kitchen demolition

Kitchen Demolition

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It’s happening.

It’s finally happening.

Seven years after becoming homeowners and twenty five years after discovering the joy of cooking, I’m getting a new kitchen.

The kind of kitchen of which chickens will cluck in hushed tones during long winter nights in the coop.

The kind of kitchen that will chatter the cud-chewing chompers of beef cattle as they mark time in the stockyard.

I’m getting a kitchen in which a feast for three shall be prepared each night and laid out on gleaming granite.

A kitchen with cabinets as far as the eye can see (provided that eye is nearsighted), and an island big enough on which to be comfortably marooned for weeks on end.

Yep, I’m getting the kitchen of my dreams, and I couldn’t be happier or more excited!

I wasn’t planning to write about my new kitchen until the post we have scheduled for the remodel plan and then the actual installation (slated to start on July 6), but we just had our old kitchen demoed this past Friday, and I just can’t wait anymore.

Okay, let’s answer your first question: why did you tear down the old kitchen so long before the new one is to be installed?

Good question! The answer is that we need to get the old wood floors in the kitchen sanded, stained and sealed before the new cabinets and island are installed. Figure 2-3 days for the sanding, staining and multiple coats of polyurethane, then about a week for the finish to cure enough for the installation.

As I type these letters, we’re living in a house without a kitchen and all its amenities.

No cabinets.

No counters.

Not a drop of water because there is no sink.

No dishwasher.

We’re living from a rescued cabinet that we’ve propped up in the living room. It has all the plastic and paper plates and cups from which we’ll eat and drink until the project is finished.

But enough about that, let’s look at the demo, and I’ll tell you just a little about what we’re doing (I don’t want to spoil the surprise when we publish the remodel plan post)!

Okay, some of you may remember what the old kitchen looked like from the Empty House Tour post. For those who don’t (or if you’re just too lazy to click back to that post), here is what we had.

old kitchen before demolition
old kitchen before demolition
old kitchen before demolition
old kitchen before demolition
old kitchen before demolition
old kitchen before demolition

Of course, it hasn’t been that clean since the day we moved in. Even though we knew it would be temporary, we filled every cabinet and drawer and gave the countertops a healthy dollop of clutter! We spent part of a day last week unfilling everything we had filled.

Old cabinets are always worth having around, so we marked the ones we wanted to keep with blue tape. We’ll be using some as basement storage, and I’ll be using two othem to make a dog-feeding station in the new kitchen.

kitchen ready for demolition

Last Friday, our cabinet guy San showed up for the demolition.

Now, you know how excited we’ve been with the contractors we’ve found down here in the South, and San is no exception. I’ve no doubt I’ll be speaking of him in glowing terms for quite some time.

kitchen ready for demolition
All prepped for demolition

Do you remember James from Peach State Hardwood? He and his crew did our downstairs hardwood installation and refinish, plus he re-floored our entire upstairs with some beautiful luxury vinyl planking. I’ll be showing you that in a future post. Anyway, when we were first scoping the total cost of this project – after we’d committed to the cabinets but before settling on an installer – I asked James if he knew a good cabinet installer. James immediately recommended San. He told me that San had just done his kitchen cabinet installation, and that not only was San’s work second to none, but his prices were much better than what we had been seeing out in the contractor marketplace.

preparing a kitchen for demolition
Preparing for demolition

I always like to find a contractor’s contractor. You can bet he’s going to be good.

Now, about San – I’m not going to divulge too much information about him yet – not until after our kitchen remodel is complete. Then I will give you all the information you’ll need to know. And believe me, for anyone living in the Atlanta area considering a kitchen remodel, you’re going to want to know this man.

removing trim from kitchen cabinets
San’s helper starts by removing the trim

Okay, without getting into the specifics of our plan, I want to tell you a little about kitchen remodel pricing and budgeting and why it was so easy to choose San for our installation.

removing an oven during a kitchen demolition
San and his helper unscrew the oven for removal

First I will mention that we bought our cabinets through Home Depot. By now you all should know just how much we love that store. It’s not a stretch to say it is a second home.

two men removing a wall oven

We looked in both Home Depot and Lowe’s for cabinets. They both carried KraftMaid, which was the brand we wanted. We might have ended up working with Lowe’s – after all they are much closer to our new house than Home Depot – but for a bad first encounter with their cabinet guy. I’ll write more about that in the plan post.

hole in cabinets where a wall oven once was
I guess there’s no need to be neat when punching holes in the back of cabinets!

