DIY

10 Lessons Learned From Building a Kitchen

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Melanie from Washington recently wrote this to me:

“Hey Kate, I read that when you remodeled your house a few years ago, that you designed and built your kitchen.  We’re in the beginning stages of gutting our very dated kitchen and we’re starting over from scratch!  We’re so excited!!  My question for you is, were there any pitfalls you ran into?  Anything you learned along the way you’d be willing to share?  What should we know about building a kitchen starting from four bare walls?  Help!”

Great question Melanie!  Me and my Mister built our kitchen over five years ago, so to answer Melanie’s question, I had to dig through the archives and pull out all my files to refresh my recollection of the process of building our kitchen from scratch.  It resulted in a mild rash and minor heart palpitations, but I’ve since recovered.

No, I’m kidding.  I absolutely love kitchen design, and loved the entire process of choosing all the details of the one in our own home.  I’m one of those people that if I overheard at the grocery store you were building a new kitchen, I’d butt my ponytail right into the conversation and want to chat all about appliances, countertops and the exact style of door front you’re choosing for your cabinets.  “Really?  Oh, fabulous!”

Building a kitchen from scratch is an enormous task.  Unlike throwing the latest most popular shade of paint on your walls, a kitchen must be a space that can stand the test of time.  My kitchen suits the style of my home, and also my own personal tastes as well.  While there are a few things I wish I’d done differently, for the most part, I really love the floor plan and finishes we continue to live with every day.

Ten Lessons Learned from Building Our Kitchen

cg kates kitchen

 

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Basic Board and Batten

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Board and batten is all the rage in DIY land, and for very good reason.  It’s a fantastic way to add architectural interest to your home and a project any homeowner can tackle.  Board and batten adds clean lines, breaks up bare walls, and complements many styles of modern homes, and these days it’s de rigueur to install it yourself, and then blog about it. 

I call my project basic board and batten because for me it was extremely simple to install, but that was because I had no corners to deal with, no strange angles to cut or windows to work around.  Just a simple light switch to accommodate along a straight wall. We did a full room of board and batten, you can read about that here.

basic board and batten

I’m going to install this same board and batten treatment in my son’s room, and in that space, I will run into all those issues named above, so I’ll be sure to do a follow up post addressing those more difficult cuts and installation when I tackle that project later this year.

For yesterday’s before and after project, I had the four supplies I needed to whip up this wall treatment rather quickly:  1) pre-primed MDF, 2) a compound miter saw, 3) a fast brad nailer/compressor, and 4) a handy husband helping me cut and nail boards on his extended lunch hour.  

Installing Simple Board & Batten

My Supplies:  4 x 8” panel (1/8 inch thick);  ½ x 3 ½” pre primed MDF boards for base and top; ¼ x 2 ¼ pre primed MDF boards for battens; ¼ x 2 ¼ strip for ledge; 11/16” cove molding; jigsaw; compound miter saw; brad nailer; Gorilla glue; spackle, caulk. 

1) Remove your existing baseboards if their thickness will not accommodate the bottom of your battens (the vertical strips).  Most existing baseboards will not allow for the battens to sit on top, which is why I replaced it (see below). We talk about cutting and reusing baseboards for board and batten in this post.

new baseboard

 

 

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