Upgrading kitchen

I have been planning to upgrade my IP kitchen and needing some advice and comments as I try to maintain tight budget ($5000 as a discipline) while coordinating suppliers. Basically, replace old 32 mm laminex benchtop with new 30 mm caesarstone benchtop, replace old 900 Chef electrical cooktop with new 600 cm ceran cooktop, remove a drawer cabinet and replace with a cabinet with 2 drawers and a Fisher and Paykel dishdrawer, and replace old top mounted 2 tub sink and drainer with new undermount 1 and 3/4 sink.

So far, I have these elements purchased or in order, largely retaining the layout of the existing kitchen but simplified somewhat (a J instead of a C shape)

1) Olle 60 cm ceran cooktop
2) 30 mm caesarstone benchtop, including installing sink
3) 1 and 3/4 undermount Kleenmaid sink (use existing mixer)
4) F&P dishdrawer
5) new flatpack dishdrawer cabinet

I will be given 7 days to interrupt the tenants use of the kitchen.

I plan to split the work during those days:

2 days to remove old laminex benchtop and discard an old section of drawer cabinet

2 days for benchtop suppliers to install new caesarstone benchtop and cut at site to fit ceran cooktop

2 days to connect electrical and plumbing.

1 day contingency to tidy up.

First advice needed: how to remove the old 32 mm laminex benchtop with minimal damage to retained cabinet carcass? I will use the circular saw to sever just the section of the benchtop with the discarded drawer cabinet. I will unscrew all holding brackets and pry benchtop (also use chisel?) with crowbar if there is glue applied.

Problem: If there is glue applied between cabinet carcass and benchtop will mechanical separation damage the cabinet? Is there a softening agent to apply to glued joints first that will facilitate removal and not damage the cabinet carcass? Any special tool that I can get for this job?

I envisage minimal cost for hot wiring the new 60 cm ceran cooktop to replace the old 80 cm Chef electrical cooktop or to extend a new powerpoint for the dishdrawer as the house has a wooden floor and is elevated on stumps. Reconnecting the plumbing to the new sink should not be difficult.

I do not envisage difficulty with assembling the new flatpack cabinet and is prepared to accept the difference in colour and woodgrain finish between the new cabinet and the panels of the existing kitchen cabinets. Removing a drawer cabinet will expose the wooden flooring which will be covered with a rug.

Trying to harmonise the finish of the new and old panels will be for a future date. Probably by replacing sections of old doors with new ones. The finish of the old kitchen floor will be existing vinyl covering. I will be upgraded to tiled flooring at a future date. Also replacing the 900 Chef cooktop with a 600 ceran cooktop will show a mismatch with the existing 900 canopy rangehood, which I am prepared to accept as long as the rangehood is bigger than the cooktop and not the other way around.

Problem: How will the flooring be tiled? Should I just nailed cement sheets over the existing vinyl covering of the kitchen floor, apply glue and new tiles with a small aluminium section to separate the kitchen floor from the family floor.

On the financial aspects of this exercise, I think it will be cashflow contributing by 5 or 6 years (depreciation and rent increase). IRR is estimated at 13% over 5 or 6 years, assuming that the undepreciated items 2 and 5 will appreciate at 5% p.a. (it will depend alot on CG).

Problem: Are the kitchen enhancements sufficient to apply for a top up of loan with my lender? I have also put on polycarbonate roofing to parts of the pegola since the last top up about 8 months ago. But the last top up was based on a value of the property about 25k less than the last advertised price of a neighboring property sold recently.

Have I missed anything significant? Any tricky part that I need to be aware of other than the problems I have raised above? I would be grateful for the input of those who are experienced in renovation, especially those who are DIY and hands-on forumers.
 
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i think your time limit of 2 days to remove old laminex benchtop and discard an old section of drawer cabinet is more than enough, it will probably take more like 1 day max.

i also think your 2 days for benchtop suppliers to install new caesarstone benchtop and cut at site to fit ceran cooktop is to much, would be more like 1 day

so i think youll be able to achieve it quicker than your 7 days

i worked as a stone mason whilst i studied building design, we removed old laminex benchtops before fitting the new granite or composite stone

some a screwed in, so check for screws inside the cupboards

once the screws were removed we used to pull the bench top up as hard as we could to crack the glue (not all had glue by the way)

sometimes the bench top would just lift off, the glue would crack easily and that was it

if the laminex is on a substrate, we would screw screws through the sumstrate lifting the laminex top off the substrate

if all that failed, we would saw cut through sections and chisel the laminex off in big sections
 
i think your time limit of 2 days to remove old laminex benchtop and discard an old section of drawer cabinet is more than enough, it will probably take more like 1 day max.

i also think your 2 days for benchtop suppliers to install new caesarstone benchtop and cut at site to fit ceran cooktop is to much, would be more like 1 day

so i think youll be able to achieve it quicker than your 7 days

...

once the screws were removed we used to pull the bench top up as hard as we could to crack the glue (not all had glue by the way)

sometimes the bench top would just lift off, the glue would crack easily and that was it

if the laminex is on a substrate, we would screw screws through the sumstrate lifting the laminex top off the substrate

if all that failed, we would saw cut through sections and chisel the laminex off in big sections

Hi Joshua

It's good to know that I have allowed ample time to get the job done. This job is likely to be undertaken in December so I want to make sure different people are around at time slot to do a good job. The other thing is that I want to avoid the mess of needing to pacify tenants for loss of amenity if the job is uncompleted.