So we ended up with our beloved Home Depot. The best part about buying an expensive item (or items) from Home Depot is that we can get 2 years of interest-free financing, and that really helps with a project as expensive as a kitchen remodel.

two men removing a kitchen sink

How expensive is a kitchen remodel, you ask?

using a pry bar to remove a countertop
San starting to remove the island countertop

Well, it’s probably the most expensive project (save gutting the house and starting over) that a homeowner is likely to tackle.

removing kitchen island counter

Home Depot says that most kitchen remodels are budgeted to be about 5%-15% of the current value of the home. Obviously there’s room to go a little cheaper or much much more depending on your means and taste.

removing kitchen countertop

Once you’ve settled on a budget, Home Depot then says that the typical kitchen remodel project is roughly broken into thirds.

  • One third of your budget will go to new cabinetry.
  • One third will go to towards finishing touches like new countertops, backsplash, sink, faucet, new appliances, flooring, etc
  • The final third will go to installation costs and labor

One important thing to note is that the installation and labor costs may not include the cost to move plumbing lines or re-run electrical wire. Those costs may need to be added on top of the installation and labor estimate.

removing kitchen countertop

So with all this in mind, we set off to Home Depot (with a budget), and within a couple of days of meeting with our designer, our budget had been dragged into a back alley and beaten senseless.

removing kitchen countertop
San was a pleasure to speak with throughout the demolition process

Here are the Navage Patch Rules for Budgeting a Home Improvement Project (which we didn’t follow):

  • Set a reasonable budget that you can afford and that you’re comfortable with.
  • Write it on a piece of paper.
  • Have a good laugh, crumple the paper and flush it down the toilet.
  • Double your initial number and write it on a new piece of paper.
  • Hold it up, stare at it for 10 seconds.
  • Furrow your brow.
  • Scratch your nose (go ahead and pick – no one is looking!)
  • Lower the paper to the desk.
  • Cross out the number.
  • Add 20% to the number and rewrite.
  • Nod your head and start shopping.
pristine flooring under a removed cabinet
Ahhhh, original floor color!

Okay, so we wanted to buy our cabinets from Home Depot because of the attractive financing and because we know them. They are easy to do business with.

When we went in, we didn’t know who would install them for us. We knew Home Depot did the installations, but outside of that, we weren’t familiar with the process.

kitchen island with removed counters and cabinets

When it was explained to us, it seemed logical that we should have them handle the installation as well.

Soup to nuts, they (well, their subcontractors to be more precise) took care of it all.

removing drywall with a hammer
The hammer-smash method for drywall removal is so satisfying!

It sounded good, so we set up an appointment with one of their installation subcontractors to come to our house to measure our kitchen.

This wasn’t free. The measuring appointment cost us $100, but that price would be applied to the installation cost if we chose to carry on with that installer.

two men removing drywall from a kitchen island

The installer came and measured. He was a nice guy, and we got on great with him.

Handan and I were looking forward to his estimate so we could sign and pay and get the train rolling.

removing drywall

And then his estimate came in, and the train belched a great puff of smoke and fell over dead.

The estimate for the demolition and installation (this did not include the needed natural gas and plumbing work, mind you) came just shy of $20,000.

kitchen island demolition
Down to the bones

I read the email and barked out a laugh. What else could I do?

I then re-scanned the email, because I must have missed the part where it says the new kitchen would also come with a new car.

removing a kitchen island

Hmmmm…no car.

So that would mean…

tools are construction waste on the floor
Tools of the trade

I read it again, more carefully this time. It was all itemized. When I read the line item for the demolition of our current cabinets, I felt a platoon of hair follicles on my head jettison themselves from my scalp, never to grow again.


