Kitchen Project

We love the beautiful murals on the kitchen cabinets in our Midtown Tucson home, but the kitchen itself was totally dysfunctional. The cabinets had no backs, and brick dust sifted onto our dishes. A partially dismantled wall was a freeway for ants and mice, there was the usual lack of counter space and electrical outlets. Our tiny refrigerator dominated the former galley-style kitchen, while an awkward addition was underutilized.

We priced even low-end cabinets at Home Depot and Lowe's (MDF backs, veneer doors), and were shocked that materials alone would cost at least $6000. So we began haunting craiglist for used kitchen cabinets. Literally, I left "kitchen cabinets" in the search bar and hit "refresh" every time I walked by the computer.

I don't think the ad had been posted for more than 15 minutes when I pounced on it.

In a matter of hours, there was an entire kitchen in our carport, including a pantry, two lazy Susans, and many feet of Corian countertop including an integral sink.

The cabinets came from a relatively new burnt adobe house in the foothills. When the owner found out it wouldn't support a second story, she had it torn down. The demolition crew posted the cabinets on craiglist for $600. The backs are MDF but the doors are solid cherry.

And thus began an adventure in home destruction, as we uncovered horror after horror hidden within the walls of our 70-year-old home. Some walls crumbled when the tile was removed, revealing 2x4s ravaged by termites and cut off in mid-air. Our plumbing was cemented into the wall, and the sections we eventually replaced were packed solid with corrosion. Most of wall below the kitchen window had to be rebuilt.

It gave us a lot of satisfaction to hack the bad old cabinets into slivers.

Last but most definitely not least was removing the kitchen sink.

For the next three weeks, we'd wash our dishes in the bathtub!

Meanwhile, on the north wall, we installed upper and lower cabinets and found a new home for our refrigerator.

After rebuilding, replumbing and rewiring, the base units go in on the south wall.

Ready for the Corian countertops. Cutting and installing the countertops was the only work that we farmed out to a professional.

The countertops are in! Wow!

Dennis shows off his handiwork.

Cost Summary:

Installation of Corian countertops575.00
Reverse osmosis water filter289.00
Kitchen faucet265.00
Miscellaneous materials and supplies411.00
Total cost of this project:$2140.00