After seven long months, we are beyond excited and relieved that our DIY Kitchen Renovation Project is finally complete! Planning started officially in May (and pretty much the first year we lived in the house), but the chaos that consumed our lives really began on Demolition Day. Some how, some way (through a lot of hard work, tears, takeout, stress and support/help from family and friends), we managed to live in our house with two kids, while it underwent a massive transformation, mostly done by ourselves.
Here are some of the "Before" shots; our house had already been significantly altered away from original Eichler style and features, so we knew there were great original "bones" to get back to.... through a LOT of undoing and careful planning.
Our old kitchen (Note, kitchen below is nowhere near an original Eichler kitchen, but instead, has seen "renovations" over time that weren't original to Eichler homes..
Before the Eichler Kitchen Remodel
After the Eichler Kitchen Remodel
Our end goal: to rebuild a new, modern kitchen and living space, reworking the layout so that it would be an open concept floorplan. We really wanted to bring back many of the original features and characteristics of Eichler homes, many of which had been removed or hidden by previous owners (for example, original glass transom/windows covered in sheet rock and vinyl grid doors instead of more streamlined aluminum framed sliding doors). We were also on a limited budget, so planned to tackle a majority of the work ourselves, while spending larger parts of the budgets on feature items such as the tiled backsplash, Bluestar Range and lighting, while saving money on labor costs.
And here it is... what used to be the old dining room is now a gallery kitchen with large island. The old, traditional (non-Eichler) lighting and fans have been removed and replaced with globe and modern lighting; the back (formerly vinyl) sliding door replaced with an aluminum version and clear glass transom, to match the original ones that would have been part of the house before.
Steps of Our Eichler Kitchen Remodel
Here were the major phases and materials we used for the final design:
- Installation of VCT (vinyl composite
- Ikea Cabinet installation with Semihandmade Doors
- DIY concrete counters
- Bluestar Gas Range
- Vent Hood Installation
- Fireclay Diamond Tile
- Miseno Sink from Build.com and Grohe Faucet (ebay find)
- LED toe-kick lighting
- Tom Dixon Beat Lights from YLighting.com
- Aluminum Milgard Sliding door and Transom replacement
- Wine Fridge
Q & A of the Remodel
What was the hardest part(s) of the project? There were many, but the first that come to mind:
1. Demolition and cleanup
2. Prepping the concrete floor slab. We removed the porcelain tile, then we needed to get the surface back to a level, smooth state, in order to install the VCT. There was a ton of bits of crumbly concrete and leftover mortar that had to be grinded down. That was a project-low.
3. Concrete counters. A ton of trial and error; getting the mix just right, waiting for it to set (days), then seeing if the surface was counter like and not chunky-like (the first 3 tries were the latter). Then we had to build 7 more slabs.
4. Living in a house that is in complete renovation mode. Dust, debris, no working kitchen, small children. That was not fun.
SO GLAD WE'RE DONE!
MUCH thanks to everyone who helped us out mixing, hauling, delivering, lifting, and sweating with us.