Monday, April 21, 2008

Week 11 of the Remodeling

I skipped week 10. The good thing was that the floor was installed. The cork is wonderful in feel and appearance. When you walk on it, it feels soft and somehow warmer than the old floor. Strangely, the first time I walked on it I felt that I was standing on something taller - although it can't be more than half an inch or so.
Like everything else, it was a challenge. The pocket doors to the living and dining rooms had to be removed and one cut shorter to clear the new floor. This involved removing the door trim - twice - which by then was so beat up that it had to be replaced.
As we anticipated, the refrigerator was a problem. It did, indeed, fit in the space provided, but only if we don't plan to open the door a lot or remove the drawers. This is why I didn't blog last week. I was generally too upset to be civil. The options included tearing out the cabinets, backsplash and granite and moving the desk unit over to where it should have been, OR , buying a new, smaller refrigerator. I opted for the new, smaller frig. We will lose 2 cubic feet and have to adjust to a bottom freezer unit, but we gain 3 inches in the width and don't have to move anything. At this point I just want this over with so we can move back into our kitchen. This was the speediest solution. On the bright side (I'm trying to see the bright side) we will gain an ice maker.
Long before we moved in, the water line behind the outside wall had frozen and split. When we installed our refrigerator with icemaker there was water flowing out from under every cabinet in the kitchen. We shut it down. When we replaced the refrigerator, we opted not to get an icemaker because we didn't want to tear the wall out for the repair of the line. So, with this remodeling, we had access to the wall and installed a new, plastic water line, on the correct side of the installation, in case we ever replaced our frig. So things work out as they should.
The dishwasher... did we discuss the dishwasher? Ours didn't fit. Well actually it did fit, but then the drawer next to it wouldn't open. The contractor took my dishwasher and found us a new one with a flat front, no curve, that will allow the drawer to clear. It is a nice dishwasher, a KitchenAid with a stainless interior, which is what we had. It loads in a sensible way, unlike some that I've seen. Again, the up side is that this one more closely matches the new, brighter kitchen. Ours was black - but nearly new - so we hadn't planned to replace it.
I figured out a way to get back some of the drawer space that we lost. Larry had brought home a good quality drawer from a piece of office furniture. They wanted the furniture but not the drawer. It is a nearly perfect fit for underneath the cook top. The carpenter has expressed some doubt about mounting it there because of the proximity of the gas flame shield. I don't know how to check on that, but I can't imagine that there would be real danger from flames beneath the cooktop. We really need this drawer because without it we have no place to keep cooking utensils. And if there's anything I love, it is kitchen toys.
So the drama continues. The wonderful flooring refuses to lie flat in the laundry. The new refrig arrives Thursday. Was the backsplash sealed today? I don't know. The new door frame needs paint.
Life goes on. I am hosting bridge Wednesday whether or not we are done. I never imagined that we would still be trying to finish.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tuesday, Week 9

I think I can see the light now - at the end of the tunnel, I mean. Today the tile man finished grouting the backsplash, while two carpenters started at the top of the "punch list" and worked their way through it. They even suggested some things that never made the list!

The kitchen has turned out to have a Tuscan look to it, which was unintended, but I like it. Now I wonder if the table and chairs will match. If the chairs look too country, I can slip cover the backs. We wouldn't want to give up our big, sturdy oak table. But the tile has definitely given me a longing to fill the kitchen with lemons and rosemary sprigs, strands of braided garlic and big jars of olives.

Tomorrow afternoon, the flooring man will start on the cork floor, expecting to finish sometime on Thursday. The pocket doors will be challenging, but he seems unfazed. He even took the installation directions home to read - a man - took directions to read! Will wonders never cease? Leon has been doing floors for 27 years so I'm guessing that he knows what he's doing.