Posted in Kitchen Reno

Adding to the To Do List

When we first started out on this journey to renovate our kitchen (because hey, it was last touched in 1985 and that wasn’t such a great thing), we had a few rules we put in place:

  1. No moving walls
  2. No changing plumbing
  3. Only hire out electric and granite installation.

…Insert Cher from Clueless saying AS IF!…

We aren’t moving walls, but today someone in the plumbing trade is coming over (aka being HIRED) to move a gas line. Because when the designer and I put the new plan together one thing that none of us thought about was where the gas comes up from the basement into the kitchen. Careful measuring yesterday showed that it will, indeed, be behind a cabinet and NOT the range. Oops. It needs to move about 8 inches. Good bye Rule 2.

And then, after having my nephew over two weekends in a row to help level the floors, I asked him what he’s doing job-wise during the summer. Come to find out he’s renovating. And he knows how to do tiling. Which neither Jim (who used to be a contractor!) nor I have ever done. SOLD! I’ll pay to watch and learn, but also to have it done well. Good bye Rule 3!

But we are definitely NOT touching Rule 1!

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Posted in Kitchen Reno

Levelness is a Relative Term

We spent several hours of Saturday using a rotary hammer on the kitchen floor. We were able to get up every single bit of the linoleum/concrete mix, but none of the concrete that was over subfloor. So we left it.

Sunday we taped AGAIN. We mixed and poured and leveled and feathered AGAIN and yes, at the end of the day we were left with a MOSTLY level floor. As in, there are a few dips that Jim will fill with floor patch and level and a few bumps that he will grind down.

In the end, we are moving FORWARD instead of staying still or going backward. And we are coming up on a three-day weekend, which can only help the process. I’m hoping that when Tuesday rolls around I’ll be ready to prime and paint, meaning the luan is down, the drywall is finished being taped and mudded and everything is ready to rock and roll. I can’t much help with drywall–it’s needs to be fairly dang perfect for the walls to look ok. Jim used to do it for a living, so I’m stepping back and he’s going to do it alone.

Priming and painting, though, I’m good for! And then it will be onto the cabinet building. I can hardly wait!

Posted in Kitchen Reno

Renovation Reality

There is a show on HGTV (or maybe DIY) that films a family doing a renovation–no crew to help behind scenes, no fancy stuff, just the ups and downs and realities of what it’s really like to do it. Often something bad happens. Often they have an unrealistic timeline and don’t finish for another 6 weeks. Often things go very awry.

We would be great on that show.

The day we dreaded arrived yesterday. Up early, at Walmart at 6:05 for a quick run in, to Dunkin Donuts for a treat for Daddy since he wasn’t getting much of a Father’s Day.

We moved literally everything out of the kitchen (i.e. the fridge is now in the living room, the range is in our school room and the dishwasher is in our mudroom. Our home is in utter chaos). We swept and vacuumed and cleaned the floor really well. I used Wil-bond around the whole room where the tape would be on the bottoms of the walls and the edges of the floor. Then we used Gorilla Tape on every seam where those walls and floors met, except where Jim built “dams” the protect the doorways (3) and heating duct (1). BTW, the dams worked great.

We had hoped to have everything primed by no later than 9, but hah, the prep took SO MUCH LONGER than we thought it would. We finished priming the floor at 10:30. It had to sit for three hours.

Three hours later, nephew Dave (a big hulking 19 year old) to help, me, Jim and three of the four kids (Ethan slept over Nana’s), we started. We had seven bags of Henry’s 555 LevelPro, four 5-gallon buckets, a 2 1/2 quart measuring bucket, a mixing paddle and a float for the floor.

After pouring the first load, it was immediately obvious to me that seven bags were NOT going to cut it. After using them all, Dave and I ran out to the 3rd nearest Home Depot (because we had already emptied out the two nearest) and bought the nine bags they had in stock. We ended up using 12 total.

After it was done, we had a minimum of 2 hours before walking on it. It looked great–so wet and shiny and flat. We had high hopes.

That were quickly–well, two hours is sort of quickly–dashed. This is what we found. Or rather, we found really gigantic bubbles that when stepped on formed these:

Floor 4Floor 1Floor 2Floor 3

I cannot begin to describe how I felt. It wasn’t a small patch. It wasn’t a small area. It couldn’t be easily fixed. It was much of the whole floor and would all need to be gotten up somehow AND THEN REDONE.

I actually cried. Hard. And I’m not a cry-er. I knew things would theoretically look better in the morning, but I was SO discouraged!

Here’s the thing, though. When I went upstairs to go to bed I took my phone with me. I don’t normally. Before I went to shut it down, my Bible app caught my eye. I thought “sure, why not?” and opened it. I haven’t used it in a LONG time. Like, months. I was wondering what to read when I saw “Start Now” and decided to click on it. Lamentations 3. Hmmm. Not the cheeriest of books, is it? But whatever, I’ll read it.

Awful things, bad things, discouraging things happening. But then!

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Huh. Of all the passages in all the Bible, I get the one that talks about things being better in the morning because of God’s faithfulness. Because God kinda knew exactly what it was that I needed to hear.

Was our floor still awful this morning? Yes. Was it still more than a little overwhelming? Yes. Will it still be an incredible amount of work? Yes. Am I able to handle it better? Definitely yes.

Posted in Kitchen Reno

Set Back

The plan for the day was to put insulation in all the open spots, fix all the drywall and maybe start mudding.

Unfortunately, we discovered that the HVAC vent pipe the runs up the wall from the basement to our master bedroom sticks out too far and Jim can’t put drywall over it and have it be flat.

HVAC company will be here Monday 10am. Sigh.

Insulation can still be installed in most of the places and drywall can still be fixed, but that giant gaping hole from floor to ceiling will still be there at end of day.

Posted in Kitchen Reno

Creeping at a Snail’s Pace

This is going much slower than I had hoped. I’m keeping in mind the idea, though, that we said 6 weeks. As long as everything is done by mid-July I’ll be ok.

I think.

Original plan was level floor while Jim was off work. Then it got bumped to last weekend. Then it got bumped to this weekend. Now it’s I don’t know because this week is drywall patching and priming. Next weekend (18/19) is my niece’s graduation and Father’s Day. I don’t know if husband is going to want to work on the house on Father’s Day. On the other hand, I don’t know if Husband is going to want to put off the leveling yet another weekend.

We honestly can’t do ANYTHING until the floor is leveled. The instant it’s done and dried we can start building and installing cabinets. Until then it’s just living in the wreck that is our house. Which is frustrating. I kind of hate not having a stove or oven. Meal planning has been reduced to:

M: Grilled Cheese, T: Take Out, W: Hot Dogs on grill, Th: Ham on grill, F: Pizza, Sa: Burgers on grill, Su: Get Your Own because I’m clueless.

I’m not complaining, per se, because I’m very aware we are lucky enough to have the money for take out, and our “primitive” kitchen-in-the-laundry-room is the Ritz Carlton compared to what some people deal with. It’s just already getting old and I have weeks ahead of us dealing with cooking.