Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Kitchen Remodel Part Three

The kitchen has been a bit of a slog, mainly because we've had several periods of inactivity while we wait for the next bit to be accomplished by someone else. The wall tile was another example. The tile we chose was handmade, and as a result the tiles are somewhat irregular and a good few are slightly bowed. I really didn't fancy faffing 'round wit tut install myself, so we had a pro bring in his tackle and bust the do-ins out of it.

Finally onto the cabinets!!  Started out by taking off all the doors and drawer fronts and took them down to the workshop for processing. Then we emptied out all the cabinets and gave everything a really good cleaning with degreaser, inside and out, and ripped off the old 70's style baseboard

The hardwood floor in front of the sink and dishwasher was water-damaged, and the board next to it was probably the most beaten up in the whole house, so I pulled them up and took the time to install some new oak flooring. The kick panel was in poor shape so I replaced that too. I'll be coming back to finishing the floor later on.

Once everything was nice and clean I installed the new baseboard. We'll be putting the same baseboard in the dining room and office as well....eventually.

Time for some primer! One coat of primer was all it took to totally transform the look of the kitchen. The key to getting a professional finish, is that you only put on a very thin layer of paint - ultimately this meant that we had to paint two coats of primer, but the overall effect was worth it.

Onto the doors: There were 38 in all, including shelves from the glass-fronted cabinet, and every one had to be thoroughly degreased and sanded to 120 grit.

Followed by two coats of primer, applied with a combination of brushes and a roller...

Then it was back upstairs to paint the top coat - Templeton Gray by Benjamin Moore, if you're wondering.

And then back downstairs to do the same with the 38 door panels. Twice.

The following weekend the doors were re-hung and adjusted. I managed to keep the dicking around with hinge adjustment to a minimum by making sure all the hinges went back on the same doors, and we replaced all the knobs and pulls as part of our crusade to rid the house of fake brass. Here's how it all shook down:

PS...if you're wondering how we did the floor, then watch this space...

Monday, September 9, 2019

Prize Pumpkins

It's been a few months since we built a couple of raised beds at the front of our yard. Our approach to growing vegetables this year has been a case of plant a bunch of stuff and see what happens. We suffered a little bit from predators early doors, but by the end of June, there was plenty going on in both beds:

By the middle of July, we really were in business

The first harvest was radishes and leeks (we didn't eat them together...)

Fast forward to the end of August, and the pumpkin crop was approaching harvest. Clearly we planted them too early....

I counted seven (7) really big pumpkins, although only two of them were actually growing inside the raised bed.

If you look carefully you can see a water melon on the left of the pumpkin

We didn't get around to thinning out the plants once they had got going, so most of the onions and leeks grew in clumps.

Labor Day harvest, September 2, 2019: One pumpkin, one water melon, one bell pepper, and one white onion (no partridge or pear tree).

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Kitchen Remodel Part Two

Let's get back at it! The kitchen remodel has moved on a lot in the last few months. After the tile was gone, and the walls repaired, it was time to prep for the new countertops. Ripping out the old "some-kind-of-80s-plastic" counters was easy because they were not mounted to the cabinets. Once they were gone, I installed a ¾ inch plywood base for the new granite counters

We hired professionals to manufacture and install the countertops. We had them install the new single-bowl under-mount sink at the same time. I did the plumbing myself.

After the countertops were installed it became apparent that the drywall at the dining room side was badly we cut it out, installed some shims against the studs, and fitted another piece of snazzy purple drywall.

I had to put some blocking behind the wall above the stove so that there is somewhere solid to mount the extractor hood.

This one is later after I patched the dry wall and trial installed the hood - basically it is suspended from two heavy gauge screws. I had to figure out the precise location for the screws before the new wall tile goes up.

Onto the lighting: The original ceiling-mounted cabinet that we removed right at the start of the project had an under-mounted light, which we wanted to replace with pendants. The first step was installing the mounting boxes at the ceiling and running the cables.

Figuring out the wiring at the wall switches was a bit more complex because I decided to replace the antiquated wiring at the dining room light at the same time.

Then it was time to do the usual rinse-and-repeat of skimming the new drywall followed by applying texture.

The new lighting fixtures above the counter and in the dining room were installed a week or so later.

To be continued...

Monday, July 1, 2019

Kitchen Remodel Part One

If your first thought on seeing our cooking area is "1980's Country Kitchen" then we're on the same page: ugly tile and far too much wood!

A project like this takes a lot of planning, but one thing we knew right at the start was that the ceiling-mounted cabinets had to go, and go they did (stay tuned to find out where they went).

We've been waiting almost two years to get rid of the hideous tile back-splash, and it did not want to go quietly - tile removal quickly turned into drywall replacement.

We also ripped out the ridiculous pull-out extractor we could never remember we had and demolished the central cabinet to make way for our modern hood.

No more tile!

Here's how it looked about three hours later after I installed the blocking which will allow me to attach the replacement drywall. While I was working on this the rest of the team popped out to h*** d**** to pick up some very snazzy purple drywall.

Time for dinner!

The next day I installed the replacement drywall and put the kitchen back together. The mud can wait for another day!