Thursday, May 2, 2013


Honestly that is how I felt after this one point during this project I ended up on the floor in the fetal position. Pro tip: don't smell old pipes that were once connected to a garbage disposal. 

Upon our home inspection we learned that the garbage disposal under the sink was not working – we purchased the home as-is but included an inspection clause just to make sure that there were not any serious structural issues or other significant problems that we would consider “deal-breakers” to give us a chance to walk away from the sale. The broken garbage disposal was not deemed a deal breaker and after some research we determined it was something we could tackle on our own. After determining that the reset button did not fix the problem and after trying to use a hex wrench to get the blades moving we decided to replace it and do it on our own.
We first did some research on what kind of disposal to purchase and ultimately went with the Badger 5

 (find out more about the disposal and listen to their sounds here: Insinkerator)

It was determined to be an economical choice while also not being the loudest disposal on the market – honestly I don’t really care if it is loud or not. At Home Depot they have buttons you can press where it mimics the sounds of each make and model. They all sound the same to me except for the model that is the most expensive which is pretty quiet but really I could care less since it is a garbage disposal.  I can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on a garbage disposal.

Also most garbage disposals, including the one we purchased, come ready for hardwiring into the house but the old one we removed had plugged right into an outlet in the cabinet so we purchased a kit to turn the disposal into a plug-in kind. I figure we will eventually hardwire it but in the interest of time and money it plugs in for now.
After getting our disposal delivered (we ended up buying it online to save a few bucks) I watched a guy install a garbage disposal step by step on youtube at least twelve times. 

Once I felt comfortable and somewhat confident I told RC it was time….
The first thing we did was remove the old one which was actually the hardest part – finding that to be a common theme at this house. The pipes were totally stuck and would not loosen for us to remove it. After spraying copious amounts of WD-40 (the BEST invention EVER) on the pipe joints and borrowing a pipe wrench we were finally able to get the old disposal off.  That is after I was in the fetal position on the kitchen floor sobbing uncontrollably because I was upset it wasn’t coming off. I was having a bit of a rough week...

Once it was off and out from under the sink and I threw it in the garbage (literally I threw it which helped get rid of my pent up aggression against the project) we went step by step with the guy in the youtube video. I of course had the laptop in the kitchen on the floor- seriously though the guy makes it look super easy. We installed it and had it operable in about 30 minutes. It actually works – pretty well I might add – and we are still married so I guess we can count this project as a success.
It is amazing how much smoother these projects go when you have the right tools...guess who got a pipe wrench for Christmas?!? When it comes time to add a dishwasher I think we might need to remove it to connect the dishwasher to it so I am glad we now know how to do it and have the proper tools.
I wish I would have captured more pictures - this was a 2 man job so I didn;t have the ability to take any progress shots.

This is one of those posts where I like it put it out there that we are not professionals but most of the time we learn how to do things around the house by doing a little research and watching some youtubes to realize that we are capable...and so are you. Like I always say, if you can read directions you can probably do it!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


We have our cabinets installed and we are thrilled with the way things are looking around here. There are so many options out there when it comes to kitchen cabinets but luckily I had already narrowed down the door style I wanted. This helped us decide what kind of cabinets we wanted.
I had decided on the “shaker” door style a long time ago when I would lustfully look at kitchen cabinets (we had not even moved into this house yet!). The part that really made me think was the color of the cabinets. I love white kitchens and they are so hot right now. Almost every kitchen they re-do on TV is white. Our last house had white cabinets that we had painted and so going into this process I was pretty sure that I wanted white cabinets. As we looked at many sample doors on showroom floors I began to quickly realize how the painted white doors showed cracks really badly in the joints and the fingerprints were just gross. RC and I are relatively clean people and I don’t mind cleaning smudges off the cabinets but cracks are whack. Also, I don’t consider myself “trendy” (you may be reading this and saying “yes you are” but I like to think I am not; agree to disagree – okay?). White kitchens are so hot right now and I am concerned that it is a trend meaning that in 5 years I will hate my white cabinets because I should have gone with wood cabinets since wood never goes out of style. Both RC and I love dark wood and much of our furniture is dark wood so I went with my second love of cherry cabinets.  I don’t have to worry about dirty smudges, or the cracks, or my white cabinets looking dated in 5 years. It was a very difficult process for me - I still lust after white kitchens I see.
We looked at a bunch of different manufacturers and ultimately decided on Wolf Cabinets. They are made with solid wood doors, plywood construction, dovetailed drawers, and soft closing hinges and drawers, and made in the USA.
I must say that the last part really made me decide that these were the cabinets for us. Those of you who know us personally know that we love products made in the USA and well, RC just loves the USA.

We worked with the kitchen designer and had a design that we were able to walk out with that day. This was possible because I had taken measurements and drawn out a map to bring with us so we could tell them how many linear feet of cabinets we needed. Since we had our map we were able to tell him what kind of cabinets we wanted in what space so we knew exactly what they would cost.
Below is my map compared to the map the designer gave us.

The kitchen designer worked out a layout for us and we were able to walk out that day with our new layout. It looks pretty close to what I had in mind.
So we ordered the cabinets that day and just had to wait for them to be delivered to the warehouse so we could pick them up.

Things we learned:
  • Quotes are typically given in “linear feet”. This gives you an idea of what you will ultimately spend on cabinets – of course there are a bunch of different options that can increase your cost but this is a good baseline. You ultimately pay by the cabinet you choose (lazy susan, double door, single door, drawers, etc.)
  • Going to the showroom with a “map” of your kitchen with measurements of walls, windows and appliances is key.
  • Cabinets come in increments of 3” in width.
  • Custom cabinets are very expensive – standard sized cabinets are just as nice.
  • Standard cabinet dimensions: Height 36”, Depth 24 inches.
  • Patience is a virtue.