U and it looks like they left some of the cabinetry that we took out on Day1 & Day2 from the original kitchen.  It’s really not functional but they never had a dishwasher so it must have worked work them! Now we need a new design.

I found a great website,, and read for weeks.  There are a lot of people with kitchens that I had hoped to have done but also plenty of other DIYers with shoe string budgets.  I read a lot about low-end cabinetry that lasts, counter top materials and flooring.

We decided Ikea was the way to go.  Lots of positive reviews, lots of people who had them for over 10 years and a group that talked about their ‘recall’ cabinet replacement (which wasn’t as bad as the usual frustration that comes with Ikea ordering).  We know we have to inspect everything and be in constant contact with Ikea during this process (don’t you for all cabinet makers though?), it may be frustrating but they are cheaper and better quality than the big box stores lowest end cabinetry (by as much as 1/2 the cost).  It is certainly because we have to assemble all the cabinets ourselves but that is no big deal for us. Did I mention you also get the soft close function as a standard feature with Ikea?

We could go and buy the big box store unfinished oak but they don’t have enough choice to fit into our space to make it work – we need function, we need drawers everywhere.  We also got a suggestion to go to an outlet stores of some of the cabinet makers.  They had some of what we wanted but they couldn’t guarantee they’d get the cabinets we needed and the price STILL didn’t beat Ikea.  The outlets are further, more expensive and could drag our project on much longer.

Courtesy of  I love the subway and wallpaper!

Next is the counter.  I thought we couldn’t afford real stone so we were considering Wilsonart HD counter tops.  They get good reviews and look like stone (but you can see the lines depending upon what kind of edging you want, the less it looks fake, the more expensive to the point where remnants become the same price – our 52sf would be $900 to install for the basic line, it’s a little more than $400 if we measure it ourselves).  We were informed about a big sale coming up in natural countertops (I’ll post details as soon as we can confirm aka place our order!) and that will squeeze into our budget. We have just a few more days until we can confirm.  If we can’t make that work, we’ll go search for remnants in quartz. Something to lighten the look of our floor.

We’re getting a farmhouse sink (Ikea Domsjo 36″ double, I would have loved a Shaw but go price that out lol) it sits over top of the counter top so we need no custom cuts so if this sale falls through, remnants will be perfect.    We decided on quartz because it never needs to be sealed, most of it comes from local quarries and those reasons make it a more green choice.  The whole radon/granite thing freaks me out and granite is not found locally.

The floor I stumbled upon after reading about what to do about a hump in the floor for laying tile is Marmoleum (brand name from the company Forbo, most people know it as Linoleum, located in Hazelton, PA).  We have yet to measure the slope but we investigated from underneath to see if we had a structural problem and we don’t see anything.  Our hump must be in the flooring from above.  As soon as we rip it up Saturday, we’ll know how to fix it or just leave it since it’s a forgiving floor choice.  If we went with tile, we’d have to fix the hump no matter how small or it would crack in less than 2 years time.  Installing tile can be tricking and it is no good for the back.  Marmoleum/linoleum is soft underfoot, easy to clean (no grout!!), made of natural materials and can last 50 years.  We chose a ‘period’ flooring to keep the vibe (gray and black checkerboard). Most people who want old houses want period looking rooms.  It isn’t entirely possible due to choices in cabinetry without going custom but I think the few touches we’ll have will satisfy that desire for something original.  It’s Marmoleum in Raven and Volcanic Ash.  The cost is $1300 from

Picture courtesy of:

Choosing a faucet that wasn’t crazy expensive was tricky.  The reviews of what you can buy in the big box store without ordering custom were a bit unsettling (lots of mixed reviews, too mixed to chance) The gardenweb group came through again with suggesting  We decided on a Groehe Bridgeford 33 780 in Chrome to accompany our Ikea farm house style sink.  It has a pull out function, traditional looks and a farmy feel.  Love!  I wish we could spring for the stainless steal but it’s just not practical.  Most people probably wouldn’t even notice.  ~$368 (using code 4GROHE4)

I’m still unsure about hardware (toss up between Ikea Varde and something new from the Martha Stewart collection available at Home Depot) either way, it will be pretty inexpensive ($4.49 for the Martha and $3.50 or so for the Ikea)

Our budget breakdown so far;

Permits $150 (more on that later)
Masks,Bagster bags, sledge hammer – $100
Floor $1332 w/ delivery
Cabinets $2332 w/tax
Sink $317 w/tax
Faucet $368

Next at the estimates:
Counter $1400??
Pluming/electrical $450
Drywall/lumber $150
Dishwasher <$1000
Hood <$400
Pickup of Bagster $119 and $99 each additional bag, we’ll see if we need the 2nd or not

So that’s $8168, hopefully some stuff will be less but that’s pretty darn good 🙂

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