My wife and I just finished a small renovation in our kitchen. It wasn’t overly intensive, but it definitely made a huge difference in the look and feel of the space. Our kitchen was a small rectangle crammed between our dining room and the garage. It was a very small with limited storage and felt dark and cramped due to a dingy stained pine floor and stained pine cabinets. We decided to push our entry door from the garage out into the garage about 3 feet to open the space and make the kitchen into an “L” shape and use the new space to build a pantry. We also added a side panel at the refrigerator to allow us to pull the upper cabinet over the fridge out to the front of it for better access and giving that elevation better definition. Finally we replaced the flooring throughout the kitchen, living, and dining rooms with a light colored American cherry laminate, replaced the faucet, replaced the door pulls, and finally replaced the blinds.
The biggest hiccup in the plan was the fact that the wall we moved was load bearing. I didn’t want to have a header protruding into the kitchen since I felt that would reduce the impact of opening the room. I decided to solve this problem by putting a post on either site of the new opening, installing a double lam beam above the ceiling by cutting out the ceiling joists, the reattaching them with joist hangers to the new beam. After this was done, I removed the wall from underneath the new beam and the ceiling did not fall!
After the pantry was built, the cabinets were modified, the ceiling was re-supported, and the flooring was installed, we painted the cabinets and doors and installed the new pulls to complete the renovation, giving the kitchen a more open and modern look and feel.
More photos here: https://picasaweb.google.com/103573314747393806853/Kitchen
Total Cost of the Renovation: $2,300
Total time: 5 weekends
Tools used: All of them!
Bosch table saw 4100-09, Makita Miter Saw(LS1016l), Milwaukee Sawzall(6538-21), Porter Cable Random Orbital Sander(343K), Porter Cable Router(690LR), Makita Drill / Driver(BDF452HW) , Porter Cable compressor and guns (PC3PAK), Milwaukee Circular Saw (6391-21), Bosch Jig Saw(1587AVSK), RotoZip Spiral Saw (RZ2000-52-RT)