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10 Steps to Remodeling Your Kitchen

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Tear Out the Kitchen Cabinets and Walls
removing cabinets from the kitchen

Begin by tearing out the cabinets and walls

© Elizabeth Weintraub
You don't have to spend a fortune to make your kitchen look like a million bucks. Before you jump in with a sledgehammer and start knocking down your kitchen walls, establish a plan for the kitchen remodel. This might involve the following:

  • Visit home improvement stores and thumb through remodeling magazines to get an idea of the type of kitchen you want.
  • Plan your kitchen around the style of your home.
  • Hire a kitchen designer to draw a design to scale.
  • Try to incorporate the way your kitchen is presently used.
  • Buy your cabinets, appliances, flooring, lighting fixtures, sink, faucet, tiles, baseboards and paint in advance; store onsite.
  • Obtain permits, if required.
  • Interview contractors. You may need an electrician, plumber, HVAC contractor, drywaller, painter, flooring and / or tile installer, demolition crew.

Demoing the Kitchen

Although you may find personal satisfaction by smashing a wall like Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes, it's better to have a systematic approach.

  • Remove cabinet doors first.
  • Most cabinets are attached to the wall by 2 screws, unscrew them.
  • Carefully remove doorway and window trim (if you plan to reuse them) by sliding a putty knife next to the nails and gently tugging, working your way to the corner.
  • Shut off the power, and remove appliances and lighting fixtures that are directly wired; cover exposed wires with wire nuts.
  • Use a crowbar to force sheets of paneling from the walls.
  • Employ a sledgehammer for brute force but do not smash the studs.
  • Recycle old appliances and take everything else to the dump.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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