Thursday, August 22, 2013

If You Can't Take The Heat...

...stay out of the kitchen, at least until the grout dries.

I'm not sure whose bright idea it was to buy a house, pack, move, paint, carpet, and kitchen remodel all in one month. I done lost my mind. I completely underestimated the amount of time and energy all of this would take on our end. Rookie mistake. It's basically a full-time job on top of our real full-time jobs. In no particular order, here's a status update and some general thoughts on this whole process. This probably isn't interesting at all, but I find it therapeutic so bear with me.

- The painters started yesterday. For the next few days, I'll probably only walk into the house with my eyes closed. I can think of few things more nerve-racking than your first glimpse at a new paint color. I'm not sure if it's better or worse to see it as you go (i.e. when painting yourself) or to rip the bandaid off and see the final result (i.e. when professional painters work while you aren't even there). You may remember that when Mom visited 2 weeks ago, we had a winner for the main paint color. In typical fashion, I changed my mind at the last minute. They hope to finish in 2-3 days so before/after shots and a full explanation of the paint choices should be coming soon (I know you can't wait).

- THERE ARE SO MANY DECISIONS. This is by far the worst part of home renovations for me. The little details are never-ending and ever time-consuming. Hardware, faucet, paint, carpet, switch plates, lighting, microwave, and on and on and on. All of these things have to be measured, counted, matched, ordered, purchased, etc. Should the grout be 1/16th of an inch or 1/8th? Should the border come out 2 inches or 4 inches? Where should one paint color stop and the other start? How far down should that light pendant hang? How big of a microwave can we fit in that space? I've spent more time in Home Depot or Lowe's over the last few weeks than in my previous 26 years combined.

- Sometimes you walk in and love everything, and sometimes you walk in and only notice the problems. Since I'm a little more in the glass half empty camp, I tend to side with the latter response. Our contractor has been fantastic to work with, and I'm grateful for that, but like all remodeling projects, something always goes wrong. He took it like a champ when I told him the newly installed and completely grouted backsplash needed to be redone (they laid it in a stacked pattern instead of a brick pattern).

It's starting to look like a completely different kitchen!
- The kitchen floor has been grouted (they ran out of pinwheel tile for the border so we had to wait for more to come in). We got a sneak peek of the floor last night, and I think it's going to look really fantastic. We had a brief moment of grout color panic until we realized that unlike paint, grout dries lighter. Whew. The cabinets are painted and re-installed, and the walls should be painted today or tomorrow. Now we are just waiting on the new backsplash tile, lighting fixtures and cabinet pulls to arrive so they can all be installed. If all goes well, they should be done this weekend or early next week.

- The grill and patio furniture arrive this Saturday. Hopefully we'll get to do some cleaning, gardening, and moving prep while we are hanging around the house waiting for deliveries.

- We are resigned to the fact that carpet won't be done before we move. The few pieces of furniture that go downstairs will just have to live in the garage for a little while. We've learned some interesting things about the carpet industry. Pretty much every carpet dealer private labels their carpets. This makes it impossible to shop around and/or compare prices. Sneaky, sneaky. We've been working with an independent installer that came recommended by friends. He brought some samples out for us to see at the house, but I didn't love any of them. Because of the private labeling, it would be nearly impossible for us to look around ourselves and just let him know what we want. Luckily he hooked us up with his wholesale supplier that is not generally open to the public. They've kindly agreed to let us stop by and look at all the options this Saturday morning.

- Last night we bought a new microwave so they can retrofit it to the existing space where the built-in microwave used to be. I would consider microwave shopping to be one of the more unenjoyable tasks to date.

So that's where we are. Moving day is 8 sleeps away, but I wouldn't know much about sleep these days.