Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Remembering - Our Kitchen Renovation - During

As promised but a little late, this post is to show pics and comments DURING the kitchen renovation.

We started the process some time in April and got to the point where we could cook in November, actually, we made Thanksgiving Dinner! That was our goal, to have Thanksgiving Dinner at our house. I really thought we'd be totally finished but we weren't. We still needed to put up the crown molding and finish the light rail. But hey, you don't need that stuff to cook, right?

The crown has since been done (thank goodness), almost. We were two inches short on crown molding! Yes, TWO INCHES! I finally ordered the last piece today, it should be here in about 12 days. Not cheap - total cost for that last piece - $96. If you ever do this, be sure to order enough, it wasn't a lot cheaper, but it was about $30 less per piece when ordered with everything else. That darn freight.

Now remember, the kitchen wasn't the only thing we were working on - it wouldn't have taken six months to do JUST the kitchen. But between scheduling the subcontractors and everything that went into all the renovations, the kitchen ended up taking a lot longer than most. 

Okay, here are the pics we have.

Drywall and Ceiling

Now, remember, we ended the demo here.

Drywall up - still need to tape and float. Notice the ceiling still has plastic over the gaping hole. Oh, you can also see that we built a pantry by the window to the right - sorry, didn't get pics of that.

Taped and floated - ceiling drywalled. We're ready to install cabinets now.    The ceiling still needs to be textured but we had that done after the cabinet install.

Cabinets Are Delivered! 
Yay, we waited four weeks for delivery after placing the order.

Garage BEFORE cabinet delivery.

Cabinet delivery.

Garage AFTER cabinet delivery.

Cabinet dry fit. The floor is unlevel from the front of the house to back about 1-1/2 inches. We were really wondering how in the heck this was going to work!

Well...we figured it out - we thought. Zack (my super handy and wonderful son-in-law) and Brent (my fabulous hubby) did a FANTASTIC job. Lookin' good! Little did they know that because the cabinets sat way too high off the floor in the back of the kitchen (keeping the cabinets level but the floor dropped) the bottom ones would have to be removed and reinstalled.

You see, we worked from the high end of the floor all the way around to the low side. We ended up with the last cabinet being shimmed off the floor 1-1/2 inches. When we re-installed them, we started at the dishwasher, which was about the middle, and worked out to the ends. We were left shimming up only about half an inch. We were able to get away with this because the last cabinet on the high end was floor to ceiling and we didn't have to level the top for the counter top. Whew!
Next Came The Tile Floor

The floor guys really knew their stuff. They did the entryway, kitchen and hall bath in three LONG days. Here are a few pics of the kitchen and breakfast area floor.

Here's the tile - Italian porcelain. We chose porcelain over travertine because it's easier to care for and less expensive. Still beautiful though.

Really pretty! See my paint chips on the wall in the distance. That was another hard decision - there were a ton of hard decisions!

Breakfast area and laundry room in distance. Kitty doesn't care that they told us to stay off overnight.
Finally the Refrigerators

One of the fridges had been set-up in the dining room but it was nice to be able to move them into the kitchen. We also installed Brent's 'beverage' fridge under the bar.

Okay, Now We're Ready for GRANITE!!!

Above I said picking the paint color was hard, well if that was hard, picking the granite was torture. It was the middle of August in Houston - pert near 100 degrees outside - and they keep the granite in big hot yards with absolutely no shade. And I think the granite holds the heat and radiates it back out at you. I thought I was going to die before I finally found the slab I wanted. It took me two weeks and about six trips to the granite yard.

Here's the one I finally picked. I had to buy two slabs, thank goodness they had two. The first slab I picked they only had one.

We had to get the cabinets ready with plywood tops. Zack did that. Oh and sometime in there, Zack and our electrician installed the oven. That was only after we modified the cabinet somewhat, the oven was bigger than the salesman said it was...we thought it was standard, it wasn't. Brent and Zack wanted to return it, I persisted that they could modify it. Low and behold, I was right!!

 Next the fabricator came and measured, then a few days later, they installed. It was really messy with all the grinding and dust. It took about 5-6 hours and they did a beautiful job.

After the Granite Install

Oh, sometime before the granite we had our electrician install the under cabinet LED lighting. By the way, it is to die for, I'm totally spoiled and couldn't cook without it now.

Celebrating this milestone with a beer and some wine!
After that, Zack installed the dishwasher, garbage disposal, faucet and cooktop. Now we were in business! We actually started USING the kitchen at this point.

Next Was The Backsplash and Mosaic

I purchased the mosaic backsplash from a website out of Lebanon, and no, that's not Lebanon, TX. It was handmade with marble starting from the time I ordered it, it took about four weeks to get to me. The whole time I was prepared for it to never show up and be out all my money - but that didn't happen and it arrived on schedule.

We chose tumbled travertine for the backsplash. It took two days to install the mosaic and backsplash.

The following weekend I sealed the travertine and marble.

Last was the crown molding. Zack didn't want to attempt it because of the cost, he was scared of messing it up. We had a hard time finding a trim carpenter to do the work but finally a neighbor recommended one and we got it done.

You'll see the finished product in my next post some time next week. I want to take some new pictures when the kitchen is tip top and it's not there yet. I need to find the right piece of art and I want to be sure everything is in its place. Hopefully the only thing missing will be some kind of window valance...oh, and the piece of crown that we were short by two inches.

Till later ~


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