It is Saturday. There is no one in my home. YIPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Well, I should mention Wayne is here so the noise level may not be as low as I hoped…haha. Not that I do not love our crew but a day or two off is nice. The sanding of the floors came out beautiful and the first coat has been put on. It looks so awesome! Two more coats to go.
Last night we went out to eat. The restaurant did not have Sam Adams Cold Snap. We were both bummed; I guess you can officially call this our favorite beer now! Going out has been quite fun though. We walk, we talk. It’s like date night each night!
Today we have decided to do a tile backsplash. We were going to do granite continued as the backsplash but with the wall causing leveling issues –this will work out best. So, we will have to go tile shopping! We have changed our minds now on the paint color for the other walls. We will be going a shade lighter……I think. Paint: seems to like to change its appearance in light—daylight vs night time, lamp light, sunlight, and natural light mattering on the time of day. You have to check so many light scenarios that it starts to get overwhelming!
Wayne has decided he is going to put on the second coat on the floor today. Noise has begun…sander plus ventilator jet engine then add vacuum then add smell of coating. The smell can be very strong but the ventilator makes a HUGE difference. It sucks it right out of the house! It sucks heat too. It is very cold out today –negative wind chills. March the moody month.
I am hand washing all dishes being used. I have gotten into a routine. I wash everything after each meal (mainly breakfast and lunch). I put on Pandora and sing and dance and wash and rinse! I am making this fun-ish. This kitchen renovation could go a bit longer than foreseen……says Wendy the realist.
We went out to dinner this evening. The deal between us both is no repeating restaurants. Thankfully we live in an area of many restaurants. We may need to start a restaurant blog! We scored on Sam Adams Cold Snap! WooHooo!!!! It’s the little things…hahaha! But tonight we turn the clocks ahead……bummer!
Today was more of an administration type of day. I always recommend that clients pick out every last detail before they begin… but we broke that rule. We’re not THAT bad though – we’ve only got paint color and backsplash tile left to select. And we were forced into the tile backsplash dilemma. We were going to have the countertop granite run up the wall to the underside of the wall cabinets. But when we discovered how bad the exterior wall framing was (is) – that eliminated that option. Our fallback position is ceramic tile - which I can manipulate to hide that defect.
We canvassed Google Images to look at tile backsplashes and now we need to see some product in person. Armed with our Sherwin Williams color wheel we went to Home Depot to see what they had in stock. Though we didn’t see a tile or accent that jumped out at us – we did agree on a color scheme. That in itself has a huge success – though it eliminates the wall color we were thinking about. Next trip will be to Tri-City Masonry, which is where I get most all of my tile from, to look through their hundreds of displays. That might be fun… that might be a nightmare. Maybe a Cold Snap before that trip?
After all that window shopping I buffed the hard wood floor and applied the 2nd coat of finish. The floor is really coming to life!
For dinner we visited an establishment that we hadn’t frequented in quite some time, the Dover Weathervane. We used to live near that and it was common dining spot for us and the girls as they grew up. As we passed by the waiting area we were flooded with the memories of young Rebecca and Melissa getting the crowd to laugh with their antics while waiting to be seated :-)
Steak tips and mashed potatoes were great… and even better… they served me a Cold Snap!
Friday…yippee! The crew is here along with the electrician. The goal is to try to hang more cabinets and figure out the remedy for the annoying wall built by non mathematical framers in the 1990’s. Wayne is a perfectionist, so this will drive him crazy. This is where my level headed mind comes in. I need to find the half way point of complete perfection and acceptability. This marriage/business works well because we are both perfectionist about different things-so all gets done nicely. But I digress…..
The finish sanding floor crew is coming at noon so there is a lot of moving around quickly from our crew and electrician to get things done before noon. The noise level is a tad HIGH. We have the ventilator going and it sounds like a jet engine! It does do its job extremely efficiently. So add jet engine noise, plus guys talking loudly to hear each other, plus power tool noise, plus radios that no one can hear but me—I am getting very good at zoning out noise levels. I think it is a survival skill you learn when you get married and/or become a mom….hahahaha!
I hear cutting of sheetrock so the proposed remedy is beginning on the wall. The ceiling itself is far from level which is not helping in the installation of the crown molding. I remember our last home which was built in 1863. It had many quirks and challenges when renovating, but it was a solid home. Perfect framing is so important-everything feeds off that. I am taking deep breathes. I survived years and I mean many, many years of renovating the 1863 house. I can handle this 90’s house and the issues I hear from my home office coming from the kitchen. I know he is cursing those framers whoever they were…..
The floor sanding crew is here and the noise level is VERY HIGH so I am off to the outside world for a while.
Today was your classic ‘one step forward, two steps back’ kind of day. But it ended with a Mother-my-I giant leap forward. I had hung a bank of three upper wall cabinets when I discovered the wall framing had such a HUGE bow in it that the cabinets were thrown WAY out of straight and plumb. As I would do on any job – we took them done to remove sheetrock and correct the framing. After hanging the wall cabinets again, we discovered the crown molding lines were getting messed up because the ceiling is so out of kilter. My last house, which was built in 1860, was framed exponentially better than this vintage ’93. So the cabinets came down again… then were installed for the last time to accommodate the crown molding.
