Accidental Kitchen Remodel: Tear Out


Let’s just replace the doors, we said. It’ll be cheap, we said.

Throughout the process of finding, (analyzing, critiquing, debating…), and eventually buying our home, the kitchen was a giant question mark. We had no idea what we would do with it. What could be salvaged? What would be replaced?

It wasn’t a bad kitchen by any stretch of the imagination, it just reeaalllyyyy wasn’t our style.


We debated on how to proceed. The least invasive option was to reface the cabinets to give them a fresh, updated look. We could remove the decorative trim that gave the cabinets a more dated vibe, then paint them a fresh white and install brand new shaker-style doors. We’d top it all off with fresh countertops.


There were a few problems with this plan.

Besides not fitting our style, the cabinet layout made the entire kitchen feel tiny. The cabinets were in a funky configuration that didn’t really maximize all the space they took up (they had obviously been heavily customized to serve very specific purposes).

Case in point:


(We just don’t have the type of lifestyle that necessitates a bread box and red wine rack and whatever else is going on here.)

Besides being all over the place in terms of layout, the custom cabinet doors and drawer faces were also all over the place in terms of shape and size.

Nothing was standard, and when all was said and done and measured, we were looking at a pretty hefty bill to custom-order replacement doors to reface the cabinets in their existing configuration . (Not to mention the cost and hassle to prime, paint, and install new hinges and hardware).


Of course it still would have been cheaper to reface than replace… and if we were happy with the cabinet configuration, this might have been a no-brainer. But we weren’t crazy about the layout, and we couldn’t really get on board with putting expensive new faces and countertops over cabinets we secretly didn’t like.


So despite our most modest and frugal intentions…


Oh. Shit.


Though walking into our hollowed out kitchen was a terrifying reminder of just how massive this project had become, the tear-out was actually the easiest (and best) decision we made during the cray-cray kitchen remodel.

I had stumbled across Habitat Restore’s website a few weeks prior to all of this hullabaloo, and had learned that they offered kitchen tear-out services for people interested in donating cabinets and countertops. They come out to check your cabinets beforehand and make sure they qualify, and if they’re in good working order, you’re good to donate.

I can’t recommend them enough. They did a phenomenal job and left the walls in great shape! (P.S. the Restore program isn’t just for kitchens! You can donate just about anything, from light fixtures to doors to bathroom vanities…)

With the tear out complete, it was time to finalize plans on our new (and absolutely ridiculous) kitchen…


About Accidental Suburbanites

Just a couple of kids turning a house into a home, one Pinterest fail at a time.
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