Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Counter top and floors

The first coat has been applied to the floor. We decided to not have a stain put down, so it is a natural finish to the oak. Today is the second coat, and tomorrow the third.

See how nicely we have taped shut the opening to the rest of the house. Trying to keep the dust to a minimum. Seems to be working pretty well.

I have been impressed by the specialized equipment that the workmen bring. They have machinery that is designed to do a specific task, and to do it well and efficiently. Time is money. This is the thingie that was used to measure for the countertop. I wasn't home at the time, but Jim took pictures and a video. It's fascinating. It has to be accurate because there isn't any ease in stone. Not like cotton fabric that can be steamed into submission.

Here is a video of the measurement action.


The appliances will be delivered on Thursday. The automated message from Sears Delivery came this morning with the warning to make sure the appliances will fit through the door and into their designated spaces. I already knew that the doors to the house and the doors to the refrigerator will have to be removed. But I thought I would check the space. A moment of panic - it's only 1/4 inch wider than the refrigerator. I called the cabinet lady and she reassured me that that will be just fine. It was designed to give the refrigerator a built in look and it will fit. She's been right every time before, so I am trusting her once again.

Yesterday I mentioned the start of the third section of the SAQA Benefit Auction. If you were waiting for the price on my donation to come down, you're too late. !!!!! It was purchased at the top tier price and I am thrilled. And a bit stunned. Thank you, Ms. Private Collection! There are still plenty of wonderful pieces available. The price drops to $550 today at 2PM. Further reductions as the week goes on.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cabinets mostly in

The cabinets are mostly installed. A few have to wait until the countertop is set in - one holds the microwave and another has an appliance garage so I don't have to haul out the mixer from cabinet netherlands whenever I want to use it. One very cool thing is a little step stool that will slide into the toe kick under one of the cabinets in the island. When I need something from a high shelf I can just pull this little stool out and set it up. Not sure it will me reach all the way to the very top shelves, but it will be really handy for the medium high ones.

The back side of the island will have a panel that matches the rest of the cabinets. The refrigerator will go into the space to the left of the window and the stove goes to the right. Today the floor is being sanded and the first sealing layer going down. Towmorrow and Wednesday they will return for additional layers. Thursday the appliances will be delivered and on Friday the countertop will arrive. By next weekend it will look like a kitchen!

There will still be several weeks of finishing - trim on the windows and other places, finishing touches for painting, installation of the dishwasher and garbage disposal, lighting, finishing on the column, floor tile by the door and into the mudroom, tile on the backsplash. We're looking at about the middle of October. Then the POD will return and we can unload all of the furniture back into the space. 

PS Today the 3rd section of the SAQA auction begins; my quilt will be up on the block starting at 2PM today. Bid early!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lookin' Good

Yesterday boxes and boxes of cabinets were delivered. They nearly filled up the entire room. It took Steve all day to unpack them, since he had to check each one to make sure it was correct. This morning he and 2 helpers arrived at 6:30AM (and it's not very light at that hour any more) to start installing them.

Look at this equipment. These are really the big boy tools.

This is what they accomplished today. It's much more than just putting the cabinets into the correct spot. They used their very long levels to make sure each one is leveled front to back and side to side. When I look at what is already installed, I think that it is nearly equal to the storage space I used to have. But - there are still more wall cabinets and base cabinets, plus the entire island yet to be installed. Now, a lot of that space is very high up, and will be difficult for me to reach, even with the little step stool that will be stored in one of the toe kicks. So that will be for the once-a-year stuff. 

Rosie checks out the space. Not going to be nearly as much opportunity for mice to sneak into the kitchen - all the holes to the crawl space have been covered up.

A close-up view of the cabinet door. The wood is hickory and the doors are inset into the cabinet with a bead of wood inside the door frame and also on the door panel. Gorgeous!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Painted Tiles

Behind the countertop is going to be a tile backsplash that will extend its entire length. Going to the tile store was like going to the fabric shop - so many wonderful things to choose from! However, unlike the fabric shop, the prices ranged from reasonable to the-sky's-the-limit. It would have been quite easy to add several thousand dollars to the price of the remodel just by choosing one of those beautiful tiles. So before I got myself in love with something that would break my already overburdened wallet, I asked to see the tiles that fit into the allowance in our contract. Hmmm - had to go in the back to get those. I chose plain white tiles, 4 inch to go directly above the counter top, then a 1/2" grey liner that picks up the grey/black speckle in the counter top, then 6 inch tiles set on point to extend up to the cabinets. Behind the stove there will be more space since the backsplash will go up to the exhaust fan and I thought it would be interesting to have some tiles with design there.

There is a little shop nearby that has pottery that you can paint and then they fire it for you. Lots of fun things in there and it seems that anybody can do it. While I was there I saw people with their young children who couldn't have been more than 4 years old. The really good stuff takes a lot of practice, but I wanted a more folksy look. Much easier when things don't have to be exact. These are the three tiles I painted. This is not going to be a new hobby - it takes a steady hand and lots of patience. Each color needs 3 layers of paint in order to show up well, and that is tedious. It took me about 3 hours to paint these tiles. I had worked out the design ahead of time and created a template so I could easily transfer the design to the tiles. I like how they turned out and sure do hope they will fit on the wall!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Looking pretty good

It's been a bit of a slow week. Workmen were here 3 days out of 5 - 1 day for putting up trim, 1 day for painting, and 1 day for laying the floor.

