Sunday, October 7, 2007

Photos of the finished kitchen

Pretend that you enter kitchen here. This is the entrance from the hallway leading to the family room. Light yellow on the left is the front door entrance hallway. First set of cabinets on the left is the "wrap-around" set-up flanking the oven cabinet. Phone and cell phone charger reside in the upper left cabinet. Wall housing the Advantium oven and the fridge is 24" deep and the facing wall is 12" deep. Both walls have 42" upper cabinets. Moving in the clockwise direction, the 12" wall, as well as the peninsula are seen. Doorway to the right is the dining room. This is the back of the peninsula. For all exposed ends we ordered paneling that mimics "authentic" doors. The 12" side mainly houses pantry items, cookbooks, wine glasses and coffee stuff.
Continuing to move in the clockwise direction, the sink wall comes into view. Original kitchen had only this side of the wall, as well as the range wall covered in cabinets. We moved the DW to the right of the sink. Casual china is stored in the wall cabinet to the left. The bank of drawers houses cutlery, baking dishes and the bowls. The sink is 36", Ticor S405-DR from Galaxy Tools. The large bowl (about 21") is 9" deep and houses the garbage disposal. The smaller sink (about 13") is 7" deep. The disposal is operated by an air switch. The faucet and the detergent dispenser is Brizo Floriano. The window molding was stained to match the cabinets. The sink is one of my most favorite features in the new kitchen. So deep, and can hide so many dirty dishes :)Further moving to the right, is the other side of the sink wall. Everyday dishes are stored in the wall cabinet above the DW, and glasses are stored above the skinny tray cabinet. Since we kept the soffits (they did not bother us in any way), the upper cabinets on the sink and the adjacent range side are 30" tall.

To the right of the sink wall is the range wall. The range is my pride and joy! Corner cabinets connecting the range and the sink wall are the Super Susan on the bottom (pots and pans storage) and the regular corner upper (storage for mugs and seldom used platters). The spices cabinet is to the left of the hood. To the right of the hood is the cabinet for loose tea, rice, pasta, etc. The stack of drawers keeps my cooking spatulas, etc.; packaged tea, and potatoes/garlic/onions.

Turning around and looking back at the fridge/pantry triangle, front of the peninsula is seen. One of the peninsula cabinets houses the pull-out garbage/recycling waste basket center. The garbage basket is right behind the sink. The drawers hold more bowls and storage containers, place mats, linens, aprons, foil/sandwich bags, etc. The junk drawer is there as well. The upper corner cabinet holds everyday tea, coffee and the sugar bowl, right above the tea kettle. Outlet covers were stained to match the cabinets.

Corner of 24" deep wall meeting the 12" deep wall. Beverages are stored in the cabinets adjacent to the fridge. We have 2 refillable three-gallon water containers (town water is awful for tea and coffee, even with the water softener and filters), and these 2 cabinets were designed specifically with the storage of these 2 containers in mind!

The fridge. The peninsula serves as the landing space.
The fridge and the advantium oven (microwave, speedcook and the convection). The drawer under the oven houses all the advantium related literature and extra racks. Under the drawer is the set of 2 pull out shelves which are home to blender, toaster, food processor and the panini maker. Above the advantium is the storage for rarely used large pots and and pans, as well as my collection of spring-form pans.

Well, this is it! Only the custom crock with "Yana's kitchen" insignia remains to be finished. The crock is being glazed next week but I couldn't wait too much longer to post the final look of the much beloved kitchen!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Finally, 100% done!

To get to this point, we needed 3 trips out of Bryan. He is so busy, most of these trips had to be at night.

First, the phone jack got taken care of. (99.5% completion)

Then, the dimmer was installed and the light switch box was brought out to be flush with the backsplash. The exposed side walls inside of the DW that were sanded down got stained, as well as the side edges of the toe-kicks adjacent to the DW toe-kicks (99.9% completion).

