Stonewwod Construction Blog

An Extraordinary Kitchen

June 06, 2012

We were contacted last October about performing a minor kitchen facelift at a previous client’s home in the Ferry Street Bridge neighborhood. The folks were hoping for new appliances, countertops, plumbing fixtures, flooring and a re-surfacing of their existing cabinetry. For kicks, we also estimated a more substantial project, including replacing the cabinetry in lieu of the re-surfacing option. It turned out that replacing was not terribly more expensive than resurfacing but also allowed all the new amenities available in custom cabinet construction. Once we settled on the idea that the cabinets were to be replaced, the slope got slippery, and fast. . . The adjoining Powder Room and Laundry were going to look pretty shabby next to this brilliant new kitchen. The adjacent, seldom used Dining Room became available for expansion of the kitchen and the insertion of a walk-in pantry. The closet housing the water heater and furnace became an obstacle to the opening of the kitchen to the rest of the home.

Knowing everything was now on the table, we spent the next 3 months working on the design. After a very enjoyable back-and-forth, including cutting exploratory holes in the ceiling to determine existing framing loads and mapping kitchen footprint options on the floors and walls with blue tape, we arrived at our final plan. We created a plan which claims the old formal (and redundant) dining room for kitchen and pantry and shifted around the footprint of the powder and laundry rooms to better use each space. We landed a large island in the middle of the new space that will seat as many as 7 guests for informal dining. We created a new entry to their beautiful backyard and swimming pool by inserting a new 8′ sliding door to invite guests out back and make those in the backyard feel connected to the rest of the crowd in the new kitchen/great room. We also took this opportunity to upgrade some of their existing systems by rebuilding their electrical service, installing a new tankless water heater, adding insulation where there was not, and assessing and repairing their forced air heating and air conditioning system.

We commenced with the demolition and framing on May 21st. Continue to check in with us from time to time to see the kitchen evolve!

The kitchen remodel is underway. The demolition, framing and rough plumbing, electrical and HVAC work are complete. Drywall starting right away!

The owners of this home wrote a nice note to our project supervisor, Jake Shafer. . .


It looks like we are entering another phase of the project: Demolition and framing complete! The guys working here have been terrific. Darren has had a positive cheerful attitude the whole time despite the rotten job of pulling up the resistant tile. And he persisted even though he was injured on the job. Kevin and Zane did great jobs while they were here as well. The sub contractors: Kyla’s crew, Plumber Jeff, and Aaron from Marshall’s have been very competent and easy to have in our home. They have all been good problem solvers.

I have REALLY appreciated that you and your crew have fixed or reinforced mistakes and/or shortcomings that have occurred during original construction or previous remodels. I have told several friends about this, about how you do “business.” Some of these friends are considering remodels. In all cases I have told them to consider Stonewood.

The final drywall texturing is taking place today (6/13)! Tomorrow we move into the “Finish” phase of the kitchen remodel, starting with interior painting, followed by installation of the cabinet package which is being stained and lacquered at our finishing shop as we speak. We’ve come up with a finish scheme that features dark-stained Alder cabinetry topped with “Solarus” granite. We’re installing a 18″ porcelain tile in soothing brown tones over electric heat mats throughout. We’ll be choosing our paint colors over the next couple of days by brushing out various sample colors on the walls; we’re looking for the perfect earthy green wall color on select walls to really tie all of the elements of color together. Pretty pictures coming soon!


Guest Comments

We’re the owners of the “extraordinary kitchen.” This project began to take a life of its own when we decided to go full throttle into a remodel instead of just a cabinet resurfacing. With a larger refrigerator and a center island, we could not work in the kitchen without rubbing each other’s back side. Tom didn’t mind that at all, but Barbara’s culinary focus was sometimes detoured by the bumps. Our small bathroom (designers call it a powder room because it has only a sink and a toilet) is the only one downstairs. We had to go through the laundry room to gain entry to this 3′ by 7′ bathroom. Sometimes we even had to navigate around laundry baskets and dirty clothes. Tom, at 63, while still very athletic, often had to make speedy entries to the toilet area. Jumping, turning, and hopping over baskets with a sense of urgency just didn’t seem classy. So our kitchen remodel became a kitchen, laundry room, “power room” remodel.
We have a contractor friend from Southern California (also Tom’s life long friend) had, several years ago, recommended to eliminate the dining room and make the large open area in the center of the house, that we call the gathering room, into the area for meals. So our old dining room became part of the new kitchen and we used a portion of it to become a pantry. After discussing these ideas with Josh, we began to formulate ideas for a total redesign. We took measurements, Josh took measurements. We put blue tape on the floor to simulate where a new island would be and what corner the pantry was located. Tom got his Dad’s old drafting board out and played with possible designs. Barbara had to approve everything and Josh had to tell us if it would work. Josh would take our rudimentary plans and begin to draft a workable plan. He always came back with something new and better. For instance and expanded “powder room” and an eight foot sliding glass door as the back yard entry. He searched near and far to get the perfect door that included blinds in between the glass. We decided to go with a Pella sliding door. It should be great.

Everyday that we see progress is exciting. Josh took Barbara and I out on a shopping trip and we made several of the fixture, granite, and counter top decisions. He organized the trip and because he has gotten to know our preferences. He was able to guide us through the maze of decisions efficiently. Then he spent hours shopping the internet to get the best prices.

Jake does the day to day administration and supervision on the site.He addresses every single concern or “ad on” with an optimistic can do attitude. Tom and Jake get along very well and even laugh at each other jokes.

We feel like they have “ownership” of our house and our project. They are just as interested as we are in having a really quality result. I hope to see lots of pictures of our new kitchen on their web site.

Keep up the good work guys!!

Tom and Barbara

Stonewood Construction did a face lift on our home in the South West Hills of Eugene. We knew we were going to move and sell our home in the next 2 or 3 years so we asked them to give us a quote on the face lift, which included all new floor coverings, paint the entire inside of the home and fix some siding issues from dry rot. What I really appreciated about them was the full service work that they offered, from color selection on paint, to floor covering options that fit our budget, to full understanding of what it would take to repair the siding on the outside of the house. The end result looked great. They were very responsive during the process and completed the work on time and at the price they quoted us. When it came time to sell our home it sold right away, because it look so good. Thanks for helping us sell our home! Give these guys a call, they can do it all!

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