We're Making Progress! {Insert Happy Dance Here}

by Rachel Blackburn in ,

This is what our kitchen looked like about a week ago:

This is what it looked like about 3-4 days ago: 

And THIS is what it looks like now{!}:

It's so pretty!  And big!  And it WORKS!  We have a real, live stove, dishwasher and sink!  That makes such a huge difference in our lives.  I've been cooking all week.

Don't worry.  The reno was stressful, but we did not completely lose our minds and install blue cabinets.  That's the protective coating.  The cabinets are glossy white.

Of course, none of this would have happened without Caden's able assistance...

And he and Emmy had a blast playing while Michael and I put doors and drawers together:

We still have a lot to do - wire the outlets, hook up the electrical, install the pantry doors, finish the vent hood, install the last few cabinets, do baseboards, lighting, ceilings, counters, backsplash and shelves, but the kitchen works and that makes life so much better.  

Functional. {Mostly}

by Rachel Blackburn in ,

We have a functional kitchen!  As of tonight the stove, dishwasher, sink and garbage disposal are hooked up and working!  It's been 3.5 months, and we are so. ready. for a working kitchen!

Isn't it pretty?  It's be-you-ti-ful to me.  Kind of amazing that when we moved in it was a walled-off family room.

Also, this kitchen is going to be HUGE.

The gas line was installed on Christmas Eve.  Pretty awesome Christmas present!  We passed mechanical inspection the day after Christmas and Michael has been working really, really hard ever since to get us a functioning kitchen.

I spent a couple of evenings building the cabinet carcasses {yes, that is the official name for the boxes} while Michael wrangled them into place and leveled them.  Leveling them takes time and infinite patience.  That's why he does that and not me - ha!  That's also where we made bank on the cabinets we did for our HGTV kitchen a couple of years ago.  They were so level that the show's contractors were convinced they had been professionally installed.  

Rock on, hubby!

In other news, I could now take a side job at Ikea, professionally assembling their cabinets for them.  I have the instructions memorized.

We are using plywood for counters until the concrete is poured and cured.  That project will be coming soon.  Michael has spent the last couple of nights connecting the dishwasher and faucet, as well as the garbage disposal.  We've been pretty beat - the holidays were busy and Emmy gave up sleeping through the night for awhile - so accomplishing that much is really great.

Next projects are finishing one area of drywall, putting in the cabinet doors and drawers, putting in the pantry shelving system, putting in the rest of the plywood counters, assembling the island, hooking the vents back up to the furnace and finishing the sun room floor.  

There are still a million projects to do after that in order for this space to be done, but having the ability to cook something on a stove or in an oven again sure makes it easier to bear.  My Pollyanna side is re-emerging and we're going to have made-from-scratch pizza for New Year's Eve tomorrow!

Good Friends Make All The Difference

by Rachel Blackburn in ,

This has been some week!  We had a huge wind storm on Thursday that knocked out the power {for the SECOND time this renovation...on a day when we had planned to do a lot} for over 24 hours.  Great.

The reason that was so great?  Michael's cousin was coming down to help out starting Thursday night.  They planned to work really hard Thursday night, Friday, Saturday night and Sunday.  And they did, electricity or not.  

Thursday's task was cleaning.  Yeah, that didn't exactly get done...  One really great thing we noticed on Thursday though was that with the insulation up that side of the house stayed pretty draft-free, even with all the wind and no power.  Win!

Friday's task was drywalling the kitchen.  We passed insulation inspection {also known as the fastest inspection known to man} and the guys got to work.  They had the whole thing done by sundown, which was fortunate as we still did not have power.  Friday was a total God-thing.  The inspector showed up at 8:15AM.  The drill batteries lasted only enough to hang the very last sheet of drywall that they had enough light to hang.  All but a 2ft x 2 ft section got hung before it got dark.  

Saturday night was spent finishing up the small section of drywall, moving everything out of the sun room and gluing plywood to the sun room floor.  The sun room is on a concrete slab and we needed to glue the plywood to it for 2 reasons.  Reason 1 is that we needed to shorten the step into the room somewhat, which we accomplished by using 23/32 thickness plywood plus 3/4 inch flooring.  Much better.  Reason 2 is that we needed something to staple the hardwood onto.  Concrete makes that a little difficult...

Sunday was a sun room floor-laying marathon.  The guys glued the rest of the plywood down in shifts, as it was bowed and needed to have the wood flooring laying on it to weigh it down and ensure good contact with the glue.  They then got about 2/3 of the hardwood laid, which was amazing!  They were beat at the end of the day, but happy.  Having Michael's cousin here made it possible to accomplish way more this weekend than we normally can.  It was really incredible.

The kids of course thought that this was all just marvelous.  Caden was especially enthralled, and he was very proud of being a great helper.  He handed the guys drywall screws, picked things up that dropped, doled out the floor nailer staples as needed, and generally kept up a running commentary on the whole thing.  He knows a lot about renovation for a 4 year old!

This week the plumber is supposed to put in the gas line.  Hopefully we can get that inspection done.  It might be hairy, as we have things going on every day this week that require Michael to be out of the house at some point.  Michael is going to try to finish the floors in the kitchen and sun room.  The sun room floor needs the rest of the hardwood nailed down.  Then the 2 floors just need a light sanding and 3 clear coats.  Drywall taping and mudding will happen as there is time.  At least that's a quiet activity, so we can do that after 9.  

Christmas is coming, and hopefully we will have a functioning kitchen for it.  I am missing doing my usual holiday baking, but at least I'm saving myself the calories!  We seriously can't wait for this to be done.  People ask us what we'll do next after this project is done.  Our answer is something along the lines of "nothing, at least for awhile".  We are looking forward to having things calm down for a month or two!