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Almost Ready for Kitchen Remodel

HU-81895831
11 months ago

Hello,


I am nearly ready to let the cabinetmaker know my final decisions on a kitchen renovation, but I wondered if I could get some input on a couple of things. I browse these forums for advice, but I hope for feedback on my specific concerns.


1. I have the option of going with a Galley style kitchen which is not my preferred layout but would allow for me to get almost all that I want without getting too close to the top end of my budget. It would be pretty much all banks of drawers with a few inserts for organization, a side cabinet for cleaning stuff (including paper towels, etc), and tall pantry cabinet with roll out tray (one 12" cabinet flanking each side of the fridge). This would maybe prove to be the easiest layout, but I'm not sure about the relocation of appliances. I would be moving my fridge about 5 feet along the same wall, which may not require anything more than getting longer lines for the water/icemaker connection? And the range would need to move approximately 3 feet, which may be easier for installing a new outlet (not sure how long range plugs can reasonably be)?


2. My other option with the ideal layout would be a U shape with the aforementioned cabinets flanking the fridge. The fridge would still need to move about 5 feet along the same wall, but the range would be put on the adjacent wall (middle of U) requiring a brand new electrical outlet as there's only a regular outlet there now. I'm thinking that may be more expensive to change out than just moving the range a few feet along the same wall. With the U, I'd have more drawers and a lot more countertop space, but I'd be nearly max on my budget as it's about $6000 more than a galley. I'd have a few thousand in wiggle room for issues that may come up, but I'd end up with laminate countertops, no soft close hardware, and I'd likely finance new appliances with Lowes with the extended no interest payment option or replace only the fridge for a counter depth.


I'm not sure which way to go because the galley option would open up more room for granite countertops and better/more appliances. Neither option has soft close with the prices quoted, but my cabinetmaker recommended going full extension and opting out of soft close if it means getting more of the layout I want. So that apparently saves around $1200 to $1500.


Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated before I make a decision on such a large purchase.


Thanks in advance.

Comments (45)

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    I forgot to note that the cabinetmaker recommended the U shape as the most bang for my buck and the layout likely to provide the best home value/resale bump.

  • cupofkindnessgw
    11 months ago

    Please post pictures of your space and floor plans for each option. You will get more helpful comments by doing so. Thank you.

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  • HU-918119203
    11 months ago

    Can you wait a year? Prices for everything are extremely high. And a year gives you more time to sock away some money.

  • Cheryl Smith
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I would go for the U shape if it gives you a better working space, more counter and cabinet space. I would spring for everything you want as far as cabinets and flooring because they are the hardest and most expensive to change later. get the soft close... they are so nice. keep your appliances if they still work and replace them when they stop working or you have the money. same with cabinet pulls and countertops. but really it may be beneficial to wait until you have enough to do it right the first time

  • mcarroll16
    11 months ago

    You definitely need to post the competing floorplans to get the best advice. In my experience, galleys put the counterspace where it's the most useful. U kitchens have more counter, but a lot of it is far from the main prep space. But it always comes down to the exact space and layout.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    11 months ago

    We need to scale floor pland and cabinet makers are not kitchen designers the same as contractors or freally cabinet sales people . Post a to scale plan here in a comment use graph paper it makes it easier to de scaled drawings show windows , doorways where the doorways lead all measurements clearly marked and posted in jpeg formt. Then you will get lots of free advice about what makes a perfect kitchen BTW galley kitchens if done right are really functional.I like ture pullout pantries as opposed to a door and then pullout shelves . I love a base to be drawers I tore so much stuff in drawers . all my baking supplies, spices pots pans dishes glassware etc.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    I have really had to wait a while so far. I think I started looking into things about 2 years ago and this cabinetmaker is finally available. He mentioned likely having install by July if I give him the go ahead but I do agree that things cost so much lately.

    Mcarroll16 I actually went with the u shape you drew out for me and considered one from mamagoose as well. But it has been so long. I’ll try to copy and paste. I received some feedback on here saying U was better due to having an empty wall and then others said galley so I still couldn’t really decide with certainty. But once I look at all the drawers and how I’d use the space the U layout seems better. I do have wiggle room such that I may pay about $6000 more to get it how I prefer but would have little reserve if something goes wrong.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Took me a bit to find old posts but I did! So here's what I have now before renovating (galley layout with measurements).



