Sunday, November 18, 2012

Home Remodeling Done!


Yeah! No more workmen in my house!
 It's been a busy few months at home here in Chicago.  I decided to finally undertake the big home remodeling project I'd been wanting to do for the past couple of years.  I've lived in this house for 10 years and have never liked the kitchen cabinets & countertop (or floors throughout the 1st floor for that matter).    But I didn't want to spend a fortune on a remodel, though, as I do plan to sell the house in the next year or so to transition to something that will allow me to semi-retire and be more nomadic.

But, of course, once you start planning to remodel one thing, more and more things just seem logical to add to the list!  Soon, my simple kitchen cabinet/counter remodel now included new appliances, new washer/dryer, a remodeled 1/2 bathroom, a new patio door, as well as new flooring and paint throughout the entire 1st floor!


In July, when a freak storm rolled through Chicago and blew down some tree limbs and fence panels, I added some outdoor "remodeling" to the list to repair the storm damage and install some new sod in a number of bare spots in the backyard.

The first month was spent pretty much just shopping and deciding all the colors and details.  By the end of July, I placed my cabinet order with Lowe's and took off for a vacation to Wisconsin and Michigan.

When I arrived back home in late August, the remodel went into high gear with Lowe's "Express" kitchen install.  Chicago is a test market for their new approach-- cabinets are shipped to a warehouse (rather than the client's house), inspected for any defects/missing parts, and then assembled onto wall mock-ups resembling the customer's kitchen.  Once everything fits together just right, the cabinets are partially disassembled and then delivered to the customer on the day of the old kitchen's demolition.  So, rather than a traditional 2-6 week remodel, Lowe's can do it in less than 5 days.  In my case, it only took 2 days!

Here was the dated 1990's "Before" Kitchen:



Mid-way through:



And, the final result!

New pull-out pantry shelves-- yeah!
Old kitchenette enjoying new floors and paint!

Lowe's installed the new sink and faucet, and a few weeks later,
I installed the tile backsplash myself!
Even a great new LG washer & dryer set
to replace the previous 20-yr-old energy inefficient relics

Now, I suppose I should back up a little and explain some further details--

The new appliances arrived a few weeks ahead of time (before finalizing the cabinet order to ensure the new taller/deeper cabinets would fit properly around the new fridge)

When the 2 day Kitchen install was done, I had a functioning kitchen with the new cabinets, countertop, sink and faucet in place, but still had old lighting, floors, and paint (and no tile backsplash yet either).  I also still needed to get the patio door replaced and get the outside projects scheduled.

So, a couple more months of coordinating all the work crews in and out for those jobs!  Whew!

New floors going in (new patio door already installed!)
Entire 1st floor got painted...and I got serenaded by the men singing along with their Mexican radio (they were actually fun guys, and did a great job!)
New powder room vanity, lights, mirror, and fixtures--
installed myself!!!









Millie was not too thrilled with me replacing her wall-to-wall carpet with new slick wood floors, but she very much liked getting the new sod in the backyard!

Now that the 1st floor is finished, I'll be spending the winter starting to work on the 2nd floor (mainly cleaning out closets & downsizing "stuff").

Travels will be limited for the foreseeable future as I'm currently helping a family member with serious health issues, so expect future posts from me to be non-travel related for awhile.  But, I'll very much enjoy (and rely on) reading your travel blogs and "armchair traveling" to lots of warm and sunny snowbird destinations this winter!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!









29 comments:

  1. WOW! What a fabulous remodel!

    The long-suffering Millie looks just adorable. Hope all goes well & you are back on the road soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kim! So jealous of you getting to go to Okefanokee, meet Judy, and attend the Sugar Cane Boil. Bet you're having a blast traveling around in your new van!

      Delete
  2. Wow, that remodel looks great & amazing!!! such pretty colors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! The paint store guy got really tired of me coming in every few days for more sample colors!

      Delete
  3. That is a dramatic make-over. You should be really pleased.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, so glad to have it done in time for the holidays...what a relief!

