Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kitchen Remodel Update #7

The kids and I headed to Louisiana for the week and left Ed at home with the kitchen project. I think he's relieved to have us out from under his feet. He sends updates and photos of his progress. Since he's had so much to do at work, he spells himself by alternating office time and demo time. He tells me that this is the first time he's caught up on his backlog of work (not home projects, engineering work) since January. It's got to be stressful to have such a heavy workload plus be the primary on a home project of such magnitude. But he does it! He's an "eat the elephant" kind of guy - he just keep chipping away at these large projects. He works hard, but doesn't ever burn out. It's amazing. 

His primary achievements this past week were to finish creating temporary support walls so that he could demo the remaining area by the basement stairs. He also took off the bathroom door and took down the sheet-rocked wall between the bathroom and butler's pantry. I believe he was able to avoid any further tear-out of plaster and lathe though there may be more of that in the future.  He stopped before tearing out the last of the plaster because it would have meant removal of the toilet and sink. We are loathe to say goodbye to the very last of the running water on the main level. 

What was driving his work this past weekend was the need to fill the dumpsters which is scheduled for pick up today. 

See below for photos and captions of this past weekend's progress. 

Facing west, entrance to basement. The "box" looking thing on the ceiling is the landing of the staircase.
It's not well supported and Ed is working on creating a stronger support system for the stairs. 

Facing north, this window used to be above the sink and will now be above the stove. 
Note temporary support wall in foreground. 

Facing north from hallway looking into kitchen, studs on left will be removed.
Note support wall in center and staircase platform landing directly above it.

The bathroom is no longer private. Looking north from Butler's Pantry into bathroom, both sides of the
wall are gone (plaster / lathe and sheet rock). Door has also been removed. 
Ed used french fries at our date night dinner to explain how the support
beam will be placed. Isn't he romantic?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

May 7th: Jonas' 9th Birthday

This boy turns 9 today. His passions are Harry Potter, Minecraft, legos, and board games. He is a cub scout and capoeista, and is fascinated by alternative energy sources. Fairness and generosity are important values to him. He's always eager to help his brother with homework, but never eager to put away clothes or empty the dishwasher. We love him so and are deeply grateful to have him as our son. Happy birthday Jonas!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Kitchen Update #6: The last of the plaster

It's Sunday, June 25th. This is how Ed and I started our day:

Don't we look intense? We were bracing for the removal of the last of the plaster, and boy howdy, it WAS intense! It took us about 2 hours, and then another 2 to let the dust settle and try to clean up. 

Here's a pic of what our back patio looks like. Note the wheel barrow, stove, garbage disposal, dishwasher, bucket, broom, rugs, etc. What a mess!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kitchen Update #5: Big D Day

It's Saturday, June 25. I call it Big D Day. Ed, Adam (a young chem-e student we found on NextDoor) and Gill are taking out cabinets today. Plaster and lathe will come later. Ed removed the dishwasher and the stove yesterday. Last night, after he turned off the water, I freaked out as there was a sink full of dishes. So, we broke in the outdoor sink. I got very wet doing dishes with the hose, but it didn't feel too bad on a summer night. Plus, spilling water all over the floor is no longer a concern. I watered the plants with the grey water. It felt very bohemian.

The hammering this morning was so profound it shook the house. But there's now a lull. As I type this, I can hear Ed in the kitchen talking to Adam about becoming an engineer. "As an engineer, you only have one job - to get what's in your head into another person's head. Communication. And you only do that with your writing, drawing, or speaking skills. You need all three."

Gill got in on the action early. He was sleeping, and I whispered in his ear, "do you want to take out a cabinet?" His eyes popped open and he bounced out of bed like it was Christmas morning.

Yes, he really was swinging that sledge hammer. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Kitchen Update #4: Desk Demo

We finally got a dumpster delivered, and have moved everything out of the kitchen. 

Well....truth be told, not everything is out of the kitchen. The last bits of "things we don't know where to put" are hanging out in almost-empty, doors-torn-off cabinets. Things like cleaning products, large pots, old spices, wire racks, and a random watermelon. We both keep acting like it's not there.    

Ed took the day off of work to try and fill that dumpster so he can have it emptied and returned for the weekend's major tear-out. His focus area today is the desk area near the back door. We moved the refrigerator last week (right side of this photo) and the desk tear out is on the left. 2nd photo is after plaster and lathe removal. The door to the right is for basement stairs; the door to the left is to the backyard. He finished all of this in less than 2 hours. 

Kitchen Update #3: Temporary kitchen and dining area

Ed and I spent about 8 hours each this past weekend preparing for the upcoming kitchen demo. Even though we've been working on demo for about 2 months now, this upcoming weekend is the biggest and (hopefully!) final part. The dumpster arrives on Wednesday. 

At this point, the butler's pantry and central hallway closet/pantry have been demolished (i.e. down to the studs). Upcoming is the kitchen, including all cabinetry. We will be without water, stove, and storage so we've been preparing our side-porch to be the "cooking" kitchen and the patio to be our "cleaning" kitchen. Ed set up a temporary sink out there for washing dishes. We plan to use an electric tea kettle to warm water for washing. 

Here are a few photos of the "new" spaces. 

The "game table" has been moved into the living room, and can seat 4.
Note the Zima on the table, a surprise that Ed brought home from the grocery. They are surprisingly good!

Pantry, stove, electric griddle, microwave have all been moved to the side-porch (former toy room).
Note the makings of father's day nachos, per Ed's request.  

Kitchen Update #2: Butler's Pantry and Closet Demolition

Ed has been working on destroying the Butler's pantry. He started with this space because he needed to "see behind the wall" so that he'd know what size door to order when we move the access to the half-bath. Hm....

I have to say, he's done a great job with the plastic wrap (what we call visqueen down in Louisiana) so the plaster dust hasn't reached most of the rest of the house. We're still using 100% of the kitchen, so no pain yet on that score. 

Though I'm publishing this in June, most of this work was done in March/April while it was still cool outside so I used the lathe for firewood on the patio. It burns really, really well which is a bit concerning. 

We've been watching Chip and Joanna Gaines' "Fixer Upper" as a family. It's about the only thing we all like. Funny, huh?

NW view, bathroom door on right side, will be
moved to open near the window on the left

West view. The dining room is on the other side of this wall. That window is large so the
cabinets we want to install on this wall will have to be very shallow.