  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    And these are the two layouts I considered most that you all helped with...

    Mcarroll16:



    and Mama Goose:



    I received quotes for both from the cabinetmaker and not including counters/appliances/softclose there is a $6200 difference. The U seems to give me a lot more, but at a significantly higher price.


    I should note the only difference from these designs and my plans would be that I asked for a quote with a 12 inch deep side cabinet for cleaning supplies on one side of the fridge and a 15" tall cabinet on the other side for pantry items.

  • mcarroll16
    11 months ago

    Oh, I remember your kitchen! Mamagoose's design is a great galley. For me, the distance between the two sides is too much for a funtional galley. For a taller person, it might work well.


    I agree with Cheryl Smith above. The cabinets and flooring are the fixed parts you don't want to redo anytime soon. Get the layout you like best. Recycle appliances, put in laminate counters. Those are easy to upgrade over time. You could even keep your full-depth fridge for now, to leave money for soft-close cabinets. Your kitchen is wide enough that a full-depth fridge isn't a major obstacle to function.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    That’s great advice and kind of what my gut tells me. I would really hate to get it all done and feel disappointed if I skimp on things because this may be a one time thing and only kitchen remodel I do. I likely will end up keeping the fridge for a bit or replacing only the fridge and waiting on all the rest. The only other factor mentioned when obtaining quotes was that painted white cabinets are more so I could opt for a stain (which I think would only work for me if I chose light to medium gray). White is sleek and what I’ve always considered, but I think it’s about $3000 - $3500 more for painted in the u quote because the cabinetmaker subcontracts painting.

  • dan1888
    11 months ago

    I'd get these layouts spec'd in Ikea Vedhamn European Oak. The doors and drawer fronts, etc. are made in Hungary.



  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    I really like those in that color. I’ll check into them. Thanks!

  • Emily R.
    11 months ago

    I have a very similar layout to #2, and I will say, just as a warning: it drives me absolutely crazy to get stuff from the fridge, walk it over to the sink and prep, and then walk back over to the range to cook. I'm constantly going back and forth, dripping water across the floor from the colander or the veggies, changing my mind over where I want to chop things and carting the cutting boards and knives and compost bin back and forth.... :P

  • artemis78
    11 months ago

    We have #1 (except broken by a door in the lower right corner) and really like it, FWIW. Our kitchen is a few feet wider so we also have a small work table in the middle, but find it really functional overall.

  • sena01
    11 months ago

    As most posters indicated I'd prefer the U layout, but it gives you very small prep space b/w the sink and the range. Also, I think you'll have two narrow cabs on two sides of the range that may cost more than a wider single cab. If you can move the range to the fridge wall after the corner, you can have 2 wider cabs on the short wall so a total of 3 wider cabs on those two walls instead of 4 cabs.



    Just an idea.

  • Katherine Canon
    11 months ago

    Too funny how close the galley design is to my 60s galley kitchen. Mine is only 10 ft just move it across be same layout. We were thinking do same thing kinds glad I kept my galley kitchen. Honestly depends on how much items you use daily. Galley kitchens keep you from hoarding more items. If do U shape do Sena01 better you don't want to be looking at a wall when cooking or need a mirror to see who behind you.

  • roarah
    11 months ago

    I prefer the true galley.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Thanks for the input. It really helps. I’m going to lean toward the U but consider putting the stove on the wall with the fridge. That would also require shorter distances with appliance movement which may help prevent some unexpected things that could go wrong. In fact, I think my range could go there without an upgraded outlet if I have a six foot cord. And the fridge water line should be easy to run. I believe mcarroll16 drew out that option for me too so I’ll try to pull up and draw it out with my preferences. I remember it showing a ton of prep space which seemed like a nice bonus. Thanks again.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Would you all recommend all banks of drawers of 3-4 drawers each without any cabinets with doors (with possible roll outs)? It would be nice to have places for instant pot and air fryer so they can stay off the counter but not sure if that works with drawers as well as trays?

