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14-week kitchen?

tombix's picture


I am brand new to this forum, so please correct me on the forum etiquette as necessary.

Has the title captured your imagination? Is 14 weeks too long or too short a time to completely remodel a kitchen?

Well, having moved in the summer to the warmer climbs of southern europe, I wqs prepared for the worse: I mean, having lived in Switzerland for many years, where you set your watch to the departing and arriving trains, where all workmen have diplomas in whatever, where bricklayers never seem to get dirty and where scaffolding takes a week to erect for a 2-hour job and where the job nonetheless gets done on time for the agreed price, I knew I couldn't ask for more. I had heard all these horror stories of Spanish builders, which, for the most part, turned out to be unfounded.

Basically the ground floor of the house had to be brought into the current century, as we had been living in rented 1970s accomodation for the previous 20 years. This house was now ours and we were determined to do what we had longed for. Before we actually moved, all of the ground floor, except for the kitchen, was upgraded: new floors, wall surfaces, lighting, etc. The builders, led by a rather misguided Brit expat chippie, did a very average job, which, in my opinion, will need redoing in 3 or 4 years' time. This work ended up being 2 months over schedule, and we were living in plaster and brickdust with the kids for all this time. Because of this, we were unable to concentrate on the kitchen, and, because of the quaint Spanish custom of going on vacation for 5 weeks in the summer, seriously delayed any hopes of getting the thing finished before Christmas. Up until a week ago, our kicthen was outside, which, thanks to the clement weather, proved to be less uncomfortable than it sounds. The kids loved it.

In order to make this interesting, I will sort of pretend the project is ongoing, even though it is finished. There will be some intended pregnant pauses to keep you all interested.

Let me start by attaching just 2 photos of how the kitchen looked before it was totally gutted. On the face of it, it doesn't look all that bad, but, believe me, the unit were literally rotting and the electrical appliances were taken by the old owner anyway. It was dark and dingy, had no lighting plan, and smelled of dry-cured ham (sweaty-socks?). Surpisingly the house was only 12 years' old, and was built in what they lie to call a 'rustic style' (meaning it will fall down if you don't do anything about it).

I would like to hear where you would have started. The kitchen is rectangular, 5 metres long and nearly 3 metres wide, with a door and window at each short end. On the wall facing the cooking wall, there is a small door to the lounge.

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tombix's picture

The first thing that was done was to remove one of the doors and brick it up. I don't have a picture of that sequence, but you can see it in its finished state, just when the electricians started their work. The reason for this was obvious... to create more space for kitchen. The door only added confusion to the access to the kitchen, not to mention the draught.

tombix's picture

.. and this is how the kitchen looked after gutting

tombix's picture

.. by the way, this is how the living room was presented to us by the builders on the day we moved in :hairpull:

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