First Floor Remodel
Our first home has been very good to us. But after 11 years & 4 dogs its beginning to look a little tired. We've tackled the outside & roof - so now it's time to turn our attention to the interior. We are starting with the downstairs! Kitchen face lift & new floors - I can't wait!
Before - White, White, White!
Sunday, August 16 - We signed the contract with our builders - Richard & Cathy Adams, of the Adams Group Builders! Work starts tomorrow - but this past week has certainly been busy. Cathy and I spent lots of time making selections from granite to tile to appliances. Thankfully my parents and our friends Dorn & Christine came by at various points to help us pack and move everything (except the furniture) upstairs.
Day 1 - Bye, Bye Kitchen
Monday, August 17 - Day 1 began with our packing up to move out of the house for the week. Thankfully John's parents have invited us to stay at their place for the week. So we'll be living in style, while our house is being demolished. Speaking of which - it didn't take them long. One day and our kitchen was completely decimated. Appliances removed, countertops discarded - woo hoo!, bye bye white laminate - , and tile gone. In fact our kitchen is now empty and stripped down to the studs. No going back now! ;)
Day 2 - Off to the Stoneyard
Tuesday, August 18 - Today began with an appointment at the house to meet the guys from Affinity Stoneworks for our new granite counter tops!!!! (Can you tell I'm excited?) Template was laid out, with all kinds of minor decisions about edges, corners, thicknesses of tile, etc all made and taken into account. (And for the millionth time, I was relieved that we were only tackling a remodel of the downstairs - I do not know how people building an entire house deal with all the decisions!) Then, I was off to the stone yard to meet Carlton to actually lay the template on the granite and verify what it was going to look like. While I was meeting with the granite guys, our furniture was being wrapped and moved to the garage, which is now incredibly full!
Day 3 - Bare Bones
Wednesday, August 19 - As I was leaving yesterday, they were starting to remove the shoe molding, so I knew that our floors would be coming up. They wasted no time - our floors - hardwood and carpet are now completely gone. The house has that construction site echo! With the removal of the tiles on the fireplace, demo is now complete. The electrician also stopped by today to rough in our new recessed and under counter lights in the kitchen. Good riddance, old fluorescent fixture!
Day 4 - Let there be Light!
Thursday, August 20 - The main task of the day was installing dry wall and patching all the various holes and scrapes to get ready for tiling and painting. Then bulbs were installed in our recessed light fixtures - so now our kitchen has a warm, bright glow! Thew crew is ahead of schedule and the dry wall is left to cure over the weekend - they'll return on Monday.
Day 5 - Exciting as Watching Paint Dry
Monday, August 24 - OK, not paint yet... but today was a relatively light construction day with more patching, coating, and sanding of dry wall. So no visible changes today - just smoother patches on our walls & ceilings - and a fine film of dust everywhere! But our new counter tops are being installed tomorrow and painters start Wednesday! Can't wait to see the place starting to take shape!
Day 6 - Ah, the Smell of Granite
Tuesday, August 25 - Woo hoo! We have granite! And I'm thrilled with the way it looks. However, I think someone should have warned me about the noxious fumes that accompany such an exciting arrival. I'm sure they'll go away in due course - or be drowned out by the paint fumes that are coming bright and early tomorrow. Maybe this is the week that I should have moved out. ;) Cathy came over today and we decided on paint colors - Dapper Tan, Ramie & Black Fox. (Don't you just love paint - & fingernail polish - color names!) And she convinced me that the cabinet hardware that we originally picked out were going to be great. Now except for a few knobs/pulls for the built-in bookshelf, I am relieved to report that I'm officially done with all the selections I need to make. Maybe I'll just delegate those to Cathy - pick me out something fab! I love the smell of progress!
Day 7 - What a Difference a Coat of Paint Makes
Wednesday, August 26 - Wow! I've heard Diane talk for years about 3 Brothers Painting, what a good job they do and the number of people they bring so they can finish a job quickly. I always thought her stories might have been exaggerated just a bit, but let me tell you she's right! An army of guys descended on our house and painted everything in 1 day! It was a long day - they didn't leave until almost 7 PM - but we are thrilled with the results. They even touched up the trim paint, so the whole place looks shiny and new. (Now if we can just keep Duncan from jumping up on the newly painted windows and doors in his excitement.)
Day 8 - And then there was Only One...
Thursday, August 27 - ... workable bathroom in the house. The first has been taken over to be our temporary kitchen during the remodel. And today was general clean up and then demo of the remaining 1/2 bath downstairs to get ready for hardwood floors tomorrow!!! No pictures today as grungy, ripped out bathroom floors with bits of plumbing sticking out really aren't photo worthy.
Day 9 - Follow the Paper Brick Road!
Friday, August 28 - Our new floors have arrived! They are only about 1/2 done - but they look amazing. Why in the world did we wait so long to have this done?!? What a huge difference they make! It's a big job. The installers worked until 8 PM and only finished the back half of the house and part of the foyer. So they come back Monday morning to finish. We have paper pathways laid out to walk on until the floor/project is finished. Any ideas on how to communicate this to Duncan and Katie? Can't wait to see it all finished on Monday!
Day 10 - Floors, Glorious Floors!
Monday - August 31 - It took another full day, but our hardwood floors are installed. And they look great! (If you can sneak a peak behind the paper. But trust me, they look great!) This week is going to be whirlwind where everything comes together - floors finished today, appliances delivered tomorrow, tile starts Wednesday. This place is really starting to be put back together!
Day 11 - It's the Simple Things in Life...
Tuesday, September 1 - ...like running water and indoor plumbing! Today our appliances were delivered and the plumber was here. So our bathroom downstairs is in working order again and we have a kitchen sink with running faucet. We may be done with washing dishes in the bathtub! Tomorrow is a flurry of activity - trim, tile, electrician, and furniture.
Day 12 - I'm a Believer!
Wednesday, September 2 - After a marathon 12+ hour day, with so many subcontractors I lost count, I don't even recognize the place! The day started at 8 AM with Bobby who came in to do the trim work for the floors. Followed soon after by tile, electricians, and furniture movers. Cathy all along has been telling me not to skimp on lights - and all these designers on home improvement shows that I love to watch always go on and on about how lighting can make such a difference. I just couldn't see how it really could make that much of a difference. Wow! I'm converted! Walking through the house last night - it looks so different and so much better! I'm sure my pictures don't really capture it. But changing from one measly fluorescent fixture in the kitchen, that made Cathy shudder, to all that we have now! Money well spent!
The dogs were thrilled to see their sofas back last night - there's not much to do downstairs yet but get into trouble, so we didn't stay too long. (But I did capture them both exploring in a couple of the pictures.) And, I don't want to forget - we have appliances now! We can't use them (except the refrigerator) quite yet - but they look great - and soon we'll be able to cook again with something other than the microwave.