The Do's and Don'ts of Redoing a Kitchen

If you are planning to redo a kitchen in an 80 plus year old home, there are a few things you need to know. I can write this because I am in the process of doing it right now. I would like to give you a list of Do's and Don'ts to help you.

Measure-Measure everything and re measure. These old houses will fool you into thinking everything is square. NOT!! If you want your new cabinets to be placed the same place as the old ones, measure them and write everything down.

Go to a Major Hardware Store. They have planners who can create your new kitchen on a computer. Make sure you take all you measurements with you. This will help the planner do their job.

Ask questions while the planner is designing your new kitchen on the computer. Ask questions, if you don't understand something. You are footing the bill for this, so make sure you understand everything. Make sure the plans that were designed for you, and the order written are the same. Don't assume all the cabinets are on the list. I did that, because you believe the planner knows what they are doing. Sometimes that isn't so. They forgot to order the sink front and did not tell me I had to order the "kick plates" for under the base cabinets. They are on rush order. Our kitchen is half finished.

It's a good idea to order the counter top at least 2 weeks before the cabinets are due to arrive. Then everything comes in all at once. But you can't always be sure of this. When our cabinets arrived, one was busted and three were out of rack. I watched the delivery men unload the cabinets and they dropped nothing. No boxes were dented in anyway. So I assumed all was well. Again that's something you just can't do. Check all cabinets before the delivery men leave. They should give you a phone number to call if there is damage. Again you will have to wait for the new cabinet.

We didn't order our counter top until after the cabinets came. So we are hoping the damaged and unordered cabinets all come in at the same time. Good luck right?

Before hanging your cabinets, make sure you know where the studs are. It's a good idea to mark the walls and then when you put up the cabinets. You will have an idea where to put the screws.

When redoing the floor, you should put lauan down first. Don't do what I did and buy it and not put it down right away. It will warp, which makes it harder to put down. It's better to screw and not nail down the lauan down. Nails will sometimes work their way back up through the tile. It's good to spackle over the screws and when dry, sand to make smooth. Make sure you sweep and damp mop the floor before you lay your tile. When you lay tile, you have to find out where the center of the room is and work your way out. In an old house you are going to have some odd cuts at the walls and corners. Be ready for that.

I had to rig up a piece of plywood , on top of 2 cabinets, to get the sink in. I didn't fasten down the sink. Just cut a hole and placed it inside. I hooked up all the water and drain. Now I wouldn't have to wash dishes in the bathroom tub. I will have to undo everything once my sink front and counter top come in.

Now you can put handles on the cabinets. The Major Hardware Store I used had no temple for this, so I had to make one up for this. You have to measure and re measure for this. Especially for cabinets with two doors. Even the slightest miss measure will cause the handles to be off and believe me you don't want to have to re drill the hole. So please measure well.

Again don't assume your planner has ordered all the cabinets on the plan. Check the order and ask the planner to show you everything they ordered. You won't be left out in left field like I was.

If everything goes as its suppose to. In six weeks you should be cooking in your new kitchen.
I hope this has helped you in some way, not to have the problems I had with my kitchen.