Yet another kitchen remodel

Very soon I will be remodeling my kitchen.

Why yes, it does seem like just yesterday that I did the last one, but that was actually two years and one house ago! That kitchen was mostly-completed right before the pandemic started, and then finally actually-completed a year later, just before I moved out to my new home. Which is a really stupid pattern, where three times in a row I’ve put off a kitchen remodel until it became unavoidable, and then ended up moving out soon after.

I’m hoping that this will not continue the pattern!

Anyway. I got a bunch of contractors to look at it and make estimates, and all but two ghosted me, and I had absolutely no confidence in one of the, while the other one actually asks good questions and seems to have a good attention to detail. Unfortunately, the kitchen is pretty tiny and there’s not a whole lot that can be done to improve the layout without doing much more major-scale renovation than I have the stomach for, but fortunately most everything can be done with standard off-the-shelf components (unlike last time, when I had to go semi-custom for everything due to the incredible weirdness of my condo) and so this one shouldn’t be too terribly expensive.

We’ve also planned for some potential issues that we might run into.

The existing kitchen in this house has pretty cheap cabinets, and awful laminate countertops, and some of the cabinets aren’t installed very well, with some odd choices in where the trim pieces go. With a little bit of rearranging and some very tiny changes to things, things should fit a lot better.

One thing I keep on hoping for in a kitchen, with my dreams constantly being dashed, is having some open shelving. The contractor’s cabinet guy did a great job of convincing me that it wouldn’t work so well with the space available.

I was also hoping to maybe rebuild the sideboard cabinets, but that would have required some massive undertakings that I didn’t have the stomach for, but the doors on them can be improved so that’ll at least help.

Currently the kitchen has incredibly cheap, godawful photolaminate flooring that’s already falling apart (my understanding is that it was newly-installed in the house before it was sold to me, as a quick fixer-upper thing). I evaluted a bunch of options and decided that the least-bad flooring to go with is vinyl flooring with a simulated wood finish. I’d rather have real hardwood, but installing that would, you guess it, require more work than I have the stomach for right now. But modern “luxury vinyl” flooring looks pretty nice, all the same.

The only appliance to change is the dishwasher. I was hoping to wait until the kitchen remodel to replace the stove and refrigerator so I could go with nicer built-in options, but each of those had their own plans, with the refrigerator dying last June and the stove dying a few months ago. The biggest frustration from that is that refrigerators only come in stupid sizes and configurations right now, so I have a fridge that’s way too big and awkward for the space but a smaller fridge wouldn’t have been able to, y'now, open. Because smaller fridges only have full-width doors (there’s no such thing as a compact refrigerator with French doors, apparently) and there’s just not enough space between the fridge and the cooking island to accommodate that.

Maybe someday there will be a reasonably-sized refrigerator that would actually fit in the space and have doors which can open, and then I could consider a downgrade (and selling my stupidly oversized but otherwise perfectly-good fridge), but what I have for now is fine.

Anyway, the contractor is hopeful that he can start the work within the next couple of weeks, which is surprisingly soon, and makes me nervous that I will once again have a major crisis while I’m in the middle of my November projects. But mostly I’m just not looking forwward to being kitchenless for a few weeks. I guess I could finally unpack the last of my boxes and at least get my induction hotplate out, although last time I tried the ersatz kitchen thing I quickly learned that doing dishes in the bathroom sink is pretty awful, and that’s my only option right now (unless I decide to install a sink in the back yard on my hose line or something, but that’s a terrible option this time of year).

I guess I’ll be eating out a lot.

I also am worried about the logistics vis-a-vis my cats and their access to a litter box, especially since I’m also getting the laundry room renovated as part of this. I guess the Popur can go in my bedroom in the meantime, or something. I dunno. This is going to be so annoying.

But hopefully worth it in the end.


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