We remodeled our kitchen

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Well OK then!

Let me translate a little: “Yee” is the flooring contractor; he’s delivering the materials for the kitchen floor Monday.
JC Adams is a supplier; “bypass” refers to the coat closet doors, which are bypass doors.  Evidently this is coming Tuesday.
Window.  You’ve read about the missing window on this blog before.  Evidently it’s finally coming in next Friday.
Cherry door.  This is the pantry door.  It’s cherry so we can stain it to match the cabinets.
Xterior door.  This is the door between the kitchen and the sunroom, and evidently a fairly long leadtime item.  No wonder he put in a temporary door.

Also on the subject of schedule… I just got the call from the cabinet delivery driver.  He’ll be here tomorrow at 7am.  I guess I’m getting up!


We have blueboard walls and ceiling!

From this point forward, every step will be visible progress toward completion. We expect the plasterers to be back tomorrow to do the skimcoat.

On the sunroom front… our contractor finally has the building permit for that part of the job in-hand, so we expect to see progress there soon too.


We’re expecting plasterers tomorrow to hang blueboard.  Very exciting!  We hid the time capsule in preparation.

Also… we ordered knobs and pulls for the cabinets on Sunday, and they’re already here!  17 pulls, and 27 knobs.  Pulls are for drawers, knobs are for doors.

Tonight I ordered our under-cabinet lights.  I found a Philips LED UCL strip that looks really good, on paper at least, and is a semi-reasonable cost.  With these, all lighting in the new kitchen will be LED! Amazing.

Week 6 report

Week 6 was not as productive as I had hoped it would be, but things are still moving forward.

This week they ripped the old deck off the house and framed in a temporary door. I suspect they don’t want to put the real new door in place until framing is in place for the new sunroom, and they can’t get that done until we have a building permit for that part of the job. We continue to expect that permit any day now but don’t yet have it in hand. They also trimmed out and started patching in shingles around the new windows, but were hampered by weather.  Today I moved the loft’s ethernet cable up out of the way, and removed the deck speakers (moving one around the corner to its new home, and the other into the basement since it will attach to the outside of the sunroom).  I had hoped they would finish shingling around at least one window so I could paint it this weekend, but no.  Here’s what the side of the house looks like now:
2012-05-12 17.28.00.jpg

Inside, the insulation was installed and we got our plumbing rough inspection. Not much else visible will happen in there until the blueboard goes up.  We have prepared a time capsule to insert into the walls for some future remodeler to find.

I worked from home on Wednesday to go talk to the tile supplier, and got an update on a number of fronts.

The window mystery is solved.  You’ll recall that we had the third new kitchen window in-house, and it disappeared.  It turns out our contractor re-ordered this window in tempered glass because of its proximity to the new coat closet doors.  Evidently the building code is concerned about people slamming doors hard enough to break nearby windows, and might possibly require temprered glass in such a situation. Better to put that in now than have to rip it out and re-do later.

We also discovered the source of major air infiltration into the crawlspace below the half bath. Ever since we had the footings and posts in this crawlspace repaired, we’ve had a problem in the winter with cold air just pouring through this crawlspace into the basement itself. It turns out that the old stoop concealed a spot where the new stub wall was shorter than it needed to be by about 4 inches. That’ll do it!  I’m hopeful that with this spot repaired, the whole basement will be warmer, and we won’t have to use heat tape to protect the half bath’s plumbing pipes from freezing.

The deck demolition evidently went smoothly.  In contrast to the undersized footings for the front porch and the 1/2 bath bumpout, the deck’s footings were actually properly sized and a small ordeal to remove.  The post for the old back stoop is similarly set in a large amount of concrete that’s attached to a concrete slab that we want to keep, and so will be somewhat difficult to get rid of. The current plan is to cut it off flush and use chemical stump remover to decompose the post, then patch the hole with concrete.

I mentioned talking to the tile supplier.  We ordered parts for a tile mosaic that will form a decorative backsplash behind the stove.  The center component is a mosaic of 1 inch travertine, glass, and pewter-ish metal tiles; I’ve posted a picture of it previously.  But the metal in the mosaic we got from the tile store was more bronze than pewter.  It turns out the manufacturer has two colors in this pattern, and the sample our tile store had was an early run of the “copper” color, when that color was closer to the other color, “silver.”  The tile store has agreed to exchange these for us, though of course it’ll be another 2-4 weeks before the new one is in.  That’s fine; we won’t need it until then anyway.  

