Thursday, September 30, 2010

Primed and ready!

A big high five today---we are actually slightly ahead of schedule on the painting! C and I thought we would have to tackle the entire job over the weekend, but today the guys were ready to start! I believe we will most likely still have homework (as they used to say on Trading Spaces)---probably trim work, and also work in the laundry room, as it is not as high a priority as the kitchen walls which need to be ready for Monday.

Cabinets were due today, but anyone on the East Coast can tell you it was not a good day for driving or loading/unloading fine cabinetry; we had major rain for most of the day. So Kevin will be here tomorrow morning instead. Appliances were delivered yesterday, but left in boxes so as not to get dirty or have squirrels nesting in them. We are all stunned at the height of the fridge, having never owned a built-in or counter-depth model before. Lucky for the kids they will have their own fridge drawer and won't need assistance to reach their juice boxes. :-)

We are still waiting on our new windows, which need to go in before templating as we are having window sills made; our backsplash (3rd time's the charm?); and the return of the heating crew to finish the radiant heat under the rest of the floor. But everything is really coming together now!

Photos of today's progress:

Looks more like a real room with the walls primed!

The ceiling tilt is not so noticeable when everything is white.

The chimney has been cleaned and prepped for a matte sealant.

Still some work to be done in here!
I'm sure I will have another post tomorrow--maybe a peek at cabinets?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Question: Is this part of the wall or the ceiling?

I know, I know, I said I wouldn't be writing again so soon, but we have a question and we'd like your opinions. C and I bought most of our paint today in preparation for the weekend (forgot the ceiling paint, oops), and when we got home I realized I didn't know what we were doing with the new slant over the sink.
New slanty part.

So is this part of the wall, or part of the ceiling? Do we paint it with the white ceiling paint, or the BM Powell Buff wall color?

I can see arguments for both. It is ceiling because it breaks from the flat sink wall, and also because it will have a pendant hanging from it.
Ceiling, right?
But you could also make a case for wall, because if you follow the ceiling height around the rest of the room, it hits at the TOP of the slanty part, as shown below:
Ah, so it's wall?

I'm so confused!
If we paint the slanty part the color of the ceiling, it will make the sink wall look very short in comparison to the other walls in the room....if we paint it wall color we will retain the feeling of height/tall walls, but it also may be difficult to get a good straight line across the top of the ceiling where slant and ceiling meet. Not that anything in this room is really straight, but we'd want it to look good.

I suppose another possibility is to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls, but I think that would be too dark.

So what do you say--should it be white like the ceiling or Buff like the walls?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We have walls!

On Friday the floor was finished--they came, they grouted, they papered. Our entire floor is now covered with heavy duty pink paper to protect it from all that is left to be done. The only place we can still see the tile is right in front of the laundry sink---that's right, not only did I get my washer and dryer back, I got the sink back too! It is so nice not to have to do dishes outside with the hose or upstairs in the bathtub. Of course, next Friday we'll have to disconnect everything AGAIN so we can paint, but for now, I am wading through 10 loads of laundry. Five down, five to go!

The crew spent all day Friday putting up the rest of the walls and ceiling. They even got a little start on the taping and spackling, but there are a ton of seams, and I fully expect them to be finishing these walls for the next week. It looks like C and I will be putting on our painting clothes starting Friday afternoon; no doubt we will be working on this all of next weekend.

We have to: prime and paint the ceiling; prime and paint the kitchen and laundry walls; prime and paint the trim and shelves in kitchen and laundry. I think if we get the ceiling and walls done by Monday the 4th we'll be good; if we can get by with one coat on everything, I think we'll finish it all. I enjoy painting; just give me 10 rolls of blue tape and I'm good to go!

New pictures:
The new high ceiling is so nice, they just had to slant it a little over the sink.

Doin' dishes and laundry!

The taping and spackling has begun.

Since I don't expect too much to change over the course of the next six days (how many pictures of drywall can I take/you stand to look at?), I'll probably only post once or twice this week. If you don't hear from me, it's a good thing---all quiet on the construction front....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Filed under "You've got to be kidding"...

You may remember a few posts ago I mentioned our copper backsplash from Texas was damaged during delivery and returned to the fabricator. For that first try, it was shrink-wrapped, bubble-wrapped, and mounted on a piece of plywood before being boxed up and placed in the hands of UPS. It reached a processing center 90 minutes away from us, where it was somehow completely trashed.