Finally, the shelf for one of the cabinets that came in damaged and was subsequently replaced with a wider shelf (Decora ?%!%!?) was cut down to fit the cabinet, and all the nail holes were replaced. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The journey was long, at times painful, stressful and frustrating, but the end product speaks for itself. The photos will be posted shortly!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

99% complete

Still not done, but the kitchen has been 95% functional since the start of August and 99% functional since last week.

Allow me to explain the breakdown....

After most of the work following the granite install was done by Bryan and Jeb, approximately a week passed before the granite people could come back and buff out the scratched (I hound a few more) and to fill in the silicone where needed. I had it scheduled at the same time as Bryan was meant to come in and do some work so that there is somebody to look after them and we wouldn't have to take the time off. But there was a lot of work done by the granite crew so Bryan couldn't do any work in the kitchen. They actually screwed up more than one cutout but they managed to correct them. Anyways, since Bryan wasted his time, I had a case and managed to knock more money off the granite balance, which was to go to Bryan for his time. I have to say that they have been fairly reasonable.

Bryan has other jobs so for the next few weeks he was trying to squeeze us in and little by little the kitchen reached the 95% mark. The paneling from Decora arrived very fast and I have to say that the back of the peninsula looks fantastic. Bryan stained the window to match the cabinets, as well as the wooden wall plates. Garage was cleared out of all the junk and the "tools of the trade".

Nearly 2 weeks ago, however, we ran into some additional issues. As Bryan was getting ready to connect the dishwasher (which was off since it needed to be secured first to the countertop, which in turn required a piece of plywood to be glued to the granite) he discovered that during the granite install, the cabinets to the right and left of the dishwasher got shifted. So, in order to get the dishwasher in, the sides of the cabinets had to be sanded down. Additionally, all outlets had to be replaced, because the granite installers had somehow managed to damage the parts of the outlet where the wall plate would be attached to. ARGH!!!!! Another wasted trip, another week of unfinished kitchen. Granite people continued to be reasonable and we got some money from them that should cover Bryan's additional efforts.

Bryan was back on Monday and Wednesday with new outlets and a sander, and at this point the kitchen is 99% complete. All the wall and floor molding was finished as well. The window got new molding with a ledge. It was nice to be able to use the dishwasher since April! I am still trying to get the soap dispenser to work (I got an attachment called Never MT so that instead of a bottle, the dispenser is connected straight to the detergent bottle).

What remains to be done:

- finish the wiring for the phone inside the wall cabinet (wiring was too short). Once it's done I claim the last empty cabinet.
-bring out the trio switch set (too recessed in the box) and replace ceiling light switch with a dimmer
-Fill in all the little holes from the nails on the paneling and molding.

I have a few boxes that need to be emptied out and a heap of stuff to take to the Salvation army. Since the kitchen was more or less done, I have hosted 2 dinners and a barbecue. It's getting back to normal!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Some photos - not quite done, but getting there

Week 14 - Granite Install and a nearly the end post!

So the granite got installed on the 25th. It is gorgeous and it looks so much better than in the granite yard. I am so glad we went for the full granite backsplash. It just adds a very nice, and dare I say, sophisticated and rich look. It is almost like the kitchen was carved out of the stone. The granite and the cabinets coordinate beautifully. It is a stunner! The photos will be posted soon, I promise.

I love the new kitchen!!!!!

But.... back to the granite install.

The install did not go very smooth. Some minor things are going to be corrected easily - there is a need to fill in the silicone epoxy/grout in few places (around the sink and between few slabs where the backsplash meets the counter). I have no problems here.

More major issues involve a couple of power outlet cutouts which were cut too large and were not centered around the plug or the light switch. It is a miracle that Bryan and Jeb managed to re-center the outlet box. At worst I had visions of this huge slab coming off the wall and waiting forever for a new slab to be cut properly. At best, I was thinking of a hole cut though the other side of the wall (our dining room) to move these boxes. But the guys came through again and saved the day! However, we now have a lot less choices for the decorative wall plate to cover the outlets. Before I was envisioning a stainless steel wall plate with an edge profile to match our cabinet doors. Now we are stuck with a limited selection of "jumbo" plates, and the "winner" right now appears a wood wall plate that we are hoping to stain to match the cabinets. That's the plan.

