Saturday, January 28, 2017

Kitchen Renovation - Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, you can check it out here. I have a few free minutes this Saturday morning while Dan works on moving our hot water tank (reorganizing the laundry/utility room) so I thought I would write up another post on our kitchen renovation.

Let's see, where did I leave off. Oh yes, how my kitchen looked and what I functioned with from June until October.

This set up got moved around quite a bit as we worked in the kitchen but it always got put back together when we were finished. The fortunate thing about having a plumber husband is that I could have a functioning kitchen laundry sink that was easy to move out and in as needed.

We tore down more drywall so that the electrician could put in more outlets and light switches and then we shrunk the window and door opening. We needed to shut off the openness factor to the sunroom, since it was a huge heat loss in the winter, and the only way to do that was to put an actual window and door in. We picked up a window from Home Depot and made the opening fit that, plus we wanted it centered over the sink and the current opening was too big. The door opening had to shrink considerably because no door was wide enough for it and it couldn't fit two. Plus, we wanted to put a dog door in for Mia, so we shrunk it to 30". The following two pictures show the size difference a little better.

Okay, so maybe not the best. But you can see how the dog door is right beside the main door and it shows how much we shrunk it down. Once the openings were the size we needed and the insulation and vapour barrier was up, we could drywall! This felt like such a huge step and made the kitchen feel a little more put together.

It felt brighter too. And in case you are wondering what the rest of our house looked like while all this was going down, it wasn't pretty. I could barely move and I may have lost my mind more times than I can count. Lots of meltdowns.

Who needs a kitchen table right? Sigh.

Once the drywall was done, we moved on to priming and painting. It felt so nice to get all the walls the same colour and to get rid of that horrible yellow behind the fridge that they never bothered to paint. Because you know, moving a fridge out is sooooo hard. <--- sarcasm

Beautiful grey walls! What an improvement eh? Things were really starting to come together at this point and it felt good.

Next up, a window and door! We tried to choose a door that still let in as much light as possible because I'm all about natural light. It definitely isn't as bright as it was with a big opening and no door, but it works.

This was a big step, because by this point it was starting to get colder out and we needed to keep the heat in. It was very noticeable once they went in that the cold drafts were no longer coming from the sunroom.

Once the walls were painted, we had a friend come in and install the cupboards for us. It was so exciting to see them go in!

What a difference cabinets make to a kitchen right? The only downside was I had no kitchen sink for a while. Bathroom sinks suck to wash dishes in.

I'm leaving off here for today, since there are already enough pictures and it will probably take a whole post for me to complain about how horrible it is to paint cabinets. So stay tuned for part 3!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Kitchen Renovation - Part 1

So remember back over a year ago now, before we moved, and I was super excited about our new house full of renovations and how great it would be to blog about all the excitement? Hahaha! Oh if only I knew then what I know now. Here's what I have learned: 1) renovations take over your life, 2) renovations depress you and don't inspire you to write, and 3) renovations take forever and you lose pictures and motivation to write. But since I know you all are very invested in the outcome of our house and really do care about how things are progressing, I thought I would finally take the time to sit down tonight and write a post about our kitchen renovation.

Once again, here is something that I have learned. When a renovation takes over 6 months, you take lots of pictures. And when you have over 70 pictures of kitchen progress to share, you kind of can't write only one post. So folks, here is part one of a who knows how many part series! Exciting right?

Now, let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (are you singing yet?). Remember when we first moved in? Do you remember what the kitchen looked like? Here's a refresher.

Okay, so looking at those above pictures, it doesn't look so bad. But admit it, it doesn't look so great either. Kind of dated and dark and not enough wow factor. Or counter space. Or open space. Oh it really is amazing to look back at these pictures and compare it to how it looks today. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

First thing we did to help out our kitchen is take down that wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. Dan handled it for us.

It opened things right up and let in so much more natural light. Woohoo! I'm all about the natural light.

We lived with our kitchen still in tact but surrounded by other renovations for quite a few months, something like 4-5 months to be exact. It worked and we were focusing on other things, like bathrooms and bedrooms.

But in May of 2016, we decided it was time to tear up the floor in the dining room and kitchen. And so we did. In super super hot weather too.

But to truly take up all the floor and lay new floor, we had to remove our lower cabinets. So out they came and up came the floor. All five layers of it!

Super fun that was. But once the floor was up, the 5,000,000,000,000,000 nails/staples were removed and the sub floor was screwed down to reduce squeaking, we were ready to lay new floor! Fortunately it went down fast and made everything look 100x better.

Isn't it gorgeous? Nothing looks quite as nice as a freshly laid floor.

Dan then super kindly installed my temporary sink and I set up a fun little washing dish washing station.

I thought it was cute and made for a great story, so I happily showed everyone. Little did I know how long this dish washing station would be a part of my life for...

Next step was removing the upper cabinets! And then tearing out the old back splash.

We were super excited for progress and were feeling good at how fast everything was going. But we were so so hot. We had no central air and it was a brutally hot summer. See faces below for proof.

Once the cabinets were out and the back splash removed, we brought in our new (to us) base cabinets to figure out what layout we wanted. It took some shuffling but we finally made it work.

We upgraded the cardboard to a plywood counter and we put the "kitchen sink" back in, to finish off our temporary set up. Our next steps were to be electrical, before we could patch the walls and paint. Except for remember how it was a crazy hot summer? Ya, that put a damper on our motivation and it also put a damper on getting an electrician in, since the attic was so hot. So my "temporary" kitchen ended up being my kitchen for 4+ months.

Yup, that above photo is what I lived with from June until October. So.many.months.

That's the thing about renovations, they always take longer than planned and life almost always gets in the way. Fortunately I did have a working sink, fridge, stove and counter, so I wasn't that put out. Having all the kitchen stuff in boxes spread around the house made things trickier, but I made do and it really wasn't that bad for the interim. It's when the dust started flying again that things got more complicated, but that is for another day.

I'm leaving you here, since this is what I was left with for months. I will try and get part 2 up soon, but until then, just keep scrolling through this post and be amazed at what we took on this year.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

17 Goals for 2017

New year, new goals! I can't believe that it is already 2017, I feel like this last year flew by. I'm hoping for good things in this upcoming year and am trying to keep an upbeat positive attitude! I love the feeling of a fresh new start and there's something very special about the first day of a new year. Just breathe it in.

I'm trying to keep this years goals a little more realistic, since I think I overshot last year. But then again, visiting the ocean is a pretty lofty goal...

1. Read 12 books
2. Renovate basement
3. Run my fifth 5k
4. Set up a nursery
5. Blog at least twice a month
6. Take a pottery class with Dan
7. Visit the ocean
8. Go on a weekend camping trip
9. Clear backyard and bring in fill
10. Make a budget
11. Go on a date once a month with Dan
12. Buy new windows for the basement
13. Start a couples infertility support group
14. Colour more often
15. Start organizing photos on the computer
16. Attend a dance workshop
17. Do bookkeeping at least once a month

How are my fellow goal setters doing with their yearly goals?Anyone else making any? Feel free to share, I love hearing what other people are up to!