Just after lunch the wood floor sanding crew showed up so we did a site cleanup and relinquished the room to them. Four hours later the floor was sanded and sealed. IT’S BEAUTIFUL!
Then the night culminated with a trip out for dinner. Wendy and I made a pact that we would visit a different restaurant every time we went out – no repeating. So I might as well plug them as I go. Can you say 'endless bread sticks, endless salad bowls, Tour of Italy?' The service, food and conversation were great. Only drawback – they did NOT have Sam Adams Cold Snap. That’s a strike.
The electrician continued with installs and updating; more cabinets were installed and the crown molding backing has begun. We moved up to the 16” ventilation fan and it feels like a whole house fan! The fan is definitely doing its job and pumping the dust, etc out of the house. This fan is so powerful that it is sucking in some of the plastic of the barricades! The gas company came out today to look at installing a new gas line for the cook top. The install should be happening next week. We have the template for the granite happening next Friday (17th). They usually install one week after template but unfortunately we will have to move them later because we are taking a quick trip to Miami to see Rebecca and family. We have priorities over here! Family First!!
Unfortunately (seems I have been using this word a lot recently….), another issue comes up at the end of the work day. It seems that one of our interior walls has a bad bow in it. This issue creates problems for the cabinet install, granite install, backsplash install that are along that major wall…ugh ugh ugh! So, we will sleep on it and address the problem in the morning and resolve it. I just know it will involve $$ and headache but I am that “march onward” person and say accept the problem and resolve it to the best of your ability. Whining and complaining are not my thing!
I cooked in tonight. It went well. Toaster oven did well on the meat. The toaster oven reminds me of an easy bake oven as a kid…hahaha! I even have the “right sized” sheets/pans/etc to fit it! The microwave worked fine for the sweet potatoes and veggies. Clean up was easy- I have a dish pan to wash in then a small sink to rinse in and a dish drainer to let the clean dishes in. Reminds of long time ago before I had a dishwasher….yeah, I will never be without a dishwasher unless I am camping! Aren’t we all so spoiled…!
Things are really starting to take shape. The entire bank of cabinets that contain the pantry, wall ovens, and fridge are all installed. Then on the other side of the room all the wall cabinets are installed. The electrician has been buzzing around staying ahead of us with outlets and lighting circuits, and Brett has begun the 3-layer crown molding trim. The wood floor sanders are scheduled today at noon so whatever base cabinets we don’t finish installing will just have to be moved out of the way – floor sanding takes highest priority today. We had been using an 8” dust extraction system and upgraded yesterday to a 16” exhaust in anticipation of the dust that will be generated by the floor sanders. All small children and pets must be tethered down to not be sucked into the extraction machine!
I know my advice to clients is to go out to eat every night but since Wendy put so much effort into setting up a temporary kitchen, and her willingness to try to cook – we ate at home last night. It was as fantastic as ever. Fresh pork chops from Tender Crop, sweet potatoes, and green beans. A culinary delight cooked on a hot plate, a toaster, and a microwave – awesome.
Today, the electrician started; the cabinets were delivered and de-boxed; the hardwood floor install was finished and I picked up the new dual wall ovens. The dual wall ovens barely fit in my Honda Pilot but the warehouse guys at State Street got them in—big kudos to them! It was a very busy, loud day. The 8 inch ventilation fan was pumping out all the dust through its big hosing—a wonderful thing! I handled working downstairs in my office – the chatter, the banging and the fans almost started to sound like white noise. The day continued with cabinets being installed; the electrician redoing the electric and adding additional outlets and recess cans; new stereo ceiling speakers were installed (very important!) and the microwave and sink were delivered. Unfortunately, we realized at the end of the work day that we would need to move a few more existing recessed cans because they would be too close to the crown molding. So …..More electrical work and more sheetrock patching are to be done.
We went out to eat again for supper….I am still enjoying not preparing, cooking and clean up! We found a new favorite beer-Samuel Adams Cold Snap! The advantages of going out…haha!
Crazy day here; Cabinet delivery in the rain, running around for plumbing and trim supplies, Wendy picked up the appliances, UPS delivered the sink and microwave, electrician running wires and lighting, we finished installing the wood flooring and began installing the cabinets. I call it ‘organized chaos’. Then the day concluded with going to out eat and having a nice cold beer. Have you tried Sam Adams ‘Cold snap’ yet? It hit the spot!
Wayne updated me with numerous demolition pictures throughout the day so when I finally arrived back home last night around 9:30 pm--the shock was numbed a bit. Good bye ugly tile. The space looked so large and it was cleaned up nicely. The boys built barricades to keep the work dust in the work space. It makes the renovation so much easier to handle.
Today, the boys started installing the hardwood floor. I thought for sure I would need to move my home office upstairs to the library but the sound of the nail guns started to go from loud to rhythmical. The floor came out wonderful and it was quite painless on my end. Again-thankful, so thankful for the multiple barricades.
