When I first saw it, there were three things I didn't like about the condo, the two bathrooms and the kitchen. Oh how I disliked the kitchen with cheap cabinets, formica butcher block countertops, and the layout.
The two bathrooms were replaced in 2019 and 2020 (the second one during COVID.) The kitchen we started trying to do a year ago, and kept hitting roadblocks. A contractor who wanted $15,000 before he would work with us to select cabinets and details. An appliance dealer who wouldn't answer questions about availability. No response for weeks, months at a time. We changed contractors, changed appliance suppliers to people who would give honest answers (if the answer is not in time, or I don't know, tell me that). And in April signed a contract and paid for new appliances.
The original kitchen had odd contrasts, the wall oven and cooktop - premium appliances, but really cheap cabinets. The dishwasher and refrigerator had been updated, but the cooktop and oven were original from the 1980's. But they worked. The cooktop shorted out a couple of years ago, complete with sparks and smoke, and was replaced with a glass top - the only thing I could find in stock that somewhat fit the cut out in the counter top. Everything else lasted until the start of the remodel. The dishwasher had me worried a few times, but it washed the last load the night before meeting it's fate.
I have spent years thinking, planning, working on details. I have read numerous design magazines. Spent hours at Lowes, Home Depot and Ikea looking at cabinets and appliances. In the end, I decided I wanted better cabinets, nicer finishes and we went with a specialty remodeler. Where the standard allowance for a kitchen sink is $150, I spent $500. The standard allowance for backsplash tile was $350 - we spent $1,220. You get the idea, we decided in for a penny - in for a pound.
The best way to describe what we are doing is a gut job, take it back to the bare walls, and replace everything. The only thing that stays is the washer/dryer.
For the demolition, the contractor showed up with almost more people than would fit in the kitchen, an hour later there was an eerie silence, and went to check and they had left, they were done. He had said they would pull everything out, and be back after lunch to haul everything away. They were.
I will take lots of photos, and post periodic updates.
Timeline - about a month. Cost, about 25% more than I paid for my first house in 1982.
The appliance guy called and the ovens should be delivered today! Everything else is stacked up in our rather limited space. Ovens, I have dreamed of having two ovens, for that couple of times a year that I am cooking a big dinner. The original oven was 24 inches wide, an unusually small size. 30 inch is standard. Space is tight, so we compromised at 27 inch. I dreamed about a stainless steel pyramid shaped range hood. Meaning no over the range microwave. In shopping higher end appliance dealers, we discovered something called a speed oven, it is a convection oven and microwave all in one. And they build those in a double stack with a full size convection oven below and the speed oven above. Kinda expensive, but it gives me what I want, in the space we have to work with.
It is taking my breath away how fast things are moving.