The granite installers also managed to scratch my stainless steel backsplash in a lower corner. Not a big deal, it can be covered up with a oil bottle which would be sitting there anyways. But still, they should've been more careful. Additionally, a few minor scuffs were found in deep corners on the cabinetry, but you rally have to look hard to spot these - we can use a touch up kit there easily.

Last, but not least, we were planning to have an overhang on the peninsula. It was not my idea since I felt it would be too tight, but we compromised by having a small saddle stool under the overhang to make it less crowded. We had it in the plan and the granite quote was based on the overhang being there. During the template, we didn't remind them and they didn't ask. When we went to view the template against the slabs, it also didn't jump at us that the peninsula was too "skinny". So, when the granite installers went out for lunch and Brian came down to inspect he was fairly shocked not to find the overhang! However, he realized then that it would've been indeed too crowded to have the overhang and it would've made an access to one wall cabinet above the peninsula a bit tricky. So no hard loss. But what if we would've planned for the overhang to be the focal point of out kitchen? Not cool on their end, for sure.

Unfortunately, I went ahead and called the granite people about my missing square footage that I paid for before coming home first and inspecting the job. Then I think I would've had more leverage. So I only got the money back for the missing footage and not for any damage, which as inconvenient as they are, we can live with. On the other hand, I got a bunch of freebies from them (they polished a trivet for me and the small backsplash piece was on the house as well).

But the missing overhang caused me to do more ordering. We got fake doors panels (the authentic paneling) on all cabinets that had exposed sides as opposed to plain "skin paneling", except for the back of the peninsula which was supposed to have a stool sitting behind and have a overhang shadow. Now it appears too plain in comparison to others. I manage to "rescue" 2 doors that we had replaced (scuffs from the factory) so we had to order only one. The cost was about the same as my refund from the granite, but now I have to wait another couple of weeks to have a completely finished kitchen!

Bryan and Jeb came and worked all day Thursday and part of the day on Friday and managed to do a TON. Bryan went on the vacation and will come back to finish off staining the window frame and the wall plates, a bit of molding install (mostly tow-kicks), one of the pullout drawers under the microwave needs to be installed and a few drawers still need the pulls installed. Also the phone jack is not finished off, but I think this is it.

So the entire weekend I have been busy organizing the layout of the cabinets and putting my dishes and pantry items away. It was a very enjoyable task since I was trying to imagine how I would move around the kitchen when I cook and tried to put things away accordingly. I installed the shelves myself so I would be able put all my things away comfortably. I also moved my most used cookbooks into the kitchen. Nothing is crammed and is easily located./ I can't believe that nearly all of it was once crammed into half cabinet space. My aim is to have clutter-free counter tops and all these drawers and cabinets will help me achieve this goal!

i just love the new DEEP sink. It is flat, it is huge, the faucet is gorgeous and I have a garbage disposal now! I can go on for days and not do the dishes and you won't see the dirty pile!

I just love my new kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

photos coming soon, but it could be a preview... I want to post final photos and it may take a bit more.

Photos from 9th week and some news from the 10th week

First, the news: a big shipment of what initially appeared to be the replacement molding and the doors appeared at the door step early in the week. However, it turned out that only a SINGLE door was shipped, along with the molding, the shelf (which was sent 3 times as wide as requested, but can be easily cut to the right size) and yet another set of panels for the cabinet sides (as of now, we received 8 of them, needed only 2). I assumed the shipment was split, and waited a day to call KD. Well, just when you see Decora screw up bad, they do it again - and this is taking place when they are trying to fix the initial screw up! Looks like they lost the request for the other 4 doors and I am hoping to get a confirmation of delivery from Dan in the next few days. I suspect it will be another two weeks. Argh.....

Some progress pics:

This is the vent through the toe-kick (this base cabinet is right next to the fridge). Please ignore the dirty floor!
This is a close-up of the wall cabinet left of the window showing off the "crown" molding. The window frame is yet to be stained to match the cabinet.

