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The kitchen was one of the rooms we did not intend to originally renovate. I had a picture in my mind of the perfect kitchen and we thought we could live with the one in the house for the time being and renovate the kitchen at a later date. Of course if you read my Getting Settled post you might remember that the kitchen is where I found much of the feces and some dead critters! Plus that smell that came out of the cabinets….I have no idea what it was but it still haunts my dreams…. So the kitchen got bumped up to a full reno right away like most of the rest of the house.
Before I share the before pictures I thought I would take a minute to answer a few questions we’ve gotten about the renovations….
Does your husband have a background in construction?
Yes, the hubby has worked in both construction and home repair for many years (although it’s not what he does currently). There’s no way we would have gotten through the renovation without his experience!
Did you do all the work in the house yourselves?
Yes. With the exception of a few weekends of help from my dad and brother, my husband did all of the work with me helping when possible. That’s why the work has taken so long.
Why did you put ___ here or here? It looks weird….
Although some things (like electrical outlets) might look weird in pictures, it’s hard to see the structure of the house inside the walls which led us to the placements of things. And as far as electric goes…we did all the wiring but it still had to be inspected to make sure it complies with new construction codes and electric codes these days are rather strange! Also, the house is very crooked and angles tend to look a little off in pictures. While the house is structurally sound, we did have to replace the main brace in the basement that had rotted away some time ago and not been replaced when it should have been. For 124 years old though, it’s doing pretty good. 🙂
Was it really expensive?
Not really. We made sure to purchase a home well below the amount we could afford (1/3 of the price of our previous home). We paid cash for all the renovation work from money that we had saved, random money that came in from closed accounts after selling our old home, some money from selling off personal items, and the rest of the money was every last penny that didn’t go to bills during the 6 months of renovations. Sometimes we had to wait an entire month before buying more things for the house but paying cash was worth it! So now we only have the debt of the original mortgage and a practically brand new house.
If you have any more questions just let me know in the comments!
Back to the kitchen. Yes, previous to our renovation it was laid out very poorly. It was dirty, everything was really old, and nothing was original so I didn’t feel the need to keep anything. We also discovered more lovely (not) plaster in the kitchen.
Here is the west wall in the kitchen. I love this window! Although I think I may love it less in the summer with the afternoon sun coming in, in the winter it’s very nice to have so much natural light in this small space. I will hardly need to use any lights besides late at night. These are the cupboards that were old and so so smelly. I asked hubby to save them for outside storage but they were so brittle they just broke apart when he tore them out. The sink was cast iron and enamel, kinda cool but it was really rusted and not in good condition.
This is the east wall in the kitchen. It’s only a half wall and wasn’t even big enough to have this stove and fridge on it so they stuck out into the walkway. It was just a very awkward use of space and make the room look super tiny. (The room is 7×10 feet) The brown paint didn’t help anything. The window in this side of the room was still an old one and needed to be replaced. The larger window was newer so it was fine.
Here you can see the kitchen from the dining room. On the west wall in the dining room (right side of this photo) there was a large pantry with deep shelves. The door to that opened into the dining room (which you will be able to see in the dining room pictures soon).
And then it looked like this! No more cupboards, walls, or anything else! Half of this room was part of the original house, we think it was a pantry. The other half was added on in the 1930’s. There was a small amount of insulation in the newer area but it was mostly in bad shape (tunneled by mice). In the 1930’s there must have been a cookstove in the kitchen because the vent pipe was hiding in the wall.
From this picture you can see the entire west side of the house. On the right is the bathroom, on the left is the kitchen. This is looking at both from the dining room. The wall in the middle of them (in the dining room) is where the pantry was. (The door went into the dining room on this side.) You can see the placement of the old chimney in this picture too before we removed it. Yes, the ceiling was charred above the chimney, just surface charring though.
We had to put a new floor in the kitchen and it was the only room in the house we could not restore the original floors. The floor was sloping at least 3 inches from one side of the room to the other. My hubby shimmed it all up so it would be level again and put in a new sub-floor.
All new insulation! Much better. Like the rest of the house we also reinforced the ceiling before putting on the new ceiling.
Farmhouse Renovation Part 1: Moving On
Farmhouse Renovation Part 2: Getting Started
Renovating the Farmhouse Bathroom: Before Pictures
Renovating the Farmhouse Bathroom: After Pictures
Renovating the Farmhouse Landing: Before Pictures
Renovating the Farmhouse Landing: After Pictures
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