Remodeling a Kitchen to Sell a House

It's Dated But Practical

It’s Dated But Practical

We’re in the middle of trying to plan a kitchen remodel.  For some people, that’s a nightmare.  For others, it’s an exciting time.  For me, it’s a period of bemusement.  Normally I would be very excited at the prospect of remodeling my kitchen.  You see, I’ve lived in a lot of houses over the years, thanks to a husband in the military, and I NEVER had an updated kitchen.  Whatever the kitchen was like when we bought a house, that was what I was stuck with until we moved.  We just never felt like we had the money to sink into a kitchen remodeling project.

Love my hanging rods but wish I had a window there.

Love my hanging rods but wish I had a window there.

To add insult to injury, this is the third house we’ve owned that came with white countertops.  I HATE white countertops with a passion.  And we’ve never owned a home with anything other than a kitchen with laminate countertops.  Oh, how I’ve longed for marble countertops or even Corian counters but it’s just never been in the cards.

Kitchen 3

So many tempting choices!

Now we are trying to get our house ready to sell at some point in the next year or so and we recognize that it would help if the kitchen was spruced up.  This is where things get a little dicey.  We don’t want to sink a fortune into a remodel, knowing that we’re going to just turn around and sell the house.  I think my hubby wants to keep the remodel under $5000.  Oh, dear.  We just met with one vendor yesterday and he measured and we talked about some suggestions and what we’d like (cabinet refacing, laminate countertop, composite granite sink with new faucet, under-cabinet lighting, backsplash, and taking out the current pantry, replacing it with a more efficient version.  Now the fellow is going to have his staff put together a proposal and then we’ll meet with them to see what they’ve come up with and what the price is.  I’m guessing it will come in around $20,000.  In the meantime, we have another vendor coming out to take measurements for an estimate next week.

Stupid Pantry!

Stupid Pantry!

I know that we have to do something about that pantry.  The builders used thick framing but the actual inside is much smaller and the shelving is so deep that I can’t see what’s in the back.  The space between the pantry and the end of our cupboards is too small for our stove so that every time we open the oven door, we gouge out a chunk of the pantry wall.

Lots of wasted space!

Lots of wasted space!

Our son suggested the possibility of shaving off the end of the countertop lip and molding of the cabinet which might just gain us about 1/2″ which might be enough to give us the ability to open and shut that oven door without ruining the wall.  Otherwise, the pantry HAS to go, either to be replaced by a thinner version or another alternative.

Not really an eat-in kitchen

Not really an eat-in kitchen

At the other end of our small galley-shaped kitchen, there is room for a table and you could seat two people at it but it’s not really practical for eating.  Unless you are sitting at the ends of the table, you are right in the path of traffic between the dining room and the door out into the garage.  Personally, if money was no object, I’d take out the table and put in a wall of shelves on either side of the window joined by a desk under the window (making an “H” shape overall).  That way, you’d have lots of storage space for pantry items and pots and pans and room to sit to plan your menus or surf the Web while your meal cooks.

So I’m thinking that realistically we are going to have to sand down the cabinets ourselves and re-stain them and then update them with new hardware.  We can probably get new laminate countertops and a new composite sink installed but I’m thinking that the under-cabinet lighting will have to be dropped to stay within a $5000 range.  If we can somehow get the countertop people to shave off that end part of the counter area to give us enough room for the stove, then we can always install some sort of slider shelves in the pantry to make the space more efficient.  We might be able to find some backsplash material to install ourselves, perhaps some of the pressed tin backsplash stuff that I’ve seen and like.  Last, but not least, we will have the wallpaper stripped and have the kitchen repainted.

It’s a bittersweet time because we’re not really doing a remodel for me and for my likes and tastes.  We’re doing it for buyers and as cheap as we can do it.  I’ll keep you posted on our progress as we go along.  In the meantime, any guesses on what these estimates are going to come in at?

 

  • karyn

    That looks/sounds like my ‘pantry’. Kind of next to useless. Deep and dark, with things getting lost in the back. Hope you can figure a way to make it more useful. The sliding shelves sounds like a plan. And I like your idea for the table area. Hope you get your ‘dream kitchen’ in your next house!

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