Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kitchen Reno 2013: Days 2 & 3

Not a whole lot happened on Day 2, that is visible from the pictures. Yet it took them almost all day...

Electricians (Rob, and assistant Diego) were here most of the day, placing power receptacles and switches and pot lights.

End result of electrician's visit. Some are pot lights, some are access holes

The floor of the dining room now has plywood almost entirely--just a bit left to do and it will be ready for floor!

Our homework was to determine where we wanted the ceiling fan (who knew there were so many choices for placement?
I was like-- here.  The electricians were like, no no, it can be in line with this beam, or this door, or this part of the window, or...or...or...) UGH.

So, after work, we looked at all our options, took some measurments, and put an X on the floor.  And then I stood there.
Then I took a step to the side, and that felt better. And I said-- HERE. And that's where the X went.
Who wants to bet it's the same spot that I picked originally?

We figured out the placement of the ceiling receptacle in the dining room (went down to just 1, and we'll stick with the wall plug/switch for any other light).

Note the plywood floor, and the ceiling receptacle. There will be crown moulding to cover the wires that had to be run outside the wall (couldn't be fished)-- not pictured.
On Day 3, we had more electrical again (mostly just Diego, and Rob came to check in around 2pm and did some touch-up stuff) and drywall!  Josh and Adam were back, and got everything closed up with drywall, ready for "mudding" tomorrow. That's where they go over the cracks and seams with tape, and then joint compound... That needs to dry, then it's sanded. Then they usually do a 2nd coat (the stuff shrinks).  

View of wall before drywall

Same wall after dry wall

Let there be light! (ok, it's not the right bulbs, but who doesn't enjoy 300W of incandescent goodness.
The final bulbs will be LED. Pay for themselves in a couple years, dimmable, and we'll NEVER have to change them.

Those are pot lights over the couch in the distance. Receptacle for the new fan in the middle, and pendant light receptacles up close.

This is Haka's favorite spot, especially when I'm upstairs (he doesn't do *up* ).  Seems I've been spoiling him with, you know, clean blankets.  I guess the one thing missing from this blanket was greyhound fur.

Note the crossed front paws. Always the gentleman, our Haka.

I stopped by the ATD Contracting offices to visit with my cabinets (I took pictures, but I'm going to make you wait).  Good thing I went by-- we re-jigged the assortment of knobs and drawer pulls (we're going with a cup shape).  Seems the drawer fronts for most are too small to fit the half-moon cup pulls, and the deep drawers are smaller than on the drawing-- we were going with 2 pulls per drawer, but really only need 1.
So, return those, get more knobs, and Milton the kitchen designer and I discussed the ever-important detail of placement.

Similar to the fan discussion-- do you want them centered based on this part of the drawer, or this one? On the cabinet doors-- in the middle, in the corner, in the middle of the corner?
I managed to get through the session without stabbing myself in the eye. I don't understand how you designer folks do this on a daily basis.
And the thought that I need a couple throw pillows for my couch might just be the death of me.
Anyway, I was happy to see that at least my hard work there was rewarded, when I received the following award from FourSquare:

Exciting! An achievement! And if my friend Iain's not careful, I might unseat him as Mayor of ATD!

On tap for Day 4: mudding.  Maybe more plywood, but I think mostly, just, mudding.  Good thing too-- the walls in our powder-room, after the "let's remove the wallpaper ourselves" project need some serious PROFESSIONAL help!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Kitchen Reno 2013: Prep work and Day 1

It's been a while since I posted about the reno(vation... everyone seems to think that reno means Reno, as in Nevada... ??? maybe it's a Canadian thing to call it a reno? Anyway, get your mind out of the southwest US and back to MY PROBLEMS, k?).
We got the floors dried up-- took an extra day or 2, but we did get back to acceptable levels (which is 12-16% humidity, btw, and not 100%. Just sayin') and the emergency folks took their giant fans and dehumidifier away sometime in the first week of July.

