DIY Kitchen Remodel – The Plan

In last week’s post, we discussed the reasons why we are starting a kitchen remodel at House 1.  Since that time, Ms. DIY Landlord and I have mulled over several options and have settled on what we think is the most cost-effective solution for addressing the small kitchen size.

Remodeling Plan Highlights

Here is an overview of the key changes which we will be making in the kitchen:

  • Eliminate the entrance to the utility closet which currently occupies a portion of the wall on stove side of the kitchen to free up space for additional cabinets and countertop.
  • Replace current 20 cubic feet top-freezer refrigerator with new 25 cubic feet side-by-side refrigerator.
  • Extend the existing island on one end to meet the wall and convert the island into a peninsula.
  • Remove the knee wall which sits behind the current island cabinets.  This eliminates the current raised bar which will then be replaced with a more functional counter-height bar.
  • Remove all existing cabinets and install new cabinets.
  • Remove existing laminate countertops and replace with granite countertops.
  • Replace existing overhead lighting with two rows of three recessed ceiling lights.
  • Install under cabinet lighting.

So in summary, we will gut the kitchen completely to start fresh with a clean slate.  That way we can freely reconfigure plumbing and electrical to our liking and then follow up with installation of new, higher grade cabinets and countertops.

Remodeling Goals

With the changes we plan to make to the kitchen, we will end up with the following improvements.

25% More Refrigerator Space

The existing cabinet layout only allows for a 30-inch wide top-freezer refrigerator with a maximum capacity of 20 cubic feet.  This is the only house we manage which does not have space for a full-size side-by-side refrigerator.  For ease of maintenance and interchangeability, we like to have the same type of appliances in each house.  The new cabinet layout will accommodate a larger, full-size 25 cubic feet side-by-side refrigerator which is the standard offering in all of our other houses.

The most basic 25 cubic feet stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator, such as this  GE GSS25GSHSS Side by Side Refrigerator, costs just $300 dollars more than the most basic 20 cubic feet stainless steel top-freezer refrigerator of the same brand, such as this GE GTS21FSKSS Top Freezer Refrigerator.  This $300 one time expense can easily command another $30 more in monthly rent so it easily pays for itself within the first year.  For the remaining decade or so of the refrigerator’s lifespan, that $30 a month will just add to your profit margin.

100% More Counter Space

A much needed 6 square feet of counter space will be added on the stove side of the kitchen.  This increases the existing counter space on this side of the kitchen by 83%.  On the sink side of the kitchen, we will also gain another 8 square feet of counter space. This is a 114% increase in counter space on the sink side of the kitchen.

In total, an additional 13 square foot of counter space will be added to the kitchen for a 100% increase.

102% More Cabinet Space

The remodel will add additional 33 linear inch for wall and base cabinets on the stove side of the kitchen.  For the wall cabinets, we will be taking advantage of the 9 foot ceilings in the house by upgrading from the current 36 inch tall cabinets to 42 inch tall wall cabinets. On the sink side of the kitchen, an additional 36 linear inches of base cabinets will also be added.  Lastly the cabinet above the refrigerator will be upgraded to a full depth 24 inch deep wall cabinet to maximize storage space.

In total, the remodel will effectively double the cabinet space in the current kitchen.

Spacious Counter Dining and Versatile Counter Space

Currently the step up bar offers an 11 inch deep dining surface for two people.  With the change to a counter height bar,  the depth of the dining surface increases to a minimum of 14 inches and a maximum of 36 inches for spacious counter dining.  The conversion to a counter height bar will also result in a more functional, practical, and versatile countertop space.  For example, the image below shows a kitchen which underwent the transformation from a step-up bar to a counter height bar.

The conversion of the island to a peninsula will also extend the bar dining space and double the bar seating capacity to four people.  With the raised bar removed, the knee wall will no longer be necessary and can also be eliminated.  This will result in more under counter leg room for improved dining experience and maximum comfort.

Increased Ambient and Workspace Lighting

With the introduction of recessed ceiling lights, the ambient lighting in the  kitchen area should improve significantly.  New under cabinet lights will provide supplemental and enhanced workspace lighting for cooking and food preparation.

Cabinet Shopping

Now that we have decided to rebuild our kitchen from scratch, we are ready to kick off our kitchen remodeling project with some demolition!

Mr. DIY Landlord

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