Nearly $5300 to remove some old cabinets!

construction waste while demolishing a kitchen

And here’s the part that really stuck in my craw. The installer told us about this great program where Habitats for Humanity will come to your curb and pick up old cabinets so they can re-sell them at a lower price to those in need. The upside to the customer (that’s me) is that those cabinets become a tax write-off.

moldy drywall
black mold on drywall
San called me in when he removed a cabinet and found mold. He wasn’t immediately sure where it had come from, but the area was dry.

Not bad, I thought when the installer explained it to me during our $100 visit.

But then to see that part of the $5300 he wanted was for haul away? He’d be unscrewing those cabinets and carrying them to the curb!

sewage pipe with small hole
When he removed the drywall, he found the culprit. The original cabinet installers had pierced a sewage pipe with one of their nails, and sewage water had leaked into the drywall over the years until the hole had self-sealed. Blech!

When I showed Handan, she was as apoplectic about the installation estimate as I was.

I called our designer at Home Depot (a lovely woman named Debbie of whom I’ll speak more in the planning post) and told her that we would be looking for our own installer. To her credit, she thought the price was a little ridiculous, too, but unfortunately it was entirely out of her control.

kitchen demolition
Cabinets down. We kept some and threw the others.

And this is where I need to speak about Home Depot in less-than-glowing terms.

Apparently their installation services weren’t always this expensive. Apparently something has changed.

kitchen demolition

Now, as easy as it would be to level all of our displeasure at the installer, he is merely a subcontractor to Home Depot, and he has very little flexibility with his installation quotes. But I don’t think those contractual obligations extend to the demolition part of the quote, though I certainly could be wrong about that.

kitchen demolition

How did it come to this?

Remember Home Depot’s handy little cost estimation ratio – 1/3 for cabinets, 1/3 for add-ons and upgrades and 1/3 for installation? Well, according to that ratio, our estimate was actually cheap!

tile removed from drywall
The easy way to remove tile!

This set Handan and I to thinking. Who came up with this ratio and to what purpose? Our guess is that it was Home Depot, and it creates a fattened revenue stream in their Kitchen and Bath department.

Or maybe I’m I a jaded and conspiratorial old curmudgeon. I don’t know.

removing tile with a sawzall

But I couldn’t help thinking about the similarities to De Beers and the diamond engagement ring racket.

kitchen demo
Ready for the electrical work to begin

One of the greatest marketing coups in history (beyond Santa Claus and Valentine’s Day) was diamond company De Beers decision to run an advertising campaign in the early 20th century proclaiming that “Diamonds are Forever.” In a series of celebrity-filled advertisements stretching decades, the De Beers diamond company created an inextricable link between their diamonds and marriage proposals. From this brainwashing campaign sprung the “Two-Months Salary” rule. You all know it by now: a man should spend two months of his salary on a diamond engagement ring for his betrothed.

adding drywall to kitchen
After moving the electric wires, San replaced the drywall and taped the seams with drywall mud. For once, I didn’t have to do it! Huzzah!

Two months! 

Good lord, what a coup! And the guys wearing suits at De Beers (certainly not the ones sweltering in the mines) laughed and laughed and laughed on each and every trip to the bank.

drywall taping in the kitchen

I feel that Home Depot’s Rule of Thirds is just as arbitrary and self-serving as De Beers insistence that every poor schlub about to pop the question fork over two months’ worth of hard-earned dough.

I love you, Home Depot, but I do not love what you’ve done with your installation services.

taping drywall in a demoed kitchen

Anyway, after the shock of $20,000 wore off, I set to work finding a new installer, because with a $20,000 installation, this project was DOA.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, our search for a new installer ended with James’s recommendation of San.

And I might add that San used to install for Home Depot, so he’s not some rando off the streets! He’s been doing high-end custom work for over 20 years, so he’s more than qualified for this job.

kitchen demolition
The girls can’t wait for the new kitchen!

