Right before we hit renovation fatigue in February, we were mere steps away from finishing our kitchen. I’ve whole heartedly adopted my mother-in-laws renovation philosophy of “preferring to work outside the home during the warmer months and using the colder months to finish projects on the inside”. There are three specific items on the “finishing the Spranger Kitchen agenda” come winter time:
1. caulking and painting the trim
2. painting around the windows
3. purchasing and installing our microwave drawer
It would only take a week for me to finish up but I am waiting for the kids to go back to school and of course, cold weather. It’s not practical for me to drag all of the paints and caulking products out and have them available for sticky little fingers to experiment with.
Below are several before and after photos of our almost finished kitchen
I realize I went a little overboard with the pictures and descriptions BUT the before and after is such a dramatic change. Basically we took 3 rooms and knocked down 2 walls and made one giant room/kitchen.
We ran into a couple of small issues.
1. re-wiring for plugs and lights. Luckily my father-in-law was an electrician so we saved money in that area. We went from 3 small light fixtures to 30 cone lights. As far as plugs go, we went from 4 to 14. So there was a significant amount of money saved from having an electrician in the family.
2. removing descentegrated insulation from the ceiling (truly one of the nastiest jobs I’ve ever encountered) and replacing it along with adding insulation into the walls.
3. Adding new and relocating existing water lines in the kitchen and all new plumbing for a new half bathroom. Again, we saved a significant amount there as well because of my ever talented father-in-law.
4. And of course adding in a wall of windows along with the proper supports. Also, relocating an old entryway in the rear of the house.
I am so happy with all the natural light coming in from these beautiful new windows. the only time I turn on the lights is usually around 7:30/8 pm if we are entertaining. Otherwise, there’s so much light coming in, we rarely need the lights during the day.
5. Removing the chimney. It was an old coal shoot and never a fire place. Otherwise, I would have lobbied on behalf of the fire place. Or maybe not…it was blocking a large empty space in our future kitchen. Ultimately, removing the chimney was a total “P in the A” and it felt like it took FOREVER!! Especially when I was the lone eliminator of said bricks! Yes that’s correct folks, it took me 15 trips to our local dump to remove the trailer below filled with bricks.
Needless to say, my arms got really toned. But like I said before, total “P in the A”. Looking back at it now, it was totally worth it! Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! All these little tedious tasks were made easier with the implementation of a couple of things;
1. The kids being in school leaving me with 8 whole hours of mostly unencumbered opportunities for productivity. Minus the occasional Dr’s appointments, IEP meetings, and helping out in the kids classrooms.
2. a full-time membership with Audible…which I listened and continue to listen to, all day long while I’m doing tasks that don’t require a whole lot of brain power.
3. Constant repetition of the phrases, “You have to start somewhere” and “Every little bit helps”
As soon as March hit, with its sneak peaks of warmer weather, sun blasting rays, and receeding sunsets, we moved from our kitchen renovation to the re-siding of our house.
Before the company we went with could re-side our house (I’ll post those pictures next time), we had to do the removal of the existing siding ourselves. Since we defined the goal of replacing all of our windows, it made sense to replace them all before the new siding was in place. And of course a new front door was high on our list. The entryway was rather dark so we wanted to bring in more natural light without sacrificing privacy. Not to mention the windows we went with were significantly smaller than our existing ones so we knew natural light would be reduced as well. And we love our natural light!
I became acquainted with a jack hammer during the chimney removal process. “What are my thoughts on using a jack hammer”, you ask? Well, I can honestly say, I hope I never come in contact with a jack hammer again in my lifetime. For an entire week my arms were either numb or vibrating uncontrollably. And I had a very difficult time sleeping because of the aforementioned ailments.
So, my next post will feature the renovation of our exterior; siding, front porch, windows, and door installations.
AND I would also like to point out that my domain name has been reinstated!! HIP HIP!!