Our cabinets are scheduled to be installed the week of Memorial Day.  To meet this date, we’ve got to get framing & insulation inspections, blueboard & plaster, and flooring in the next 2 weeks.  Our cabinets were originally estimated for delivery sometime next week, but I have not heard anything from the shipping company as of yet.  Our new refrigerator was also originally scheduled for next Thursday, but I have re-scheduled that for May 24th.


Recycled-glass fiberglass insulation: neat!

It looks like the inside is just about ready for drywall; I think we just need a couple inspections.

The contractor is aiming for the week of May 28 (which is Memorial Day) for cabinet installation and the major carpentry on the sunroom.

Sunroom begins

The deck is gone, as you can see on [Lis’s 365 post][s_l365]
I don’t know if this means we have a building permit. It’s not at the house yet, at any rate. I am working from home tomorrow (see below), so I’ll get an update from our contractor.
In other news: about half the insulation went up today, as you can see in [my 365 post][s_d365]. That half of the project feels much more like a room now.
The reason I’m working from home tomorrow is that I need to go see our countertop & tile people. The tile mosaic we ordered for the backsplash behind the stove is not what we expected based on the sample, and I need to go see what we can do about it.

Week 5 report

This week saw no big changes, but progress nonetheless.  The most visible progress — a replacement water heater — was not even technically part of the project.  A lot of little things add up to forward progress, but the pace of visible changes has slowed.

The other large project this week was that the flooring contractor visited and did not like the prospect of installing a new oak floor atop the old one, so our GC had to remove the existing floor in the ex-sunroom after all, and install plywood subfloor to bring it back up to flush with the old part of the kitchen.  As I posted, this exposed newspapers from 1935 that were under there!  So now we know when this flooring was installed.  The other thing this means is that we were able to salvage a few boards from this floor to repair damage in other parts of the first floor, a project I will take on after the pros leave.

We are installing three new windows and one new exterior door in the kitchen.  One window was required — the old one was too close to the floor to have counter in front of it — and one was in bad enough shape to be worth replacing even though it’s almost the same size.  The third window goes where the old back door was; that door needed to go away to allow us enough room to put our coat closet in the back hallway.  Finally, the new exterior door replaces the slider between kitchen and what will be the new sunroom with a more attractive, more energy efficient unit — exterior because the sunroom will be unheated. The first two windows are in, and in fact were in at this time last week.  The third window we expected to go in this week, but there was some dry-rot around the old door that required more rebuilding. It’s also been rainy this week, not the ideal conditions in which to put in a new window. 

But the weird part is that this third window is no longer in the house.  I suspect it was the wrong size, damaged in some way, or otherwise not useable. I’m sure I’ll hear the story when I talk to our contractor. My understanding is that the new door is on order and is expected this week. 

Our electrical rough-in is complete.  Friday the electricians came back to do the last couple of tasks, and they got their inspection.  I spent some time last weekend hooking up speaker wires to terminal blocks in the basement and fishing new wire to the stereo.  And I spent some time today terminating the Ethernet cable at both ends; the same work for the phone cable will have to wait for a Home Depot run.

Our plumbing rough-in also appears complete; I’m not sure why they didn’t get their rough inspection at the same time as the electrical one.  Maybe it was someone’s availability.

I think we need the new window & door before we can get the final (framing/structural) rough inspection.  The contractor also did fire-blocking this week — a very important code issue in a 120 year
old balloon-framed house.  He must feel we’re close, because there are bales of insulation on site, and he can’t insulate until the rough inspections are done. Once insulation is in and inspected, we can proceed to wallboard and skim-coat plaster, which I am sure everyone will see as a major milestone.  I’m not sure we’ll be there at this time next week, but I think we’ll be close.

We are still waiting on the building permit for the sunroom portion.  The city is requiring a footing plan signed-off by a structural engineer, as they did with 2 previous projects on this house.  But our contractor has a structural engineer on staff, so I am hopeful we’ll see the permit this week.


Evidently the flooring contractor wasn’t happy at the prospect of installing new oak flooring directly over the old, so today they ripped up the old floor in our ex-sunroom. When it was installed, someone used a layer of newspapers between the new oak and the old pine, so we now know the year those floors were installed: 1935.  Unfortunately the newspapers are too deteriorated to save, but we did take some pictures — click each for a full-size version.  We’re paying a lot more than $199.50 for our fridge, but then again it’s much larger than 9 cubic feet.