      Delete
  4. Remodel looks great and so does Millie.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic remodeling job, Lynne! Sometimes these things just need to be done. Glad you are able to. Hopefully the winter plans will go smoothly so you can get out again. Now that I am finally out I am seriously thinking of my PA home as "summer camp" for the gardeming season, and to spend time with my kids and grands. They all have school or jobs. No sense of me being there for an extended length of time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm toying with that idea too for my next home-- having a summer "base camp" in the Great Lakes region or Rocky Mtns and then traveling different places each winter. Still trying to decide if I'll want a base camp at all and just full-time RV instead...decisions, decisions.

      Delete
  6. Great job on the remodel, looks wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Goodness, I could have written this post myself! I'm working on kitchen improvements partly for myself, but mostly so that my house will be ready to sell in 3 years when I retire. Instead of new, there will be painted cabinets and hardware(covering up the old 1980s oak), new sink, faucet, counters, backsplash, and appliances. Repainting kitchen/dining. Already pulled up living room carpet and replaced it with wood. And no, my dogs don't care for the harder floor, either.

    Your new kitchen is beautiful, Lynne! Interesting about Lowe's "expres" cabinet idea. I hope it works out for them. I'm sure customers will like having such a quick installation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great minds think alike! I almost went the painted cabinet route-- my Lowe's guy said they're very popular these days. But, I got all caught up in the new wiz-bang cabinet options & really wanted the extra cabinet space around the fridge, so plunged into replacement cabinets.

      Very smart of you to do your remodel 3 years ahead of time-- I should have done mine sooner to have more time to enjoy it!

      Delete
  8. Your new remodel looks beautiful. You must be so happy to have it done, now you won't want to sell it!

    Kevin and Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, if only I could shrink this house down and put wheels under it, I'd be all set!

      Delete
  9. That kitchen remodel sure made a big difference!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never used to spend much time in the kitchen before going vegan, but once I started actually cooking most of my meals (rather than just nuking them), I realized how desperately I needed some kitchen improvements!

      Delete
  10. Jeez! When I saw the "before" photo I wondered why you were changing anything. I liked it! But the "after" photos - WOW - I couldn't believe it. Absolutely beautiful. I guess I don't have decorating vision, but that new kitchen sure will make a difference if you sell the house. In fact, the kitchen WILL sell the house.

    But the question is, do you still want to leave it? I guess in a year or so it will be easier to leave. You have such a nice house. And Millie is such a cutie! I can just see her slipping on the new floors, which are also beautiful. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, family keeps me in Chicago for now, and this is the only home Millie has ever known, so I don't have a hard/fast date to sell it. But, it's not going to be an ideal home for retirement with beds and full-bath only on the 2nd floor (and whopping property taxes to pay every year!). So, I'll likely be ready to sell within a year or two.

      Delete
  11. I used to get so frustrated that we seldom fixed up anything until we were getting ready to sell. Why should we not get the benefit of our own upgrades? At least you will get some time to live with yours. Good job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a friend of mine did her big home remodel last year with the intent of enjoying it a few years before they sell. So smart. Wish I had not waited so long, but glad I don't have to move right away.

      Delete
  12. It looks amazing Lynne! Love the colors and wood floors. We too are in the middle of a 5 month now project on our first floor - office, full bathroom, sunporch. We are in a bit of a stall waiting on our new shower unit. I'm sure you know how one holdup affects the entire sequence of the project. We are hoping to be done by Christmas, but who knows. Enjoy your new spaces!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, sounds like some great new spaces for you! I sure wish I had a full bath (rather than just a powder room) on the 1st floor. Good luck finishing up your project-- I bet it will look fantastic once you're done!

      Delete
  13. Fantastic remodel, Lynne. Definitely an inspiration for some of us planning to take on new projects. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, I don't know how I missed this post. I came over to re-read your winterizing post, and saw this for the first time. UH-MAY-ZING KITCHEN!! Wow, so beautiful! Love the warmer colors, and also the new powder room. Can't believe you did the fixtures (and back splash!) yourself -- Very impressive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Want to move to Chicago and buy a house? I'll give you a good deal on it :-)

      Delete
  15. The remodeling turned out great and it is always a feeling of accomplishment when you finally finish the job. Those hardwood floors are beautiful and the dog looks totally comfortable on that rug.

    ReplyDelete

Share Your Views!

Shop Amazon With Us

Gear We Love

Join Us On Facebook