Settling into the chaos, Renovation Realities

I think I should start this post with a bit of a confession.

I unrealistically thought that by this time, three weeks after the move, many more rooms would feel complete, even if they were not “perfect”. We are settled in yes, but we seem to be tackling projects in a crisis mode. “What has to be done today?”

Of course, much of this chaos is a result of the expanding scope of the kitchen renovation. We went from painting cabinets, adding a pennisula and a new range hood, to more of a full-on renovation.

Here’s a look at the almost complete “mini renovation” with the cabinets painted and the hood partially installed. (I never intended to share this photo, but it’s the only one I have of the kitchen at this stage.)

This is about the time I realized that getting a new range needed to be higher on our home renovation priority list. The burners of the cooktop are too close together for two large pots to sit side by side. The grates are very high and given the fact that I’m petite, only 5’1″ on a good day, it is just plain awkward. Not a good scenario for someone who loves to cook.

Here’s where things got tricky. Because of the odd configuration of the existing range none of the newer slide in range models would fit in the space. We were told the granite could be cut to fit a new range, but it would be like exploding a bag of flour in our house. We could have tried to isolate the mess with plastic, but the recently expanded archway between the kitchen and living room, seemed to make that just an all around bad idea.

So while I was away at Freshman orientation with Miles, Richard and Emily went to Premier Surfaces to see what our options were. Thanks to my “Dream Kitchen” board on Pinterest Emily went with a good idea of what I would choose.

Now the scope of the renovation includes new counters, new backsplash and a new range. Yikes! The kitchen renovation has become one big domino effect. We’re at the point of considering using a renovation company for the other stages of the home due to the intense time we’ve had to endure during this process, even though we are capable of doing this ourselves we understand that this isn’t the case for everyone, if you’d like to carry out any renovations or additions in your home your best bet to find a contractor who could undertake these for you is by searching online.

Always include the area you live as not all contractors will work nationwide a majority like to stick close to home, an example of the type of text you could use to search for is General contractor in Park Ridge, Home Additions in Park Ridge and Builders in Park Ridge, using anyone of these phrases to search online you should get quite a few results in your search and from there you can check out there websites including looking at testimonials from other customers.

It’s really useful to be able to see feedback but just remember no company is going to allow negative feedback to be displayed on their websites, so once you’ve found the contractor just do a quick search for their company name in google and you will see if there are any other websites or blogs that have any posts for this company, good or bad.

The next phase of the renovation started by removing the existing tile backsplash. Just whacking each tile with a hammer until it separated from the drywall proved to be a better technique than using chisel and hammer.

This step took me only a couple hours. I cleaned everything up, spic and span and cooked dinner.

Then we decided that it would be best to remove the drywall before the new range arrived to avoid getting dust in the burners or cause other damage.

This took another hour or two, because thankfully Richard was at home by then and we did it together. We cleaned up the second mess of the day and this is what the kitchen looked like before dinner tonight. Funny thing is I actually think this is easier on the eyes than the splotchy red painted drywall.

Now we wait for the quartz countertops to be installed and the tile to be delivered. We plan to install the cement board this weekend along with the air conditioning units we ordered from National Air Warehouse.

Here’s a look at the kitchen from the expanded opening to the living room.

All of this back and forth construction will be worth it.

In the end, I feel very blessed to see my dream kitchen become a reality. You can follow my “dream kitchen” board on Pinterest.

Good thing we plan for this house to be our “forever home”!

I’ll be back tomorrow in between the range installation and the new back door installation with a post on the process of painting of the kitchen cabinets. Did I mention I used two different techniques?

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