Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

We finally got rid of the pipes.

The tall steel pipes that were in the center of every picture are now history, resting comfortably on pile number 4 of Padnos Iron & Metal Recycling. With those gone, a lot could (and has) finally happened. We were finally able to move the fridge to the other side of the room. We finally removed the last of the original counter containing the sink. We finally plugged the large holes in the plank floor and put new subfloor over the whole area.

And that enabled a whole bunch more activities. We installed the large pantry cabinets along the wall where the fridge used to be. We installed a small desk area (Deb's meal planning area) next to the pantry cabinets. We now have a bunch of undercabinet lighting installed.

It's beginning to look a lot like ... kitchen!

Last picture before the pipes were removed by the plumber

First picture with the pipes and the old sink cabinet gone. We have a couple pieces of new subfloor down also in this picture.

Last picture of the original refrigerator wall. The fridge always seemed to be an unintended focal point in our kitchen because it stuck out so far.

After all the old cabinets in the fridge wall were removed. This also reveals some of our secrets. When I installed the new wall oven several years ago, it was an inch and a half too long to fit into the opening, so I cut an enormous hole in the wall, trimming back the two-by-fours to make the space deep enough for the oven to fit.

The new cabinets and desk area. (The remaining doors have been installed since this picture was taken.) The big hole is still there, along with a few smaller ones. It's just now hidden again by the new cabinets.

The (almost) finished pantry wall. Deb lost no time in filling the bookshelf.

Looking towards the oven and sink. The sink is only temporary since there are no countertops, yet. Perhaps that can be started this week.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A New Look

If you come over to our house, please take your shoes off at the door. Our kitchen floor has a new look, and we would hate to get any dirt or snow on it. We've decided to go for a more 'rustic' look complete with gaps in the planks, which allow us to immediately see when the basement lights are on. The kids thought this effect was cool, and Josh commented that, when you sweep the floor perpendicular to the floor planks, the dirt just kind of disappears. You don't even have to pick it up. So if you have your shoes off, there's no danger of getting dirt on our floor.

There is a slight risk of getting a nail in the foot, however.

We removed all the old flooring yesterday, complete with a large layer of sub-floor, leaving only the old planks in place. Unfortunately, the builder already removed our big dumpster, so the old material is now sitting in a pile outside. We're also waiting for the plumber to come in and remove the big pipes we've been working around for the past several weeks. The plumber was due yesterday and didn't show up. Once he does his thing, the last piece of the old counter containing the sink can be removed and we'll be able to complete the new subfloor and start building the island.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Cabinets Up

I put in a few more cabinets last night. At least one corner of the room is starting to look like an actual kitchen. And a little bit more of the old kitchen has gone away. I had to remove the dishwasher in order to install the wall-oven cabinet. When Abigail came in and noticed the dishwasher was missing, she started at the empty location for a little bit then asked, "Where's the dishwasher?"

"I'm looking right at her," I told her. She didn't comprehend and repeated the question.

"You're the dishwasher," I said.

When it finally dawned on her what I was saying, she asked, "Are we going to be using paper plates from now on?"

Perhaps when the plumber comes on Tuesday we can get rid of all the pipes that are sticking up all over the place.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Cabinets Up

We hung the first cabinets last night. I'm sure it would have been more efficient to paint the whole place first before hanging the cabinets, but we haven't picked out the colors yet and wanted to get the cabinets out of the dining room. At least now we have three cabinets worth of order in the chaos we've been living in for a few months.

My trusty assistant along with a couple properly-sized boards held things up while I fastened the units to the wall.

Progress. Definite progress.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Wall is Gone

It's been several days and a LOT has happened. Somehow, it's hard to find time to post pictures on the Internet when the house is in chaos, there's big holes in the ceiling, letting in all the cold air, and I am in the process of starting a new job. But here are a few pictures of our progress since the last post:

First picture with the wall gone. This was taken AFTER all the rubble was cleaned up. It was quite a mess for a while.

Another view. The space looks considerably bigger now. One of the first orders of business was to remove the toilet from the middle of the floor. With all the walls gone, it was now in the way.

With the wall gone, the drywallers came back and finished up. Now things are really taking shape. The big holes in the ceiling are now all gone, and we are no longer heating the great outdoors.

With the drywall done, it was now time to put on primer. I hung all sorts of plastic and then figured out that the primer was too thick to use in my paint sprayer. I ended up doing it with a roller.

Another view, shortly before primer was put on.

Next job is to start hanging cabinets...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Big Changes

Things are a-happening now. The heat in the house is having a struggle keeping up because of the missing window and a large section of missing ceiling in the former kitchen. The large support beam is in place, the roof is held up, and things are a real mess. Deb, the neat-nick of the family is holding up pretty well. The kitchen is somewhat of an extension of herself, and having it in such chaos is unsettling for her. With no power, no heat, and very little light in what was once the nerve center of the house, she is a bit at loose ends.

But, so far, she has been managing to soldier on, even attempting some baking amidst the dust and debris...

I keep having to tell her that it WILL get better. It may get a little worse, particularly today, when the adjoining wall is torn down and much of the rest of the countertops are ripped out, but it WILL get better.

On the bright side, the drywall crew has been hard at work and the addition looks dramatically different than it did one day ago.

The drywallers will be back once the wall is gone and the framing is fixed up (probably tomorrow), and then maybe we can be warm again.

Another sign of progress, the siding was finished on Monday. From the outside, it's looking pretty good: