Monday, July 25, 2016

A Kitchen Update - Light at the End of the Tunnel

Last week saw HUGE forward progress on the kitchen!

The countertop guys showed up to measure for our fancy-schmancy quartz countertops. And just a few days later, they came to do the install! Talk about fast!

And finally - finally!  We got the new range hooked up!

(And yes, Greg plunked a piece of plywood down so he could actually cook dinner!  YAY!)

David and his crew also returned to hang the crown, install the hardware, and get creative with the baseboard bits to hide the floating feet.

I. Am. So. Happy.

The plumbers are supposed to come today to hook up the sink, the dishwasher, and the icemaker.  And the last thing that has to be done is install the vent hood.  It's backordered, but we don't mind waiting.  Of all the things that are delayed, that's the one thing we can live without for a little while longer.  Once that comes in we'll poke a hole in the roof for the vent stack, and the project will be done!

A Kitchen Update - We're Getting Closer

If you've been following the kitchen saga, you know we got the walls painted.  WooHoo!  So Friday a week ago, David Fincher from D & M Custom Cabinets (out of Cedartown, GA) came with his crew to do the install.  I have to say up-front that I would totally recommend them to anyone, anywhere. They did AMAZING work (and this from a girl who is terribly biased in favor of her dad).  It was a difficult, tricky install, but David handled it with grace and aplomb and we have a set of stunning cabinets because of his efforts.

Before they came to the house, tho, we got to stop by his shop and take a look at the unfinished work.

Most of y'all know my father was a cabinetmaker before he retired (for the second time).  So we were prepared to be a little just-because-it-wasn't-dad critical, but instead Greg and I were VERY impressed with the shop.... and the build!  The one on the left is what we're calling the hutch - it will be painted, so it's made of poplar.  The rest of them are cherry, and will be stained a warm brown.

So on the 15th the crew showed up, and started the install.

And hit the first problem.  The side wall ceiling dropped an inch from one side to another.  There's a trick cabinetmakers use to hide elevation changes, especially when you have upper cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling like ours.  You make a facing above the top door and attach crown to it, so the crown can "float" up or down depending on the ceiling.  You do it this way because you can't adjust at the bottom.  The base cabinets have to be certain level height, and there is a standard amount between the countertop and uppers, so you have to be able to flex at the top.  After a bit of wiggling and niggling, they got the uppers where they wanted them....


They started installing the base cabinets.  Here's David explaining to Greg that not only is the ceiling wonky, but we lose TWO FULL INCHES on the window wall. It's 109 inches from floor to ceiling in both corners, so *both* the ceiling and the floor drop down.  This means that over the last 140 years, the southwest corner of the house sank 2 inches. ::dontworryourfoundationissolidnow::  Regardless of how the house is shaped, the tops of the base must be level so the countertops will fit.  Therefore, you have to shim the bases.

And in our case, they had to shim A LOT.

Behold, the great levitating cabinets!!!!

They persisted, though, and got the bases fully installed so the countertops could be measured the next day.  We talked through a bunch of options to hide the "floating furniture feet", and David promised to come back next week and finish all the bits that need to be done. (He needed to run some baseboard and paint another shelf, and it takes a few days to stain and seal unfinished wood, so that was totally cool!)

And here's the kitchen at the end of Install Day One:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Kitchen Update - the Walls are Closing In

You remember what the walls looked like when we started this mess, right?

You can easily see the floral wallpaper border, and matching paper above the counters.  What you may not notice is the dreadful grasscloth wallpaper.  PAINTED grasscloth wallpaper.

So after removing the floral nonsense, we started in on the grass.

It did not go easily into that good night. Oh. My. Gosh.  It took us several days of hacking and ripping and sanding and scraping to get the walls anywhere remotely smooth.  And we already knew that we'd have to have the whole mess of it skimcoated with drywall mud if we wanted to paint it.

Please for the love of God, never ever NEVER put this stuff in your house.  It is NASTY.

Once we got the walls under control, the electricians came in to rewire the kitchen.

They did NOT improve the look.

(Though I almost want to say it looks better than the wallpaper...)

Then the worst part of the project started... the drywall.

Have you ever tried to get drywall dust out of a house?  Not an easy venture.  The danged stuff is insidious, I tell ya!

They did the best the could in terms of protecting the floor.  And their patch-and-skimcoat job was great!

Finally, finally, it is starting to come together.  We painted this weekend, took up all the protective paper, and put down the baseboards and added a new chair rail to the dining area.

(No trim here, tho.)

WooHoo! It's starting to look like a kitchen again!!!!!

(Well, except for the fact that we still need cabinets and appliances.  Details, details, details.)

A Kitchen Update - the Saga of the Floor

So, you know how in the post below I said "the subfloor is in surprisingly good condition for a 140 year old house"?

Yeah.  About that.

So once we got ALL the pine flooring up, we realized that there was significant termite damage to the southwest corner.  So the philosopher bravely pulled up the subfloor (in some cases with his bare hands, which tells you how weak the wood was).  He put down a vapor barrier, to both prevent moisture AND any new bugs.  He laminated new 2x8s to the damaged joists.  And then laid fresh subfloor on top.  He said "rats" a lot, and maybe "drat" a few times, but he got the job done.

I am very proud of his efforts - it saved us a ton of money (and time) because we did the work.

The next step was to have the new hardwood installed.  We bought prefinished solid oak, at a flooring place just up the highway. Good price.  And one of the installers was good.

The other one?

Not so good.

You see all those blue bits of tape?  Damaged spots.  The good installer came back the next day with several more boxes of flooring, ripped up what had been laid, and started over.

Two days later he was done, and the floor is beautiful.  Now we need to do something about the walls.  ::heh::

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Kitchen.... A Tale of Horror and Triumph


We are renovating the kitchen.

Here's what it used to look like:

Yeah.  Note the lovely (ripped) fruit-motif wallpaper.  The 1980s cabinets.  The vinyl floor.

And here's what it looked like yesterday:

Note the absence of 1980s cabinets!  ::yaaaayyyyy::

After we did that, we started in on the floor:

After we removed the vinyl, and the next layer of vinyl, and the layer of lauan (thin plywood), we discovered 3/4" pine flooring.  And under THAT we finally found the subfloor!  It's in surprisingly good condition for a 140-year-old house.

We're going to take it all down to the subfloor, and put new 3/4" oak hardwood down, to match the rest of the house.

Oh, did I mention....  In the meantime, this is our kitchen:

Let the wild rumpus begin!