Here we are at Week 9, and we’re about halfway through the 7-week project, so let’s see how far we’ve come since the last halftime recap.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “They must be further than halfway along,” you have obviously not lived through a major kitchen renovation. If you have lived through a major kitchen renovation, you know halfway through at Week 9 is about right. Or you may have had a major kitchen renovation and not lived through it, but then you’re probably not reading this.
In many ways, we’re much further than halfway along. If you were to enter our house for the first time, you might say, “Wow, big kitchen. What’s wrong with it?” This is a far cry from what you would have said a couple of months ago: “Wow, big gaping hole. What is it?”
There are lights–lots of them. And they actually come on when you press one of the many light switches. There is a ceiling for the lights to be in. And there are walls for the light switches to be in.
There are cabinets. They are installed. They have handles. There are two slide out garbage bins that even came with garbage cans that fit nicely into the holes created for them. There is also one slide out, um, thing that is supposed to be a spice rack except that nobody, including the cabinet person who sold them to us, can figure out how it could possibly be used as a spice rack and Barbara has since purchased another space rack that goes into a drawer, so we’ll have to figure out what to do with the thing that is supposed to be a spice rack. Perhaps we can hide our family treasures in there, if we have any money left after the kitchen’s done to purchase some. Burglars will come in and think, “That’s just a pull-out spice rack. There can’t be anything of value in there.” Unless they’ve broken in to steal our spices.
There is a sink. There are no faucets, but there is a sink. It’s just as well that there are no faucets, because the sink is not connected to anything, so if there were faucets for water to come out of, the water would simply drain into the cabinet below the sink. This, I’m told, would not be a good thing.
There is an island. A big island. It has caused some problems, since evidently no supplier has ever seen an island this big that was not surrounded by water. Nobody, apparently, makes counters that large. So we are having a stainless steel counter custom built. It will take 4-6 weeks. From now. Over the island is an electrical cord for the lights that will hang down from the ceiling but that came in broken. You would think, wouldn’t you, that a lighting manufacturer would have basic knowledge of how to ship lights without them getting broken, but I guess not. We could always use the dangling cord to hang ourselves.
There are appliances. A fridge, a large stove, a dishwasher, a microwave and a beverage center, which will become the location around which all our beverages will gather. None of these is connected, of course. There is a hood over the stove, and a stainless steel piece under that which came in damaged. We are told that General Electric manufactures this particular part in Italy (presumably because it is made by old-world craftsmen) and could not possibly get us another one until November. So we have the store display mounted in our kitchen right now and have to decide whether or not to keep it. If we don’t, we can’t backsplash. If we can’t backsplash, there are a bunch of other things we can’t do. So we will probably keep it. We might remove the big “SALE” sign, though.
There is a TV, suspended from a bracket that has full motion so that the TV can be moved in any direction and extended 13 inches from the wall and be viewed from anywhere in the room, when it is connected to the cable, which it currently is not. Bets are now being taken on how long it will be before the TV is left extended 13 inches from the wall and someone walks into it. No bets are being taken on who that someone will be. It will be me.
There is an outside on our house now, as the siding has been replaced around the two new windows. Even the fake shutters are back. The new siding matches the old siding better than I thought it would. The fake shutters still look about as fake as they ever did. Now that the outside of the house is all finished, we won’t need a tarp if another hurricane comes along.
But another hurricane can’t come along, because we don’t have our generator yet. And they can’t install the propane tanks until the generator is in. And they can’t run the gas line from the outside of the house to the stove until the propane tanks are in. And Barbara can’t cook until the stove is hooked up to the gas line. And I can’t eat until Barbara can cook.
The counters for the non-stainless-steel section are due in next week. Nothing can be hooked up to anything until then. It’s possible that nothing will be hooked up even after the counters are in, because then the kitchen would be finished, and we wouldn’t want that to happen, because we’d be so lonely without all these people in our kitchen banging away to raucous music.
Once the counters are in, and the generator is in, and the propane tanks are in, and the unbroken lights are in, and the backsplash is installed, and everything is connected, we’ll be able to unpack all the boxes that are in the living room and finally feel like we’re moved in…five months after we moved in.
In spite of the work that still needs to be done, I’m confident that it will be finished by October 7. 2011. Because that’s when my mother is coming to visit. And I prefer not to think about any sort of unfinished scenario.
See you soon.