Saturday, August 30, 2014

Done! Finished! Project Completed!!!

I know I said a month ago that the end was in site.  Well, it was in site.  It just took a little bit longer to finalize.  Building inspectors deserve to take a vacation,  I suppose.  All is well that ends well.  And, this project ended extremely well!

My new kitchen!!!

The original kitchen had no access to the backyard.  In the new kitchen there is now a door leading out to the back patio.  Sink and dishwasher were moved to the inside wall.  New duel fuel KitchenAid range was placed against outside wall.

The new set up allows for uninterrupted cooking.  Traffic flow is diverted outside of cooking area.

With the sink and dishwasher located on inside wall, near entrance to kitchen, others can prep food, wash up, etc. without disturbing the person in the cooking area.

Wall pantry provides good storage and hides all the mess.

It has been an incredible journey these past few months.  I am thankful for my wonderful architect-husband who designed the new kitchen and provided a lot of sweat equity, my Mom for her support, and my kids for their encouragement and patience.  We survived…

Now its time to get back to cooking!

Appliances from Hunter Appliance, Cabinets from World of Kitchens, Inc, Flooring by Ming's Hardwood Floor.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The end is in site.  Since last post, tile work was completed, the electricians returned to install all of the overhead lighting, outlets and wall switches.

I love pears.  Of all the fruits, pears are my favorite.  Many of my favorite still life paintings have a pear in them, somewhere.  My most prized possession is a set of original pear sketches by an up and coming artist.  Therefore, the theme for my new kitchen will be "Pears."

The father/daughter team of A&K finished up work on the tile this week.  Having two perfectionists working side-by-side, grouting in silence, was an interesting site.  Results were great.  Even the electricians commented that it was one of the best tiling jobs they've seen.

A water theme over the sink…blue tiles
A heat them over the range…yellow tiles
Butcher block counter top still needs to be sized to fit the island.  Appliances will be delivered in a few days from Hunter Appliance.  Later this week the plumber returns to hook up the gas range, install the sink and faucets, install the dishwasher and hook up the ice maker in the refrigerator.

I'm already dreaming about what the first thing I will make in my new kitchen.  Having just seen the movie, Labor Day, I'm leaning towards making a pie…using my new butcher block island.

Did you know that the house Kate Winslet's character lives in is located in my town?  The house is just a few streets away.  Of course, the house has been totally renovated now and doesn't look anything like it did in the movie.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finally, the sink arrived.  Then it was promptly sent away to the counter folks.  I probably mentioned before that the sink was needed to create the counter template.  This ensures that the stone is cut correctly.  It wasn't long before all was returned and the counters were installed.  Yeah!!!

Our counters are Quartz Engineered Stone in the color:  Nougat.  Very easy to keep clean and maintain while the light color brightens up the kitchen.  They look great.

Just before the counters were installed, the father-son team of A&E (with a little help from K) installed the Hood Fan.

Next up:  installing the tile backsplash.  There will be white tiles with a few yellow accent tiles behind the range.  Behind the sink there will be white tiles with a few blue accent tiles.  All colors and tile designs have been previously approved by the artist in residency…Miss K.

Hunter Appliance will soon deliver the new appliances - range, dishwasher and refrigerator.  Then our electrician and our plumber will return to install the appliances.  I can hardly wait!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

We're in a bit of a holding pattern.  The sink we want is on back order.  Without the sink, the template for the counter tops can't be created.  So, we have to wait.

While we're waiting, we are cleaning up and preparing the walls for tile backsplash.  Good time, schedule wise, to also begin digging the holes for the foundation posts needed to build the back steps.  Unfortunately, a heat wave has hit.  It is hot, back breaking work….but the guys got it done.  Meanwhile, the garden continues to grow.  Time to harvest the Garlic Scapes.

Grill scapes with cherry tomatoes, olive oil and kosher salt

Create a salad by adding baby arugula.  Also good with over pasta.

Here is how the kitchen looks with cabinets installed, walls painted and prepped, sawdust swept away...

