The second piece of advice I might offer is plan for longer than you think it might take and realize it will cost more than you thought. Even when we had purchased everything we thought we would need, we still had to purchase more. I knew I would want pretty new plates to cover the electric plugs and switches. Our old ones were wood and ugly. I ordered some beautiful ones on line (home improvement stores have a very limited selection and don't usually include the cable and phone jack covers), but I forgot to purchase new actual switches and plugs. They deteriorate over time and get really dirty. We also did not purchase grout for the back splash (I assumed the contractor would do this). We didn't realize all the types of paint we would need. A paint to match the cabinet color for the sides of the cabinets that were not refaced because the stove or fridge was there, a good primer, wall paint, ceiling paint, semi-gloss and eggshell finishes. We ordered beautiful brushed nickel for the faucet, sink and cabinet handles but had dirty gold finishes on the pantry and garage doors. Mixing the two metals looked awful, so we had to buy new hardware for the two doors. We needed a new white vent cover for the heating; the old cover was dark and ugly. We kept piling up the receipts in a folder and still do not have a total. Our contractor will be the last receipt and we won't get his bill until next week.
The following pictures show our kitchen the day after we talked to the contractor. Our remodel was done by several companies. We contacted Wood Front Kitchens to have our cabinets refaced. This involved new doors and covering our existing boxes with new material. I elected to have our cabinets painted a light cream color, the doors design was kept simple. If you look in the lower right corner of the first picture, you will see a trash masher that we don't use. I requested a pull out spice rack just that size. Our upper and lower cabinets and our counter top end at the trash masher. I requested new upper and lower cabinets all the way to the door you see in the next to last picture. Our old lower cabinets were to be retrofitted with roll out drawers for appliances and pots and pans. The hood (which does not hold an exhaust fan) over the stove was to be removed and we would purchase a range hood with a light and exhaust fan. Since we planned to install a new ceramic floor which would raise our fridge, the cabinet over the fridge would be removed, cut down, refaced and reinstalled so the fridge would fit under it. Our microwave cabinet was too tall for our microwave so Dave suggested taking that entire cabinet down, making a new box to actually fit our microwave, and installing it. This would raise the cabinet giving us more room under it. In the second picture, you can see the microwave. We stored all of our snacks on top of it since there was so much room left in that cabinet. Stay tuned, next post I'll show you the cabinets and talk about our contractor.