A bit more of the molding:
Here's the embellishment/aka grape onlay on the false draw front of the sink base cabinet. Ignore the old countertop, sink and the faucet!

And finally, the matching grape onlay above the fridge. We needed this filler since the fridge is 84" tall and the ceilings are just shy of 96". Since the photo was taken, the plastic film was taken off. The photo is s bit dark, sorry. BTW, the door on the left of the fridge is being replaced, so it's off.

I am hoping to make another update early next week, as Bryan is hoping to stop by and install the shelves and door handles. Then, I am off to Russia and I am not sure if Brian will be taking over my duties. Let's hope that by the time I get back, the counter tops and the backsplash are installed!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

2.5 months and counting...

I think this is the 13th week. The doors arrived last week and we have a set date for the counter top and the backsplash install - July 25th. Can't wait!

Monday, June 18, 2007

9th week update

Bryan managed to squeeze in half a day (more like an evening, actually) and we got quiet a bit of molding and embelishments installed.

A miniature crown molding was installed above the cabinets. Originally we wanted a fancy crown molding, but since we are keeping the soffit, we would've been able to use the molding for 2 walls only. Most importantly, we wanted the cabinets to go all the way up to the ceiling and since Decora does not make 39" tall wall cabinets, we either had a choice of 36" + 6" of molding (too much!) or a 42" with not too much space for the molding. We decided to utilize the space and to make things more even with the soffit walls, and went for 42" plus the scribe molding. Scribe molding is really more of a strip of wood to go between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling, but that's what traditionally is used in cases like this.

When Bryan was going through all the molding pieces that had arrived with the cabinets, he noticed this molding called "inside corner" molding. It actually looked like a miniature version of a crown molding. He held it up against the cabinet and it looked great. Best of all, we ended up getting the new batch of molding on the house due to a number of screw-ups by Decora (see a post of about 3-4 weeks ago).

In addition to the molding, he installed the replacement corner cabinet (original came with a small crack) and the grape embelishmnets. One of them went on the filler above the fridge and the other one went on the sink cabinet. Original intent for the 2nd onlay was to go on the filler above the hood, but it turned out that there wasn't enough space for it (it was ordered kind of on the fly - both of us were at work when we found out that we would need a filler above the vent and had to place an order ASAP; i was concerned that 48" of plain filler would be too much and felt that the onlay was needed - now that everything is installed, I think the onlay would've overwhelmed the range and the hood). An onlay on the sink cabinet was something I thought of during the design stages, but the embelishment was too expensive, we left it off. BTW, the 2nd embelishment did not cost us anything (same story as the molding).

Next time we will see Bryan is when the doors and the replacement molding arrive. The window frame also still needs to be stained.

photos to follow....

PS - i went strawberry picking on Sunday to a local farm, and cooked the most fantastic strawberry/rhubarb reduction with a bit of cinnamon. Yummy. I love that range!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

8th week

Once again, nothing much happened.

Bryan managed to squeeze in a few hours mid-week to re-connect the sink, and to do a few things here and there.

We also went to the granite fabricating place to see the template against the slabs and were able to see how the stone will be cut and where the seams would be. That was a lot of fun :) The slabs are gorgeous! It appears that the granite won't be installed till the first or the 2nd week of July.

Also, it was discovered that the door replacement order never went through b/c we had a question about the door dimension and somehow that got lost in the shuffle. A rush was placed on the order though, so hopefully we will see the doors soon. We also had to re-order some molding since the finish was crap (it looked like the pieces were not finished drying when they were put away).

The corner cabinet replacement (for the one that originally had a crack) came in at the end of the week.

The punch-list includes: install the replacement doors (5), install cabinet hardware, install cabinet shelves, install all molding and trim, install embellishments (2), stain the window trim, hook up microwave. After the granite is installed, Bryan will have to install the garbage disposal, the faucet and the soap dispenser and the airswitch for the disposal.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The granite

Since the templating was already done, I have decided to post the photos of the granite. The granite is from India and is appropriately called the Kerala Green, but is more commonly known as Tropical Green and Hawaiian Green. Sometimes it goes by Laura Verde and I think there is at least one more name!