Waiting for counter tops
Waiting for butcher block top for center island
Kitchen is beginning to look light and airy.  I can't wait for this all to be completed!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Moving right along

Everyday there is progress.  Installing cabinets takes time and patience.  Anticipate another couple of days before all cabinets are installed and secured.  Here is what the kitchen currently looks like…

Once installation of cabinets is completed, work will begin on the counter top.  Still waiting for the new sink to arrive so a correct template can be created.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Flooring Installed

This week's progress:  hardwood floors were installed.  Room is really starting to shape up, yet still looks like just a room.  The cabinets were delivered today and will be installed next week.  Expect next week's photos to begin to really look like a kitchen.

Hardwood planks installed, sanded, and one coat of polyurethane applied.  After everything is installed (cabinets, island, appliances, counter tops, tile backsplash) and walls are painted…meaning EVERYTHING is completed… another coat of polyurethane will be applied.  Then, we will really be done.  ETA:  another 3 weeks.

So, what is one to do while waiting for floors to dry?  Go to the beach, of course.

Enjoyed a lovely day at Groton Long Point, visiting relatives where I finished reading Barbara Delinsky's latest book, Sweet Salt Air.  A story about old friends spending a summer together, on an island off the coast of Maine.  One a travel writer and the other a food blogger.  They spend the summer working on a cookbook about island food.  Really got me in the mood to get back to working on my own cookbook - a collection of family favorite recipes.  Can't wait to have my kitchen completed!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Watching Plaster Dry

Another busy week for the kitchen renovation.  Blue board was installed one day, then the plastering was completed the following day.  Now, we wait for plaster to dry.  All this work and the kitchen still looks like just a room.  But we know that behind the walls is new framing, new wiring, new insulation.
After the blue board, plaster was applied.  Waiting for plaster to dry
Before plaster but after blue board
Blue board
Once the plaster is dry we can move on to the next step.  Hardwood Flooring.  The wood needs to acclimate to the environment so it will "rest" in the house before installation.  Once that is accomplished, floor is installed with one layer of polyurethane applied.  This will pose our first real dilemma.

Both the kitchen and front hallway will get a new floor.  Since this area is centrally located we will be limited in our access to other parts of the house.  Upstairs bedrooms will no longer be accessible.  Looks like we will be hanging out in the family room, together, for a few days.  Cozy!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Inspections Completed and Passed

Apologies to my many followers…realize I'm a bit late with my "weekly" update on the Kitchen Renovation.  Took a trip to Savannah last week for K's graduation from SCAD.  Congratulations!!!

Okay, now back to the renovation.  Once the first stage electrical and plumbing was completed, inspections were required.  This process can often slow down a project due to schedules.  Best to make sure the work is completed before you call in the inspectors.  Last thing you want is to have them show up and the job wasn't quite completed.
Now that our inspections are completed and passed, the insulation was installed.

New insulation installed in walls and ceiling
Attic view

After insulation is completed, another building inspection is required. Inspector arrived today and signed off on the great job … completed by a newbie Dad and son team!

Next week:  Blue board to be installed on walls and ceiling and plaster applied.  Add on a few extra days for plaster to dry.

The question I am often asked is…"how do you function without a kitchen?"  Our solution was to set up a dinning and prep area in a corner of the family room.  Cooking on outside gas grill.

Microwave, coffee pot and toaster…what more does one need?
Biggest hardship…no dishwashing machine.  Temporary washing station set up in the laundry room.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Let the Rebuilding Begin

It may not look like a lot of changes occurred this past week but the kitchen is now ready to be re-built. This past week the carpenters finished with the framing, installed the new back door, and completed outside siding.  The electricians tore out all the old wiring and put in new wiring for new lights, wall sockets, TV/Internet, etc.  Plumbers relocated the pipes for the sink, gas line for the stove, etc.
New back door, framing for venting system, relocated gas line for stove
Everything had to be brought up to code.  Its important to have an architect/designer who knows current code requirements so placement can be reflected in the initial design.  This avoids having your electrician or plumber showing up and saying…"sorry, but the latest code won't allow us to do it that way."  We had a well thought out plan so the work was completed with minimal changes.  Lucky for me, my architect lives onsite so all questions/concerns could be dealt with quickly.
Relocating sink and dishwasher to this wall

Location of refrigerator and pantry cabinets (internet router to be stored at top)

A fun new addition is a wall mounted TV which will allow me to watch the news or a ballgame while making dinner.

