Monday, August 29, 2011


*So, this post was supposed to go up last night, but just as I was finishing it, we lost our internet connection and the power soon followed! We still don’t have power today (though many others fared worse in Irene) but luckily our construction crew arrived with a generator this morning so they can work!*

The crew arrived early this morning, ready to go. They’re starting with demolishing the mudroom and plan on having the addition framed and sided by the end of the day. Depending on how quickly the work goes, they may be able to bring down the wall between the mudroom and kitchen today as well!

The rest of the house has been turned pretty much upside-down in preparation for this huge project.

The kitchen cabinets were completely emptied.

Bins and bins of dishes, baking pans, pots, glasses, food, spices, etc. were stacked in the dining room.

The dining room table was moved into the corner of the room, with the microwave plunked onto it. This surface is being used as a makeshift kitchen counter for the time being.

A 30-foot long dumpster was dropped off in the driveway.

The dryer, which once sat in the mudroom, was pushed out into the kitchen and will soon be hauled down the basement stairs. The dryer will hang out for several weeks before a hookup is installed in the basement next to the washer. The mudroom was also completely emptied out.

We’ve done as much prep as we can do, so now we leave the next phase to the professionals. After being here for a year, I had just begun to feel like our house had finally gotten to a place where things were settled. Everything was put away and situated in a way that worked. And now we’ve gone and completely thrown it all up into chaos again. Please keep your fingers crossed for us that this renovation goes smoothly and painlessly!!

With so much happening, I’m going to try to get back into the habit of updating frequently. I should have another update on where we’re at later today!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's happening!!!

Huge news!
The time has come for us to officially move forward with our huge kitchen renovation project!! Things are moving quickly, and our contractor begins work next Monday!

We decided to officially move forward with option number two, which I had discussed here, and are adding a half bathroom to a section of the current kitchen. We felt like this was the best move not only for convenience, but also because it will add big value back into the house. A one-bathroom, 3-bedroom house just doesn't cut it these days, after all!

So here's where we're at:
In the last couple of weeks, we got bids from three contractors and chose one to move forward with. We liked this contractor the most and his bid just happened to be about $10,000 lower than the others. Lucky! What will be a bit different about this job is that it will be two phases. The first phase will involve demolishing the mudroom off of the kitchen, building a new addition in its place, new windows, lighting, and building the half bathroom. The second phase will be installing the cabinets, countertops, hardwood floors (both in the kitchen and dining room), and finish details.

However, before any of that stuff can be done we need to demolish the entire kitchen.

Like, right off the bat. We had thought that we'd be able to keep at least some of the kitchen functioning (like our stove plugged in or some cabinets) while the addition was built, but nope. In order for the electrical to be brought up to code (with an outlet every 3 feet) every single thing in here must go from the very beginning. So, it looks like we'll be completely without a kitchen for a while. A long while.

Here is one half of the (horrible, unusable, hideous, blindingly yellow, etc.) kitchen as it stands:

I don't think I need to go into detail about why we're doing this renovation! The kitchen is completely unusable in its current configuration. On the opposite end of the kitchen is the fridge, and the stove sits between two doorways to the left of this photo.

To the right is a wall between the kitchen and mudroom. (For a visual reference, check out the current floor plan here.)

This entire wall is coming down. The mudroom is also being demolished (it leaks in places and was never properly insulated). An 11' x 8' addition is going up in its place so the kitchen will be expanded. We'll put in all new windows and an exterior door to the patio.

The corner to the right of the current mudroom door, where our fridge currently sits, will become the new half bathroom.

Oh, and those holes in the ceiling and window frame? Carpenter ants. We had an exterminator in and found that they had eaten away the whole window frame. Bastards! This whole window is coming out and a smaller one is going in its place to allow for some privacy in the loo.

The area where the stove currently is will essentially be a hallway to the living room. The bathroom door will be on the left, across from the existing basement door on the right.

I'm so excited to get rid of the last of these crazy paneled ceilings! I can't believe that these used to be throughout the entire house. Awful.

Lighting is also going to be a huge upgrade in the kitchen. Currently, the only light in the whole room is this one exposed bulb in the ceiling. It's kiiiind of like a crack den.

Here's an exterior view of the existing mudroom that will be taken completely down, with a slightly larger addition built in its place:

We plan on adding a glass door to let lots of light in.

So, that's where we're at. It's going to be an incredibly chaotic next couple of months! We picked up some storage bins so we can start packing all of our dishes, pots, pans, and pantry stuff in the next couple of days. We plan on plugging the fridge in the dining room, the stove will be shoved someplace collecting dust, and it will be general chaos. It's an enormous project, but it's going to be so worth it in the end!

Welcome to Lucy's House, where things get kinda crazy.