I hope removing the laminex benchtop is going to be as easy as you suggested. I will try hard yanking benchtop to break the glue between benchtop and the cabinet carcass, but if there is no progress I may try using a bottle jack and ample padding/props.

I am not sure about your reference to the procedure of screwing through the substrate to lift the laminex from the substrate. It would apply to re-laminating the surface? My intention is to remove the existing 32 mm benchtop consisting of laminex and particle board in sections at a time and the supplier will put in place a 30 mm caesarstone benchtop. I will have to carefully cut through the existing benchtop in at least two places, so I can carry the sections out. At some locations, the circular saw can only cut partially across the benchtop, especially near the wall and splashback. At those tight spots I intend to use the hammer/chisel and perhaps the jigsaw.
 
i ripped my entire kitchen out in about 1 hour the benchtops just levered off the top no cutting required they were just glued in place with the occasional angled nail. I was surprised how easily it all came out to be honest. Buy one of those short lever bars from bunnings they cost about 5 dollars and are invaluable.
 
i ripped my entire kitchen out in about 1 hour the benchtops just levered off the top no cutting required they were just glued in place with the occasional angled nail. I was surprised how easily it all came out to be honest. Buy one of those short lever bars from bunnings they cost about 5 dollars and are invaluable.

Thanks for the encouraging feedback about how easy it is to remove the benchtop. I guess some benchtops are assembled very quickly and equally fast to remove!

The one in my house seems to be glued well in place and would present a problem when the time comes to upgrade my own kitchen. However, I am optimistic that the kitchen in the IP is put together 'quick and dirty'. Not that it is bad, it still works quite well.

The short flat lever bar is a specialty tool I did not consider. Apparently for about $20 you get a set of such levers of various lengths. Thanks for the suggestion. I have a 2 footer hexagonal crow bar which would be clumsy in the confined space under the benchtop. Good call.

I think I may need to cut the benchtop into sections to carry it out seeing that I plan on doing the job by myself. But I am optimistic that the benchtop substrate sections are stuck together flimsily (as you have found out) and break cleanly under the laminex when I apply the lever to the benchtop.
 
HEADS UP! francesco 6wks to x-mass have you booked the benchtops in yet, get em made, pronto!

remember to space up the splash back, heights with the bench tops, book in the electrician, and plumber. NOW!

place all materials on site, around the side, for the big day, think the job through , close your eyes and imagine the from the first to the last thing you (think) you need to do , include all tools materials and glues, and allow for a trailer or small bin, for the rubbish. great learning curve, just get into it!
 
For removal of waste i hired a guy who loads and takes the rubbish away he had a 5.5 meter truck and charged $150 per load to load and take away, it would have cost me $220 for a skip which i would have had to load myself. To me this was a much better option.
One other tip if you are going to power saw in a room make sure you seal that room off from the rest of the house with plastic cleaning up the dust in a whole house is one extremely painfull job
 
HEADS UP! francesco 6wks to x-mass have you booked the benchtops in yet, get em made, pronto!

remember to space up the splash back, heights with the bench tops, book in the electrician, and plumber. NOW!

place all materials on site, around the side, for the big day, think the job through , close your eyes and imagine the from the first to the last thing you (think) you need to do , include all tools materials and glues, and allow for a trailer or small bin, for the rubbish. great learning curve, just get into it!

Thanks Craig. All things ordered, in fact ceran cooktop and sink are at hand and satisfactory. I will pass templates and the sink to the benchtop supplier to mount next week. Electrical and plumbing needs arranged. I am just installing flat pack cabinet but it should be manageable with all drive bits and good 18V lithium powered portable drill (including impact) at hand.

IMONMYWAY. Thanks about raising the rubbish disposal issue. I think I will cut the benchtop to manageable sections to fit into my small 4 wheel drive. I will minimise use of the circular saw in the kitchen but if I do I will turn on the vac at the same time. Some sections can be used as portable worktop at home or disposed off at the rubbish tip together with the drawer cabinet at the ACT's rubbish tip for the price of one entry fee of about $8-$12 (can't remember the exact fee). All in, I cannot see the rubbish issue to cost me more than a single trip to the tip plus entry fee. I will get rid of the old cooktop at the same time at the recycling section of the tip.
 
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Completed

I think I will just update on this project.

Installation went according to schedule in the week tenants had their holidays. All in the installation was finished within 5 days, ie with 2 days to spare of the week available for the installation. The total costs came in at just less than the budget of $5000.

Some of the more important costs:

30 mm caesarstone benchtop $2,700
Fisher and Paykel stainless steel dishdrawer $1,065
Olle 600 mm ceran cooktop $500
flatpak cabinet $290
undermount 1+3/4 $165
drawer accessory and plumbing parts $100
Labour help for the installation was free for this project.

Lessons learnt:

Get more parts than required from Bunnings and return surplus after project to minimise on trips.

If the old benchtop does not shift, it's usually because of a nail.
 
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