That's the big question, isn't it? What happened to November? I'll tell ya, if I can sum up theme with one phrase, it'll be this: Everyone Got Sick.
Sure, it started with Sarah and Chris trading sick days, but not super sick. Then came Chris being super sick. Like down & out for about a week. I think it was the flu, poor dude was full-on miserable. Then as that was wearing off, Sarah ended up at the pediatrician for a checkup and bam - ear infection. Then the very next day - I kid you not - the VERY NEXT DAY I woke up with a sore throat. And that was it. All down hill. Sick sick sick for over a week. The flu, I think. Fever, aches, headache, chills, cough, congestion. Grossnesss for DAYS. And not just me - Jason had it too! And you know what's not fun? Being sick when the other adult in the house is as sick as you are.
It was so pathetic. The two of us, bundled in blankets and suffering through hours of bad TV for a week. Oh and we had to cancel our Thanksgiving plans. So that was a little unexpected fun for November, my first ever TG dinner to prepare. Can't let the kids down, ya know?
So I bet you are wondering what's going on in the house...NOTHING. A zillion things to do and we've all been too sick to get anything done.
Needless to say, I'm glad to put November behind us and I'm so looking forward to December and Christmas and 2014!
So far we had been keeping drawers and doors in the basement to avoid dinging things up before we had to. We didn't want to worry about granite installers or appliance delivery guys accidentally banging tools into brand new cabinets. So this past weekend we finally installed all the doors and drawers!
The doors we chose were full-overlay meaning that the cabinet doors cover the frame basically from edge to edge. There was no big reason I chose this other than it was what I liked.
The style I chose was a good balance between a bit of detail and a simple classic shaker style. It's hard to put into words what I was looking for, but I knew it when I saw it. I also knew I wanted white painted cabinets. Now the designer cautioned me against paint saying it doesn't wear as well as stained cabinets, and while this may be true, I wanted what I wanted. I didn't want to settle for a stain and then spend the next 5 years wishing I had just picked what I really wanted.
I love them. They are perfect! Or not exactly perfect.... I'll explain that.
Painted cabinet doors are not perfect. The paint is like a shell over wood and because wood expands and contracts, it is expected and totally normal for there to be joint lines where the pieces of the door are originally glued together. What I noticed when we installed the cabinets is that some of the joint lines were HUGE. I didn't like it. It bothered me. And one of the cabinet doors had some chipped paint.
Ok, I get that over time we might end up with paint chips, dings, dents, and big joint lines, but I thought things should be pretty darn perfect on day one. And so I called my designer and she came by the house. We talked over a few things and she's having 2 of the doors replaced.
I can't say enough how important it is to work with someone you like for this kind of project. I had a few really glowing recommendations about our cabinet place and my whole experience working with these folks has been fantastic. They want their customers to be thrilled with their results - and I am! They are making things right, they asked a lot of great questions so that by the time I handed over large sums of money I was confident in my choices and excited. So my best advice on a big renovation is to pick a good cabinet place (do you think a big box store would bend over backwards to make sure I was happy???)
Since this is our first kitchen renovation, I don't know how common this is, but we waited on putting doors on the cabinets until the granite counter top was installed. We wanted to reduce the risk of any dings from people moving big things around. Last week was Granite Day. It was quite exciting as it meant a return to a true kitchen-like space for us.
The template guy came and was in and out in about 30 minutes. He basically used what looked like thin plywood and shims and hot glue to create the exact shape of our kitchen counter. He marked out where the sink and faucet would go, ,as well as noting any other special instructions (rounded corners, etc.). Then about a week and a half later it was time for installation.
Our kitchen was in 4 pieces of stone - two small ones and then 2 larger ones that were epoxied together. To seal that seam, the installers used a pretty cool device that used vacuum pressure to push the two separate slab pieces together. The resulting seam is so tiny, you really can't see it.
Here's a photo from the installation - the white things on the counter grab the slabs and use a vacuum (hot a hoover - but a strong suction force powered by an air compressor) to pull the two pieces together.
The installers also put the sink in place. We opted not to have them attach the dishwasher as it would have needed to be leveled before the granite installers arrived. We will attach it directly to the cabinets when it's ready.
So where are we? Done? Nope, but we are now back to having a usable kitchen space :)
It's Monday - and 2 weekends ago was a crazy kitchen renovation marathon with the cabinets being put up. They look great and I'm so excited.
Then on Friday of last week, the granite guy came out to do the template for the counters. I was planning on blogging about it, but since it's not a DIY thing and because it was so fast, I'll spare you a thousand words with photos and say that they used wood & hot glue to make the template and it only took 30 minutes.
So now it's the waiting game. We were told 7-9 days for the granite. I was told that the granite people would call early this week to schedule the installation, and it would be about a week after that.
So they'll call tomorrow maybe and then a week? The longest week of my life! I am beyond excited. I can't wait to reclaim my dining room!
FYI - went appliance shopping on Saturday evening and it was mostly a bust. Nobody carries counter-depth fridges in showrooms, so shop at home if you need something less common/popular than what's standard.
Well, we've had some fun around here in the last few days.
Friday morning the cabinets were delivered. I should have taken a picture because it was a really impressive stack of boxes in the garage. See that word "was" in that last sentence. Yeah, the stack of boxes is gone. I know what you're thinking, "boy that was fast!" and it totally was because Saturday morning Jason's brother, Kevin came!
Cabinet weekend was 2 long days of cabinet hanging excitement here. Kevin, who is a carpenter and has done this stuff before many times, was able to lend his expertise. We'd have been up a creek without his help.
At the end of the first day they had all the wall cabs and half the lower cabinets hung on one wall, including the crown molding. One thing to note (that I didn't know before) is that if you're doing crown on your cabinets, you probably need to add a nailer to the top of the cabinet boxes so you have something to attach the crown molding to. Once the moldings are in place, you won't see the nailer at all.
Here's a progress pic from early on Day 1:
And at the end of the second day they were done! The days were long (Sunday night ended at 10:30 PM - sorry neighbors!) but in just 2 days, the two of them completed work that would have taken WEEKS with just Jason and I to work on stuff on Saturdays and Sundays.
Before I show you how it's looking now, let's take a look at what it looked like when we bought the house...
And here it is now...
Note that none of the doors are on right now - we decided to leave them off until after the counter tops are done. I don't want to risk a ding/scratch in a door during that whole process.
I'll have more pics once things are more done (counters & doors & drawers and whatnot).
Side note - if you do find yourself with a lot of boxes like we did - you may want to also get a big roll of tape and let/help your kids to build a cardboard castle.