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Old Jan 24th, 08, 2:37 am   #1
onhiatus
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Floating home kitchen remodel

Some background: My wife and I live in a 1920's project floating home in Seattle (think Sleepless in Seattle). These houses were originally built as slums and among other issues lack much insulation. We've done the best we can, but the floor consists of 1" of wood and then exposed air and then the water - this time of year our kitchen floor is often in the 30's. So now the good news - we are expecting! Due in July. So now the kitchen floor *must* be insulated. So we are ripping out the floor, adding / replacing some joists as needed (it's bouncy), adding ridgid insulations, sealing the created air gap, adding electric radiant head and then putting a new floor on. The current cabinets are cheap laminate and falling apart so they will not be put back, so it's time for some new cabinets (and countertops, fixtures, etc - we are keeping the old apliances for now).

The Catch: This house is a tear down. It is not salvagable long term. If we do not tear it down the next owners will. Add to this that we're not sure how life on the water with a toddler will go. So our current plan is to stay in the house for the next three years. At that point we'll either: 1) Stay in the house; 2) Build a new house; 3) Move to land and rent the houseboat; or 4) Sell. Number 3 seems most likely. This means that we may only be building a kitchen for the next three years. If we rent, it will continue to add value, if we rebuild we'll keep / reuse what we can, and recycle the rest. But this needs to be a budget job. It's also going to be a rush job...

The current kitchen: We like the layout of the current kitchen, so more than anything this is going to be new cabinets. Here's some photos of the kitchen as it is right now (please excuse the mess!):
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Floating home kitchen remodel 
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Floating home kitchen remodel 
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Floating home kitchen remodel 
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Floating home kitchen remodel 

The planned kitchen: The current plan is to have a medium brown horizontal bamboo floor, STAT white cabinet fronts, and one of solid wood countertops (though I am tempted by the ready made granite counter tops - Value Stone - Granite Counter Tops). We'll leave the tin ceiling and probably the wall color. We are trying to avoid any upper cabinets.

Cabinet wise, our original plan was to more or less replace like with like, unfortunately our dimensions do not work out. Currently our range is centered in the middle wall, but due to the corner cabinet sizes we're either going have to end up offsetting it or loosing storage space (at a premium on a floating home!)

Here are the layouts we've been considering:
Click for larger version
Floating home kitchen remodel 
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Floating home kitchen remodel 
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Floating home kitchen remodel 
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Floating home kitchen remodel 
Thoughts / Issues:
#1 The stove not centered, we lost a cupboard, lost a drawer, but gained a slide out cabinet
#2 Stove not centered - though the cabinets seem more symetrical, lost one drawer, but gained a slide out cabinet (next to range), counter space works better with our current work habits. Plumbing does not work (easily) for the sink. Unfortunately this is my favorite
#3 Centers the stove! - But that involves modifying the 36" cabinets to work with the Lee Valley Blind corner hardware. Also we loose 14" of storage due to using 36" cabinets in 43" spaces - this is pretty critical in a floating home. Visually this is the closest to what we have now - the sink cabinet is smaller (smaller sink too), but we gain the slide out cabinet next to the dishwasher. I also don't think the Domsjo apron sink would look good against the corner so I would have to move to the inset version.
#4 I think this might be the best utilization of space. However I'm not happy with moving the range away from the sink. I'd prefer symetry, but if I can't have that I'd like to move it closer to the sink. Same issue as #3 regarding the Domsjo sink.

To anyone who has made it this far - thanks for reading! I'd appreciate any thoughts or ideas. Especiallly regarding the cabinet layout, but also on style, color, etc - anything!

We are hoping to have our minds made up and go purchase the bits and pieces this weekend.

Other questions:
Does anyone have any thoughts on the built in ironing board? Is it worth loosing a drawer?

Thanks we really apreicate any input! Tony & Stacy

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Last edited by onhiatus; Jan 24th, 08 at 11:21 pm..
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Old Jan 24th, 08, 9:17 am  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

Hi Tony and Stacy!

What a great adventure! One of the forum owners (Tigratrus) lived on a boat...not a houseboat, though...and I'm sure you will become fast friends immediately by bonding over the onboard life.

Since this will be pretty much a gut job, have you considered moving the appliances and plumbing around? That might help out quite a bit with your spacing issues. Let us know if that's a possibility since it opens up so many other options. One of them is the possibility of an island or peninsula/galley rather than the U-shape.

The other thing I wanted to point out is that IKEA cabinets are much more space-efficient internally than traditional cabinets, because of the frameless nature and the ability to have deep drawers. So you might gain more actual storage space than you realize, even if you have to sacrifice a bit.

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Old Jan 24th, 08, 1:42 pm  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

Well, given that the kitchen may only survive a few years I'm hesitant to make that kind of time / money investment. TIme is probably even more important than money as there is alot to do before the baby arrives! As an example, until very recently there are were places where you sould see the water throught holes / cracks in the floor!

