Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wed - Dec 22nd - painted

Well the kitchen and living room are finally painted. What a difference a little color makes. The kitchen is warm and the living room is a bit of a cool contrast. I think it will be a nice complement with my chocolate brown couch.
See my pictures below. I can't believe the clutter.

kitchen in "stone wall' - very warm.
Living room wall is dramatic and beautiful in "Salzburg Blue"

Living room is just a bit cluttered. I can't get to the other side without going out to through the hallway and coming in the other entrance.

The corner cabinet that will hold my kitchen sink.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Umm, not sure what day it is anymore...

Well, most of the cabinets are installed. My stove was picked up and installed yesterday. It looks great. They came out to template for the counter tops yesterday but we ran into a little problem today. The cabinet that's adjacent to the stove on the left side doesn't clear the stove. This means that the drawer and door could not be opened. So, my contractor decided to pull out out those cabinets 4 3/4" from the wall to correct it. This means a narrower path to walk through from the kitchen to the living room but my contractor assured me it was enough space (about 40"). So now they have to come out and template again, for an additional fee of course. That's scheduled for Wednesday, Jan 5th. Therefore the earliest my counter top will be installed would be the last week of January. Painting is schedule for Monday. 

I took the cabinet that needed the glass insert over to a local glass place. He asked me what kind of glass I wanted. I told him the clear, glassy kind. (what other kinds are there?) I think he liked that. I thought it would be expensive but it's only $20. I even got the shatterproof glass. He said he wouldn't charge me labor so it must be an easy job. That should be ready for pickup Monday. Assuming it's not blizzard conditions, I'll go pick that up. 

I also found the correct bulbs for my 5 inch light housings and trim. I originally bought the wrong size bulbs. If I had read the package this would have been obvious.

Another nice thing my contractor did was put the box for the under cabinet lighting in the cabinets. So he cuts a small hole in the cabinet and you can't see it. I like those little details.

Well probably no new posts 'till after Christmas. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

This is how far out the cabinets had to come in order to open the drawer and door next to the stove.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 12 - Cabs are here!

Well, they didn't paint today, but they DID install just about all of the bottom cabinets. I know he is going out of sequence because he told me he likes to install the uppers first (easier to get underneath them) and then the lowers. But I think because this is the third time I've scheduled the counter top people to come in AND because he had to leave for 3 days last week he is trying to accommodate me. This will make it harder for painting but I'm sure he'll take care of it.

Suddenly, the kitchen doesn't look quite so spacious.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 11 - Saturday Dec 18th

Well, we got more sanding and priming done. I went out and purchased my paint colors today. I did it in a hurry and was second guessing my choices. I may just stick with them. I expect the kitchen to be painted Monday or Tuesday.

Take a look:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Days 7-10 .... We're a couple of days behind schedule

Well, there's been a delay folks. My contractor had to step away from my kitchen for a few days to work on something else so there hasn't been much to report.

My floor has been completely grouted and thanks to Roger, sealed. Pictured below is Roger sealing the newly grouted tile. He used an acrylic based sealer. So if I spill oil or food, the grout won't become discolored. The process was quick and easy. He was done in about 45 minutes and only took about an hour to cure.

Roger (dad) sealing my grout

Here is a short video of Roger sealing the grout. You can see how quick and easy this is to do.

Today, Rob (my contractor's assistant) was here to do my drywall. Unfortunately he wasn't able to get to the priming because the plaster didn't dry in time. He will be back tomorrow to prime and hopefully paint.

Rob closed up the ceiling over the former pantry.
Here is a short video of Rob applying what I think is plaster..not really sure if it's mud or plaster or if those two are the same thing.  

My Inspiration Kitchens

I found some pictures of kitchens that closely resemble what I am trying to achieve. The counter tops and cabinetry match closely to what I have. These serve as my inspiration in color only. Ignore the layout as mine is totally different.