  • Cheryl Smith
    11 months ago

    I have a couple larger drawers next to my stove. And I really would prefer they were cabinet doors with pull outs. I wish there were more pullouts in my kitchen that was there when we bought the house. My larger unused appliances are in the lower cabinets flanking my refrigerator and I’ve also put them in my 2 lazy Susan’s since I can turn it to easily take them out. No losing things behind them when it’s filled with larger things.

  • Cheryl Smith
    11 months ago

    I would prefer the stove on the end wall. I think you have enough counter space between it and the refrigerator for prep. Keep things you use everyday on the counter hide everything else. I have knives and cooking utensils next to my stove on the counter, a microwave angled in a corner and I like my coffee maker and toaster close to the dining.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    That’s great information. I’ll try to add in a couple doors with pull outs so I have a few of both for those larger awkward things. Thanks.

  • artemis78
    11 months ago

    Definitely would not move the stove to the fridge wall if you go with the U. That L between the sink and stove is the single most used section of our counter. That said, it would be great for yours to be a little bigger--but the only way I see to do that here is to forgo having the sink centered under the window. (I'm a sucker for sinks under windows, but might consider not having it here for more space.) You could maybe consider moving the stove to the other side of the sink, but then you're stuck as far as where to put the dishwasher--it would land in between them, which isn't great. Last option is to have the range off-center. Don't love that, either, but again, maybe worth it for more space in that L? You could void the sink corner and do 24" voided corner - 2" filler - 27" cab - 30" range - 36" corner, and then on the sink wall, do 24" voided corner - 2" filler - 12" drawers - 30" sink cab - 24" dishwasher - 54" remaining for ???. You could even put the refrigerator over there and just have counter on the opposite side.

  • AnnKH
    11 months ago

    Appliances work great in drawers - as long as you measure how much interior space you need for the tallest item. Or put the tallest appliances in the pantry, if it means getting more things in drawers.


    Since you are getting custom cabinets made, you can specify how deep you want the deepest drawer to be. When I remodeled my previous kitchen, I wanted to store cake pans vertically in a drawer, so in my 3-drwaer stack, the bottom drawer was deeper than the middle one. Had they been the same size, the cake pans would not have fit.


    I cannot think of a situation where a pullout would be preferable to a drawer. I added pullouts to my Mom's apartment kitchen, and to my current kitchen, because they are far better than shelves, but they don;'t hold a candle to drawers.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Ah. I do like the look of drawers and not having to open then pull something. I’ll need to measure as some of those small appliances take up a ton of room like a double air fryer for example. I’m going to have a handyman that was previously a contractor come out this weekend to hopefully assure me that moving the range outlet and fridge several feet will not be a problem so I can do the range centered mid U.

    My cabinetmaker does not seem to agree, and maybe it’s poor insight on my part, but when discussing soft close, he said he didn’t recommend, and they aren’t worth the cost. He added that he opted not to put them in any of his kitchen redos. But it seems really odd to have a soft close trash pull and soft close tiered drawer system for cutlery then a bunch of regular drawers. It seems like I’d have to think about what I’m pulling which doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe it’s easy to adjust like muscle memory….

  • artemis78
    11 months ago

    I love soft-close, but not everyone feels strongly about it. I'd try it out--many kitchen cabinet showrooms have cabinets with soft-close drawers on the floor so you can just walk in and see what you think.

  • sena01
    11 months ago

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but did you mockup the position of your range in the U layout? If that wall is 119" long your range will start at 44,5" from the wall and when you're standing at the sink there'd be just 19" to the range. I think this is too tight. It may be inevitable in some kitchens but your kitchen is not that small.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    I may need to update my floor plan and pull measurements that I did most recently. The installer who measured last week said it was 119” on the range wall but he would maybe plan for 117” for wiggle room if that makes sense? I’m not really good at this so I could have made a mistake. Any additional advice is much appreciated. I don’t want to throw money at something I’ll not be satisfied with. Thanks for all the feedback so far.

