From kitchen disaster to kitchen tour

Chris Tucker
Posted 4/18/17

A Port Townsend couple’s kitchen has gone from a water-damaged disaster to a display-worthy remodeling showcase.

Seven years ago, 58,000 gallons of water flowed from a burst pipe in the kitchen …

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From kitchen disaster to kitchen tour


A Port Townsend couple’s kitchen has gone from a water-damaged disaster to a display-worthy remodeling showcase.

Seven years ago, 58,000 gallons of water flowed from a burst pipe in the kitchen ceiling of Pat and Paul Aniotzbehere’s home, causing the kitchen floor to warp and flooding their furnished basement.

This year, their new kitchen – remodeled in 2011 – is one of nine kitchens featured in the 20th annual AAUW Port Townsend Kitchen Tour “Kitchens Bay to Bay” on April 22.

To Paul Aniotzbehere, it just goes to show that “every cloud has a silver lining.”

Their home has never been part of the tour before, but the couple is happy to take part and “happy we can help out the AAUW [American Association of University Women] and fund their needs,” he said.

The couple moved into the home in 2004. The November 2010 disaster began when the couple took a four-day trip to California to pick up a dog.

Aniotzbehere said a California contractor – presumably accustomed to a warmer southern climate – had put very little insulation around a three-quarter-inch-diameter copper water pipe when the home was built in 1996-1997. The pipe ran through the garage and kitchen, and temperatures dropped to about 18 degrees that month.

While they were gone, the water pipe burst in two places causing some 58,000 gallons of water to gush through a newly formed hole in the kitchen ceiling, down the stairs, through a water-warped kitchen floor and down ventilation ducts into the daylight basement below.

The water company later noticed excessive flow in the area and determined it was coming from the unoccupied home.

The water warped studs and destroyed drywall as it pooled in the basement guest room, TV room and gym, Aniotzbehere recalled.

Neighbors called the Aniotzbeheres to break the bad news.

“Are you sitting down?” Aniotzbehere recalled them asking him.

Neighbors salvaged what they could from the home and threw what they couldn’t save into a 9-foot-high pile of trash.

“Carpet and everything else,” Aniotzbehere said.

The resulting water bill was “hellacious,” but he noted that the water utility gave them a break, charging the couple the water at cost.

Repair work began in January 2011 and ended six months later.

“We can tell you about every hotel in Port Townsend,” Aniotzbehere joked of the time they spent living outside of their home.

With blowers and dehumidifiers in every room, it took three weeks just to get the house dry enough for construction work.

Aniotzbehere praised State Farm Insurance, saying its response was “beyond great.”

He was also pleased with the contractor. Malcolm Dorn and the rest of the crew at Wallyworks “were just beyond fabulous. They were just great … really took care of us … we got a much nicer home out of the deal.”

As part of the remodeling work, the kitchen countertops, center island, stove and cabinets were lowered to better accommodate the height of Aniotzbehere’s wife, Pat, who is 5 feet tall and is the ”chief cook and bottle washer.”

“We still have the piece of broken pipe as a souvenir,” Aniotzbehere said.

The new kitchen is bright and airy. Other details of the kitchen are to be explained on the tour.


The 20th annual AAUW/UWF Port Townsend Kitchen Tour “Kitchens Bay to Bay” is set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, April 22 and features nine kitchens in the Kala Point, Woodland Hills and Discovery Bay areas.

Through the University Women’s Foundation (UWF), which is AAUW PT’s philanthropic arm, kitchen tour proceeds fund educational projects and college scholarships in the public schools of East Jefferson County.

Tickets are available at Quimper Mercantile, The Green Eyeshade, The Kitchen & Bath Studio and What’s Cookin’ in Port Townsend; the Chimacum Corner Farmstand in Chimacum; Over the Fence in Sequim; and Dana Pointe Interiors in Port Ludlow.

Tickets on the day of the tour are $25 and can be purchased at the Kala Point Hospitality Center, 310 Sailview Drive, Port Townsend.

Tickets this year are also available online at

For more information, visit “Port Townsend Kitchen Tour” on Facebook or the AAUW Port Townsend website: