The Next Step

While Helen is holed up in her office for hours each night doing homework, I usually make dinner and then spend a few hours browsing the web for appliances, building materials, etc., shopping for the next best thing in home renovation. Condensing tankless water heaters, bathtubs, interior doors, wine coolers, the list goes on.

And I also spend hours drawing up floor plans for the remodel. After weeks of work, once they’ve been perfected, I start tearing down the digital walls and re-building. But I think I’ve finally got to a point with the kitchen wing of the house that we’re ready to get started. Every time I move something, it’s only a few hours before I put it back the way I had it before.

And it’s not just on paper that it works – I’ve measured out the current space, dotting the floor with sharpie (don’t tell), and I walk, from imaginary sink, to stove top, to pantry, to fridge. Pulling hot pads out of the drawer, taking the turkey out of the double wall ovens, setting it on the imaginary counter, pulling the carving knife out of the knife rack, etc. etc. It all works.

The goal? Reduce the size of the laundry room to accommodate a walk-in pantry/brew room and a built-in refrigerator.  Move the kitchen to the left of its current position, adding a bar/sitting area.  All of this will allow for the walls around the current kitchen to be removed to create a great room that opens into the current dining and living room.

For us, this layout makes much more sense, and makes what is currently an underused “family room” into usable entertaining space.

Here’s the new floor plan (red) over the current floor plan (black).

I’m going to begin with the laundry room/pantry division. It’s going to take moving some plumbing and electrical around, but for the most part should be much less time-consuming than the bathroom.

The worst of the project will be moving the current window so it doesn’t straddle the new interior wall, and then insulating the exterior walls. I’ll also carry the tile flooring from the bathroom into the laundry area (I purchased enough to do so when we did the bathroom in anticipation of this project). And eventually, when the new pantry becomes workable, I’ll need to move the water heater, at which point we’ll replace the now 18 year-old 50-gallon tank with an exterior-mounted on-demand model. If the current heater lasts that long…

Next week is the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the bathroom remodel… Perhaps I’ll celebrate with a groundbreaking?


  1. Mommy said:

    Looks very ambitious! Are you taking out the fire place? Makes me tired just thinking about all the work….don’t think I have it in me to start all over if we sell our house!

    December 22, 2010
    • Kevin said:

      Yeah, the fireplace is gonzo. The mortar around the edges is crumbling, and a bunch of the main bricks are starting to get loose. It’d be more work to repair it than take it out (plus, we never use it).

      December 23, 2010

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