First, the powder room. This was not part of the project, but it needed some updating, so Jim took it on himself to strip the wallpaper and paint the room. We thought about replacing the vanity but all the ones in the stores were cheesy fiberboard and the one we have is solid oak, so it stayed and got new hardware and a new faucet. This picture shows the color as bright yellow, and that is totally wrong. It's actually a peach, which matches a flower in the tile in the floor.

This is after the walls have been painted. The trim is white and the walls are a very pale yellow. It's going to be very cheery with lots of natural light.

And here is the oak floor all down. It looks like a real room again. Because the walls were built out further than the original walls, the windows are set in much deeper and there is a nice wide window sill. I'm sure I can find something to put there. Maybe African violets, it's a northern exposure.

Looking towards the back door and the mud room, which now has a door.

The cabinets will be delivered on Monday and it won't take very long to get them installed. The floor will be sanded and finished, but I'm not sure where in the process that will happen. Once the cabinets and sink are in, they can measure for the counter top. It's really all coming together!

Monday, September 12, 2011

SAQA Benefit Auction Starts Today

Nothing going on in the kitchen remodel today. Tomorrow the carpenter will put up trim and then the painters come in and then the floor gets laid. So by the end of the week it will look like a room instead of a garage.

Meanwhile, the SAQA Benefit Auction begins today at 2:00PM. This is the fifth (I think) year that SAQA has held this auction of one foot square quilts. It's a reverse auction, so the prices start today at $750 and you might be surprised at how many pieces get sold at that price. Tomorrow at 2pm the price drops to $550, and each day there is another price drop, $350, $250, $150, and finally $75. Next week a second set of pieces go up for sale, again starting at $750. My piece is in the third group and they will go up for sale on September 26. There is always a bit of apprehension about whether one's piece will sell or not and what price it ends up going for. I've contributed a piece every year and the price people will pay for my piece has steadily risen. That's a very gratifying feeling. And I hope I haven't jinxed myself with saying that.

This is my donation for this year. I posted it right before I sent it in and asked for suggestions for names. Jamie Fingal suggested "No Way Out", several people seconded that, and I liked it also. So there it is.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Slow week

This doesn't look very much different from the pictures taken earlier in the week. After the wallboard was put up on Tuesday morning, the mud guy has spent three days spackling the joints. He spends about 3 hours spreading the spackle compound. Could not have picked a worse week in which to do this as we have had nothing but rain for the last 10 days. Like about 10", what with Irene and the remnants of Lee. Which is still spreading its deluge around here. So we have been running 5 fans nonstop to help with the drying.

Tonight we are going to really seal up the plastic separating this area from the rest of the house and also vacuum up as much dust as possible. Tomorrow he will sand and that will generate tons of dust. Want to keep that out of the rest of the house as much as possible. Will have to change the air filters on the furnace also. Next week the trim goes up, and then they will paint. Don't get excited about paint possibilities as they are all variations on white, white, and white. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

We have walls!

This morning the wall board installation team arrived bright and early. Like about 6:30am, which is the normal starting time. One of us gets up around 6:15 to go down and unlock the door and turn on the lights. I've noticed that it has gotten quite a bit darker at that hour of the morning. Fall is definitely on its way.

It took two guys about 2 hours to get all this wall board up. Now it has to be taped and then mudded so that we will have nice smooth walls.

We've been telling the grandkids that this little room is the time-out room. They're not sure if we're kidding or not.

More progress

This is the drywall delivery truck. I wasn't home when this came so I didn't get to see them bring it inside. Must have been a lot of trips up the driveway hill and around the dumpster.

These boards attached to the joists are where the crown molding will go when the cabinets are installed.

The electrical receptacles, switches, and connections are all roughed in.

Now, you may wonder why there is a picture of a toilet here. This bathroom is not part of the remodel even though it is on the same level, but in a fit of parallel construction, my husband stripped off the wall paper and primed the walls.

Now they are peachy to coordinate with one of the colors in the floor tiles. This is more color than we usually put on the walls, but I like it.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Cleaned up

All the compressors, saw, nail guns are removed and the place is cleaned up. The electrical rough in is complete and we are ready for insulation and dry wall. The insulation was put up this morning and the dry wall will be installed next week. Prepare for dust.

There used to be a downdraft vent from our old oven that vented outside. Our new oven will have a hood over top so the hole from the old vent has been bricked up. The brick on our house is a real hodge podge, some painted, and lots of variations in color. The story is that it was salvaged from an old hospital that was torn down. It would be difficult to match but we have had a pile of unused bricks sitting around for ages, aging. I think that once the mortar dries it will be difficult to determine where these newer bricks are.

The effects of Hurricane Irene are still with us, many schools still closed, power still off for many people, traffic lights still out, day care facilities closed. Yesterday I saw 2 utility trucks from Illinois so you know that many people from many areas are working to restore power. And this was just a tropical storm here.