Saturday, November 9, 2013

Frugal Kitchen Remodel Post #2

Commercial Restaurant Stove Hood above electric and wood cook stoves
I truly never meant it to be this long in between posts.  Besides the remodel, running our store, homeschooling, the farm and Creighton Model FertilityCare appointments, Jason and I have been working on a very special project that hopefully we will be able to announce soon.  In the meantime I couldn't justify anytime writing on my blog that was "free time" that I could be working on the St. Nicholas project (code name for our special project.)  When we (hopefully) can announce in the near future our exciting news this will all make sense.

This blog post is picture heavy, so be forewarned.  I am rewarding your patience:

Commercial Restaurant Stove Hood
So, we finally have a hood!!!!  Sometimes the hardest part about trying to complete any project frugally is the patience to wait.  I have to admit that I was about at my wits end when my husband finally announced in September that he had found a hood that was long and wide enough to fit over the two stoves we now have in our kitchen.  We needed a hood that was at least 6 feet long to cover both the electric and wood cook stoves.  When we priced checked at the local box store the biggest hood we could purchase was only 48" long and priced at $1400.  By the time you add the width we needed for the hood we were looking at thousands of dollars.  Jason's Craigslist searches began.  He finally found this commercial restaurant hood brand new for $250 plus the gas money and time to drive two hours one way to pick it up.  The hood had originally been installed in a restaurant that never opened because the owners ran out of money.  The landlord needed to clear out all their restaurant equipment so that he could prepare the space for new renters-praise God!  It was our lucky day!

Top wooden beam anchored into fireplace wall
We traded services with a contractor friend who helped Jason install this hood two weeks ago.  (Again-patience is a virtue.  We stored the hood in the barn for a month.)  While it is massive it weighs under three hundred pounds.  I will be the first to admit that you couldn't have a hood this size in a standard size kitchen, but we have 12 foot ceilings in this brown box awkward shaped room that was added onto our 1860's built farmhouse back in the 1960's....back when brown panelling was all the rage.  This room doesn't have a single window.  In fact we installed the light kit on the ceiling I guess everyone just plugged in floor lamps for forty years.  Maybe they just liked the darkness...maybe they just liked "mood lighting" is a mystery I shall probably never understand.  I personally like lots of light.  I must say that this room works much better as a kitchen than as our living room.

The room also has these brown beams as "decorative accents," except they are not that pretty-yet.  Thus, Jason and Rich were able to use one of the beams when deciding how to anchor the hood.  They attached two 2" by 6" eight feet long wood braces to the fireplace, that you can see in that previous picture.  The 4" by 4" eight foot long wooden bottom beam is used as a ledge to place the hood on.  These two boards are anchored to the fireplace by fifteen different bolts.  The above brace then has two wooden cross pieces that run above the hood to attach to the wooden beam.  These wooden cross pieces were actually made by screwing together 2" by 6" eight foot long boards.  They were then anchored to the decorative beam with tapcons.  Chains were then used to attach the hood to the cross pieces.  Jason and Rich swung around on the beams to make sure that the beams were strong enough to hold the hood.  (Unfortunately I wasn't around to see that-otherwise I would be posting pictures of the men playing around!)  Rich informed me that these beams are so strong that if I wanted to we could tear out the kitchen and make the room a garage.  He said that these beams can be used to lift engines out of cars.  I think I'll stick with the kitchen!

Cross beams attaching to wooden "decorative beam"

Front side of hood and cross pieces

Back side of cross pieces and hood attaching to fireplace

The fireplace bricks are so hard that Rich actually melted a heavy duty drill bit when trying to drill into a brick.  He said that he has never seen that happen before in all of his years of carpentry.  After that they just drilled into the cement between the bricks.  Eventually all these wooden pieces will be stained to match the rest of the room.  For now-the hood is installed!

We actually found out the hard way four years ago about how hard those bricks were.  That was the year we bought our first wood heat stove (that now resides in our bedroom suite.)  Jason began trying to break through the wall and it literally took him a month of weekends to be able to chisel out the bricks.  He made it through the first level of bricks only to find out that there was a second brick wall before we could reach the actually chimney liner.  The only thing that we could surmise is that we had been told that back in the 1980's or 1990's there had been a chimney fire and therefore they must have bricked up the entire wall to cover up the burnt bricks.  Jason had to chisel through 18 inches of bricks before he could intall the stove pipe.

