Seattle remodeler opens up tight kitchen
For the past several years, Angie's List member Izumi H. dreamed of having a more open, breezy kitchen in her Seattle home. When she cooked, she didn't want to feel isolated from the rest of her family. Her kitchen also lacked much-needed counter space.
As each year passed, she saw similar remodeling projects featured on TV, in magazines and online. She began stashing away cash for the day she could finally begin the project, eventually saving $20,000.
Using Angie's List, Izumi contacted three contractors, who told her that the kitchen remodel she longed for was a popular job, especially in 1970s and ‘80s split- and tri-level homes, like hers.
When the contractors arrived on the first day, they removed the two walls that once separated the kitchen from the dining and living room—for just $2,000, a fraction of the money she saved for the project. "What a difference it made," Izumi says. "Had I known this was so easy, I'd have done it much sooner. The kitchen looks so much bigger and brighter."
Next, while the ceiling was open, Izumi instructed the contractors to install four can lights in the kitchen and six in the living room, brightening up areas of the house that previously had no ceiling lights.
Izumi was pleasantly surprised at how easy the fixes were, and how much they changed the house's overall vibe. "They took the opportunity to install lighting at less cost, while the ceiling was open, and to extend the wall electrical wiring for $125 each light," Izumi says. "Before, the kitchen and living room were very dark with only a few lights. Now, [they are lit with] LED lights with dimmers, [which] can be bright in the evenings and just right when we watch movies. It even saves money [by consuming] less energy, too. I would have been happy with only an open kitchen and ceiling lights."
As the project's scope expanded, Izumi and her team of contractors added an island where the now-demolished walls once stood. They replaced the old countertops with granite ones. And they installed new cabinets. "Now, we eat around our island where space was wasted before," Izumi says. "We don't use our dining table anymore. The island became the center of our family activities such as eating, doing homework and chatting with family and friends. We even ripped out the old carpet and had them install laminate flooring. It’s durable and easy to maintain."
What was the best part of the project? It only took two weeks to complete.
Tales from the List: At Angie's List, we receive thousands of reviews every day -- and there's a consumer story behind nearly every one of them.