Monday, March 23, 2015

Kitchen Re-do Part One

Renovation is not for the feint of heart.  It is messy.  It is disruptive.  It is life-sucking.

We just finished a 4 month remodel of our kitchen.  I LOVE the outcome, but it was a very challenging 4 months.

Our "5 year" house has turned into our 14 year house.  It was our starter home and apparently we are still starting.  We aren't ready to move from our house, but we needed to make it more affective for us.  Our house is a pretty small (1400 square feet) 3 bedroom, 2 bath house.  But like most houses built in the 70's-90's it has a really stupid front "formal" living room.  What do you do with this space?  Entertain fancy ladies and serve them tea?  Because that doesn't happen at our house.  We need more room for our 3 boys.  And more seating area.  And more than 3 tiny drawers.  Our kitchen was TINY and didn't have much counter space or prep area.  This made it really hard to entertain or even make a meal for 5 people on a regular basis.  

So we started dreaming.   Luckily we have a building planner/viseo expert/construction manager/etc. in the family.  We could not have done this project without my dad.  He is amazing when it comes to this kind of thing.  If you need any proof, you just need to go to my parent's house and see what he has done with their house over the last 40 years, or go to my sister's house and see her kitchen or basement remodel from a few years ago.

The dreaming began.  This was the first drawing on the white board at my parents' house.

Then it was full fledged planning.  Including measurements down to the 1/16th of an inch.  Then it all goes into the computer.  And then it gets redone and redone and drawn on and changed and changed again.  

I think we had four versions at the end and even then we switched some things at the end so the final product doesn't even look like this.

Version Four:

Then came the trips to IKEA.  We went to IKEA to check out their selection and to see if they would have the cabinets and options we wanted and to see how it fit into the budget.

We happened to get in on a sweet deal as IKEA was phasing out their old cabinet system to make way for their new system so all of their kitchens were 20% off.  BEST DECISION we made during this process.  IKEA has got it going on.  We have so many awesome features like self-closing drawers and cabinets, pull out trash can, swing-out corner cabinet and many more that we never would have been able to afford with any other cabinet company.

Also during the process my dad spent HOURS making DETAILED budgets for us.  I think by the end we had 10 or 11 versions of the budgets that were updated weekly so we could see exactly how much we were projected to spend and how much we actually spent.  It was so nice to be able to see where we were budget-wise.

The day finally came and we decided to pull the trigger and I sent this email.  Notice the date.  Halloween.  Nice timing Lisa. 
 And I got an email back the next day with a detailed timeline (down to the day) with a start day 7 days later.  Gulp.  We had our annual Harvest party that Friday, the 6th and we started demo the next day (November 7th).  I was freaking out a bit.  However, it made cleaning for the party easier.  Because I didn't want to do a deep clean when I was going to be demoing the next day. 

I also got this in my email inbox.  A way for us to "function" during the remodel.  Nothing is overlooked when it comes to Dave Coombs.

My husband said he didn't want to be doing construction over the holidays.  I am impatient and wanted to get started, so I pushed.  I knew it was going to be tricky, hard, timing consuming and that it would be hard to do over the holidays, but it was going to be hard anytime so why not over the holidays.  I also have more time off over the holidays so I thought it would be better.  Ummmm.  My husband *may have* (okay, absolutely) been right.  It was REALLY hard over the holidays.

Of course I had to do some cleaning the morning of demo.  I knew this blog post would come and I would have to have some "before" pictures.

So here is a little bit of what our house looked like on the morning of November 7th.  I will put more "before pictures" when I do the final reveal.

This is what my "before" remodel looked like.  I should have taken a before and after picture of myself.  In the "after" shot you would find bags under my eyes, more gray hair and wrinkles and my husband glaring at me in the background saying "I tried to tell you".  I get it......he was right.  However, I still stake my claim that it is hard to renovate any time of year.  

Stay tuned for demo and construction pictures.

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