Bottom Ledge Beam, Stove Pipe going into 18 inch hole to reach chimney
The silver frame of the hood reflects the light and is actually helping to "lighten up" the room.  (I greatly appreciate that since I long for cream walls.  This room can get really depressing in the winter.)  Once we survive the busiest time of year for our business, which starts next week and lasts until around Epiphany in January, Jason and Rich will connect the electrical so we will have lights and our exhaust system.  These lights will also help to heat up this massive room when we use them.  One more motivation to cook besides the stove heat-Or not cook in the summer time!

Hood Lights above the stoves

The exhaust fan is so big and powerful that it will actually be attached outside of our room on our deck.  The motor of the exhaust fan is 1/4 horse power!  Here is a picture of the electrical and (possible) water attachments.  (I could only dream of a pot filler!  I do miss having the stove closer to the sink to drain pasta, fill pans with water, etc.)  Oh, well-I get my exercise!

Back underside of hood, where the exhaust and water system will hook up

Here's another view of the hood and cross beams.  It just needs all the fingerprints cleaned off from our male friends that helped carry it into the house to lift it into place.  Three more friends stopped by after church to help lift it into place and attach the chains.
Beautiful Hood

Ikea storage unit with butcher block counter
The other piece that Jason did complete for the kitchen was this Ikea storage piece.  We bought this piece from a friend who was moving several years ago.  I honestly don't remember how much we paid for it, because we bought a lot of stuff from them at that time.  (Again, patience is a virtue.  This piece was in storage for several years until Jason decided that we finally had enough stuff in place-and the time-to attempt this remodel.)  It came with a gorgeous black laminate top that just didn't fit with our vision for this room.  Jason changed out the counter for the matching butcher block.   I left everything on the counter the way it normally is: Jessie's baking items (mixer, purple cake decorating items), bread/cookies/fruit bowl.  Joey and Jessie normally have their computer plugged in here since its battery doesn't hold its charge.  The gorgeous clear pitcher in front of the purple cake decorating kit was painted by Jason's mom Debbie.  I just haven't gotten it back into storage yet on top of another cabinet. 

Inside the Ikea cabinet-we added the shelf that bent.

Jason added a shelf for storage that bent when I placed the crock pot on it.  Therefore he flipped it over and I just store little pots and the rice/veggie steamer on it.  As you can see we store the cooking items we use the most and our oils/vinegars/rice crispies for making rice crispie treats, etc.

2 stoves plus another storage piece
Please note: we have not started using the wood stove for heat-thus why our oil bottles are sitting on top of it from cooking on the electric stove.  We know not to have oil bottles on a working wood stove.

If you remember from my original post I showed the blue and white hutch that had all my spices/teas, etc.  (The hutch is next to the Ikea cabinet I just talked about in an above picture.)  This is the third piece that we bought with that hutch for a total of $75.  Jason added this backsplash that he bought at a box store and then antiqued with paint so that we don't lose our potholders, oils, etc from falling behind onto the fireplace.  This piece has been used all the time for six years and does need to be repainted.  Whoever originally painted it didn't seal the paint with wax, so it definitely shows all its dirty/worn spots.  Plus we could probably just clean it sometime as well:)

Painted storage piece with backsplash

Close up of backsplash, Panelling is damaged in that spot.
Someday it shall be painted:)

Here is where our wood and newspaper starters for the wood stove will be stored this winter-under the table that Jason got for free from a church.

Baking table with wood/newspaper storage

One of my frugal Goodwill purchases in August was this bench.  I bought it for $20, which is kind of funny since I only paid $10 for the larger bench we have on the side.  This bench fit the side of the table perfectly though.  Anna usually sits here, but the other night I noticed that Joey and Jessie can both sit on the bench side by side-and it doesn't tip easily.  It's balanced much better than the large bench.  If you sit too closely to the end of the bigger bench it can start to flip up like a see saw on a playground.  The top of the bench actually got a small tear on the way home when it caught on something else in the truck.  I started to cry...don't you hate when that kind of thing happens?  My goal is to someday eventually cover both benches with matching red material.