What attracted me to this stone is the combination of green with the reddish specs which matched the cabinet stain perfectly. Originally we were interested in black with blue stones (like Volga Blue and Blue Pearl) but once the cabinet door was compared to the stone samples, the cool/warm contrast was not working. Since the green was always our second choice, Kerala Green was a perfect find! We think it coordinates nicely with the cabinets and the floor tile. Best of all, it turned out to be a much cheaper choice than our original selections.

We are getting a full granite backsplash as well (from the counter to the cabinets) that's why the new paint covers the walls partially and the orange is still visible in some places.

Our 3 slabs were selected and the deposit was given back in March. However, due to smaller market and a high demand for our fabricator, the wait from the templating to the fabrication at this time of the year is 5-6 weeks. There is only one place in the area that does it under 2 weeks, but they are also thousands more expansive. We can certainly wait :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

7th week

the tall filer finally arrived towards the end of the week and so did the molding and trim pieces (most of them anyway).

we had the templating scheduled for Friday, so the cabinets left of the freezer had to be taken apart for the tall filler to go in.

then they were all put back (except for the doors since the time was short before the granite people arrived). The doors are sitting against the couches in the living room :(

the filler above the fridge was installed - the fridge is truly a built in now.

the air vent was installed in the toe-kick of the base cabinet right of the fridge (originally, the vent used to be located on an empty wall).

the panels were installed on the exposed ends of the wall cabinets flanking the range vent.

the trim kit for the recessed can above the sink was installed as well.

the last corner cabinet is still in transit but the cracked one was installed for the templating.

unfortunately, with the templating guys needing the sink disconnected, we lost running water again. Hopefully we will get it back soon.

some photos to be posted soon.

6th week

nothing really happened except that our old sink got hooked up and a few things arrived from Decora (fridge filler).

a bit of painting (touch-up) was done though - and i think some of the toe-kicks were installed, but it could've been done at the end of the 5th week.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

5th week photo update (before the hiatus)

As mentioned in the previous post, a lot of work happened but a design flaw was discovered which put everything on hold. Here're the photos of progress.

This is the view of the "window side:

peninsula view from the dining room doorway, with the double trash cabinet opened. Note that the sink is across the trash cabinet.

This is the view of the fridge wall (from the sink wall) with the microwave not installed yet - it was taken out right away once we realized that the freezer door won't open all the way. The filler above the fridge is not going be installed till the tall filler between the freezer side and the microwave gets delivered and is installed.
This is the inside view of the wall cabinet left of the microwave cabinet. The phone will be kept inside the cabinet to minimize the clutter on the counter, as well as to keep all the outlets and wires on the walls to a minimum. The cell phone charging station is going to be there too. The full view of the cabinet is the next one (the one that is closest to the wall).
And this is the trio of cabinets to the left of the microwave cabinet - which all will be taken down for the tall filler between the freezer and the microwave cabinet to be installed. We have just enough space on the wall to install the 1.5" filler and to move the cabinets towards the door opening (the doorway on the left is to the front hallway). The photo was taken from the center hallway.

Finally, this is the view from the center hallway to the other side of the peninsula (where we will have an overhang for a stool) and the 12" deep side of the kitchen (the fridge side is the 24" deep wall). Note that the wall corner cabinet just before the dining room doorway is not installed yet since it had a crack and we are waiting for a replacement :(

So more or less at this point the work was stalled and we were waiting for the filler to arrive.

another update coming soon!

Friday, May 18, 2007

5th week update and the SHOCKER

Since the remodeling started in the middle of a week back on April 26th, the 4 week mark was hit on May 16th.

I came back from my trip on Monday night to find the kitchen completely transformed. Even though the dust and boxes were everywhere, and the walls that are to be covered with the granite were still painted mango, it was a WOW moment when I saw it live. The microwave cabinet was installed, and that nearly completed the kitchen. Only 5 minor cabinets remained plus all the trim and molding.

