Kitchen Progress

It wasn’t easy, but we’re almost through the kitchen renovation.  When last we checked in, the space looked like this.

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It so wasn’t good.  After the contractor failed to do the work the week we had agreed upon, he kept trying to take shortcuts and compress the timeline in order to stay on schedule for the counter measuring.  But we weren’t about to comprise on the quality of the work to accommodate his schedule, so we stood our ground.  This meant that the counter measuring appointment had to be pushed back and the whole job continues to be a week behind schedule, but at least the drywall work and HVAC were done properly and we were able to paint before the cabinets were installed.

I wasn’t able to update the blog last weekend as Gretchen, our older pup, suffered a rash of seizures early Saturday morning.  She start having occasional seizures about 3 months ago, and she’s been on anti-convulsion medication, but something happened on Saturday and she started having a seizure every hour at first.  It took the vet all day to get them stopped and the meds they gave her have pretty much had her down for the count all week.  Don’t worry though, Gretchen is a tough ol’ bird and she’s going to be fine.  We don’t know what’s causing the seizures and are considering an MRI to help determine the cause, but for now, she’s on more meds and seems to be doing better.  Whew!  So anyway, most of the work detailed below happened not this past week, but the week before.

The rest of the trade work was completed on Tuesday of that week.  Wednesday was a non-work day for the contractor so we had Tuesday night and Wednesday night to prime and paint both the ceiling and walls.  Thursday and Friday and cabinets and hardware were installed.  I didn’t know that they were going to install the hardware and I was a little frustrated that they didn’t consult me on the location of the knobs.  I would have placed them in a slightly different place.  They look fine, but I would have appreciated being consulted.

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The cabinets look great.  Against the “Zuma” blue wall paint, they really pop and I don’t think that they feel out of place being new in our old house.  We were told that we could go ahead and start putting things back in the uppers, but that the lowers need to remain empty until the counters are installed.  However, I am impatient and have pretty much gone ahead and put everything back in all the cabinets.  My parents are arriving for a visit this Friday and I just didn’t see how I could get it all done if I waited for the counters to be installed first.

Speaking of the counters, they are set to be installed this Tuesday.  They will install the sink and the faucet, but they won’t actually hook all the plumbing back up. Allegedly, our contractor is going to be here on Thursday to do all the plumbing, which is cutting it awfully close, but I’ve come to expect this from him.  In fact he still hasn’t even ordered the under-cabinet lighting, something that has been in the plans for this project since the beginning, so I have no idea when we will actually be fully done.  Grr!  We still also have to install the range and the dishwasher once the counters are in place so I think there will be a few more late nights this week as we try and at least get the kitchen functioning again by this weekend.

The contractor was at least able to install the micro/vent.  It’s a very fancy microwave that at this point, I have no idea how to work!

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Today Mark and I got the fridge back in it’s place. We both think that it looks so much better with the cabinet built around it than it did when I was just free-standing, although it is in exactly the same place.  What do you think?

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So far we are really loving all our choices and can’t wait to see how it all comes together.  For the counters, after they came and measured, they sent two template proposals to choose from.  As I mentioned, the stone has some natural tan tones in the upper right hand corner that I wanted to minimize visually in the kitchen and the two layouts allowed me to select the one that I thought did the best job of doing that.  Unfortunately, there will be one seam to the left of the sink, which isn’t ideal as it’s my primary work area, but they weren’t able to put it on the other side of the sink because you can’t have a seam above the dishwasher and the slab isn’t long enough to place it anywhere else.  I am ok with this, but I did make sure that this was my only option.  It never hurts to ask!

So that’s where we are. I am getting very excited for the finished product.  Although there have been some delays, things have moved along so quickly it’s hard to take it all in.

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A Whole Lotta Nothin’

I really hoped that tonight I would be able to share with you pictures of great progress in the kitchen, but alas it still looks pretty much like it did last weekend.

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This was not supposed to be the case.  We should be all ready for cabinet installation, but our contractor had other jobs lined up this past week and was only here one day. We are not happy campers.

On Tuesday, the electricians did show up and they did a great job installing the pot lights, adding new outlets, and bringing us to to code.

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Unfortunately, this is where the good news ends.  The HVAC person also came on Tuesday to install the outside vent and move the HVAC vent over a little bit to accommodate the tall pantry cabinet.  Here you can see the new exhaust vent.  It looks good from here, but in reality there is a hole in the side of it that needs to be plugged and the flashing around the exterior hole is not sufficient.  There’s a visible hole in the brick that needs to be covered up.

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The HVAC vent is in even worse shape.  Instead of going up through the floor as we discussed with the contractor, they just tried to shift everything over inside of the wall, leaving only about a 2″ corridor for the air to go through.  We’re pretty sure none of this is to code.

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We were very upset not only with the work that was done, (minus the electrical, those guys we great) but also that no one would came back at all this week to continue the job.  The agreement was that not only would the electrical and HVAC be completed, but all the plaster/drywall patching would be done as well and that we would be “paint ready” by this weekend.  As you can see, that’s far from the case.

So tomorrow they are supposed to be back out here to fix the HVAC and patch the walls. Allegedly, we will be ready for paint by the end of the day. We are skeptical. However, we did go ahead and select the wall color so that we are ready whenever we are finally ready for paint.

We wanted to find a nice, deep, ocean blue.  Since there is so much white in the kitchen, we thought it would be a nice contrast.  We tried lots of samples.  We were lucky that our friends had recently painted their nursery a similar color and had a few colors we could try in addition to the couple that we had picked up.  Here are our choices.

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As you can see, some were darker and inkier than others.  We wanted something that still read blue, even when the room was dark, but still had nice depth and felt like a navy. The one we chose was the one on the bottom right.  It’s actually a combination of the bottom left (Down Pour Blue by Ben Moore) and second from the top right, which is Amalfi Navy by Ralph Lauren. We wanted something a little darker that Down Pour, which is coincidentally, what our friends chose for their nursery, and rather than go back out and hunt for the perfect sample, we just mixed our own until we got the color we liked, painted it onto a index card, and had the folks at the paint shop color match it.

So that’s the latest on the kitchen.  It was a disappointing week, but we are hopeful that things get back on track in a hurry.  Right now the stone fabricators are scheduled to come on Wednesday to measure for the counters.  That means that by then at least all of the lower cabinets have to be installed.  We both think it will take a miracle for that to happen, but we’ll see how things go tomorrow.  I probably won’t be able to update again until next Sunday, so think good thoughts for us this week!