Frugal $20 Goodwill piano bench-used as a table bench now

Last, but not least, my solution for keeping the plastic food storage containers somewhat organized is to use diaper boxes/wet wipe boxes.  First, we cleared out our overflow and put them into storage until we need them.  (I'm talking in a box in the garage since we are forever breaking containers and/or giving them away when we make meals for those in need.)  I will probably add another box or two so that I can organize water bottles and a few of the other pieces as they get washed from being used in the fridge...I may even one day cover the boxes with pretty paper.  Debbie has volunteered to make me a curtain for this space that doesn't have a cabinet door, but I just haven't decided exactly what I want yet.  The reason why it doesn't have a door is because this piece was originally a corner piece, so it had another counter/cabinet in front of that empty space, connecting to it in a "L" shape.  That's also why the handle and hinges face the left instead of the right on that lower cabinet door next to the storage space....maybe someday Jason will switch that more thing for his never ending "Honey To do  List."

Free cabinets Jason painted

Diaper and Wet Wipe boxes as plastic container storage

Remember how I quoted, "Patience is a virtue?"  Well, that is definitely true.  My biggest pet peeve right now is that the Salvador Dali painting is still not centered above the sink.  (Jason just used the nail that was there from a painting that had been centered over our couch, so that the Dali was up on the wall for my arrival back in July.)  But I've decided that I want to be happy rather than sometime in the next year I will probably "block off" a picture hanging day and the Dali will get centered.  I personally don't want to be the person straddling the sink to move the painting so I can wait.  (Ignore all my dirty and clean dishes!)  I decided to write this blog post instead of cleaning-priorities people!:)

Salvadore Dali painting-still not centered over sink:)
For anyone wondering we are still under $1600 for this remodel.

This is what I have figured our approximate expenses to be:

$312.98 Ikea sink
$180 Faucet bought off Amazon for 1/3 of the Ikea price...Plus, it has the sprayer feature!
$60 Sherwin Williams paint for cabinets
$160 Ikea butcher block counters (now discontinued)
$250 for the Commercial Restaurant Stove Hood
$30 Backsplash, caulk and sealant
$80 Wood, Chains, parts for attaching stove hood
$80 tank of gas to pick up stove hood
$150 services traded with our contractor friend for intalling stove hood
$120 Plumbing (with lots of pex pipe leftover for other projects)
$100 for misc Lowe's expenses (cement board behind cabinets, paint drop cloths, etc)
$20 for the blue bench from Goodwill

Note: We reused kitchen counters and received other free kitchen counters from another friend who remodeled their kitchen this summer.

Total so far: $1542.98

I probably won't post any more about the kitchen until we have something new to report.  I'm not expecting Jason to get the exhaust installed until closer to February.  Hopefully at that time he will get the doors attached to cabinets next to the stoves.  He wanted to try out the "open shelving" look that you see in so many blogs/magazines.  I am totally NOT into open shelving.  I don't like having to wash the dust off the pans before I (or Jessie) bakes.

Awesome Frugal Hood

The coziness of aprons, baking items and Thomas Kinkade
Though this wall needs a much larger painting....patiently waiting for that!

Thank you for patience-and for checking back!!!  Please pray for the success of our St. Nicholas project.

You can read Frugal Kitchen Remodel Post #1 here.

Wishing you peace and warmth this chilly November,

From the Sweetness of our Home to yours,


Linking to:

My Romantic Home


  1. When you have specific preferences with your kitchen remodel project, or any other house project, patience is truly a virtue. The thoughts of where to find the specific piece you're looking for, when is it going to be available, and if it's going to fit the budget will take you a lot of time waiting and deciding. That's why it's so good to see that you luckily found a large enough hood for your two stoves. We will be waiting for the completion of this project. Good luck!
    Gary @ Woods Custom Kitchens

  2. I like how you keep your readers updated about your kitchen renovation project. I am certain that they also feel excited every time they hear the latest news about your kitchen. Well, you need to be patient when it comes to home improvement projects like this. Take things slowly but surely!
    Gabrielle Jeromy @ Majestic Exteriors

  3. Finally have a third update on the kitchen-it's just curtains and a bench redo if you want to see it:)


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