Wall mount for TV, embedded box for cable
The back patio will need to be rebuilt this summer along with adding some back stairs.  A good summer project to encourage father/son bonding.  Hopefully we'll finally be able to sit around the fire pit this year.

View from the backyard

View from backyard, showing door to family room on left

Now we wait for then various building inspectors to arrive to review the electrical work and the new plumbing.  Once all is approved and signed off on the insulation work can begin.  After that will be the plastering.  Scheduling all the various contractors can be tricky and this is the part that slows down most renovation work.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Windows

Week three brings us to the installation of new windows and the backdoor.  Since last week, all of the old plaster and old insulation from the ceiling was removed.  A lot of time spent with clean up in an attempt to keep the plaster dust under control.  To avoid dragging plaster dust particles all through the house, use one set of shoes for walking through construction area and another set for walking around rest of the house.

Goal: frame and replace a window each day.  Old Anderson windows, originally over the sink, now replaced with a new Marvin casement window.  Double windows removed to make way for new door and window.

Second Marvin casement window installed.  Plywood covering space reserved for the new back entry door.
While center (retaining) wall was being trimmed to make for a larger entrance to the kitchen, decided to also correct headroom at the stairs.  It didn't bother us girls, but the men in the family found the low ceiling annoying.  The crazy stairway design seemed geared for people under 5' 10".
This is the view from the new kitchen doorway, looking towards front of house.  Goal:  allow more light into kitchen.  Front of house faces south.  Plan is to eventually replace front door with a glass entry door.
Better view of enlarged kitchen entrance.  Refrigerator will be located on the right (where the white fan is currently). Wing wall still to be built.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

To the studs

Week two of the kitchen renovation takes us to the studs.  It has been a very messy week, yet I am so glad to see all the old stuff gone.

Gone is the ancient double oven which was the only original appliance we did not replace when we first moved in to the house 18 years ago.  The oven must have been at least 40 years old.  Every Thanksgiving I was waiting for it to die on me.  But it never did.  Pretty good endorsement when a product outlives the company that produced it…good work MasterChef.

These windows will be replaced with a door leading out to a very pretty backyard.

Walls moved to allow for a larger walkway into the kitchen from family room
Wall shared with dinning room.  Debated opening this up more but then I would lose all wall space.  I still need wall space to hang pictures.

 Of course, no renovation is without some discovery.  We didn't find money stashed in the walls, but we did find a long lost ladle.

Mystery solved, Kersten.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kitchen Renovation

Finally!  We are finally going to renovate the kitchen.

I've always believed that a truly skilled cook can cook in any space, with or without fancy gadgets.  Over the years, I've successfully turned out some great meals from a tiny galley on a very small sailboat and odd shaped apartment kitchens with limited appliances. So preparing meals, day in and day out, from an old, tired 1960 era kitchen hasn't been hard.  But it hasn't always been fun either.

We've renovated the bathrooms, the master bedroom, the family room and added a pretty fancy barn with loft.  Then all the kids left home.  Time now for the kitchen.

Kitchen before demolition
A horrible floor…layers of ugly linoleum…now gone!

Watch this space as walls come down and the transformation begins…

Window turns into a door, space replaced with new range vented to outside.
First course of action:  store away everything from both kitchen and adjoining rooms.  Demo dust will carry all over the house.

Second step:  make sure the grill has plenty of propane since it will now be the main cooking appliance.
I'll keep you posted on progress, sharing insight as we go along.  Stay tuned.