Tag Archives: home renos

Carrying on …

Things have just been humming right along around here, both renovation- and repair-wise.

As scheduled, the cabinet refacing was done yesterday and it looks amazing! I am so happy with my choice! I can’t wait till the countertop and sink and faucet are installed – I’ve planned this for so long and I’m sure it’ll all look fantastic!

There was just one little issue: one of the cabinet doors couldn’t be put on, because of the corner cabinet pullout thingy that I have inside (yes, that actually is its technical name. I think.) You see, this corner cabinet pullout thingy attaches to the cabinet door, then when you open it, these two metal baskets come out, and two more metal baskets are pulled along from the nether-regions of the corner cabinet. I haven’t explained it very well at all, but hey, here’s a photo!photo
It’s a bit heavy, being solid metal and all, so it needs to be screwed quite firmly to the cabinet door. Problem was that the part of it that is actually screwed to the cabinet door was too low to reach the solid frame at the top of the cabinet door. The best solution the installers and I could determine was to get that piece lengthened so that it will reach the frame. That means a welder. Fortunately, PG knows a guy who does beautiful welding (his words, not mine. I didn’t even know that welding could be beautiful!), but this guy is taking the next two weeks off. PG will try to find someone else, but I can tell that he’d really rather that I waited the two weeks, just so the work will be done well. So maybe I will – if it doesn’t annoy me too much to not have the use of that cabinet. And equally fortunately, once we do have that longer piece, PG will be able to reattach the corner cabinet contraption (maybe that‘s what it’s really called?) and put that last cabinet door on.

So. This was my kitchen yesterday morning. photo

This was my kitchen yesterday afternoon. You’ll just have to imagine the new countertop, sink, and faucet for the time being.photo

And yes, after that, I did find a track light that I liked! It was in only the second lighting store that I visited, and it wasn’t even super-expensive. I played around with it last night to figure out what configuration I liked best, so I was ready for the restoration guy to come around today and do his thing.

Which he did, starting promptly at 9 am. And now my kitchen ceiling looks like this:photo

I don’t know how long it will look like this. I also have a honking big dehumidifier sitting in the kitchen, as well as two noisy industrial strength dryers, one also in the kitchen and the other in DD’s bathroom where the leaky toilet lives. These need to run for four days, non-stop. Someone will come by and pick them up on Monday – but I will be turning those suckers off in exactly four days: Sunday morning at 11:30! Therefore, at the earliest, it will be Monday before someone might put the new drywall up.

But at least I know that DD’s new non-leaky toilet will be installed tomorrow.

I also have lovely new cabinets and a lovely new light fixture in my kitchen, even though I have a big hole in the ceiling and it’s currently so noisy and breezy in there that I can’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen anyway.

I have home insurance, which will pay for most of the cost of the ceiling repairs.

And I do have savings and a job, so I will (eventually) be able to pay for all the rest.

Everyone I care about is in good health and my wonky right shoulder continues to very slowly improve. Very, very slowly.

You know, in these situations, you gotta remember to count your blessings!

Lemons and lemonade

I tell you, it was nothing but fun, fun, fun around here yesterday. Let’s recap, shall we?

I came home yesterday morning after being out for less than an hour to this enormous wet stain on my kitchen ceiling.photo

Oh joy, I said to myself. What do I do first? Call the insurance company? Call the strata manager? Call a plumber? Oh wait – how about go upstairs and mop up as best I could? Yeah – that one.

Water was dripping out the bottom of the toilet tank in DD’s bathroom at a fairly speedy rate. There wasn’t much on the floor, just enough to start the laminate floor buckling a bit in one spot underneath the toilet. I turned the water off, flushed the toilet to get most of the water out of the tank, set up a bowl to catch what was left, along with a bunch of towels. Of course, I couldn’t fit a whole bucket underneath the toilet due to lack of space, so I had to empty that bowl about every five minutes till the tank was completely empty.

Then I called my insurance company and explained the situation. Then an adjuster called me back and I explained the situation again. Then my insurance company’s restoration company called me to arrange for someone to come over to assess the damage. All this on a mobile phone that was constantly cutting in and out (not only was I having a crappy day, so was my phone reception, apparently. That’s another thing I need to do: change cell phone providers. I just don’t get good enough reception in my home with my current provider. But that’s another blog post …).

