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Basement kitchen, need to remove cabinet/drywall/more. What next?

Neal U
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

Recently moved into a 1960s-era 4br in the Chicago suburbs with an older finished basement with a kitchen (permitted in our town). We're first-time homeowners and new to all this stuff. The home has 100 amp electrical service with a Pushmatic electric panel that's original to the house. Electric panel is attached to original unfinished basement wall and past owners built the kitchen around it. Panel is in a non-code location and is currently only accessible by opening kitchen cabinet and reaching back six inches to the original wall.

Although the panel works well with no issues, we want to replace it due to the age of the panel and the inaccessibility. Home inspector recommended replacing it and because it's Pushmatic, buying new breakers and finding parts is expensive. We also want to get a 200 amp-compatible panel so we can upgrade in the next few years to 200 amp service. We want to move the panel to the utility room that is on the wall directly perpendicular to the current panel.

In order to do this, we have to remove the cabinet for panel access and electrician said we possibly may have to remove countertop/sink as well. Relocating the panel will run about $4000 and we would only have a budget of $2000 or so for any basement repairs after patching up the drywall.

We don't use the basement kitchen besides the refrigerator outside the picture (inventory in our area was limited and it was more of an interesting quirk than a plus for us when we moved in) but are worried about removing an amenity that already exists in the house.

So what's the best way to tackle this?

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