His price for demolition and haul-away? $750

His price for the whole job, including demolition, electrical, moving the plumbing lines, installing the cabinets, appliances, trim and hardware? Somewhere between $6000 and $6500. I’m not exactly sure of the total, because there are always a few things that pop up when the work is underway.

kitchen demolition
kitchen demolition

Still, his price is about 1/3 of Home Depot’s.

kitchen demolition

Now the argument you’ll hear from the installer (which we did) was that when going with Home Depot, you get their full warranty, blah blah blah. And I agree, Home Depot does have a great warranty program, but what is really being warrantied here? There are two components to the installation: the cabinets and the labor. The cabinets are a physical product and should be warrantied by Home Depot and/or KraftMaid just like any other product I buy from them. So if the product functions properly, but the installation is crap, well that’s a different story. If you go with Home Depot and the installer monkey-hammers the installation, presumably, they’ll send another guy to try to fix it or re-install.

kitchen demolition

We will have no such protection.

Am I worried?

Not at all.

kitchen demolition


Because I vetted San, and I’m confident he is a superior cabinet installer than the one who quoted us $20k.

Time will tell, of course. We won’t know for sure until the installation is finished in a couple of weeks.

Until then, stay tuned, stay safe and stay sane!

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  1. LOl, y’all’s kitchen remodel brings back memories. My husband was a custom cabinet/furniture maker for several years before he had time to redo our kitchen. He and his guys gutted our kitchen. We put down brick floors and I was ready to go. Note the “I”. A couple of big jobs that he didn’t feel he could turn away came in to his company. Then, a couple more – it took NINE months before our kitchen was completed. We had no cabinets, no range, no sink, and no dishwasher. I cooked in an electric skillet and we used paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils.
    Wanted to mention that I am so happy that y’all removed that catty corner island. Those drive me crazy. They take up so much room!! Cannot wait to see the new kitchen plans!

    1. OMG, I can’t imagine living that long without a kitchen! I’m dreading having to put up with it for two weeks, lol! Agreed on the catty corner island. The new one will be nice and rectangular! 🙂

  2. I would have had a heart attack seeing that price. Good grief, we could buy another holiday home down on the South coast for that amount and have some change over to paint the walls too. Have fun making over the kitchen of your dreams, it’s going to look fantabulous when it’s done.

  3. I knew that demolition was over priced but that is insane! On the note of diamonds, I recently read that the new standard is THREE months salary! Absolutely insane considering the diamond market only releases so many diamonds at a time to avoid flooding the market and devaluing the over inflated price of the product. That said, I do like their sparkle! Lol!

  4. Ugh, demo time is no fun. The mess, the chaos, the lack of running water. I feel for ya.

    Ooh, can’t wait to see the new kitchen. That install price from Home Depot is crazy talk. We redid our kitchen 3 years ago but kept the cabinets and just custom trimmed them including build up to ceiling and crown molding, painted them, and added different hardware to keep the remodel costs down. Then we demo’ed the tile floor and installed hardwood ourselves and painted ourselves. Only install costs where the new quartz counters (love, love them) and the subway tile backsplash. (both done by these wonderful independent contractors) Everything else we did ourselves. A total demo wasn’t in the budget. We will be doing a total gut of the upstairs hall bath next year though and hiring it all out. (So do not want to do another bathroom ourselves.)

    What is with the 90s and those formica and wood trim counters? I had them in my kitchen too–ugh I hated those counters for years until we got around to the kitchen remodel. I had them in two apartments too. What were builders thinking back then?

    1. Total crazy talk! Good job on doing so much of your remodel yourself – it really keeps the cost down! An I hear you about the wood-trimmed formica. The builders found a great way to cheap out when installing kitchens. I’m sure they hyped those counters up as the greatest thing going at the time!

      1. We liked that look for the counters. Back then we were poor and made our own. Sheet laminate and used routed boards for the edging. Worked fine and looked good. It’s all in the eye of the beholder….BUT I am glad you did away with the angled counter; those never seem to work out well. Looking forward to your finished project.

        1. I agree, in the 1980s wood trimmed counters was the style, and I did it too. Of course I would no sooner want that again as I would wear the big round glasses and permed hair as I did in the 80s! And speaking of counter tops, I installed gorgeous granite in my first-ever totally new kitchen, but when we moved and did our new build, we went away from that busy granite to a low-key looking Caesarstone, and I love it even more. I hope I love it forever because as much as kitchen design changes, I won’t be able to afford a new one ever again!