Tuesday proved to be a hellish day. Wall cabinet next to range went in, no issues. I scheduled the templating with the granite people - June 1st. Later than I hoped to be, but it proved just about right only a few hours later.

After the 3 cabinets next to the microwave cabinet were installed, all the wiring was done (one of the uppers next to microwave cabinet will have an electrical outlet for my cell phone charging and a phone jack for the land line phone), the microwave was installed - only to reveal a design flow - a missing filler between the microwave and the fridge - which prevented the freezer from being completely open. It got only better when the final cabinet was taken out of the box - at least a 6" long crack was running from the top. What a day, hah??? Of course, I called the KD right away to request a replacement and the missing filler.

I have to say we were very lucky, because we had just enough room on the affected wall for the filler. Anything wider and we would have major issues.

So, since we needed a new cabinet and a piece of molding, all the work basically came to a screeching halt. The kitchen was nearly there!!! Nothing else could've been really done until all the missing items would arrive - hopefully before templating. Guys installed the filler above the vent, cleaned up the garage, installed the old counter top on the sink section of the kitchen and basically called it a day. The agreement is that Bryan will be periodically popping in and out as the replacement doors, molding, etc will be arriving. He will also have to come in to connect the old sink since new pipes are needed.

After the latest "shocker" we were majorly ticked off, because this time it would actually cost us money to fix this mess. To install the filler between the microwave and the fridge, 4 cabinets would have to be moved and electrical outlets would have to be moved. Bryan has been really patient with working around some of the KD or cabinet-related issues, but this issue would cost him a day. I was also ticked off with some of the cabinet-related issues - since we ordered the cabinets when Decora was raising prices, a lot of folks did the same thing, so the output increased but the QA/QC suffered a lot as well. We have 5 doors to replace, some corner supports were not attached properly, of course the 2 wrong size fillers, and the one cabinet that was slightly bowed in - nothing major or anything that would impact the structural quality but it shouldn't be like that with the cabinetry that prizes itself on their workmanship and quality.

So, I compiled a list of all my cabinet complaints, printed out all the evidence and Brian and I went to meet the KD. I wanted some kind of compensation for the cabinets and some kind of compensation for the $300 an extra day of work that we had to pay up due to what seemed to us was a KD negligence (he had all the appliance specs!!!!). At the end, I got all the molding I wanted to order free of charge (from Decora) as well as the grape embellishment that we wanted to order to go on the valance above the hood. KD kicked in half of what I wanted, but I was satisfied anyways. Because of his mistakes we got the fridge filler, the panels for the wall cabinets flanking the vent on the house, as well as the valance above the hood (we were going to pay for it since it was a last minute addition but we ordered it at the same time as we found out the missing finished panels for the wall cabinets mentioned above, and he gave the valance free of charge). So considering these freebies, I don't feel too bad about getting only the $150 back. If I had to pay for molding, trim, the grape onlay and other stuff, it would be at least $800, if not more.

Photos to be posted later. Have a great weekend everyone.

end of the 4th week photos

The peninsula went in (the buffet and the double waste bin cabinets), as did the pendant lights. Fridge was framed as well (no photo). Yes, Brian is smiling J

The dust is everywhere and so are the boxes. Old stuff from the kitchen can’t go into the garage since it’s full of boxes and other remodeling-related stuff. So the hallways are housing the baker’s rack, and other cabinets we used to have in the old kitchen.

4th week photos (mid week update)

Before the peninsula cabinets went in and the fridge was framed (mid-week photos):

Another couple of views of the range :)

More end of the week photos are coming soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

photos from 4th week

are coming soon.

i finally figured out what is going on. I tried to upload them from several PCs and had issues. The photos were taken by Jean, who emailed them to me as pictures w/n the email, not as separate attachments. For some strange reason, the site here did not take the photos. When I tried to upload a photo that was sent as an attachment (not kitchen-related) it got published w/o any problems. So, as soon as I get the photos as attachments, they will be up, plus this week's progress and the customary "shocker" entry.