Apologetic copper guys make us a whole new piece and give us a delivery date of last Friday. This time they shrink-wrap, bubble-wrap, and sandwich between TWO sheets of plywood attached together with sixteen screws before boxing it up and giving it to UPS. Friday comes and goes--no package. Monday--nothing. I plan to call Tuesday afternoon, but  Mr. Copper beats me to it; he wants to know how we like the backsplash. When I tell him it has yet to arrive, he is silent, then tells me he'll call back in a few minutes.

Almost half an hour passes before I hear back from him. The news isn't good---once again, the package has been damaged (in the same processing center as before), and once again, it is being returned to him. We are hopeful that the copper itself is okay, as it was packed so well, and really, we think, they'd have to drop it off the roof of the truck and then run over it a few times to destroy it.

Well, that's what the gnomes who wear brown in H-burg must have done, because it was, indeed, completely ruined. We are now on round 3 of copper; the new plan involves firing up another piece Monday, using thicker plywood, more screws, and FEDEX. We'll see if we have better luck this time.

Another tiny tidbit to be placed in the file: after everything with our floor--tile out of stock; tile no longer manufactured; last minute choosing of new tile; floor still not completely level; install taking four days instead of two; a severe shortage of socks and underwear....we were supposed to finish today, BUT they ran out of grout! Had enough for the job according to the packaging, but it just didn't go that far for some reason. They have about 15 tiles left to go, a tiny little patch in the corner. Hopefully it will be done quickly and won't interfere with other work that is supposed to recommence tomorrow. And I can finally get my washer and dryer reinstalled for the weekend--y'all know what I'll be doing, about ten full loads for sure!

Here are some photos of the finished floor, the grout color is Natural Grey:

We can't wait to see the cabinets sitting on this floor! The colors are really so perfect. And the floor does not read as dark as we thought it might, which is great for a room that doesn't get a lot of light for much of the day. Speaking of cabinets, thankfully Kevin and Greg were able to work out a solution for the installation on the uneven floors that does NOT involve hacking them to bits, so that's all good. Fingers crossed!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good progress, but some worries...

Good news first---a lot of work was done today. Gordon and Butch were here hanging walls, and the floor guys got some tile started too. The show is being turned over to them for the next 2-3 days as they get the whole floor down and finished. I'm a little worried about being without my washing machine, possibly until Friday (I haven't had it since last Thursday!); but if the kids have to start wearing winter clothes and borrowing each other's underwear and socks (clean, of course!), so be it.

What has us worried, besides a potential underwear shortage? When the walls were hung, it made the continued wonkiness of our "charming" old floor glaringly obvious. It appears to be about a 2" difference in slope both near the chimney and the dining room. As our cabinets are supposed to have an arch in the toe kick area, cutting off the bottoms of the cabinets--scribing, I believe it is called--is not a great option. Any sloping cuts will be extremely noticeable in uneven arches and missing feet. We have sent an SOS to all concerned to try and come up with a better solution to the problem than A) ripping out all of our current progress down to bare joists and starting completely from scratch or B) hacking up the bottoms of our beautiful handmade custom cabinets. There has to be a better way! :-(

On to the photos:
Cooktop wall.
Sink and dining room wall.
Lots of new insulation, plus where my pendant will hang over the sink.
Worrisome stuff:
Cooktop wall corner....
Cooktop wall by chimney!  :-o
Sink wall in corner...
Sink wall by dining room! :-{
I'll leave you on a positive note; the floor, I must say, looks better than we ever hoped, and we are very very happy with it!
No grout yet, but looking good!
Love these colors!
Oh, almost forgot---we pushed back templating yet again, as the floor is taking longer than we thought it would (due to said wonkiness), and there are many many other things to be done before templating can occur. We are now set for 10/7, with installation on 10/14. Hopefully this is our ultra-final-ultimate-super-awesome-unchangeable-date....or not. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Update

So a lot going on the past couple of days. My parents came to visit this weekend, and it was a welcome respite from kitchen drama. Thankfully, said drama was nothing that couldn't be fixed (and it was all remedied very quickly), but it does seem like something crazy or game-changing happens almost every day during this experience.

So far we are still on schedule with our cabinet/appliance delivery date (they can be stored in the barn until we are ready for them), but templating is a question mark, as a lot will depend on how quickly the new floor tile goes in. We planned on two days, but J the floor man suspects it may take longer; while our floor is certainly more level than it was, it is still quite wonky. If the floor doesn't get done in two days, it is unlikely the walls and ceiling will be ready for painting by next weekend, which means they can't be painted until the following week, and the cabinets won't be installed in time for our templating date. It's like a stack of dominoes, projected dates falling one by one!

