Monday, March 28, 2011

Kitchen Remodel- Chapter Two!

Hubby's favorite TV program these days is Holmes on Homes.. an HG TV reality show where a guy named Mike Holmes, a Canadian contractor do-gooder, rescues helpless homeowners from un-scrupulous contractors who botch up the job while constructing or remodeling their homes. The modus operendii is that every time Holmes and crew remove a wall, or look up in the attic they find things as they shouldn't be... and of course the job gets bigger and bigger as our hero's right the wrongs left by the villains.

Well, the good news in our remodel is that we have found nothing major. And there is no real bad news... just little irritants that crop up that make the job harder, longer, more complex. We have a gem of a contractor, a young hard working guy who is one of the most punctual people I have ever met- gotta love that! He also has "people" -  Well qualified hard working electrical, gas and drywall guys who show up when they say they will, and who even clean up after themselves... lucky us!
New hood install required 1 electrician, 1 general contractor and 1 non-union supervisor!
Time in attic: 45 minutes. Time pulling wires: 30 minutes. Time hanging hood 60 minutes (+/-)
Time spent kibitzing with supervisor charged at overtime! 

The hood install went nearly seamlessly- as well as pulling wires for the new pendant lights over the bar. The instructions, written in Canadian French then translated to English were a little confusing at first, but our intrepid team used their combined creativity, ingenuity and experience to a most successful outcome. It's amazing how the addition of a range hood changes the overall atmosphere of a kitchen. Mine was transformed from cute and "cottage-y"  to  "a serious cook lives here" just in the course of a Saturday morning.
Testing the broiler with a side of salmon and stove top with sauteed vegtables proves the new range is fully operational
On Thursday, the DiNiccio brothers, Dino and Dave came and installed our new range! The old electric downdraft from hell which shall remain nameless was carted out to the front porch, and by noon my beautiful new Electrolux double oven dual fuel range was operational. We love new toys around here, and before the weekend was over we had used all four burners, the broiler and the oven. The only part left untouched is the bottom oven which is basically an  warming drawer, but will bake at 450 degrees! My new range has more bells and whistles than I may ever use, but I am looking forward to bread proofing, dehydrating and slow cooking in addition to regular baking. We have so far baked scones, and cookies, and broiled a side of salmon. But the real joy is in cooking on top, which we have proven by already making a huge pot of chicken soup, fajitas, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bacon and sauteed vegetables.  The flexibility and control of gas cook top burners just makes cooking  so much more pleasurable.
Today, the serious work began, along with camping in ones own home without a functional kitchen. The counter -tops came off and the old sink is now laying in the garage ready to be hauled off to Habitat for Humanity re-store. Contractor Geary installed the supports for the new sink, a granite composite Blanco single bowl, so tomorrow Josh will come and make the templates for the new stone counter-tops! Dishes will now be washed in the laundry sink in the garage, and the coffee pot is set up and ready for brew tomorrow morning on the bathroom vanity. Himself, the shopper guy, will make a trek to Costco for a big stack of compostable paper plates, and we will warm freezer meals in the microwave to avoid having to wash pots and pans! Thankfully, a dinner invitation or two is looming on the horizon, and a short visit to the home of the Portland daughter will relieve several days of kitchen misery.

The little irritants? Jury rigged electrics in the attic, a big hole in the floor under the range where the previous downdraft vent went and unsafe wiring for the garbage disposal that was stuffed inside a conduit which made it look good. Ugly, icky foam that had been blown in under the Formica in our garden window, which is a mess to clean up, but is revealing a nice clean level surface on which to install slate tile.  We're still waiting for a light fixture that was supposed to have been delivered on Thursday from a big box store, and no-one seems to be able to find it.

The final blow? When the counters came off, it became readily apparent what a lousy housekeeper I am... amazing what hides in all those cracks and crevices!


  1. It's looking wonderful. though, Barb! Roberta

  2. This is pretty exciting! That salmon looks delicious.