Over the next few weeks, I just fretted, and planned how to run a makeshift kitchen with a microwave, an electric kettle, and a bathroom. 
Paper plates folks, that's how. (biodegradeable, of course. We are yuppie scum after all).

We also finalized things and bought things, like the range hood, the pendant lights (pics when those come out of hiding in the garage), the floors, and the paint colors.

Last week, we had professional movers come in (see pics) to pack the GIANT china cabinet, and the TON of kitchen stuff, as well as move said giant cabinet to the garage, all wrapped up tight, and the other things to the basement.


Took 3hrs and 3 dish boxes to unload the china cabinet

Packing the kitchen... soooo much stuff! But they said I'm nowhere near a hoarder, so don't go calling A&E!

Boxes of stuff. George Carlin was right. Say goodbye to the couch!
We will miss you, napping-couch-of-happiness-North.

Also say goodbye to the beige, dark green, and dark purple!

These are the strand bamboo floors we've chosen. Color is Qing Viper.

These are the paint colors we've chosen. From the left: Popular Grey for the living room and any walls in the kitchen. Proper Grey for the powder room. Great Green for the dining room. Tanbark for the hallways downstairs and upstairs.

I paid a little extra, and the movers took away, permanently, our old couch, and some other things that were cluttering the basement. So even MORE room for storage. Joy.
Today, the reno started for reals, yo.

Empty bin, 8am on Day 1.
Before 8am, the smallish bin arrived in the driveway.  Apparently, it will leave tonight (maybe no need for a parking permit for me, for the street?) and it will reappear when the guys feel it's necessary.
Just after 8am, Adam and Josh showed up and after a brief tour, started the demolition. 

Demo team: Adam and Josh
Haka (our 13.5yr old greyhound) was a bit concerned, but his pet-ease cookies (like bio-calm, but in cookie format) seem to take the edge off . He'll be upstairs for the days the guys are here, with a baby gate at the top of the stairs (and behind the bedroom doors on the odd occasion that the workers need to come upstairs...)
Around 10am, Rob, the electrician, came by for a surprise but welcome visit. He was in the neighborhood, but is scheduled officially for tomorrow.  We were able to do a bit of a walk through, and no issues arose until we discussed putting lighting in the ceiling of the dining room, which doesn't have any.
Before you ask-- I'm opposed to sconces.  I like my wall options flexible, so no sconces.
Because we have the dreaded popcorn ceilings, running lines from the plugs will be an issue (they have to cut the ceiling, and you can't really, easily, patch the popcorn).
Options are to scrape the popcorn ($$$) or run the lines up inside the walls, pop out at the top, and use crown molding to cover it ($).  So, that's what we'll do.
Can you say, scope change?
Around the same time, the company owners, Joe and Justin, came by as well (so everyone but plumbing was here, woo!) and we ran down the electrical options again, and then Rob left, and Joe, Justin, and I talked a bit more.

Getting there...

Before I left for an hour...
They left, and I left shortly after to get the last of my water-damaged dining room chairs (that were in the basement when it was RAINING through the floor) to the refinisher.
The demo proceeded VERY quickly, and by 11:30, the last of the floor and wall was in the dumpster bin.

Full bin!

All cabinets and appliances, gone. This is the wall that will change the most.

View of living room from kitchen

View of kitchen from living room

They guys went for lunch, and to pick up the 3/8th inch plywood that they will install, to go under our new bamboo floors.

Dustapalooza, Day 1. Say goodbye to these floors anyway!

So here we are at the end of Day 1, and feeling pretty good about it.  They took up the laminate, but left the under pad, and cleaned the floors really well, so Haka wouldn't hurt himself during the night. 

End of the day - all the laminate is gone. And the dust too!

Ready for electrical tomorrow!

I think the floors are cleaner than they've been in a month!
I may go visit my cabinets tomorrow-- apparently, ATD likes to receive and assemble them at their facility, and then bring them to the site pre-assembled. 

