Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another mistake

I went to a plumbing "design showroom" with my wife. That cheap Home Depot faucet and free sink from the granite supplier are not going to be adequate.

The Moda faucet by Elkay.

Plus we'll be adding undersink water filtration and hot water systems.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Plan for moving mechanicals

I cut into my drywall to locate the mechanical runs in the wall between the kitchen and dining room. The sketch below shows the relative position of the proposed opening in the wall with respect to the existing plumbing and HVAC runs (click the pictures for an enlarged view).

Moving the duct over a couple of studs will be simple enough from the basement. To reconnect the HVAC to the run in the ceiling joists, the duct will need to go in through the ceiling because of the addition of the new header at the existing duct. That duct will be run be on the kitchen side of the wall and can be covered by a soffit.

The existing drain pipe is located right next to where the new sink will be added. I think that to move the water pipes, they may need to be run into the upstairs wall, then reconnected by opening the drywall upstairs. On the bright side, water is available right where it is needed.

I had a contractor look at the project today. He says the project is doable and will provide me a quote for the work.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It is not too late to stop me

This is the vision of the new kitchen, marked in profile on the dining room wall. The table marks approximately where the granite work surface will extend into the room. If you are wondering, the plans posted below are the reverse plan view of my house.

Once the room is cleared, the carpet comes up and a hole will be cut in the drywall.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Major progress on Friday

The objectives for my day off yesterday were to place an order for granite and to provide information to my cabinet supplier to allow them to prepare a quote. I got those done and much more.

We arrived for our 10:00 a.m. appointment at Granite Resources slightly early. We knew what we wanted and immediately placed our order. While waiting for the paperwork, I noticed a sign for a free sink with any granite order. This is what we were looking for - we can also check "buy new sink" off of our to-do list.

That took all of 10 minutes. Our next appointment was at 13:00, so we decide to drive to the tile store to look around. That takes us past Home Depot where we stop to look at paint and faucets. We find a store-brand faucet that we like right away and buy it. Mrs. Headless also picks up some paint color swatches.

Next stop is Floor 360 to find a tile to go with our granite and cabinets. It didn't take long for the Interior Designer to find a ceramic tile that we liked, then it was time to find glass inserts for the tile corners. Of the thousands of samples, I started hauling over the ones picked out by the designer and placing them with our granite sample and tile. Within the first five we had a perfect accent and one of the paint colors from Home Depot matched, too. The designer will write up a quote (those little glass accents are priced at $18.99 a piece, yikes!). We still had time for lunch at Stolley's before the cabinet appointment.

After lunch we motor up to Riebau's Cabinets with our original (1993) cabinet plans and and a cabinet door in hand. Our designer looks at the door and knows our cabinet style right away. She looks at the plans to confirm this and she sees her own handwriting. Although the cabinets will be custom made, we chose mostly standard dimensions. Between our new kitchen plans and the ideas we see in Riebau's showroom and on their website, we were out of there in less than 45 minutes.

Here's the summary of what we accomplished on Friday between 10:00 and 1:30.
  • Ordered granite
  • Picked out a (free) sink
  • Purchased faucet
  • Picked out tile and accents
  • Chose a wall paint color
  • Lunch at Stolley's
  • Established cabinet specifications
We are ready to start the hard work now.

I forgot. We also found lights that we like at Home Depot, too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Granite Selection

We received photos of our slab of granite for the new countertops and bar. The granite is currently located at the Midwest Tile, Marble and Granite, Inc. location in St. Louis.

This close-up shows the color and grain detail that make "Amadeus" unique.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Plan

This looks simple enough:
  • Remove two upper cabinets
  • Take out 4 feet of wall, brace and rebuild the opening
  • Tear out carpet, install tile flooring
  • Install new lower and upper cabinets
  • Run circuits and install new lighting
  • Install new granite counters
  • Install and plumb prep sink
  • Paint & window treatments
  • Hang new TV
A couple weekends work ...

The reality is that some problems and questions will need to be addressed before getting started.
  • Removal of a bearing wall section. The section is about the same size as some other openings in the wall. It will be reinforced with a 12" beam as they were. "A no brainer" my structural engineer friends say.
  • Utilities in the wall section being removed. We got very lucky. The only utility problem in that wall section is a heat duct supplying HVAC to the second floor. I think it can be moved over a couple studs by rerouting a duct in the basement and running a duct along the top of the kitchen cabinets back to the existing ducting in the ceiling joints.
  • There could be some deflection of the dining room floor from the granite countertop dead loads. I've been advised to double the floor joist's at the bar area.
  • Plumbing for new sink. We got extremely lucky again. There are existing water and drain runs in the wall in the exact area of the new sink. The drain line will not need to be moved and the water lines only shifted over one stud.
Please identify other problems and suggestions in the comments.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dining room to kitchen conversion

Last week I reviewed my homeowner's insurance policy limits with my agent. When I got home I told Mrs. Headless that if the house burned down we would have $xxx,xxx to rebuild. I also mentioned that we wouldn't necessarily have to rebuild the same house on our property. In particular, we could get away from the formal dining room and build a large eat-in kitchen.

Our home currently has a traditional dining room that is rarely used for dining, only three days each year. Actually, make it only two times since we will usually dine out on Easter. Lifestyles have changed, and this room no longer suits ours. It is now a place for storage and for cats to sleep.

A little later a lightbulb went on for me. Why burn down the house when we can make the changes to the existing structure?

I've been planning the design change ever since. It is not your usual eat-in kitchen, but I think it will look great and be the new place to be in our house. It will be the spot that people stop upon entering the house and an excellent configuration for entertaining.

The Project: Knock out a portion of the load bearing wall between our kitchen and dining room and install an island through the opening along with 30" space for traffic. The island will include a second oven and a barsink, er, make that "prep sink", and be topped with the same type of granite we used in the existing kitchen.

On the back half of the island build a 42" high eating bar. Install new cabinets in the current dining room, including a 72" built-in china hutch and also include a 42" opening for a counter depth built-in refrigerator.

We will also leave space for a pair of easy chairs and a small table. "The Starbucks Area" is what I have designated this spot.

I will install an LCD TV on one wall to improve the livability of the room further. This will be "The Sports Bar" when Mrs. Headless is not around.

This blog is my online diary for this kitchen expansion project. I intend to complete the work in time for our Smoke Day Party on Memorial Day weekend.