This is the actual counter top color I selected. Allspice LG Hi Mac series. I love the contrast and warmth.

Another beautiful kitchen. I like the neutral warm walls.

Again, a very warm color scheme. Looks very inviting.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 6 (week # 2) - I'm floored

Sort of...the floor is down, but not yet grouted. They decided to put up dry wall today and close up the wall where most of the cabinets will go. They also did the wiring and  the cutouts for the recessed lighting.

One thing I noticed a few days ago was where the brick meets the wall...there are gaps. You can see (especially at night) where the light from the hallway comes right in. I sure hope there is a plan to seal that up. I don't know how but I have to imagine they can do that, it's a little creepy.

There's a light coating of white powder over pretty much everything now. I have to wash my bathroom floor every day. They did cover everything in my living room with plastic. I asked them to put some plastic on the hallway entrance to the bedrooms. I think that it's helping with the dust.

I ordered my faucet online last night and purchased my stove and microwave over the weekend. I ended up going to State Street Discount in Portsmouth, NH for the appliances. They were friendly and knowledgeable and I think I got a good deal. I got the bisque stove I wanted with a few extra features. The microwave was on sale. Hopefully those will get picked up and installed  this week.

I have yet to pick out paint colors, I'm thinking I'll do that on Friday or maybe over the weekend.

I think the most dramatic difference will be the lighting. I only had 1 fixed ceiling light...a small light bulb in the stove hood and 1 under cabinet light I installed myself over the sink, that's it! Now I'm getting 6 recessed lights (75 watts) and under cabinet lighting for all the cabinets. I haven't picked those up yet, another Christmas present to myself I'll likely pick up this weekend. Dave, got any recommendations?

Ok, gotta write out my Christmas Cards. Hopefully will have some really cool pictures to share this week. In the meantime look for my day 6 pictures to see what the living room looks like.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some Design Elements

Following are some of the materials I picked out:


Counter Top:

LG Hi-Mac series - stain resistant, solid surface. Comes with a 15 yr transferable warranty.


purchased on-line..cheaper than local box store, no sales tax, the finish I wanted and delivered right to my condo.

Tile Floor:
only .99/sq ft at Home Depot

Kitchen Cabinetry:
Kraftmaid maple cabinet in honey spice

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 4 - floor and plans

So it's Thursday. There's not a lot to report other than they installed most of the tile flooring today. It looks good. The contractor gave me a subtle hint about not entering the kitchen. Take a look at the pictures for day 4 too see it.

He told me yesterday that he expects to be done before the end of next week. He told me the job would take 2 weeks before he even started so he's keeping to his word. However, because of the counter top templating and fabrication time, I will have to wait an additional 2 weeks even after the cabinet installation before my counter top gets installed and my plumbing gets all hooked up.

I've also decided to post the pictures of my kitchen plan so you'll see what the finished product should look like.

Well that's all for today.

Z -

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Days 2 & 3 - Floor

Hello  - Sorry I didn't have time to post last night; I was in school. So to make up for lost time this post may be a bit longer.
I have to say that I am happy so far! There haven't been any bad surprises thus far. They seem to be cruising along. Last night they had most of the sub floor (backer board?) done - I'd say about 90%. He took out a few pieces of the hard wood flooring (after checking with me first) so that he could lay the tile out in one straight line from one side of the kitchen to the other. He did a good job of making the sub floor flush with the wood floor however after putting the tile floor in that would make it a little higher. I think he said he'll be putting in a threshold or divider of some sort to compensate for the difference. That's fine with me.

One other thing he mentioned even before the demo was regarding the stove vent. He said he might be able to recess it behind the wall. Turns out he can't do this because the diameter of the vent is larger than the width of the wall. So unfortunately he'll have to cut into that cabinet and the vent will have to run through it. It was actually this way with the old cabinets so I haven't really lost anything. And since I'm getting so many cabinets I honestly don't think I'll miss the space.

