Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dream Kitchen may NEVER be realized

As we’ve been interviewing & getting contractor quotes for our kitchen renovation, a problem has arisen over the electric. The kitchen was renovated & electric updated in the 70’s, but we knew it would need additional rewiring, as there aren’t enough outlets, not enough dedicated circuits for appliances & some appliances are relocating. There is a panel/fuse box in the kitchen that has a cabinet mounted over it. We knew this was not to code and planned to not put one over it. We had planned to put a base cabinet below it. We were told that also couldn’t be done.
We’ve known for years that our 1947 home had some areas with very old wiring (non-grounded, cloth insulated) and we knew there were issues with an old meter location & some strange old panels & boxes outside, but weren’t planning to deal with all that yet. One electrician told us if we wanted to permit the kitchen it would most likely trigger a complete rewire. He suggested we relocate the panel in the kitchen. His quote was $11-13K for the electric alone. We had another GC out who told us he thought that price was very high & referred us to another electrician. His quote just came in and is even higher.
We can’t afford both the kitchen & the electric. There’s no sense adding to the fire hazards that exist by not permitting the kitchen, so we’ll have to work on the rewiring. Also adding to my blues, I went to the website where I planned to order the cabinets to price a revised layout if we move the panel & found the prices had jumped in the past 4 months and I’m now looking at an additional $1500 for my cabinets. Guess I need to win a lottery.


  1. Boo! I have no good advice at all, but I just wanted to express my sympathy! My house was built as part of a "community living neighborhood" (i.e., commune), sometime in the late '60s. Every time I've had to replace a major appliance (water heater, fridge), it's always been the odd-sized one ... hard to find. Pretty much I just pretend my electric box is allllll good ...

  2. Thanks Christina for the sympathy. Yep when you have an old home & not enough money, you make do & keep your fingers crossed. But old house do have more charm it seems, that's why we stick to them. I still always believe in preservation.

  3. Your earlier post about repainting the brick made me stop and think, too. I have an enormous brick fireplace -- starts on the bottom floor, goes up to the second, through the attic and another 10 feet up on the roof. I've been thinking about painting it white in the second floor area. (My theme is the sea, with white and blue walls.) But they always say once you paint brick you can never go back ... so it's been a total dilemma. I think it would look cool, but would it eventually seem dated?

    I don't have a problem with painting walls whatever I want. It's my house, right? :) My son's room is a pirate theme, with an enormous orange tentacled krakken I painted on the main wall, and palm trees/treasure scene I painted all over his closet doors. But for some reason I just can't get past that block to painting brick.

  4. Well I think our wall has brick that is just made out of concrete, so they are actually white underneath, the inside is white without any gloss paint, so I'm just imitating brick. I posted a picture on flickr of my practice paint and someone commented they liked it white.

    So you have to satisfy yourself & not worry about what may come later. Maybe with a water base paint that isn't glossy, you can go back to brick, I'm not sure. If you google 'painting back brick' you'll find a video of one woman's technique. Then maybe you can figure out if you want to try & do it back later if you get bored with the white.



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