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Curb Alert

If anyone is wondering where I’ve gone to, I am putting in a new kitchen in my townhouse.  The old cabinets were the originals.  I had replaced the doors and painted them a few years ago and updated my laminate.  It was a quick cosmetic facelift.  Cheap and I could live with it.  But these are different days indeed and who knows when the house will need to go on the market?  So, I’m putting in a new kitchen.

I ripped out the old cabinets today, as well as the laminate countertop, with the help of someone, also laid off, underemployed and overeducated in a STEM field, who is very good at this kind of stuff.  (Thanks, sincerely, that was very productive and saved me a lot of money)  Dry wall and spackel followed.  The kitchen was a disaster area.  After tomorrow, hopefully less so.  It will take me a couple more days to get a new countertop and plumbing reconnected so I am on paper plates and take out Thai food in the meantime.

Anyway, my house is a mess.  I’ve got so many projects going at one time, it’s hard to keep up with it all.  There are blue plastic bins all over the place, schlepping from one room to the next in a fruitless search to find a final resting place.  After I cleaned out all of my kitchen cabinets, the plates suddenly looked really old, chipped and shabby.  I’m contemplating replacing them with a new fresh set of white dinnerware from someplace like Target (pronounced Tar-jhay among the cognoscenti).  New plates are cheap.  Should I or shouldn’t I?

There is a nice pile of old cabinets at the foot of my driveway.  I need to get rid of them toot sweet or the association will start to complain.  The cabinets are not in great shape.  It’s a good thing they are being replaced.  The sink base disintegrated as we were removing it.  Shocking!  But the doors are pretty nice.  They are Shaker style doors that I ordered a few years ago to take the place of the laminate doors with oak strips at the bottom that came with the house when I bought it.  I could never figure out what to do with those doors so I bought some door replacements and updated the red oak cabinets with refreshing white paint.  Anyway, the cabinets are crap but the doors are in nice shape.  The bin handle hardware and brushed chrome pulls are worth more than the cabinets.  Some of them have glass inserts to show off pretty dinnerware.  There’s also a nice L shaped length of black granite-esque laminate and a sink with faucet with pull out spout.  I’m hoping that someone on craigslist will want them.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to while the market crashes and takes my hard earned deferred income 401K contributions with it.  What can you do?  Well, in retrospect, I might have been better off putting less into the 401K account and more into paying off the principle on my home…

Oh, and if I have a fairy godperson, I would really, really, REALLY like a Public Bike with a sweet basket up front.  In the mixte model.  In orange.  Three speed.  Yes, I know I am dreaming.


It sucks to be unemployed…

15 Responses

  1. Sounds like your new kitchen will look a LOT better than the empty space in the $39,000,000 house you featured yesterday.

    Get a really really deep (10+” inches deep) stainless steel sink – undermount. It makes a world of functional difference and undermount sinks are perceived as “upscale”.

    • Yep, corian countertops (the most affordable, really) and an undermount sink. I’m getting rid of a 10″ deep sink and you are absolutely right. That sucker was indispensible. But the cabinet installers are telling me I can’t go that deep with an undermount in my less than mcmansion sized kitchen. Something about allowances for undermounting not leaving room for the garbage disposal. So, I will have to get used to a shallower sink again.

  2. Wish I could help you out on the bike River. Seems with gas prices the way they are, we will all be riding our bikes sooner rather than later

  3. The other week O’Reilley was blathering on about unemployment rates verses education. The rate for degreed folks is around 4% and change. His argument was that educated people all have jobs.

    Yeah, right!

    Stocking shelves at the local Big-mart and doing remodeling under the table.

    • um, I didn’t hire the person who helped me, not that he couldn’t make money that way. I’m sure a lot of people do but sometimes they’re just doing favors

    • . His argument was that educated people all have jobs.

      O’Reilley must have stock in a for profit “collage”. lol!

  4. The kitchen guys were at my door at 7:41 this morning. They had to call my cell phone to wake me up. I didn’t hear the door bell.
    I noticed that my orange mixte 3 speed Public bike had not arrived yet. :-{

    • Wow! Good thing you sleep with your phone …. I keep mine in the living room (I get headaches if I keep it in the bedroom) and I’d never hear it!

  5. I’m glad you are doing project, even through the hard times. Funny thing about that bike, too. I’ve been thinking of one of those. I keep getting the image of how fun it would be to simplify down to a wicker basket full of flowers and a smile.

    RD, keep your spirits up. ps: on that house yesterday — not everyone out here lives like that — but it was pretty sterile, no? I mean there was no art on the walls was there? Cement. Out here every block has a house for sale and the empty storefronts boggle the mind.

  6. In cleaning out the backyard shed, found an old MG radiator, gold electric stove, console tv, and my old powder blue 10 speed Schwinn.Tires are disintegrated, but the body is fine, Will be perfect for riding around the neighborhood. I’m envious of the kitchen renovation.Was hoping to do mine this yr, but not in the cards. Hope good things come your way.

    • So far, I would like to thank Janice and Kim at the Bridgewater Home Depot for designing the kitchen and then holding my hand, and the guys from Sperduto for doing the installation. We ran into a few minor glitches (um, guys? you forgot to leave the shelf for the cabinet underneath the pass thru) and some unexpected surprises (Three weeks for the countertop??? and why is there a box around my refrigerator?) But really, I love the new cabinets. They are fresh and clean looking and very classy. Can’t wait til the final pieces of molding are in place and I can paint the walls a nice light gray. It will be beautiful.

    • BTW, a kitchen remodel like mine doesn’t have to break the bank and actually it can’t because I could never afford to do it otherwise. Here’s the basics:
      1.) For cabinets that are not custom, expect to spend about $3500.
      2.) Solid surface countertops range from around $39 to $89/sq foot installed.
      3.) Start the process early. You will need to meet with your designer for hours at stretch. 3-4 meetings of about 3 hours each should do it.
      4.) Do some of the prep work yourself. I was able to save a LOT of money by tearing out the old kitchen with the help of another person.
      5.) Basic installation of the cabinets and carpentry to make it all fit is about $2200 (if you did step 4 yourself)
      6.) Follow Sarah Richardson’s rules for economical kitchen renos and you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get a beautiful kitchen. Don’t order any molding, corbels or other architectural features. It will keep costs down and you can always add them later if you really must have them.
      7.) Consider laminate cabinets. I looked at some Martha Stewart PureStyle cabinets and really liked them. I didn’t want to wait for the extra delivery time but if you are the patient type, the cost is very affordable and the painted style is timeless and durable.
      8) If you have an L shaped kitchen, don’t order countertops with a directional pattern element. The seaming will look ridiculous.
      Final tally should be around $8000 for a small 10′ x 12′ kitchen, which is what I have. I went with a simple painted maple shaker door in a creamy white. Glass inserts in some of the upper cabinets lets me show off my dishes. I’m getting a corian countertop, also in a light, white-multi pattern. (I’m a sucker for white kitchens. They’re so bright and cheery). This is the style I’m shooting for:
      White Kitchen of my dreams

      • I’d kill just for the space.

        • Me too. I have a long, narrow, “train style” kitchen. Unless I knock out a wall, or add on somewhere, I’m stuck. Love the kitchen in the pic. But, I need dirt colored floors because of the dogs flying thru from the backyard.

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