  • Buehl
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    Most prepping occurs b/w the sink and range - you don't have enough space in that location for prepping. It's doubtful you will be happy taking food out of the refrigerator, carrying it across the kitchen to the sink, and then picking it back up and carrying it across the kitchen (again) to the prep counterspace b/w the refrigerator and range. That will get old fast!

    A functional Prep Zone has:

    • Direct water access (sink)
    • At least 36" x 24" of counterspace next to the water source (that does not have a DW or other appliance in the way). 42" or more is better.
    • That same prep Counterspace next to the range or directly across an aisle no more than around 48" wide (give or take a few inches, depending on the length of your legs!)
    • Trash/recycle bins/pullout in the Prep Zone (more trash & recyclables are generated while prepping than during any other task -- and for a longer period of time)
    • No barrier island (or table)! (A "barrier island" is an island that's in the path b/w the refrigerator & sink or refrigerator & range or sink & range)
  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    I see. Thanks Buehl. Would you recommend the range and fridge on the same side as sena01 posted above?

  • Buehl
    11 months ago

    Regarding soft-close...

    For drawers, they should probably be included in your cabinet order.

    However, for doors, you can install dampers later that mimic soft-close for far less than you would pay for them with your cabinet order. That's what we did. Our KD was going to charge us $50 per hinge on each door. We purchased the dampers for something like $3 each and only one was needed per door. My DH installed them on all our cabinets (kitchen & bathroom) in less than 2 hours.

  • Buehl
    11 months ago

    I'm actually working on it right now!

    I assume your range is 30" wide and your refrigerator is 36" wide (standard sizes), correct?

    Do you have a sketch of the rest of the floor the Kitchen is on showing all the rooms and how they relate to the Kitchen?

    Do you have a separate Dining Room?

    Do you have a pantry?

  • sena01
    11 months ago

    I believe it’s possible to add soft close to drawers on at a later date. I recommend full extension and a good brand. Mine are Blum and are still as good as new after 12 years.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Oh great. Thank you. I saw those door soft close mimicking thins online and they seemed like a really good idea. That’s good feedback.

    The range is 30 and fridge is 36”. It’s an eat in kitchen without a separate dining area and the table and pendant lighting is centered in front of the double patio doors. I do not have a pantry but was thinking to put a 12 or 15 beside the fridge and a shallow cleaning on the other side. Open to suggestions for sure. I will try to send you a better visual of layout in just a few if I can.

  • Buehl
    11 months ago

    How many people in your family?

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Just two adults but we do host holiday family events despite the small space

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Buehl, this is what I came up with in a pinch marking up a photo on my iPad. Hopefully, it gives a good idea of the setup. Thanks!

  • Buehl
    10 months ago

    Here are 5 options. Layout #1 is probably my favorite and what I would do if it was my Kitchen.

    Layout #5 is what I would probably do if I decided I wanted a permanent standard-depth refrigerator.

    The basic layout of the Kitchen is a "U" in all 5 options and the work zones remain the same across all. What changes are details. E.g., MW drawer vs MW hanging from upper cabinet (I love our MW drawer!), partial banquette vs round vs rectangular table, etc.

    (In option 5, you do get bigger pantries.)




    Other Options:






  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    10 months ago

    Oh wow. That’s incredibly helpful because I struggle with clearances and avoiding pinch points especially with the kitchen table. And I could not figure out how to fit a susan near the sink so was going to just make it a dead space. My sink base now is 36” but I like the idea of cutting it down to make room for other highly usable space.

    I thought I would start the project very soon, but the cabinetmaker I thought I was using seems opposed to follow up questions after quotes, and he’s aversive to changes. If I get this feeling of him not wanting to be bothered before we even start, I can’t imagine how it would go if we ran into trouble. I was reading the post on here about things to ask your cabinetmaker and I’m 99% sure if I asked him even a few questions, he would ghost me. So I reached out to a couple other places.

    Maybe eventually it will get going. I started looking into a remodel and set the money aside when the pandemic started because I work front line and found it stress relieving to try a 100% new recipe at the end of each work week. I realized just how difficult my kitchen is to use and how little organization I have. So it has been a while of waiting to get going, but there’s something to taking some time to think over things, research, and have a solid plan. And this forum has definitely been insightful.