The restoration company man arrived in the early afternoon. He wanted to start right away, by cutting the damaged ceiling open and setting up a dehumidifier and a dryer, which would need to run for a couple of days, he thought. “But you can’t,” I wailed. “My kitchen reno is starting tomorrow with my cabinet refacing! Then the countertops will be installed shortly after that! You just can’t!”

Then I had a thought. Let’s turn this lemon into lemonade! What if I had the guys cut open the ceiling just a bit more, say around the godawful fluorescent light that currently adorns my kitchen ceiling. photo See? Ugly, isn’t it?

I mean, the water stain goes almost right up to it, so why not be safe rather than sorry and ensure that no water got close to the electrical box underneath that gross light? Then, they could drywall and repaint the ceiling right up to the actual electrical box, which is actually quite small. And then, I could have a prettier light fixture installed on a brand new ceiling … say, some funky track lights? Hey, why not? It’s only money, and they’re going to be opening up the ceiling anyway.

The restoration guy totally agreed with me. In fact, he wrote it directly into his estimate that the ceiling needed be opened up right underneath the current ugly light, because “you don’t want to take any chances with electricity”! He said that his crew would even be happy to install a new light fixture for me, as it wouldn’t take much time at all, really. I said I would, of course, pay for any additional labour, but he didn’t seem to think that that would be an issue, though he told me to talk to the crew when they arrive.

And we have agreed that they will arrive on Wednesday morning, bright and early, to start the restoration process. So I need to buy a new kitchen light fixture today, which is Tuesday. Which is also the day my cabinets will be refaced, starting in an hour or so. Which means I can’t just skip out and do some shopping, can I? Well, maybe I could, but I’m not entirely comfortable leaving the house when there’s a bunch of strangers working in it. So I’ll have to do it later this afternoon or this evening, after they have left.

The short timeline shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I mean, after DD and I took my mom out for her birthday dinner last night, I went out and bought a new toilet for DD’s bathroom and arranged for delivery and installation. It took about an hour in total. And that was knowing absolutely nothing about toilets, not even the right questions to ask! I know nothing about kitchen light fixtures either, so I figure that should be a breeze too. (Ha! Ya think?!)

Wish me luck (and no more home disasters), would you? This should be quite a day!

Bright, shiny …

In my ongoing long-term quest to improve and beautify my home without spending very much money at all, I have a new acquisition that I’m very excited about. It’s something that I’ve been wanting quite a long time – not as long as new kitchen cupboards, countertops and tile backsplash, which I’ve been wittering on about for several years now, but it’s still been many months in the making.

I had been looking and looking and looking, both online and in person. I had been researching. I had been dreaming of owning this item, but I couldn’t really specify what it actually had to look like in order to please me. I simply trusted that when I saw the one that was right for me, I would know, more or less immediately.

And that’s exactly what happened.

DD and I were out for a walk last November, and we passed a home decorating shop that we hadn’t noticed before. As we went past the display window, I glanced in. There it was. The one that was right for me. I knew it right then and there.

With my birthday coming up and all, DD offered to buy this wondrous item for me, but I refused, as I knew it was out of her price range, her working only part-time and all right now. She then suggested that she purchase half of it and I could pay the other half myself. I thought about it and agreed.

So, a couple of weeks later, closer to my birthday, she and I went back to the shop and bought it. It was placed in an enormous, awkward box that could only fit in my car if the front seat was adjusted as flat as it could get. (As a side note here, BMWs are great cars for driving but actually pretty shitty for hauling anything bigger than a couple of suitcases. Just so you know.) But we got it in and got it home and got it out of the car and into the kitchen.

And there the box sat. For five weeks. Till yesterday. PG, with his amazing handyman skills that are so very much in demand that he has had very little time to do this job for me, finally installed this lovely item, my birthday present from DD.

Look! I now have a sparkly white chandelier above my table! And even though it’s not pink, it is shiny and I love it!