  5. Thanks for this post!! We had the same experience with Home Depot installation when we were getting quotes to replace our roof-the Home Depot price- with their “warranty “ was $19,000, another place gave us an estimate of $11,000… and a neighbor told us about “a roofing guy” (I checked to make sure he had insurance!!) who ended up doing an excellent job for… wait for it… $9000.00!!!

    The punchline of this story is – that we were leaning toward Home Depot because we have so much trust in them- we almost did not get any other estimates!! Also, we are a little lazy!! But our eyes are opened now!! Thanks for sharing your story!!

    You will love the new kitchen!! I had mine done 5 years ago- and I love it so much!! Also update on the roofer- he did 6 other jobs in my subdivision, with people we referred him to- and is probably still working on houses here!! ( A 400 house neighborhood-all houses are 20-25 years old..

    1. Yeah, it’s too bad they are so expensive, Anne. I’m sure the work their subcontractors do is good, but it’s not like they have a lock on the labor market for installers and contractors. I guess it’s for people with more money than time. I don’t know. I’m just happy we shopped around! 🙂

  6. Welcome to the neighborhood. I suspect you are pretty close to where I live. As for Home Depot, I think it must be a little different here than your former area. There are lots of horror stories about Home Depot contractors. You’ve already learned about pricing so let’s go on to the quality of work. I’m sure some are great. But a number of them are not and that’s where the multiple bad stories come in.
    One place I look for service people is on the neighborhood app NextDoor. You get recommendations from people in your group who have actually used the company and services they are recommending so its a good place to start.
    I too have a kitchen remodel in mind. In fact, I was getting estimates when the virus shutdown occurred. Wow, was I surprised! I had contacted kitchen remodeling companies and contractors. Now, my little update is in no way as complex as your remodel. I just wanted cabinets painted, new countertops and backsplash and sink. I also need an island with prep sink. It will be a small island. My estimates were a shock. Now, my kitchen isn’t huge with miles of countertops. No cabinet replacement just the new island cabinets. (and my island will fit inside yours with lots of room left over). The estimates were close to the figures you mentioned! I was in shock to say the least. No cabinets, no walls removed, only two appliances and I will buy those. I actually gave up getting estimates and then the virus hit. Hubby and I are older, ahem, some might say elderly with some high risk conditions and are still mostly self isolating so the project is on hold. Turned out it may have been great timing. I can watch the progress and whatever you and Handan live through. Then, I want the names of your good contractors!
    PS My estimates were 10 to 15 thousand over your 20 thousand figure.

    1. Oh wow, that’s a lot of money! I think there are a lot of unscrupulous contractors out there who prey on those they think won’t know any better. Believe me, I will certainly have some good contractor recommendations for you when we’re done!

  7. We are in Texas. A friend went with Home Depot for a full kitchen remodel a couple of years ago and it was a disaster! I would never go with their contractors for anything.

    1. All you need to do is follow the Design Dilemma area on Houzz to read about the nightmares people have experienced with Home Depot installers! I’m not a fan of big box stores and prefer to use smaller owner-operated hardware stores, plus people like San and James. I love how happy ypu are with them Greg!

      1. I just checked out that area on Houzz – you’re not kidding! Yep, San and James are diamonds in the rough – wo happy we found them!

  8. I can’t wait to see the end result. It is going to be marvelous. Yep, it pays to shop around, lol!

  9. I lived for a couple of years with a demolished kitchen because it was just too gross to stay in the house and i kept spending my kitchen money on things like foundation repair, new sewer pipes etc. A toaster oven, microwave and electric skillet and it’s not to bad. Even had a utility sink installed so i would have running water! You can do it.

    1. Oh wow, Carla, I can’t imagine that long without a kitchen! After hearing your story, I think I’ll survive my two weeks, lol!

    1. Hi Sue, sooner or later we would need to update the kitchen to fit with the rest of the house. We chose sooner, because projects like this are a little easier before the house it totally settled. That said, the old kitchen was perfectly functional, but it just wasn’t our style.

