19th century house outfitted with new cabinets

19th century house outfitted with new cabinets

Tom Tokar wasn't sure whether he would be staying in or selling his pre-1880s-era house.

He had just navigated a divorce and was assessing his options.

One thing he did know: The old house needed some new cabinets. And a hefty 2012 income tax return was the grease that got the gears rolling toward some new kitchen hardware.

Tokar and his ex moved to the house in 2005, and a refreshed kitchen was the last to-do on their remodel list.  

"The existing kitchen was a built-in from many years ago," Tokar says. "We updated the kitchen a little at that time because of poor plumbing, electrical [work] and carpentry. We were planning to remodel the kitchen in 2009, but a divorce happened. We tried to sell the house but were unable to get our price. I ended up with the house. I felt that whether I stay or sell, the kitchen needed upgrading."

Tokar, ever fastidious in his approach to home improvement projects, began collecting ideas from Houzz.com. He bought a utility cabinet with pull-out shelves, two spice cabinets with pullouts, three angled cabinets, a sink cabinet, two drawer cabinets, a trash pullout cabinet, eight door cabinets and a lazy Susan.

But "almost all kitchen designs I looked at online did not show the microwave, so we moved it to various places within the kitchen to find the best spot," Tokar says. 

Tokar had already installed the cabinets but was waiting for the granite installation. "In talking with others who bought granite, how the granite was cut from the slab and installed is very critical," he says. "I joined Angie's List to see what was said about the contractor I picked. In looking at my contractor, I was able to see what was said about other granite contractors. It helped me formulate questions and supervise the install to my satisfaction."

The result? "Wonderful," Tokar says. The "cabinets look and work great. Granite countertop was installed and looks great. I can't imagine a better installation."

Tokar advises other homeowners to learn all they can about a potential project and contractors before embarking on a home improvement project. 

"The more educated you are, the better," Tokar says. "Angie's List reviews provided an added, unique source that contributed to my decision making." 

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