    Now I have some more options to think about and research. I also really like option 1 and may go for that without reservation. Thanks for this act of kindness. I really appreciate it.

  • Buehl
    10 months ago

    You're welcome!

    Keep us posted on your progress when you start!

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    I hate to revive such an old thread but just wanted some feedback. I ended up having some health stuff last year and had to put the kitchen project on hold. I am getting back into it now if everything goes well for the next month or so. I thought I found a place to work with because they sell Fabuwood, Kraftmaid, and various RTA lines if I need to fall into a lower budget range.

    I’m trying to find a good price on quartz because that will let me choose better quality cabinets and/or the more expensive microwave drawer and z-line hood.

    I’m having a bit of an issue with the designer though. We had initially worked up something very close to what you created in layout 1 above, Buehl. Then the owner and the designer came out to verify measurements, and they keep telling me that I cannot do tall cabinets on both ends of the U because it will look like a tunnel. Then I asked about at least keeping that side facing pantry next to the fridge and they were ardent that it’s a waste of money and overpriced because I’d be paying for a full size pantry cut to shallow depth (and “those are for big kitchens and have stuff in them like message boards”).

    So what they have designed has several things I like but as many times as I mention being dissatisfied with the lack of a pantry, they push back pretty hard on it. I don’t want to get it done and then have them essentially tell me “told you so”, but I also like the layout option 1 above and really think it makes good use of my space. I think the owner is pushing his ideas onto the designer, and he says he’s been “doing kitchens for 30 years so he’s learned some tricks”.

    Currently, they say my only option is to put a shallow pantry on the back wall where the dining table bench would be in layout 1. To me that could be considered equally cluttered and breaks up the runs. And I’d not have the option to put a table in the corner and choose the banquette style.

    I’m seeking some thoughts and ideas if you all have any because you’ve been much more helpful than dealing with these designers with Kraftmaid etc. I’d like to gauge how much to push because I can tell they are kind of ready to get rid of me if I don’t take all of their ideas without question.

    Thanks in advance.

  • artemis78
    10 days ago

    Does the cabinet line you're using not offer 12" deep tall cabinets? They could be right on the cost factor if not, but I still think a 12" pantry is better than no pantry. If you ditch it, you could consider pushing the refrigerator to the end of the run on that side and giving the space to the inside corner next to the range to have a bit more breathing room there. Then cut the counter to the right of the sink down to put a 36" wide pantry there instead and just have a 30" cabinet for glasses/dishes--assuming that's enough room. That would give you more pantry space overall, and some symmetry with a 36" tall cabinet on both ends of the U. I'm assuming a 36" wide, 24" deep pantry would also be standard for the cabinet line so no special modifications. I don't love putting it where the table is both because it interferes with that use and because it's not a great location for a pantry.

    I would also not be afraid to get rid of a kitchen designer who wants to get rid of you because you don't want to go with their ideas, as daunting as it might be to restart. Having the right fit will get even more important as you get deeper into the project.

  • HU-81895831
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    Thanks for the ideas artemis. It looks like the company is trying to get me into an RTA line to keep my costs down, but I could bump up to Kraftmaid or Fabuwood for less limitations on sizes, which is understandable if doing so gives me a layout I like. I just really hate the idea of having a random pantry on the back wall and a table so close to it. I was going to get an extendable rectangular table and use it like in the layout 1 that Buehl did for me, and putting a cabinet there would keep me from having that option.


    I proposed that they do a tall cabinet to the right of the fridge at least, but they said that we'd have to push the range down too far toward the middle of the U and it would interfere with opening the drawers because they would hit the handle of the range. I don't see how that wouldn't or couldn't be fixed with some fillers.


    I am thinking I may have to go with someone else if they are already thinking I am too difficult or unwilling to do exactly what they recommend. I keep facing setbacks but I also don't want to throw $20,000 to $30,000 into cabinets that I won't like because they convinced me to go too far from what I'm looking for.