Surgical Kitchen Remodel
How to modernize a kitchen while preserving the components.
Synopsis: Most homeowners imagine a kitchen remodel as being a full-scale blowout, but they don’t necessarily have to be massive projects. In this article, Seattle builder and furniture maker David Getts describes a precise, incisive project he handled. The homeowner needed to replace a double wall oven; however, the ovens were 27 in. wide, 3 in. smaller than most wall ovens are made today. The ovens were set in a wall in the middle of a run of countertop and cabinets. Thus, Getts had to do a careful job of widening the space while not making his work obvious as the homeowner did not want to replace the entire granite countertop or all the cabinets. Getts started the project by carefully removing the old ovens and disassembling the appliance cabinet. He then removed the adjacent upper cabinet, trimmed the backsplash, and trimmed the lower cabinet face frame, back, and side. Getts hired a granite fabricator to trim the counter on site. In the shop, he resized the upper cabinet and the lower drawers. Back on site, Getts installed a new oven base and reinstalled adjacent materials. Then he installed and secured the new oven cabinet.
The key to a successful small remodelling project is to make the new work match the existing details so that no one can tell that the space was ever modified. On this job, upgrading the double ovens in an existing kitchen meant that I had to create a little more room in a run of the 20-year-old cabinets for a new, larger oven cabinet, and then make everything look as though it had been built that way. The job was complicated because I had to modify the granite counter and base cabinet in place. It was more like kitchen surgery than remodelling.
My plan was to…