Other labor issues around changing the layout - I'm not sure that the wall paneling even goes down to the floor behind the current cabinets. By maintaining the same coverage that issue (and completely repainting) goes away. Currently our cost for this remodel will be in the $2-3K range (plus labor). We are not even planning on replacing any appliances since everything is a standard size.

Having said that I'd love to hear any ideas - if we came up with something truly fantastic we might *have* to have it.

In the drawings / photos I included abovethere is nothing showing the back wall (where there are no cabinets). This wall has the refridgerator (facing the stove), in the opening to the hallway, and a window into the livingroom. Furthermore in real life the door outside, and doors to the livingroom (a pair of louvered swing doors) are at a 45 degree angle. See my clumsy drawing:
Click for larger version
Re: Floating home kitchen remodel 

Note this drawing shows the sink in a place that would involve moving the plumbing.

So, I can't think if a peninsula or island arrangement that would work. OTher things to keep in mind - the only way to access under the floor (to bring up water or electricity to as island) is by going through the floor - there is no access underneith.

Fun challenges! Thanks again, Tony

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Old Jan 24th, 08, 4:08 pm  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

Quote:
Having said that I'd love to hear any ideas - if we came up with something truly fantastic we might *have* to have it.
And thus it begins....

I'm off to the dentist right now but I'll definitely play around with your layout this evening. Thanks for giving us a fuller view...that makes a big difference when designing.

No access underneath? What, no scuba diving plumbers?!?!

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Old Jan 24th, 08, 4:25 pm  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

Worse than that - if it was just water underneith I'd wait until summer and do it myself. What you've got is a "raft" of old growth cedar - up to about 3.5' in diameter - logs covered with slime and random rusty spikes. Over that are the stringers - basically the foundation of the house. These are 10"x6" (I think) creosote covered timbers that run the entire width of the house. The sub-floor rests directly on the stringers. So to get to the floor from underneith you'd have to work in that 10" space on top of the slimy, spike infested logs... I really looked at this when I was trying to figure out how to insulate, but if anything it is worse than it sounds!

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Old Jan 24th, 08, 5:08 pm  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

Quote:
Originally Posted by onhiatus View Post
Worse than that - if it was just water underneith I'd wait until summer and do it myself. What you've got is a "raft" of old growth cedar - up to about 3.5' in diameter - logs covered with slime and random rusty spikes. Over that are the stringers - basically the foundation of the house. These are 10"x6" (I think) creosote covered timbers that run the entire width of the house. The sub-floor rests directly on the stringers. So to get to the floor from underneith you'd have to work in that 10" space on top of the slimy, spike infested logs... I really looked at this when I was trying to figure out how to insulate, but if anything it is worse than it sounds!
Can I just say ?!

Seriously, good luck with this project. Keep in mind that the Lee Valley thing might be worth doing because it is far more space efficient than the 49" blind corner--the half circle shelves leave a lot of wasted territory. In contrast, the 37" corner works pretty well.

Unfortunately I can't open up the planner to comment in more detail....

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Old Jan 24th, 08, 5:54 pm  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

True (regarding the wasted space with the 49" cabinets), but I understood that the space was usable - in that you could store unfrequently used items back there...

Can anyone think of anything useful that could be done with the 7" gap behind the 36" cabinets? A hatch in the countertop? Someplace to store wrapping paper? Anything? For reference This is refering the layout #3 above:
Click for larger version
Re: Floating home kitchen remodel 
As always, Thanks! Tony

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Old Jan 24th, 08, 6:20 pm  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

Hey Tony,

I vote for #4 (barring Eva coming up with something brilliant, which she's been known to do) --but, I am all for function & asymmetry, there's just something more charming and natural about it. Also, I think having a bit of working space between the sink and the range would be not a bad thing.

You might be able to squeak the sink around a little even above the floor, since there's a few inches behind drawers and under the cabinets to do plumbing workarounds if you need to. There's some very good flexible pipe type solutions out there as well.

Congratulations to you and Stacy, welcome, good luck & happy planning!
Kirsty

And, at the risk of bursting the internet anonymity bubble here, hi! And, if you want to see a half finished Ikea kitchen in action, you're welcome to swing over anytime, Mara knows how to find me.

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Old Jan 24th, 08, 7:41 pm  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

Can I ask you to upload your .fpf file of the kitchen please? Space is tight and I don't want to re-create it, I'd rather work with the dimensions and locations you've already put in. Thanks!

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Old Jan 24th, 08, 8:25 pm  
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Re: Floating home kitchen remodel

Sorry, I didn't even think about that! Here you go. Numbers corespond with the above images.

Hope this worked, I had some difficulty getting the plans to load.
Attached Files
File Type: fpf kitchen - 1.fpf (43.8 KB, 5 views)
File Type: fpf kitchen - 2.fpf (53.5 KB, 2 views)
File Type: fpf kitchen - 3.fpf (55.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: fpf kitchen - 4.fpf (56.0 KB, 2 views)

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