Progress Report — Week One (It begins!)

Hurray!  We have survived Week One of our renovation.  After a long weekend of sorting, packing, and storing, we were thrilled to sit back and let our contractors take over.  Call me deranged, but I love coming home each night from work, to see what has changed.  Mess, or no mess, it’s exciting to see my vision becoming reality.  Here’s a day by day account of what we’ve seen so far:

Day 1:

In the kitchen, the closets have been removed and Colin's office closet has been opened up to the kitchen.

In the kitchen, the closets have been removed and Colin’s office closet has been opened up to the kitchen.

Poor Colin was home when they broke through his wall and hung up a sheet of plastic film as a ‘barrier’ to all the demolition mess and noise.  He put up the blue tarp in order to at least have some privacy.   There’s no way to dampen the noise, but at least they couldn’t see him cringing.  

Our old cabinets have been removed.  Good riddance!

Our old cabinets have been removed. Good riddance!

In the living/dining area, flooring has been taken up over the soft spot, to determine how to fix it.    (ChaChing!)

In the living/dining area, flooring has been taken up over the soft spot, to determine how to fix it.
(ChaChing!)

We also got new windows installed!   Fortunately, they let in more air than the old ones — an important consideration, with the air conditioning turned off due to doors opening and closing constantly.  

Day 2:

Kitchen railing have been removed around the stairs.  The stairs and side door will be left in place as long as possible, to allow movement of materials and trash through the side instead of the front door.

Kitchen railing have been removed around the stairs. The stairs and side door will be left in place as long as possible, to allow movement of materials and trash through the side instead of the front door.

The new pocket door frames have been installed where the new wall will be, between the kitchen and the dining room.

The new pocket door frames have been installed where the new wall will be, between the kitchen and the dining room.

Day 3:

Yes! The wall between the dining room and kitchen has been removed, revealing the pocket door frames.

Yes! The wall between the dining room and kitchen has been removed, revealing the pocket door frames.

We love the openness that we can already see with the dining room wall moved back 20" into the kitchen.

We love the bigger dining room, which we can now see, with the dining room wall moved back 20″ into the kitchen.

The view toward the front hall better illustrates how much more open the room feel with the kitchen wall pushed back.

The view toward the front hall better illustrates how much more open the room feels with the kitchen wall pushed back.

Day 4:

Green tape marks up the walls for the beginning of electrical rough-ins.

Green tape marks up the walls for the beginning of electrical rough-ins.

Even with tape and diagrams laid out for the electrician, not everything goes according to plan.  But there’s nothing the contractor can’t fix when we go through it with him the next day.

Day 5:

Finally! The kitchen stairs and side door -- the biggest obstacles to a sensible kitchen design! -- are gone.

Finally! The kitchen stairs and side door — the biggest obstacles to a sensible kitchen design! — are gone.

Not only does the removal of the side door and stairs open up the kitchen, it also creates more usable space in the basement.  When the entire structure is removed below the kitchen, this room will be full height.

Not only does the removal of the side door and stairs open up the kitchen, it also creates more usable space in the basement. When the entire structure is removed below the kitchen, this room will be full height.

Remember that soft spot in the living room floor?  The solution is to put down new plywood throughout.

Remember that soft spot in the living room floor? The solution is to put down new plywood throughout.

Almost as exciting as the new, more open dining area, is the more open view from the kitchen to the front entrance.  We've expanded this arch to align with the entry stairs, and we love it.

Almost as exciting as the new, more open dining area, is the more open view from the kitchen to the front entrance. We’ve expanded this arch to align with the entry stairs, and we love it.

All in all, we are thrilled with the progress in Week 1, and can’t wait to see what happens in Week 2.  Best of all, our basement living and cooking arrangements are working out well.  In fact, I think we are actually eating as well or better than we did when we had a full kitchen at our disposal.   Our Week 1 menu included Chicken Meatball Stroganoff, Big Batch Bolognese with rigatoni, Simply Super Tomato Sauce with ravioli, Sweet Potato Cannelloni, Spanish Braised Steak and Onions, and BBQ Braised Short Ribs — all from the slow cooker.  We graded all at least a ‘B’, and several were ‘A’s’.  The only disaster occurred on Day 4, when the electrician briefly cut power in the morning, causing the slow cooker to reset itself to ‘off’.  I came home to find the Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf completely uncooked.   After tossing the meatloaf  into the green bin, we had an encore presentation of the Bolognese sauce from 2 nights previous — and it was even better the second time around!  

Bring on Week 2! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Progress Report — Week One (It begins!)

    • You know better than anyone the joy of watching a new kitchen rise from the rubble of the old one, Robin. It’s not just that it will look better, but it will be so much more functional! I love the process of making it happen.

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