On tap for Day 2: demo should be finished, electric will start, they should finish demo on the floors, and maybe they'll start rebuilding the walls. 

And, I'm going to make "Birchermuesli" in my makeshift kitchen. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kitchen Reno 2013: The not-so-great flood, aka making lemonade from life-lemons

Sorry I've been absent... my day job gets in the way of my blogging habit!

While I was working out of town the other week, our dishwasher decided to have a minor meltdown.  Minor, to the tune of having to remove ALL of the kitchen flooring, and all of the attatched living room floor as well.

Also, it was raining in the basement! NOT as much fun as it might sound.

The net result is that I need to have our dining room chairs fixed/refinished, since those were in the basement and took the brunt of the water damage (well, the dog beds stored on top of the pile of chairs took the BRUNT of the damage, but the chairs suffered mightily).

Also, as I mentioned, the kitchen and open-to-the-kitchen living room had to have their floors removed so that we could prevent mold, fungus, decay, whatever it is you get when wet things sit for a long time.

the floor in front and to the left of the dishwasher
around the edge and front of the peninsula
in front of the peninsula, aka the living room
living room from the other angle

So, my darling husband and I decided, since we have been contemplating kitchen updates forEVER, to take this giant life-lemon and make some lemonaid.  Expensive lemonaid. eesh.

We have contracted with renovators, highly recommended by almost everyone I work with (and those who didn't recommend them just didn't have any work done) to totally redo the kitchen.

Kitchen-- pre-flood, pre-reno.  You can't see the wall of pantry cabinets over --> there

New cabinets, new countertops, new floors (in the kitchen, living room AND dining room). New paint (and in the powder room too, where our last do-it-yourself project had mixed results), new faucet, new range hood, new pulls... no new appliances.
Yes, the offending dishwasher gets a 2nd chance at life (as it's only 6yrs old) with a new intake valve.  Sigh.

I thought I'd track the progress of the project here-- pictures, commentary, any tips I run into along the way.

Tip 1: if your floors get wet, you DO need to pull them up, all the way to the subfloor, and the sooner the better.  The emergency services folks wanted to pull them up on the Sunday when this flooding occurred, but it wasn't good timing, so we did have them come back just a week later.

We've had industrial fans (to kick up the surface moisture) and a dehumidifyer running for 5 days now-- most of the floor is acceptably dry, and the section just in front of the dishwasher is still at 30% and needs to be at 12-16%, so we'll keep going until we get to that number.

Tip 2: when you have an industrial dehumidifyer running, move the dog's water away from it.
Far, far away.

Back to the reno.  Our selected contractors came by the same day the floors were removed, and listened carefully to all of our ideas. 
We wanted to see 2 versions of whatever plan-- one with as many of our original cabinets (just replacing door/drawer fronts) and one with everything new.
That was a Thursday.  By Friday night, they had the plans ready for us to look at, and when we choose one (guess which one? seriously... all new with nifty inserts and widgets, vs. 20yr old insides... ugh), we were ready to choose finishes:
  • pseudo Shaker cabinets, in Cloud White (I say pseudo, since there is a small round bead on the inside of the panel)
  • dark floors-- we're looking at bamboo, just need to source them
  • keeping the appliances
  • new sink (33" very big, square, 2 bowls)
  • new faucet (Kohler Sensate-- look it up, it's awesome!)
  • new range hood (less awesome than the faucet, but necessary)
  • a shelf where I can grow gourmet herbs indoors, some wine storage (we have plenty elsewhere) and book/collection shelving.
  • knobs and half-moon drawer pulls (brushed nickel, very simple)
Here's the 3D rendering of the proposed kitchen:
You still can't see the pantry/broom closet, to the right of the peninsula. Also, floating shelves on that wall above the peninsula
So, that's all the news to date.  Measurements have been finalized, the order placed, and other details, like packing EVERYTHING and moving it either to the basement or upstairs, are being taken care of.

Stay tuned for updates!