Grown-up decision time

Hey, remember that TV show I was on? And I won a bunch of money? And I made a comment about remodeling our kitchen? You don’t? What the hell is wrong with you?!?!

For those of you paying attention, the comment about the kitchen wasn’t just me trying to get quality, non-dork, face time on TV. Next to paying down credit cards, that was the number one option The Woman and I had decided upon for spending any significant winnings that might befall us. Actually, there was a more complicated mental list that included completely renovating the second floor, but wussing out on the Rudyard Kipling guess prevented that plan…

For now let’s just say that the kitchen is job number one… alright, the growing baby is job number one. So we’re back to calling it number two. You all still following? Great. The point is that we’ve talked to a few places about remodeling costs, and it looks like we’re ready to move forward. But there’s still some hemming and hawing and hand wringing (by me) as various numbers have begun to crawl ever upward. Sure, the cabinets are fairly reasonable, even with all of the upgrades, but the extra work to make sure the entire room is completely up to snuff has squashed any notion that we’d be able to do multiple jobs (i.e. fix up a bathroom) this year, and also has me worried about longterm effects.

When it comes down to it, our kitchen is totally functional as it stands. Now that we’ve replaced our broken oven and upgraded the refrigerator to a decently-sized unit, cooking has become less of a chore. So the debate has become whether a full remodel is excessive or a sound investment. Guarantee me that we’re still living in this house in 10 years and it’s a no-brainer. However the skyrocketing property taxes in my county suggest that is not a certainty.

But there’s no two ways about it – we either do all of the work or none of it. I made a decision not to half-ass things with the house. Ripping out old, poorly configured cabinets and replacing them with new, poorly configured cabinets is a waste of money. Tearing up an old, sagging tile floor and replacing it with a new, sagging tile floor is a waste of money. Ignoring plumbing problems when everything is going to be completely exposed for a week is just asking for it to comeback to haunt you further down the road. Couple these things with issues like questionable lighting and outlets, an undersized pantry, and a lack of a dishwasher and there’s plenty for the contractor to do.

But what would you leave off? Skipping work to save one or even two thousand dollars right now will just leave me aggravated when I realize how much it will cost to fix things later.

We may still skimp on the demo work, because apparently soffits in kitchens are some sort of magical contraption that more than doubles the cost for contractors. I’ve got a sledgehammer and a case of Yuengling that says my friends can make short work of it. Still, something tells me that my engineering degree still isn’t enough to confidently wire new electrical outlets next to a gas pipe.

This decision was a hell of a lot easier when we were just looking at cabinets and DIY installation…