It’s no joke… We have a kitchen sink again!

After 3 months of doing dishes in our tiny bathroom we finally have a kitchen sink (and dishwasher) again!

I can’t begin to tell you how happy this makes me.

I’m really happy with how our counters turned out. I love marble, but I also love lemons and other acidic and staining foods so I decided to go with a faux marble formica instead.

I had planned to purchase the countertops from the Big-Box-Home-Improvement-Store which had done the initial $17,000 estimate.  When I emailed telling them we wouldn’t be moving forward with the renovation I mentioned I’d like to go ahead and place an order for the countertops but I didn’t hear back (surprise, surprise). So I went ahead and just showed up to the store and place the order in person.

I pride myself on being a nice person. I try to be nice to everyone… but I suppose I had a look about me because the woman who worked there gave me one look and passed me the phone number to order my counters from the same manufacturer they use.

“Do you want to just order them directly?” she looked at me blankly.

Yes actually, I do.

BBHIS estimate: $1084 for materials & $400 for labor

The final price: $262 for materials & $0 for labor.

So far we’ve saved over $4,000 on our preferred cabinets and the EXACT SAME countertop. Bonus: we’re also 18 days ahead of schedule for having a working sink and dishwasher. (Not bad considering this is including our week and a half of being sick and going out of town for spring break.)

Next up for the DIY kitchen renovation is the inside of the drawers and cabinets. Then we pick and install the floors.  We also plan to install new open shelving, a tile backsplash and paint, so there is still a lot to do…

But right now what we’ve been really excited about it countertops and running water.

 

 

 

Throwing Out Everything AND The Kitchen Sink.

So.

I didn’t plan on a kitchen renovation this year.  In fact, I figured that it would be just one of those things that I occasionally dream about but never actually do.  We had done a little to the house after we bought it and that was working well enough.

Until this happened:

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset
Well, there’s your problem right there.

So the boys got a little show yesterday when our handiest of handymen took our busted pipe apart.

Kitchen sink pipe burst sparks
Not at all terrifying.

Had we PLANNED on replacing everything in our kitchen, we might have had everything all picked out before ripping out the old stuff; instead we find ourselves scrambling a bit because we miss having a kitchen sink (turns out they’re really convenient). All of our “what if we did this…” hypothetical comments we have made over the years are now actually something to consider. It’s rather intimidating.

So our task for this weekend is to pick out new floors, probably new cabinets and new countertops as well (so…new kitchen). The deciding factor on what actually gets installed, however, is insurance: what they’ll cover, what they won’t (and what that means exactly in dollars), and we haven’t heard the final say yet.

IN the meantime this is what we’re working with:

Kitchen with no sink coffee station
That fluff of white you see in the corner is the dishwasher and the padding under my breakfast bar.

I pulled up Marlowe’s changing table which was in the downstairs bathroom and it’s now our little coffee station/ bus station.  The main challenge is that it’s hard to find a place to wash dishes (our bathroom sinks are pretty small and not meant to wash solids down the drain). So we’re doing some paper plates for things that can’t be washed off in the sink and some aluminum foil pans that would need scrubbing.  The granola me is just going to have to deal with it.

Oh, I feel like it might be worth mentioning that there’s a dishwasher in the middle of the floor and our cabinets and countertop are hanging out in pieces in the basement.

Anyway, we’ve got a new little routine… when it’s time to do the dishes we take a bin that sits under our bus station up to the bathroom to wash and lay on a towel on the counter.  Anything that is stubborn to clean (for example, a bowl of oatmeal), I use hot water to loosen it and then pour into the toilet which, as it turns out, makes me gag. You learn new things about yourself every day!

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset
Does anyone need the bathroom? I have some dishes to wash.

Just another life lesson in rolling with it.  Honestly, while it’s been a bit inconvenient, I’m just happy that the hole is closed up and there’s plywood on the subflooring. It’s the little things.

In these kinds of situations I like to look at the upside… so here’s what I got:

  • It would have been years probably before we decided to actually renovate the kitchen so this certainly motivates us to finally get it done.
  • We didn’t really want new floors but we’re getting new floors…so, there’s that.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever fully appreciated the kitchen sink as much as I will now.
  • I can brush my teeth, bathe the toddler and do the dishes at the same time.

 

Have you ever had a surprise kitchen renovation (or even a planned one)? Any tips?
Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

 

There’s a Hole In My Kitchen.

So, I had a post about our 10 year anniversary which I wanted to sit down and write. I still will. But here’s what got in the way.

