A New Project

When we were looking for a house last year in our new state, we had limited time and funds, which of course limited our choices.  When I was a girl and dreamed of the time I would one day go looking for a house, I never dreamed that I would have so many limitations.  We are taught to dream big when we are little, but no one ever tells us what to do when reality comes knocking on the door and we finally realize that those childhood dreams will never come true.  What we don’t realize when we are kids is that those dreams are really shallow.  There is a richness and depth to life that cannot be got through perfectly behaved children or immaculately designed and cleaned houses.  Through our imperfectness, we learn how to love more fully, be thankful for little things, enjoy the good times, and help others through their difficulties.

Now, what started as a post in which I intended to describe our current home renovation project, has turned into something a bit more profound!  My intent was really to say that, much like life, this new house we bought last year is really in need of a lot of work, especially the kitchen.  On the surface, it looked ok.

The side where the dark cabinets live is what we inherited with the house.  They look pretty good, right?  Well, we didn’t really look close enough.  They were old and only good from the outside because they had been refaced.  Inside, the particle board shelves were slowly turning into particles and the face frames were driving us crazy.  I won’t go into the debate of face frame vs no face frame cabinetry here, but will only say that it is puzzling to me why no face frame cabinetry is not more popular.  There was only one option at Home Depot and none at Lowe’s.  Since the HD option was more than triple the price of Ikea, we have decided to go with Ikea, which is what you see here.

A couple of months ago, we bought a couple of Ikea cabinets to see if we would like them and how easy they would be to assemble.  Well, we like them just fine and the husband and boys love to put things together, so we decided to go for it.  Many people would pause here and do an extensive plan of the kitchen, but this was overwhelming to us.  Also, we were really unsure of what we would find once we started taking the kitchen apart, so we have decided to take the process one step and decision at a time.  To save money, we decided to do as much of the project as we could do ourselves.  As soon as we could get the plumber to come in, we began work.

Our plumbing is old, a bit convoluted and has been the biggest problem in this house so far, so we felt more comfortable having the plumber come in to do this part.  Once this was done, we started the kitchen renovation clock.  This marks the first day without heat, water, and a stove in the kitchen.  Everything else got moved into other parts of the house and we started working in earnest.

The cabinets were taken down.

Wallpaper was taken down.

Plastic sheeting went up in all the doorways.

We went to Ikea to buy the balance of the base cabinets.

By day 4 we had all the cabinets down and were ready for a day of rest.  And also, we needed to think about that pipe in the corner that we found.  Yes, it’s a drain pipe from the upstairs bathroom and it sticks out from the wall.  I told you this house has crazy plumbing!

Yesterday, we took down all the decorative brick in the kitchen.  This by far was the messiest and dustiest job.  The poor husband did all the heavy lifting out to our dumpster bag.  He estimates that he has moved over 2000 pounds of debris out of the kitchen so far!

You’ll notice that after everything was removed from the walls, there are a lot of walls missing.  And the walls that are there do not look so good.

This is where we stand now, after 7 days of demolition.  The question now is whether we can get a professional to come in and finish these walls for us or if we should go the total diy route and put up the drywall ourselves.  In any case, I am going to say that phase 1: demolition, is over.  Tomorrow begins phase 2: Rebuilding.  Stay tuned!



Posted on March 22, 2016, in DIY, Inspiration and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m so glad you’re posting your progress. I’m enjoying watching.

  2. Wow! You guys are so brave and your kids are so helpful! We’ve been under renovations a long long time here in the church. I’m hoping your process is much more contained 😉

  3. Wow! Now you know why our kitchen contractor just replaced the drywall instead of patching it last year. The room will look great without the brick…hang on a few more weeks.

  4. We had a similar kitchen renovation experience some years ago. The old benches weren’t level and the kitchen had a stove that was probably star of the art in the 1970’s. We named it ‘the beast’ and got rid of it as quickly as possible. Make sure you hold on to those before pictures. When all the work is done you’ll get a real sense of satisfaction from seeing how much you’ve achieved.

  5. State of the art I mean.

  6. Yikes! What a huge job! But, when it’s done it’ll be all yours 🙂 And what a great learning experience for the kids (and you & dh!) The in-process photos will be fun to watch. Mombee13/DebbyMc

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