They installed the new pipes that now diverts the water to the corner of the kitchen for my corner sink. Yay! Never thought I'd be so happy about a sink. And now that the wall is open I can actually see the backside of my bathtub...weird. They also took down the old drywall that held the cabinets and that hideous tile - glad to see that go.

The phone line which I previously buried in the wall that was just taken down (the side of the pantry closet) has now been relocated to just beside the entry door. I haven't used a land line since I moved here over 7 years ago but he thought it was a good idea to keep it for future owners (or maybe renters). I'm very glad he's paying attention to the details. I really appreciate that.

They installed the new electrical box today too. It's not very pretty, but at least it has a door that you can close so you don't have to look at the switches.

They started measuring out where the cabinets will go...glad to see they are planning this all out ahead of time ( I wonder if all contractors do this..) hopefully there will be no surprises when they actually install the cabinets. He also put down a few sample tiles in the pattern I described. I assume this was for my benefit and I am so glad he did. It just reinforces that what I requested is what he is doing and it looks great!!!! I cannot wait to see the finished product, but unfortunately I will have to. 

Oh, and I'd love to hear your comments.

Please view the pictures of all the items I described above. Stay tuned....same bat time, same bat channel.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 1 - Demolition Day

I was so anxious today wondering what my kitchen would look like when I came home from work. To my surprise, it didn't look as bad as I anticipated. cabinets - gone, kitchen sink - gone, pantry closet - gone, stupid peninsula - gone. They did a good job of clearing everything out and it didn't look that messy.

A nice surprise was that they were able to expose the old brick chimney in my kitchen that was hidden by drywall and my pantry closet. This chimney was an old incinerator that they used years ago. The chute opening in the hallway entrance has long been welded shut but I think it adds a bit of charm to the place.

It looks like they had a challenge with the floor. There's about 4 floors that I can see, and maybe a few more that I don't. It looks like they were trying to peel, chip, and maybe scrape it off. I'm a little concerned that there could be some old asbestos in one of those layers...I see some white powder but that could be from some sheetrock, not quite sure.

Surprisingly, the kitchen looks small to me. Even with everything removed, I expected a dramatic increase in the space, but that's not the case.

My contractor is supposed to call me back with a few things he wanted to discuss. Not sure what those things are but I can't wait to talk to him. I'm looking forward to some of the "new" coming in now that the "old" has gone out. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Preparation for my condo kitchen remodel

So this is the final weekend with my old kitchen. I've been preparing for this remodel for months. I didn't realize how many decisions I would have to make. Since this is a small condo and since I don't plan on spending the rest of my life here, I made decisions with that in mind. I did not pick everything I wanted and most decisions were price driven.
I sought out several contractors and went with a local one recommended by a friend. I have seen his work and he gave me a fair price. He's a builder and seems to have a lot of experience.
I did my initial design through Lowe's (for free) and got some ideas from friends. I purchased my cabinetry (Kraftmaid) through Lowe's this summer as they were having a sale. There was also a manufacturer's rebate that saved me a couple of thousand dollars. I had them delivered to my contractor's home in NH which also saved me the sales tax. I purchased my porcelain tile floor at Home Depot (again in NH, no sales tax) and had them put it on will call for him to pick up. Hurray for no heavy lifting.
I bought a solid surface counter top at Lowe's (LG Hi-Mac). This was a tough decision. I kept changing my mind daily. I spent days looking at many  granite slabs and visiting fabricators and even considered formica. I chose the solid surface for a few reasons:
It's cheaper than granite, it's sturdier than formica, it's stain resistant, they can give me the edging I wanted (full bullnose) it comes in a variety of colors, price includes  the measuring, templating, installation and comes with a 15 year transferable warranty. LG was running a special and so I had a larger color selection for a lower price.
My contractor got sick and so my remodel is off to a late start. It worked out in my favor since it's given me time to research appliances, and select paint color (still to be done).

As soon as I figure out how to post photos, you will see the present state of my kitchen.