Servpro Dehumidifier kitchenThat is a dehumidifier where my kitchen sink used to be. I’m familiar with the contraption because this is actually the 3rd time I’ve seen one taking up a small space in my house in the past 5 years.

I feel like this is an unusual number of times to need to dehumidify a home.

But, regardless, I am listening to the not-so-gentle sound of the dehumidifier in my basically useless kitchen. And as adorable as it is to hear a 2 year old try to pronounce “dehumidifier,” on day 3 the novelty is wearing off.

So here’s what happened:

I was getting my stitch fix, happy as a clam, when the handyman who we had asked to fix some stairs comes back with a panicked sort of  I-really-don’t-want-to-deliver-this-news kind of look.

Then he said, “Something, something, small leak between the cabinet and the wall, something, something, crawlspace, something, puddle on the ground, something, something, wet subflooring, something, something, you don’t want the floor of the kitchen to start to sag.”

That’s a direct quote.

Anyway, all this led to 3 days of phone calls, claims adjustors, assessment guys or whatever they’re called, and that moment where you watch a couple of very nice guys pull your cabinets out and tear into your floors and walls with a big orange thing that looks like it’s never used for something good.

Water damage, servpro, subfloor

We were supposed to go on an anniversary date night tonight but stayed in and discussed cabinetry. Like you do when you’ve been married for 10 years.

I am choosing to be grateful. Last time something in our house broke I had a 1 week old baby… so the timing could have been worse.  Also, had our handiman not noticed it, the damage could have been much more extensive. And because we have an older house, the subflooring looks like it can be dried and repaired without having to replace it.    And hey, we were thinking of replacing a few things in the kitchen eventually and now, maybe we’ll get a little help with the cost.

Besides, the kids have gotten a little entertainment from it… and there is a certain novelty to washing your dishes in the bathroom sink (or the bathtub. Right?).

dehumidifier blowing air

So… good news, right? Today is a good news day.

 

Kitchen Makeover III – Keep it Cheap (under $125)!

I was going to wait until I had really great pictures of the kitchen to show… but as it turns out we get perfect picture light in our kitchen at 4:00…. Aaaaaand I’m not home. In fact, I won’t even be home in the daylight until Saturday and I didn’t want to wait to show you what we did… so, basically I owe you optimal daylight pics.

Anyway

When we last left my kitchen, there was a mushroom cloud of dirt:

Not so pretty.

With Jeff’s spring break, we were sure we were going to be able to put up the new shelves in a jiffy.

And then we had a few things to take care of…

And then a few more…

A trip to Ikea…

And before we knew it it was Saturday and Jeff was in the attic nailing plywood and our kitchen looked abandoned and disgusting… kinda like this:

So we realized we better not let Monday come around without finishing or we’d be eating fast food for another week– and bathing suit season is upon us.

So we stayed up until 1 AM working on it, finished up and went to bed barely taking time to survey our work… here’s what I woke up to the next morning:

BEFORE
AFTER

I think bowls and cups are pretty

As for the other side of the kitchen… well we ran into a snag. Remember the yellowish vinyl backing behind the stove? Well, apparently they had glued it on. So we were left with a gluey mess that no amount of scraping and sanding could smooth, so right now, it’s exposed until we find a weekend to tile a new backsplash– probably the most expensive part about this process. So it currently sits unfinished like this:

Since I’m not happy with the wall color I haven’t settled on a tile color but I am definitely thinking subway tile. It might be that we don’t do anything until we replace the counter tops… besides, there’s lots of things to do in the meantime.

But this is the first time we could really see the direction the kitchen is going… and aside from the paint, I’m really happy with it. The kitchen suddenly feels quite large and my big counter space complaint is no longer an issue!

Here’s our cost breakdown so far:

Grundtal Ikea shelf (used as pot rack): 14.99

Gruntal s-hook pack: 2.99 x4 (I like extras) = 11.96

Asker container (two large) 7.99 x 2 = 15.98

Asker small container 3 = 17.97

Grundtal rail = 6.99

Brackets .50 each x 4 = $2.00

Pine shelf (Lowes) = $22.45 (after 10% discount coupon)

Primer 11.67 (after 10% discount coupon)

Valspar paint 20.98

So total our kitchen cost: $124.99

I feel like we’ve added so much space in our kitchen this way. I’m really pleased with where it’s going!

So what’s your cheapest home makeover/renovation story?

Just joining us? check our or cheap kitchen renovation from the demolition begins and Kitchen Makeover part Deux- The Demolition Continues