Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Camping in the Kitchen or the Kitchen/Dining Room Project, Part One

While nothing will ever come close to the disruption of creature comforts of the bathroom renovation, showering on the patio for two months and a porta-potty on the driveway, the kitchen renovation project over the past couple months certainly added a colorful chapter to the ongoing saga of the Retro Ranch restoration. Beth may try to tell you that she was successful in cooking a frozen pizza on the Weber grill but I respectfully and completely disagree. (And Beth says “Mm, hmm.”) More on that later.

This was the year we were going to refresh the entire kitchen and the dining room floor. This should have been the last of the major restorations and disruptions at the Ranch. We received the estimates early in the year from our trusted contractors – Northwest Home Concierge (NWHC) for refinishing the kitchen cabinets, new countertops and backsplash, new marmoleum floors in the kitchen and dining room along with the necessary drywall, electrical and trim to complete these two rooms. In addition, new kitchen appliances were on top of these estimates. Unfortunately, due to the changes in the US tax laws (or the billionaire’s tax relief program as I call it) instead of our available funds going to our favorite contractors, their subs and local material suppliers, we sent a significant check to Washington, D.C. - insert cartoon swearing here.

Being short of the necessary liquid cash for the entire restoration, we went back to NWHC and asked Troy and Gordon to split the project over two years. Flooring and baseboard trim this year; countertops, backsplash and cabinet refinishing next year. The fun began in May. A week or two before the project started I removed the wallpaper (and paste) from the sofit over the cabinets and painted those areas. The range, dishwasher and fridge were the first things to go with only the fridge remaining functional in the garage. With appliances out there was more painting to do. 

This is where the camping begins. While the dishwasher was outdated and inefficient, it was also a convenient place to store dirty dishes until you had a full load. With the range/oven now stored in the garage, our only means of cooking at home were the microwave, and the grill on the patio - the kitchen now having gaping holes where major appliances had been.

Next up the vinyl flooring in the kitchen and the newly (since December) exposed vinyl flooring in the dining room was pulled up, old sub floor removed and a new sub floor installed. The NWHC team seems to love demo days as this work was completed in less than three days. Ted the Drywall Guy came out to do some repairs where the old dining room carpet had previously rolled up on the walls (an odd design that was popular at one time.) Ted tDwG also repaired some holes under the sink where old plumbing lines had previously been and some old water damage behind the dishwasher. Of course, that meant some additional painting.

Now it was time to start making things beautiful. Robert, who did the flooring and tile work in the laundry room/half bath project late last year, came with an amazing design concept for the kitchen floor that utilized some of the leftover blue marmoleum from the laundry room project that looks like a small area rug in the kitchen. Wow, what an artisan. He also used some marmoleum remnants to refresh under the kitchen sink and in the large garage cabinet floor.

With the new flooring in place, the NWHC team installed the moldings in the dining room and extended into the hallway. Some of the moulding was original and other pieces were from the batch we had custom made last winter for the laundry room project. It looks amazing.

Maybe a only microwave and a Weber Grill to cook ia a first world problem. Maybe washing dishes by hand is nothing to complain about and any number of people we know have refrigerators in the garage. Somehow we survived these inconveniences until that magic Friday when Standard TV and Appliance delivered and installed both the new dishwasher and range. While not “vintage” they look great in the kitchen - certainly better than the gaping holes where the old ones had been. A new refrigerator will wait until next year as a counter depth fridge means resizing the cabinet above the fridge. We will do this when the cabinets are refinished in 2020.

Oh, and about that pizza, Beth decided to try to bake a frozen pizza on the grill one night. (Well, why not?) Let’s just say that cooking a frozen pizza using a cookie sheet on top of a Weber Grill makes for a very darkened bottom crust. I, for one, am very happy to have a functioning range/stove, a 21st century dishwasher and the old fridge back in our halfway renovated kitchen!

Stay tuned for the entry/hall wallpaper and door extension projects!