  10. I had the same problem with LOWES a few years back. They charged me $50 to give me and estimate on laying new flooring in my kitchen. I figured it would go smoother if the installer was a Lowe’s contractor. The estimate they gave me made me gasp. They were so way out of line from 2 other estimates I received. I was hopping mad and I called them back and demanded my $50 back and they sent it back. Also do you mind me asking you the installation price per square foot for the luxury vinyl plank.

    1. Hi Stacye, yeah we had Lowe’s quote a new deck at our old house, and their price nearly knocked the wind out of me! For our LVP upstairs, we paid James from Peach State Hardwood $1.71/sq ft for installation. Note that it did not include carpet tear-out ($0.16/sq ft) or the cost of the LVP.

      1. Thx Greg. We have laminate flooring now so we’ve already gone through the hell of pulling up carpet. My husband works for a flooring manufacturer in Dalton so we are getting the LVP through his work at for a steal. I just didn’t know how much to allow installation. I really don’t me in my husband in the same Room trying to lay down flooring. I’ve done it before but he hasn’t. I can just imagine if he’s not doing something to suit my perfectionism. There my be a divorce. ?

  11. I would be so excited. I’m with you on cabinets as far as the eye can see. You’ve got to have counters, counters and more counters, can never have too much counter space in my opinion. My dream kitchen would also have a large gas range and oven and then a french door wall oven as well cause I like to bake and they are easier than having to lean over the opened door to get your goodies out. Anyway, good luck with your new kitchen, can’t wait to see the finished project.

      1. you should check them out, a bit pricey but I think it would be worth it. Home depot sells them.

        1. Alas, not in this kitchen, as we already have it planned and purchased. But something to keep in mind next time! 🙂

  12. Can’t wait to see your new kitchen. Other than the kitty-cornered island, I thought the old kitchen was pretty nice–compared to mine! Subcontracting yourself sure saves a lot of $$$, but lack of discord on the home front is worth a lot, too! Sounds like a lot of takeout Chinese and delivered pizza to me. My house was slated to be moved across the street so we lived with no incoming running water or gas stove for a year (This was ’88). Toilet flushed with a bucket of hauled water (water pipes had frozen up after his mother had died). My kitchen was a microwave, 2 burner hotplate and a toaster oven for a YEAR. I found I COULD live without my Tupperware measuring cup (my belongings were still in my old house in NH!). And this was with 2 small kids (who helped haul water, too!). It CAN be done! Not always gracefully, but it can be done! Give each other frequent hugs and remember the final vision!

    1. Wow, Kathy, you and Carla from Kansas take the cake when it comes to sacrifice! I could not imagine a year without my kitchen. And here I thought I was pretty tough, lol! I’m nothing compared to you two!

  13. Hi Greg…yes am excited to see you get going on this.i can’t imagine how huge your kitchen and dining area are. They look like 2/3of our house. We did our kitchen through Home Depot. Had a wonderful patient knowledgeable designer. And very kind when she sadly said,no you can’t do that..several times. Not with the space we had. These designs figure out to the nth of an inch..and also have warning error signs when something won’t fit,or gets in the way of something else. (Just kidding). Hubs and a handyman did the demo..handyman did the install and I really really wish now we had spent the money for HD install. But hubs is gung-ho on saving money . Now I have to look at less than perfect install. And sometimes it is really hard to shut mah mouth! The thing I do not definitely like is the cabinet finish itself.they are kraft maid..and have that “baked ” on finish. It chips!! And if water gets underneath the the paint from really chips. And from what I understand..I can’t paint them down the road. If you know differently…please tell me how because I can see it is going to need it.
    Now this really makes me sick,because we spent thousands on this kitchen,whereas I could eventually paint if regular finish. But I am anxious to go along on your kitchen journey. Looking forward to it!

    1. Hi Bernice, if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past several years it’s that everything can be painted with the right prep work. Kraft-Maid may claim that their “baked-on” finish isn’t meant to be painted, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I imagine it would be the same prep that we did when painting the smooth IKEA finish. Check that post here: That’s a good tip about the water, though – I’ll be sure to keep the cabinets as dry as possible!