Wayne believes we need to eat out for supper instead of me trying to be creative in the temporary kitchen. Well, I do not feel like hand washing pans and living off paper plates so I am going to enjoy going out to eat for a few dinners! No cooking and no cleaning up....I am suffering so! HAHAHA!
Tomorrow there is rumors of cabinets being installed, electrician coming to do some work and a double oven unit to be picked up that has arrived! It sounds like a wonderful day! Crossing fingers and toes.......
Coffee wasn’t as much of a struggle today. I think I am adapting. Microwavable lunch and taking my own advice for dinner – took the bride out to Newicks. Now I’ve heard some people say that they get tired of going out to eat so much, and though Wendy was willing to cook, I thought we ought to see if going out ‘too much’ will become a burden. I can see how financially it might.
I know we are only two days into this project, but as for the construction timeline goes, we are right on track. The hardwood floor was installed today and I was even able to accomplish a few items on the honey-do list. Cabinets are being delivered first thing in the morning – I’m excited for that!
The emptying of the kitchen took a lot longer than I anticipated. Stress level was high--hahaha! How did I have so much stuff in there? I did finish and I did set up a temporary kitchen in my dining room/bar area. I was so overly tired last night and overwhelmed. Today they start demo and I am leaving shortly for Brooks, Maine. Never been so thankful for a peaceful 6hr round trip ever!!
I started the morning by making coffee in our new temporary kitchen – and I was surprised how disoriented I was. The machine, coffee, and filters were right there on the counter but I had to get water from a different source – something that simple messed me up. Then once the coffee was brewed I had to find the creamer, which was in the fridge that we hadn’t even moved yet – and yet that threw me a curve. This might be harder than I thought.
Wendy left early today and wasn’t around when the guys showed up at 8am to start building barricades. We sealed off all three entrances to the kitchen and set up the dust extraction system. The countertops and cabinets were gone in under 30 minutes. Next was the pine floor and ceramic tile floor. Neither gave us much resistance and we had the place all emptied and cleaned up by early afternoon. We are even a little ahead of schedule as I got the starter course for the wood floor installation finished.
Yesterday we went shopping for flooring, dual ovens, a sink, paint color samples and track lighting. We were very successful! The red oak flooring we picked up is now inside to acclimate until it is installed. Wayne started some demo yesterday in order to make a spot to put the flooring on to start the acclimation process. He demoed some of the old pine floor and started the kitchen tile floor removal. Now it is really feeling real. I started empty out the fireplace room before he started any demo to minimize any damage. Today I will empty out the whole kitchen. I am going to try to be methodical and keep stress away..... the key word here is "try". I have a hard time with clutter.........
Successful day of behind the scenes items taken care of yesterday: picked up the oak flooring, ordered wall ovens, narrowed down sink selection, and bought strapping for the barricades.
So that I could start acclimating the oak flooring, and so I wouldn’t have to move it again until installation, I demoed a small portion of the existing sitting room pine flooring to put it in that spot. Wendy said, “So we are really doing this huh?” I got a little carried away and starting removing a corner of the kitchen tile floor – now it’s starting to look like a construction site (or a war zone – depending on who you ask)
All the kitchen cabinets are now empty and the rest of the house is in disarray as we have found a temporary home for all our relocated ‘stuff’. My biggest advice to clients about to embark on this experience is to make sure they set up a temporary kitchen. Wendy has followed that advice and set up a microwave, coffee station, toaster oven, and a hot plate.
I’m afraid I might get stuck with dish washing duties in our little 10” bar sink…so I plan on eating out as much as possible or using a lot of paper products…
Demolition of the kitchen begins on Monday. I am very thankful that Melissa is going to be needing me to help with the children that day so I can be away from my home office. I am excited for the new kitchen but I am also sad on losing the old one. The old kitchen is nothing special on the material end but it holds a lot of warmth of memories. I do not want to see it actually getting demoed or dealing with the noise. The mess will be contained--this is where I love our company.
I need to remove all items from the kitchen this weekend. Anxiety moves in because I am not sure how long this really is going to take. I am not so worried about temporary storage for items but I like routine. We are setting up a temporary kitchen in our bar /dining area and the sink is soooo small. Pots and pans will be a pain to wash. I do not want to only go out and eat. I have a small 2 burner cook top and a toaster oven. I have the fridge being moved into the hall for access. Microwave will temporarily be set up in dining area. I can move our grill to side deck. So-I actually have it pretty darn good! So.....Why do I have a pit in my stomach??? But it definitely feels better to write this out....
T-MINUS 48 hours
I’ve renovated about a dozen kitchens in the past couple years – but now I am about to do my own. My wife, Wendy, is nervous as heck. I don’t know if it is because of the disruption in our daily lives that we are about to encounter or if it is because of my track record of not completing projects at my own house in a timely fashion? She did say that she is afraid that she will be washing dishes in our tiny bar sink for the next year. I am going to try to break the cycle on this one and surprise her with how we fast and efficiently I can complete this project.
I’ve got the crew scheduled for demo beginning on Monday. We’ll start by building three plastic barricades to cordon off the area and for dust containment. I’ve counseled numerous clients on how to prep for such events, such as setting up temporary kitchens, now to see if I can take my own advice – and to see if it really works.