Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Kitchen, Piece by Piece by Piece

Well, the kitchen has arrived! We have the cabinets and appliances! The granite still needs to be picked up after everything is installed.

Range....somewhere in there.

I went all white for appliances, after cleaning my mother's stainless before Thanksgiving I vowed I would NOT get stainless with children....constantly cleaning those things! But, they are SO pretty.

This is the kitchen before the flooring was removed, but after all cabinets etc were removed.

Johns recipe for success, coffee and a beer - not sure if he was working on both.

The kitchen in the back of the uhaul. All 12 pieces of American Cherry cabinets.

The NIGHTMARE of staples hidden beneath the flooring in the kitchen. They're industrial strength staples spaced only 2 inches apart, covering the ENTIRE kitchen area. Mike removed a 4x3 area that took over an hour the night before....LONG haul! John and Mike are trying to remove them tonight, someone will need a back rub when they get home that's for sure.

Jack approves of the thermal ply that Grandad and John put over the hardwood to protect them until it's a livable home, aka, until the bulk of the reno is finished.

Heavy lifting in action.

A teaser of our granite :)

The eat-in portion of the kitchen area (looking towards the front door entry hallway (to give you an idea of the layout, the kitchen is shaped like an "L". The nook is the horizontal part of the L and the cabinets and appliances are in a galley like fashion, or the vertical part of the L.

Standing in the laundry/pantry nook, looking into the kitchen area.

Looking into kitchen from the dining room.

OUR pretty cabinets, I think they're beautiful... they had me at soft closing drawers and pull out shelves. Still need to purchase hardware for them...undecided at the moment.
The current plan: Mikes dad, Grandad Larry is coming in about a week to help install the cabinets for us (if you've seen Jack in his rocking chair he got for Christmas, you know the man has skills). I think after tonight's staple removing party I have convinced the guys (John) to focus on the hall bathroom so we can get closer to our move in date. That's our house tonight, check back soon and have a VERY happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Floors- Check, it's Kitchen Time!

We have finished the hardwoods and they look scrumptious. I just love the way they turned out. This will allow us to turn our attention onto other parts of the house like kitchen, bathrooms and carpeting in the bedrooms.

Jacks FIRST time playing in the living room! Finally, he can be put down on the ground! He thinks they're perfect.

Grandad thinks differently and they start to look for imperfections.

High five, they are good to go now.

Jack helping Daddy,
Jack to mom: "These guys are crazy, the floors are perfect! Let's move onto the rest of the house people!"

Jack: "Grandad, they look fine. Just let me play!"
Grandad: "They could be more perfect, Jack, I'll make them perfect!"

John and Mike decided to put one more coat of varnish on to make them MORE perfect, so they are done and they look amazing. Now, we move onto the rest of the house. Today it's kitchen talk.
We bought our kitchen last week and part of the less than $4,000 price tag is having to pick them up and install them ourselves. A lot of work, but totally made getting to buy a kitchen at all a reality. In case we haven't mentioned, we are doing our entire reno for $15,000, which is A LOT of money, but not the norm for a project this size....unless you can/are willing to do all the work yourselves.
We are driving a uhaul, due to forecasted rain, to Richmond on Thursday to get our cabinets and dropping them at the house. We hope to do a little work on them this weekend. Once the cabinets are installed we'll call United Granite with our official measurements so they can cut the granite to fit perfectly. Once that is done we'll pick up the granite slabs, all 3, and hand them over to some trained pros to install them for us.

I still have to pick out tile flooring, pendant lighting and most likely the dining room light will have to be returned...part of getting a whole kitchen for cheap is that we had 5 choices of wood so we didn't necessarily get what we had always envisioned. I wanted white, but now we'll have beautiful American Cherry wood, which is great! Now, however, I have to rethink pulls, knobs and lighting. No biggie, just back to the drawing board. I am lucky to get a new kitchen at all, life could be a whole lot worse.

Appliances arrived and are awaiting to be put in their permanent homes. Hopefully bathroom work will resume sooner than later since that's what will allow us to move in sometime in the near future. Being a camper and river guide at heart I can rough it in a kitchen like the best of them so I'm leaning towards getting the bathroom done and getting to the kitchen as we go (read: once we get to move in)...but it's exciting to see it all coming together.
Video: Jack and his Grandad working on the house.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stain and Kitchen News

I went over the the house today to select a stain. John and I would LOVE to go DARK, but know that it shows dirt like no other....and it's pretty taste specific and that fad will probably change soon. So we went with something darker than what you usually see in houses, but not the dark dark. Here were our choices:

They actually look a lot darker in person. The darkest is in the middle, lightest is far left (duh, right) and we went with the far right...which is actually slightly darker looking in person. After waiting all day, making a trip to United Granite in Richmond (a must see kitchen warehouse with great prices) we came "home" to this....

We couldn't go in because we didn't want to damage them so I'm excited to see them in the light of day tomorrow. Back to United Granite. They are located in Richmond...we are getting kitchen cabinets, an undermount sink and 3 slabs of granite for a steal! It's a wholesale place that sells to contractors, usually not to families. We told them that we're trying to renovate our entire house for half a kitchen budget and they hooked us up big! So, if you're ever in the market for a new kitchen give them a try, they're about half the price of Home Depot or Lowes and we upgraded to granite. I hope it turns out as nicely as we expect. You'll see for yourself in a couple of weeks :)
Until next time...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hardwoods So Far

Yesterday we had tired, sad looking hardwood floors. Today they are looking much better. Here are what the hardwood floors look like now.