Here are some progress pictures:

We have a floor again over the heating system.
New lights on the new ceiling.
And they work!
Matching old floor with new--and a lot more level.
Something silly I wanted--outlets low and horizontal, less in your face.
More new outlets--on the left you can see the light switch at normal height, outlet separate and low.

Here you can see some of the new drywall and more ceiling work.
Another ceiling shot with the new can lights.
We will have to add trim around this door so it isn't flush with the new wall; this way the trim will pop out and match the other doors
Cement board laid in preparation for tile; view is into the laundry room.
More cement board; the pieces by the sink window had to be hand nailed so as not to puncture the heating tubes below.
Old stove pipe hole in the chimney--it will be cleaned out, but needs a cover...
A traditional tin flue cover, painted by me. But what will go in the center? Hmm, stay tuned!
If you are still with me, I apologize for being so long. I will try to write more frequently and with shorter posts. Hopefully tomorrow I will have some tile pictures for you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Heat! And what we chose for our floor (again).

First things first---after a long evening reading about cork and staring at the samples until my eyeballs were about to fall out, we decided we just couldn't do it. Would it fade? Maybe. Would we scratch it and gouge it? Definitely. Would we need to refinish it every 1-5 years? Likely.Would we actually complete the refinishing? Probably not. Would we spill things on said scratches and gouges, and not clean them up immediately, and cause damage to the floor? Um, unfortunately, very probably, yeah.

So we chose the Ocean tile! As it has so much movement and color,. we selected a very simple running bond pattern (like brick) but with the 12" square tiles. We have high hopes it will look awesome. Thanks to everyone who cast a vote here, on FB, and also on Gardenweb. The Ocean tile was a clear winner, with the Pearl cork (#3) coming in second.

Still working on the bones and guts of the kitchen. Yesterday the ceiling was completed, and it now looks quite sturdy. Gordon, our team leader, calculated that the second floor over the kitchen addition sagged
about 1.75" over the last 40+ years. There's no getting rid of the sag now, but at least it won't go any lower.

The other thing that happened yesterday was the leveling of the floor! It's amazing how much slope there was; just look at the new supports along the old beams:

Look how the new supports grow from 1.5 cm on the right to 5 cm as they head to the left of the picture! Just to make the floor level...

Today the heating team came out to start laying the hydronic tubing under the floor. Since they can't get to the old porch floor from underneath, the tubing had to be laid now before the plywood subfloor goes back on top. They will return later in the week to do the rest of the kitchen from below, stapling up from the basement. Here is their progress so far:
Also of note: the walls are now insulated! I honestly can't wait for winter, just to experience our cozy warm kitchen!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My hex tile is hexed! Help me decide on a new floor!

Yes, here we are---our kitchen is gutted, we are trying to stay on schedule even with all the work devoted to the ceiling, and today I get a phone call that the tile we thought had been ordered last Friday was in fact NO LONGER MADE. Our only option left for hex tile is true white and/or black, and with all the warm tones in the room, I'm just not feeling it. Good bye, fair hex tile---we hardly knew ye...

So back to flooring store I go. I am still not into hardwood or laminate for this project; Marmoleum (as in our sunroom) was briefly considered and dismissed. Before I latched onto the tiles-which-shall-not-be-named, we had strongly considered cork, but I was unsure about the look of it, feeling it was perhaps too contemporary. Further research proved me wrong--there are cork floors in existence from over 100 years ago!

And, let's face it--I'm kind of desperate here to make a decision (BY TOMORROW), and besides one other tile I like, it's ALL I HAVE LEFT!

I now present the contenders, in no particular order. PLEASE leave a comment if you have a strong opinion one way or another--it will really help us narrow this thing down!

Oh--all the cork comes in 1' x 3' planks; it's a floating floor. The tile is a color-body porcelain (comes in a 6 x 6, 12 x 12, and 18 x18). I photographed them with the cabinet colors and also on the existing heart pine in surrounding rooms because I think whatever goes in the kitchen should be somewhat complimentary.

Choice 1
Choice 2-similar, but in an ivory color
Choice 3--also ivory, but with some natural cork color showing through
Choice 4--maple toned and striped
Choice 5--like above, but with multiple wood tones; it reminded me of our butcher block table top in walnut and maple
Choice 6--called Ocean, it reads a bit more green in person
Thanks for your assistance--I will of course let you know what we choose!