Thursday, May 8, 2014

Almost there...

There have been some delays, edging on ridiculous. But instead of ranting about those, how about I just post some pictures.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Promised Pictures

I think I've been delaying posting pictures in hopes that I would be able to post finished pictures if I just waited a couple of days. No such luck. We are still missing cupboard doors and backsplash, along with a handful of other things.


No doors, but some of our stuff moved in. And appliances!

Our new faucet and sink

From the other direction

So far we have made chicken picatta, pasta, coffee cake, strawberry jam, chocolate cake, and beef stroganoff in the new kitchen. The first two of those were done without a sink or dishwasher. The stove, microwave and refrigerator were installed earlier in the week, but the sink and dishwasher were not installed until Saturday. When the foreman and worker left on Saturday afternoon I immediately filled the dishwasher and started to run it. Then I went down into the basement to get a load a laundry when I heard the sound of rushing water. Water was flowing from the dishwasher into the cupboard under the sink and then down into the basement. There was water all over the cupboard and the kitchen floor. I mopped it all up with bath towels then we called the foreman back. He found that a valve had broken on the dishwasher. He fixed it up for us and it works just fine now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


The floors are done. The counters were installed today and are wonderful. Just what we wanted. Dark, to contrast against the white cabinets, but with some texture.

I keep walking into the kitchen and just turn circles looking at it. It took a lot of money and time, but it will be worth it. So much counter space. So bright and clean and fresh.

Pictures tomorrow. We took some but I haven't uploaded them to the computer yet. Tomorrow will bring appliances, backsplash, and a large number of smaller to dos.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another setback

So, take a look at this picture of the cupboards again:

And my description from my blog post back in January of our plan for the kitchen: "We're trying to keep an older style appropriate to our 1920s-era house, so will have white painted cabinets, dark soapstone counters, and wood flooring."

Maybe you'll note that something is wrong here. We were so thrilled with having cupboards last night, we convinced ourselves that they had been delivered unfinished and would be painted later. No. The cupboards are finished. They look nice, but really aren't what we want. Our contractor came in person to talk to us about them. He's going to order new doors and they are going to sand and paint the cupboards themselves. We will be able to move back into the kitchen while we wait for the doors to arrive.

It's going to cost him, but Adem will make it right. And that's a sign of a good contractor. Not that nothing goes wrong, cause sometimes things just do, but that you can have every confidence that things will be made right if and when they do go wrong.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Just a few pictures, as an antidote to my ranty post about the floor guys. The crew is awesome. They did all this in a single day.

Dishonest or Stupid?

Our kitchen was slowed down unnecessarily by the floor guys. We can't decide if they are dishonest or are idiots, but in any case, we would be in our kitchen now if not for them.

Okay, here's the story. Our crew pulled up the tile floor and several layers of linoleum and found that the floorboards in most of the kitchen were intact. We were pleased we would get to keep the original flooring. The flooring in the addition had to be pulled up, since the whole addition had to be re-structured, but the rest of the kitchen would have the original wood and we'd get something that matched it as well as possible for the replacement wood in the addition.

So, our contractor had his floor guy come look at it and the floor guy informed us that the matching wood was more expensive and would have to be ordered. Both the extra expense and the extra time seemed worth it in order to keep the original wood, so we said yes. And we waited. The work on the kitchen stopped. 

And then we were told about the stain on the floor. It's not that we didn't see the stain before, but we didn't realize it might be a problem. The floor guy came and sanded to see if he could get it up, but informed us that he couldn't. Would have been nice to know before waiting for the matching flooring to arrive.
The Stain- After sanding

The original floor couldn't be used after all. Then we had a new decision to make. Did we use the more expensive flooring if we couldn't keep the original? We decided that it was still better to use flooring that would match the rest of the house. Plus, our wait was over, so it was just the extra expense, not the extra time.

The wood arrived and Ryan looked at it, and looked at it again. I was too sick to care about wood, so he fussed over it alone. He had a whole evening to think about it and research and he decided it simply wasn't the matching wood we were promised. The wood in our house is heartwood pine, which is, admittedly, expensive and hard to get since it is only acquired through reclaiming old floors. They had gotten red pine, which is also more expensive than the alternative, red oak, but not nearly so precious as heartwood pine. And it wasn't a perfect match. And we were willing to pay extra for the same wood, not a wood that would be slightly closer to the original than oak.

When challenged, the floor guys admitted that they knew it wasn't the same wood, but that heartwood pine was even more expensive, so they didn't think we would want it, and they would have had to purchase it in a larger unit than was needed for our floor. We may not have chosen heartwood pine if we knew the full cost, but we should not have been lead to believe that we were purchasing heartwood pine.

So we made them put in red oak. And it will look lovely. 
The red oak floor

It's not a perfect match, but it looks good. It's a skinnier cut of floorboard than the red pine boards they purchased, which will fit the style of the house better. We're not quite sure how the thicker boards ever would have worked with the original flooring. The fact that the stain "couldn't be removed" seems a bit suspicious, given the logistical challenges of making the new and old floor boards fit together. Or maybe they hadn't thought that far ahead. Other interactions with them make the latter seem possible. 

One day they spent pretty much the whole day, as far as we can tell, hanging out in their van in our driveway waiting for Ryan to come home to give his opinion on the wood. Didn't bother to try calling to see if he could come by on his lunch break or come home a bit early. Just waited. They chose not to work on Friday, when they would have been out of our hair and could have gotten everything completed in plenty of time, but came on Saturday instead. And when they needed our opinion on the color of finish and we weren't there, they painted several squares on the floor and left instead of calling us first to see when we would be back (we were in the car on the way home). They had only worked for a portion of the day, starting at 10:30 and ending by 3.
Our color choices

Now, instead of staining the whole floor, they will have to do the stain around the cupboards. And they will probably disrupt our main crew's schedule in the process. The main crew is working incredibly hard and doing a great job. They did an 11 hour day today. I wish I had a completed kitchen so that I could bake them cookies. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


The kitchen has been on pause this week as we waited for replacement wood to arrive for the kitchen floor. But the workers did come one day to do some touch up paint, remove their supplies from the kitchen, and install the bathroom fixtures. So, here are some pictures of our essentially finished powder room:

The floor is going to cost a bit more than quoted because we can use much less of the original wood than anticipated. There was a big black stain in the middle of the floor that did not come out with sanding. If we had known how little was salvageable, we probably would not have waited for the pine that matched the rest of the house. But the wait is over now either way. They will start installing the new floor tomorrow.