Cheers, Yana

Sunday, May 13, 2007

4th week shocker

Well, I wouldn't even call it a full shocker, but keeping with the tradition of earlier weeks, I am documenting all the excitement of our remodeling.

First, I got a call from KD that the side panels for the cabinets that flank the vent were ordered in the wrong thickness, and whatever we are getting on Friday is not usable (but the filler/valance above the vent and the grape embellishment is very much usable though). The replacement will be shipped out on Monday. Ok, we can deal with that - no big deal!

Second, as I am gearing to leave work for the airport, I get a call from Bryan, the contractor, informing me that 2 of the very much needed fillers (connecting the 24" deep wall with a 12" deep wall) were missing. Apparently, 2 different ones were included with the order instead. We had no other choice but to cut out the fillers from the large filler/valance piece that goes above the fridge (and Bryan had to kill some time to cut the pieces out). The fridge valance replacement will come in with the correct thickness panels sometime next week. Obviously, the large wood piece is a lot more expensive than the 2 small filler pieces and I am sure the cabinet making people were not very pleased with that, but tough - they should've filled the order correctly! The fridge valance can be installed anytime.

We also have a few doors that need to be replaced due to some scratches and too much knots on one of them, but I am told this happens with everybody.

Considering that the guys were working a full day for the entire week and a lot of opportunities were there for bad news, the "surprises" are indeed very minor and fixable.

4th week progress

This is supposed to be the most "productive" week in terms of cabinetry installation, and what do I do? I go out of town. But thanks to Brian and Jean, I was still getting the updates.

Most of the cabints on the 2 new walls got installed this week, including the peninsula and the pendant lights above it. The fridge got framed on one side (but no picture is yet available) and the water line got connected.

The two replacement cabinets arrived and were installed right next to the fridge.

Remaining cabinets include the tall oven cabinet, the corner wall cabinet above the peninsula and the corner base and wall next to the oven cabinet.

Remaining "punch list" items include the molding, the panels, decorative embellishments and the filler/valance pieces above the vent and the fridge.

The hope is that the granite will be templated by the end of next week.

For some strange reason I am having difficulties uploading the photos, but they will be added soon (I promise!).

Friday, May 4, 2007

3rd week's shocker

Of course, there had to be one!

As Bryan was getting ready to install the wall cabinets that flank the hood, it was discovered that our KD did not specify a finished panel on sides that are adjacent to the hood (they are partially exposed).

I guess the good thing is that everything else can be installed and the panels can be slided in and secured later on. Also, since the panels are for two regular 30" high, 12" deep cabinets, these can be shipped out right away. Since the KD covered the cost of the wood panel above the hood, we decided to splurge and also added a decorative onlay (the grapes) to the order to match similar look on the panel above the fridge.

Grumpy Grimonde lost his cash
He wanted to spend it on a drinking bash
His wife said kitchen
He went off bitchin'
The look on his face says she won the dash

copyright Agent Smyth aka Smithers aka David Smith
(note: the range did not get a cleaning yet, so ignore the fingerprints)

3rd week update

Monday and Tuesday were rough on Bryan and his crew because of the vent hood. The soffit was too narrow for the hood to go straight in (the exhaust pipe make a 90 degree angle to the outside wall) and he tried a number of different attachments to make it work. Short of re-building the soffit, the only other way was to get the vent installed 6" below the soffit. This means that a 48" long (the length of the vent hood) filler would have to be installed. Height-wise it's not a problem - there is still plenty of space under the hood. But nearly two days got wasted.

The hood got installed in Tuesday night and on Wednesday the range was finally brought into the house. When we got home the stainless steel beauty was so beautiful that I did not even see the new cabinets next to it.

Also, the hallway, the soffits and a bit of space that won't be covered by either the cabinets or the granite were painted in Benjamin Moore's Tyler Taupe color. It came out a lot better than I thought it would, with more green tint in it. Paint choice was the most difficult decision we had to make.

