Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Kitchen.

Earlier this week I posted on house envy and stated that one of my goals for awhile has been to make our house a home. Most of my envy is actually directed toward people with nice kitchens. Not even fancy kitchens... just ones that aren't completely gross. You'll soon see why. When we toured, prior to making an offer on our house, the kitchen served as a good bargaining chip for negotiating a better price. Realistically, it was probably one of the biggest reasons why the house was on the market 30 days before we saw it. On the surface, the kitchen appeared functional but after moving in, it has been one frustration after the next. This kitchen has seriously been kicking our butts. Every single one of the little upgrades we've done to this room have somehow come undone or gone awry. More than once over the past year I've said to DH that I would be willing to take out a loan to have it completely redone - and that's saying a lot!

Behold the room I loathe most:

Big frustrations:

- The counter. Aside from the hideous hunter green colour.. the joints are heaving. I got giddy when I saw a product at Home Depot that sealed the counter and gave it a new colour for a fraction of the price of a new one.. until I realized we couldn't really use it anyway since a previous owner cut a chunk out of the back of the countertop (wtf?).

- The floor. The original laminate had water bubbles in front of the dishwasher and sink - we replaced it with ceramic tile (approx. $600 spent) but obviously didn't do it right because the grout is cracking, some of the tiles are loose, and B dropped a heavy can on it which taking out a big chunk in one of the tiles. Not to mention our freezer occasionally leaks when it isn't shut properly which has made the grout all yucky (even though we sealed it?). This is our second botched attempt at tiling. We spent $1500 tiling the kitchen, foyer, and hallway of our old house only to have to rip them all up and replace with laminate flooring a couple of years later. At this point, I'm at a loss for the floor. Hiring someone to tile isn't cheap.. but do we attempt it again?

- The stove. Cannot pull this out easily to clean. It is wedged too closely in between the countertops. DH did manage to get it out when we did the floors. Nothing like scrubbing someone else's curry and spice sludge off the sides with a toothbrush. There are also some grease stains on the back by the clock which just won't come out.

- The range hood. The old range hood was so gross inside. We quickly replaced it with a white microwave range hood (a couple hundred dollars). Except we have the same issues but with grease staining the microwave which just looks even worse.

- The dishwasher. A little over a year ago the dishwasher that came with the place broke. We did manage to pick a better used one up off Kijiji for $80 and used that without too many issues until last weekend when the bottom of it cracked and it leaked water into the basement. Thankfully it hadn't been a slow leak so the water damage is minimal.

- The plumbing. Upon taking out aforementioned second dishwasher and deciding we'd wait to replace it, we realized that there was no shut off valve from the water supply to the dishwasher so we couldn't turn the water to the house back on without completely redoing the plumbing under the sink or hooking up another dishwasher. When DH got into redoing the plumbing we found that the plumber had soldered the copper pipes directly into the faucet which meant we had to replace the faucet too. This tuned out to be a blessing because the old faucet had knobs which collected dirt in the grooves and it was annoying to use after handling eggs or raw meat.  So another $80 in plumbing materials and a basic faucet and we are dishwasher-less at the moment but at least we don't have shoddy plumbing and we won't get salmonella poisoning.

- The sliding patio doors. These are drafty, the glass is scratched from a big dog of a previous owner, and one side is full of dirt/gunk that I just can't scrub out. The screen was also broken which we replaced ourselves for about $10 but our kids quickly broke that one too. We've also replaced the vertical blinds twice since moving in since the kids keep playing in them or ripping them down for fun. I toyed with putting in curtains except I like the wipability of blinds. Less things to collect dust and dirt are better for us since we are a household of allergy sufferers not to mention the food splatter that comes from the boys.

- The lighting. Beautiful globe lights. You can see we're missing one over the eating area. It fell off and shattered. I think the naked bulb goes well with the rest of the kitchen.

Surprisingly, the 80's looking tile backsplash and cabinets don't even bother me that much.

Since taking out a loan isn't an option with our debt repayment plan and me soon to be not working, a complete overhaul is not in the cards.  But we are planning on spending some of our tax return this Spring on making a few upgrades to make the space more tolerable.

Some of our immediate plans are:

- Replace countertop with a new laminate counter top ($800)
- Replace dishwasher ($300)
- Replace kick plates at the base of the cupboards ($50)
- Do spot repairs/replace tiles - ($50) we still have a box of tiles and most of the supplies. It will just take time but this should tide us over for a year or two until we can replace the entire floor - again.
- Update two light fixtures ($275)
- Use Grout Renew to freshen up the backsplash tile ($25)

Do you have a room in your house you absolutely loathe?


Martina - GetReal Momma said...

keep an eye on scratch/dent section of home depot or lowes.
our fridge has a fair size scratch down the side of it and because of it we saved over $800. We also took the floor model of our dishwasher saving another $400 (both of these were purchased at Lowes)

Kristy said...

Ooo great tip Martina. We got a dishwasher from Lowes for our old house and were really happy with it. I'll have to go back there when the time comes.

Mo said...

And check out Habitat for Humanity, and their ReStore stores, they often have appliance, as well as cabinets and counter tops, and light fixtures (like them on Facebook and they post pictures of new stuff as it arrives!)

Kristy said...

Thanks Mo! I never even knew they had a Facebook page but I love the ReStore!