It all started with an electrical problem.
Outlets on half the house weren’t working. Eric, preferring the family operation to the home improvement corporation, found Chuck Niglio through Nicholson Plumbing, who had recently replaced our furnace and hot water heater. Chuck came by on a Saturday morning and in about 30 minutes figured out that a light switch in the dining room that did not appear to be connected to any light fixture was actually responsible for tripping all the outlets on the back of the house. We got to talking about more needs … bathroom and attic fans and maybe replacing the bubble lights in the kitchen. That’s when we heard about Margaret.
Margaret is a kitchen designer and Chuck’s niece. We were telling him about our appliance woes with the upper oven not heating, the downdraft 1960s cooktop roaring like a jet engine, the ice-maker not ice-making, the dishwasher groaning and the faucet spraying every which way including up so the question became … small appliance repair or kitchen overhaul?
If we’re buying new appliances, do we replace the cabinets at the same time – after all, they’ll be different sizes. If we’re getting new cabinets, we’ll have to do the countertops too. So basically, if you want the top oven to work you need all new appliances, cabinets and countertops. Oven repair is really expensive!
Before calling Margaret we spent one Sunday driving around the industrial side of Rockville, randomly visiting kitchen design centers to try on the idea of a new kitchen – high-end, low-end, and everything in between. One thing we knew for sure… we didn’t want granite countertops or stainless steel appliances. Being original, we definitely had a better idea from watching too many episodes of House Hunters and Property Brothers.
What we learned … there’s no upper limit on what can be spent on kitchen remodel. We invited Joe and Margaret to the house for a design and price consultation. Joe couldn’t find a solution for less than 6 digits and 6 months of construction. We considered it, since we spend half our year in the Greek Islands on our yacht, but Casey insisted on attending high school so we had to turn that option down.
Enter Margaret, a practical business woman with an office in the back of a stone cutting yard and a team of international demolishers, cabinet assemblers, installers, gas runners, countertop cutters and tile layers. Coming in at 1/5 the cost of Joe, Margaret said her team could be in and out in 5 days, before school started. Heaven forbid Casey not be able to cook ramen at 3pm on a Tuesday.
Margaret provided us with a 3D computer design, a referral to HH Gregg for appliances and the suggestion that if we wanted a backsplash we should go out and find some tile. So for the past two weeks we ran around Rockville, researched everything on the internet and today boxed up our kitchen life. Margaret and company show up tomorrow morning to demolish our vintage kitchen. Let the updating begin!!
The kitchen as it looked in the sales brochure
The kitchen we are remodeling