Guys worked late on Tuesday and Wednesday and went off to the other projects for the remainder of the week. Bryan came in to do more electrical work in the basement (in preparation for the 2 walls that haven't been worked on yet) and to do a 2nd coat of paint.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

2nd week shocker

The range and the vent (as well as the disposal) were supposed to be delivered on Friday and of course, I was hoping to see my "baby" in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, the range and the vent were being brought in from outside of the area and the crew never bothered to check the weight of the cargo. As a result they were not in a position to bring it inside the house, so when we got home the appliances were sitting in a garage. Bummer. Regular crew was scheduled to arrive the following Wednesday to bring the range in (all 750 lbs of it!).

Other minor annoyance (a very minor one) - the range required a 4-prong electrical outlet, and the old range used 3. Apparently the old wire would not support the more powerful electrical requirements and new wire had to be installed (translation - some extra $$).

Follow-up on the cabinet replacement - they are supposed to get here on May 11th.

2nd week progress

More electrical work followed with partial demolition throughout the week.
The oven was disconnected so at this point we were at the mercy of left-overs that I cooked over the weekends, take-outs, and smooching off of friends. Under the oven we discovered NASTY old linoleum floor which was covered up with a plywood to level this area with the floor.

But at least we still have the sink!

Bryan installed one wall cabinet early in the week so we could see some progress - but on the wall which is most likely going to be done last due to the cabinet replacements we are still waiting for. This cabinet is a thing of beauty and is away from the rest of the action.

At the end of the week we also had the super susan base cabinet installed.

First week's shocker

2 of the cabinets which were supposed to go in first turned out to be 1.5" too long. Our KD based the original design on room measurements supplied by us, which were off in most cases by an inch or so. When he took the measurements, he adjusted the cabinet sizes on the affected walls accordingly, but this one slipped by. At least we are lucky that the design allows to replace these two 18" cabinets (wall and base) with a set of 15" and keep the door clearances, etc.

The replacement cabinets were ordered by the KD and should get in in about 2.5 weeks or so.

Lucky for us, our contractor Bryan can work on other walls and tasks so we are not holding him up.

Monday, April 30, 2007

First week of remodeling

Kitchen all cleared out and ready for demolition!

The "first" week was really more like a half week. The cabinets arrived 1 week ahead of schedule, and our contractor Bryan, managed to squeeze in some hours.

Most of the work actually was taking place in the basement and "between the walls'. The existing electrical sub-panel was full, so another one was installed. Almost all of the electrical outlets would end up being moved or replaced for the up-to code (those by the sink). Furthermore, since we are getting a full height 3 cm granite backsplash, the outlet boxes were brought out to be flush with the backsplash.

Most profound change by the end of the week was the lighting. Ugly fluorescent fixture and the brown "chandelier" were replaced with 4 recessed light cans. The difference was like a night and a day. So much light!!! The hallway light fixture was also replaced by the recessed can.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Old kitchen

We moved into the house 4 years and 1 week ago. When we moved into the kitchen, it looked like this:

We actually lost counter and cabinet space by moving from an apartment into this house! We had to compensate by using things like a a utility cart to store pantry items (no pantry closet in this late 1980's house!). Half of the kitchen was empty (previous owners used it as an eat-in-kitchen), so we shifted some things around, and moved the fridge to the opposite wall to open up the very cluttered part of the kitchen. The ugly wallpaper went next, and we painted the kitchen in mango color. Loud, yes - but at least it distracted from the hideous cabinets, old appliances and the stained countertops!

Here's what we lived with until the kitchen remodeling began about a week ago (practically 4 years to the day since we bought the house):

We were loosely planning to start the remodeling in the beginning of 2007, but the old dishwasher and the fridge died right when the GE appliance store was having a 10% sale in August of 2006. So the 6+ month planning started.
In this blog, I will try to keep the remodeling progress updated as we go through the demolition and installation. Perhaps in a separate blog I will capture all the work that went into planning, but for now I will focus on the actual progress!