Monday, July 28, 2014

Hasta la vista, kitchen!

So BIG changes happening of late. We officially don’t have a kitchen! The old cabinets, sink, and dishwasher are gone thanks to Craigslist. Friends took our bar top/stools and kitchen cart. The range, fridge, and microwave all have a home in our living room. Having everything crammed into the living room isn’t ideal, but we don’t have much of a choice. I did find one perk however – after napping on the couch I was hungry, and all I had to do was reach a little to get into the fridge. Compact living ain't so bad.

Welcome to our new first floor/studio apartment.
So here’s a breakdown of the work thus far. After we got back from Hawaii, we unloaded the rest of the kitchen. Most stuff is boxed up and crammed into our basement bedroom. Once everything was out of the cabinets, we started taking down the cabinets. We started with the uppers and then we removed the base cabinets. It wasn’t terrible work, but it was arduous at times. The big pantry was the biggest pain because it seemed almost built into the wall. Removing the cabinets was the moment when everything was like, okay, this is real. No turning back now. (Interestingly enough, the guy who took them from Craigslist was going to reuse them in his own kitchen.  I’m not quite sure how old, beat up cabinets are going to be successfully repurposed, but more power to him.)

One empty kitchen.
D vs. the cabinets. 
Even more progress!
Down to the studs!
Adios, cabinets. We will not miss you. 
After the cabinets came down, we began to tear up the flooring. The laminate flooring we had in there was so cheap and it came up like big puzzle pieces. Underneath the laminate there was early 90’s linoleum.  Truly classy stuff. Upon pulling that stuff up, the backing stuck to the underlayment. That didn’t matter too much because the underlayment was coming out as well. We saved that job until the next day though.

Next we removed the rest of the soffit and then drywall in order to rewire the kitchen. Most of the electrical was in the soffit and with that gone, now has to be hidden in the wall. Most of this happened during one day, and to say we were tired would be an understatement. Big thanks goes out to Derk’s dad for helping us BIG TIME. He’s a bit stronger and more able-bodied than me, and was such a huge support to D.

After a good night’s sleep, Derk tackled the underlayment the next day. He needed to use a saw to cut out tile sized pieces in order to fully remove it. Once that was gone, he realized that the old dishwasher had a leak and rotted out the floor. So that was completely removed which left a nice hole into the basement. That’s when I realized that nothing but thick slabs of wood support your entire house. Which is awesome yet scary at the same time. I really thought there was cement, metal, something besides wood. But nope, only wood to hold up every floor in your house.

Derk's text to me after making a hole in the floor: Oh hey, laundry room. 
After this crazy weekend, we spent Monday night pounding floor staples, patching the hole and getting ready for the electrician. Most of what we’re doing is DIY, but we are hiring a few professionals to save us time and energy. An electrician will be hooking up all of the new pendants, recessed lighting and speakers. Then a handyman will be putting back all of the drywall we tore down.  But that’s it. The rest is on us (and our dear family and friends who wish to help.)

So the good news is, we’re on schedule and everything is going according to plan. There haven’t had any more ER visits and Fitz didn’t fall through the hole in the floor. And our neighbors don’t hate us too much yet. (We're still waiting for the HOA to send us citations for the obscene amount of trash bags and saw dust in our front yard though.)

Three cheers for being on schedule! 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Well, it can only go up from here?

Our kitchen renovation is not off to the greatest start but our determination is still intact. (For now.) It started last week when we were supposed to get our delivery of our cabinets and hardware. We scheduled to have everything arrive on June 25. By the end of the day, we still had nothing. A long and angry phone call to Ikea yielded no results except that June 25 was an estimated date, not the actual date. I called BS on that because they had over 2 months to prepare this order. Later on we learned it was because the handles we picked were recalled. HANDLES! The least important part of everything we bought. Because that was recalled, the whole order was stopped. Out of all of this mess, they did refund us the delivery charge. So hey, that’s something. We should be getting everything today, July 5. We’re crossing our fingers.

Over the past week or so, I’ve been moving things out of the kitchen. You don’t realize how much crap you have until you have to move it all. Not fun. Perhaps we’ll stay in this house forever so we don’t have to move anything else. Yesterday we started to take down the drywall around the soffit. We have to sort out the electrical work because we're getting taller cabinets and no longer have this extra space above the cabinets. That’s when we hit roadblock #2. D was taking everything down without a problem until I hear “WHITTTTTTNEY!” I rush downstairs and see blood everywhere. A piece of metal had torn into his knee as he was pulling stuff down. We rushed to the ER where we learned the cut was really deep but luckily it did not damage his knee joint. They had to get a consult with an orthopedic surgeon and that was pretty darn scary. But they stitched him up and sent him home 4 hours later. He has an appointment with a specialist on Monday, but we’re just going to hope that he says all is good. Our vacation is right around the corner, so this would not be the right time for some bad news.

Before the knee incident. 
But the soffit drywall is now gone, furniture is being shuffled around to make room for appliances in the living room, the lights, sink, and other kitchen-y things have ordered, and hopefully we won’t have any more major hiccups. It’s on the beginning of a loooooong journey, and it hasn’t been easy so far, but our spirits remain high. What we're low on is beer in the fridge. Gotta go work on that so we can last until the end of August. 

After the knee incident. But doesn't it look nice?