The vertical looking marks are patch material and glue coming to the surface. They will sand them again tomorrow and stain them! Can't wait.

Dear Benjamin Moore,

Nothing about this color says "November Rain" as the name implies. Perhaps you would like to change it to something a bit more fitting. Possible names include: Blue Bird Whistle, Taffy and WOW, That's Bright. Thanks you to Mike for putting up with me and tinting the color...this will be a better shade tomorrow as will the Living Dining room. Check back tomorrow for more paint and flooring updates.

Paint and HARDWOOD!

So things are moving and a shaking. John, Mike and I painted the living room, dining room, hallway and entry, office and bedrooms last night. We encountered one major bump (that wasn't realized until we finished for the night) the paint store gave us the wrong gray! When John ordered it they must have super imposed the numbers...we ordered: Pebble Beach - 1597 and they gave us Greystone - 1579, a green gray that didn't show green until this morning. Unfortunately, although it was their mistake, we made a mistake in not checking before we used it and therefore have to repurchase paint for the largest room in the house...BUMMER. But, to hit our first bummer this far in the game is very fortunate so I'll take it...reluctantly, but I'll take it.

Here's the office, it's called Summer Lime, and the photos don't do it justice. It's a limey yellow and should go well with the adjoining kitchen, but different enough to claim itself as it's own space. The ceiling is pitched and I painted it white to make it feel even more spacious. It's very airy and fresh.

Sunglasses on? Here's Jacks room, and I hate to say it, but it's MUCH brighter in person, I wish it actually looked like it does in the photos. We're keeping it though, might try to tone it down with Mike and John's tinting expertise but I just can't eat the cost of the GIANT living dining room paint AND Jack's room. So we're keeping it for now. Need to buy Jack some sleeping eye covers :) We bought kitchen paint, but haven't painted yet, it's a pretty yellow: Hawthorne Yellow, by Benjamin Moore (see photo below).

BEST news of the day, hardwood floors are on their way to beautiful!

Here the guys are patching the holes.

See, how gray-green the walls dried....they should be gray. Getting the right stuff today and should be able to re paint tonight. FUN times :)

I cannot contain my excitement for these floors. They are going to revitalize us and the house immensely. They will be sanded later today, stained tomorrow and we will be applying the varnish over the next 4 days....and fyi the guys informed me that they will in fact be working Christmas day...shocker, I know. 2 Weeks of work on the house has flown much done and so much more to be done but we're getting there!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Texturing and Painting Day


Mike and John enlisted the help of two dear friends, Erec DeVost and Bob Martin to shoot texture through the entire house. It looks very "Out Break" (early 1990's movie) in the house with everything covered in plastic and taped off.

I'm sure their necks, backs, and arms are still burning today! THANKS guys, it looks great. Here's how it looks this morning. ANd in the words of my awesome sister-in-law, Melissa, it looks so much better in person :)

Plan for the day is to paint 2 coats of primer throughout the house and a finish coat on the ceiling.

Mike and John painting and back rolling.

Between John and my family we have 5 official holiday parties of some sort (including my mother-in-laws birthday) so that definately slows us down quite a bit in terms of house headway. Luckily the floor guys will be making a big visual impact on the house starting floors Tuesday the 21st and finishing Wednesday the 22nd. We will (and by "we" I mean most likely John and his wonderful dad) will apply the varnish coats...all 3, which take at least 1 day between coats to dry. So hopefully, we will be able to work in the house again come Monday the 27th, because I am going to try to keep John and Mike out of the house on Christmas Day. We'll see...

Painting and back rolling our new BIGGER closet :)

So much dust, paint, texturing mud in the air = fuzy photo.

Inspite of all things house related, we are scheduled to move out of our rental New Years Eve. We are assuming that unless we find our often misplaced magic wand, we will be headed over to John's parents house for a couple of weeks until the house is in a more livable state (ie: a working bathroom). That being said, we hope to move all of our stuff over to the house (aka construction zone). Goals after the floors are finished are to paint the office and all of the bedrooms so they will be "done" in the sense that we can move stuff in to store (read: pile everything from floor to ceiling) and in the garage and rafters until we are able to physically move in and LIVE in our new house and start making it a home.

Keep you posted

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Bar is Open For Business...kind of

Although there haven't been any posts in a few days, there has been A LOT OF work going on. John and his dad, Mike have been mudding the walls and ceilings. It looks great! Yesterday one of Mike's friends (business associates) came over to help us put in a header and take out the kitchen living room wall. Here it is in progress and the current state.


Now: I can almost see the kitchen now....almost.

This post has to stay right there at the corner because it's load bearing.


Now (not sure what happened to the photo, sorry)

In other, exciting news, a week from today our hardwood floors should be just about finished. Another friend of Mike's has a flooring company and is coming over to patch the hole (above) left by the previous owner when taking out the 4th bedroom and sanding the living room, dining room and hallways. We will apply the varnish. At that point we will really see some progress!

Although I might not be working every night I get the job of coordinating things during the day as well as being at the house for any business. Today, for example, I was at the house for our chimney inspection. They tell you that they will be there any time between 1-3pm and we just bundle up and wait :) Hard when you're at home waiting for these types of things, harder when you and your 13 month old are waiting around a construction zone in 35 degree weather. So we played outside a bit, watched a dvd on the laptop and walked, and walked and walked.

Fun times! More exciting progress in the week to come. We'll keep you posted!