  14. I will never use Home Depot again for any remodel. They remodeled my kitchen ten years ago and the cabinets are falling off the wall. I have a small kitchen and they had to take down the cabinets and replace 3 times. They installed the wrong counters and had to replace with the correct ones. I can’t even begin to explain what a mess they made with the installation of a sink. It took over 2 months.

  15. My kitchen in my new house looks like your old one only the cupboards are very dark. But since my husband to be told me to pick a house and I did. I love it. He is Army Captain career who signed his retirement papers today and handed over his gun. Coming home in 2 days. Your remodel is what I paid for an Air Force pilot to fly him here. Then we are taking the train back to Texas for a month while the people move out of our new house. Then we are driving back to Geneva, Ohio. To live happily ever after. Oh. He is stationed in Nigeria.

    1. Congratulations on having him home full time, Jody! Please tell him that Handan and I appreciate his service to our country. Wow, what a career he must have had! Glad he’s coming home safe and sound. Happy 4th to you both!

  16. 1) Here in Canada, according to a contractor I know, the contractors not only have to deal with customer issues, but also the companies price schedule. They HAVE to charge for the quote, because they will not get a reasonable percentage of contracts.

    2) Your old kitchen has the same cabinets as mine, circa 1990 something. If I was closer, I would be happy to buy or barter for the drawer units you trashed!! Didi yo at least save them for your shop?

    1. We saved about 80% of the cabinets to be reused in the basement or in other projects around the house. We’d hate to throw away perfectly good storage space, lol!

  17. Oooh, I’m popping some popcorn and getting ready to watch the rest of your kitchen reno. I’m sure it’ll be amazing!

    1. The belt sanders are tearing off the finish from the old floors as I write this comment. Won’t be too much longer, now…

  18. I experienced a similar tongue-swallowing moment when the HD installer quoted me a 2x price for windows (as compared to my first quote which seemed high). I, too, live at HD and was nonplussed at the gouging on these external services.
    Can’t wait to see your new kitchen!

  19. I’m so glad I read this post, because my hubs and I are removing almost the exact same cabinets that you have and are planning to buy Kitchen Maid cabinets from Home Depot. White shaker delights that go to the ceiling with custom trim. We have not gotten to the numbers yet, but intend to do all the work ourselves and save a little dough while eating off paper plates until the Fall……Christmas….next year…

    1. Awesome! Sounds like we’re going to have the exact same cabinets! Good luck with your install! This was another DIY we decided to skip after learning of all the work involved and all the myriad ways I could royally screw it up, lol! There are certain high-profile jobs I’m just not willing to tackle anymore, as the downside risk far outweighs the potential savings. Please send us before and after pics – we’d love to see the transformation!

  20. Mercy, I said several curse words when I read San’s quote vs. what the HD contractor quoted. Sweet mother of a rip off! One day when hubby retires from the Coast Guard and we finally settle into one home never to move again, reading experiences like this will be very handy if we have remodeling to do. Very excited to follow along during your process!!! We’re currently waiting to move into our new rental (living in an Air BnB until then) and seeing any type of kitchen post makes me antsy to unpack and settle into my new-to-me kitchen.

    1. I know, right? Yeesh, what a rip! If you can find just one good contractor, you may have good luck finding others through that person. A good contractor would only hire other good contractors to do the work he cannot do.

  21. I do love reading these blogs, poor Greg without a kitchen, how depressing for you! I ‘d love your old kitchen, but our tiny council bungalow would fit inside it at least twice. Can’t wait to see the new kitchen iknow with you two it will be magnificent. I’m still working on my forest fairy / wildlife theme bedroom. The painting is done the furniture has been rearranged umpteen times (think it’ssettled now) and i’m slowly adding bits and pieces making stuff and digging things out of storage that i had squirreled away. Good luck from rainy Wales with the big kitchen installation.

    1. Thank you, Catherine! I’m happy to hear you’re doing well and keeping buey in these less-than-perfect times. Keep up the good work, and don’t forget to show off your bedroom when it’s done!