It’s been a while since our latest home improvement project, so I decided to take on something big – the kitchen. I really need more cabinet space – I can’t keep things looking clean because there isn’t enough space for everything. And I’m not a person who has doubles of everything, or lots of unnecessary dishes – I really don’t. I dislike clutter and work to constantly weed out things that aren’t being used that take up space.
So while the kitchen was more than adequate from the older couple that we bought the house from, it leaves something to be desired for a family of ten. But I don’t have a huge budget, and the expense of a total kitchen overhaul can’t be justified just because I need some more cabinets. So I decided to see if I could find a set of used kitchen cabinets that would meet my needs and fit my budget.
After keeping an eye out for quite a while, I found exactly what I wanted last week. That wasn’t so easy because my ideal was to find a set that included a cabinet for a built-in double oven, as well as a number of cabinets that only a large kitchen would have. The number of cabinets I needed alone eliminated most of the sets I found. I don’t mind in the least buying something used, but I wanted something in excellent condition that didn’t look dated. That wasn’t easy, either, since lots of sets look like they’re from a certain time period or are in rough shape. This set not only had a large number of cabinets and the oven cabinet, but included also was the double oven, cooktop, and stainless steel double sink.
I went to see the cabinets in person, and they were even better than what I was hoping to find. They were from a kitchen done ten years ago, installed in the home of a then 87 year old man and his wife. The kitchen was in perfect condition (you can imagine it didn’t get much vigorous use), so I asked the son, who is now living there, why they were redoing the kitchen. He told me that his father, who’s now 97, has too much money in his estate and they want to redo it now using his money to lessen the tax burden later on as well as boost the value of the home. The problem was the price – the seller wouldn’t set one. He told me he would take bids from interested individuals and the highest bidder would win.
I was fortunate enough to speak to the secretary the first time I called, who told me he would take the highest bid over x dollars. So that told me his bottom line. It was more than I had expected to pay, but I felt it was really worth it. I told him my offer (of course using the figure that his secretary mentioned), and told him I would take the entire set. But after seeing how nice they were, I wasn’t hopeful that I would be the highest bidder. I knew I could easily be outbid but my offer was really the maximum I could pay.
Well, a day later he called me to tell me he was going to sell the set to me. It seems that lots of people wanted parts of the set, and he could have made more money selling it off piecemeal. And others were making real lowball offers. Initially he was going to wait several days and take all the offers, but then after a day and a lot of phone calles, he decided that since I had already made him a fair offer and would take everything, it was too much of a hassle to keep taking more offers that weren’t suitable. So I was the lucky winner!
We plan to pick everything up on Saturday or Sunday night – they were still installed when we saw them and we had to wait until his delivery of new cabinets arrived for his contractor to take everything down. We went shopping yesterday and picked up the countertops at a building salvage store. Most of the things they use are from homes that have been remodeled and are the items that are pulled out. But sometimes they have new items that were overstocks or a contractor will have someone who orders something and the order comes in the wrong size, so he gives it to them. It’s really a matter of luck since it’s not like they have a consistent inventory.
It turns out that this week they put all the countertops on sale for 50% of the listed price (which is already very low). And then amazingly enough, not only did I find the amount of countertops that I needed, they were brand new and exactly what I was envisioning. Because we had 7 of our kids with us, along with 2 other children who were spending a couple of days with us, we couldn’t take it home in the van as we initially expected. We ended up having to rent a Uhaul, but even including the truck rental, it was a super price.
I’m really looking forward to getting started now that we have the countertops. I also bought a used black cooktop since the one that is included with the set is white and my other appliances are bisque. I’ll sell the white one when I get it. Those were the main things that I was missing, so now I just need to get some hardware and miscellaneous supplies and we’ll be ready to get started. My goal is to have the kitchen finished (except for tiling the backsplash) within five days – that includes replacing all of the cabinets, counters, appliances, and sink. It’s pretty ambitious since my oldest son (who is more experienced at this stuff and installed the kitchenette with me last year for the basement) is in school all day and dh isn’t home much. But dh said he’ll take a day off from work, so though it will be a big push, I think it’s doable. I like big projects, but I don’t like having things drag out. I just like to envision it, get it going, and get it done!