Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Kitchen is Blowed Up.

When you last saw our kitchen (in Texas), it was described in one of a series of posts detailing what we planned on doing in each room in our house.  You can see the Kitchen (and hallway) post here.  After months of saving (or more like paying off an interest free deposit from a credit card that paid for the floors/trim/miscellanea), and months of paying a birthing center to teach Amanda about eating her placenta (gross), we have the money to get cracking on the kitchen remodeling.

That process started with Ikea.  What else is new.  That place is awesome.  The kitchen in particular, started with Ikea's web based CAD software.  After designing the kitchen, we headed over to the local store, pulled up the design, asked some questions and eventually ordered the cabinetry.  Since they were having a sale on kitchens, we decided to include ordering the countertops from Ikea also, as the total price would have been about the same as if we had gone with similar counters from Home Depot.  Easier to make the one trip and deal with the one company, rather than two different stores.  4,500 dollars later, we had a kitchen with our name on it set to be delivered the next day.

The next day came, and with it, multiple weird projects.  The first project was to get rid of the current cabinets and countertop.  Days earlier, I had posted an ad on craigslist, stating essentially that if you wanted some free cabinets, come to my house and take them down with me, then drive away with them.  I had a million calls in about 12 minutes thereafter.  That was easy.

The evening before we began kitchen work, in earnest, Amanda basically moved all of our kitchen stuff out into the Dining Room, essentially giving us a crappy kitchen in there:

She had also created a CDC-style dust containment system in hopes of corralling a bit of the particulates sure to be strewn about during the work:

Sweet.  It didn't work that well, as the place was a dust cloud for a day, but whatever, it looks cool.

The next day, and about an hour or so before the folks taking the cabinets were due to arrive, I started working on a few things needed to get rid of the current kitchen.  The first task was to disassemble and remove the humongous garbage disposal, seen here:

It's even bigger than it looks in that picture.  I think it could probably dispose of one of the fetal pigs used in high school science classes without any problem.  It's really very big.

Removing a disposal usually isn't all that hard, and this one wasn't hard either, but the previous plumbing work from the previous owner, made it a bit more difficult than it should have been.

The above is a photo of the pipe that connects to the discharge of the disposal.  Instead of using the threaded pipe to seal the plumbing, the previous owner used plumbing cement (that brown stuff) to fuse the joint together.  The threaded pipe is a very tight seal, so there is generally no need for that cement, but since they used cement, I had to hack the pipe off in order to get the disposal removed.  not a huge deal by any means, and a little fun, but still...

Success.  Look how big that damn thing is.  Yeesh.

After that was successfully off of the old sink, it was time to move on to the dishwasher.  Removing a dishwasher is embarrassingly easy.  Usually.

This one was less easy.  Dishwashers are usually just slid into place after connecting the water, discharge hose and electricity.  Once in place, there are two flimsy brackets on the top of the washer that screw into the countertop.  Reversing those things will usually get you a freshly removed dishwasher.  Unfortunately for us, the previous owner added another step to the installation process:

If you look closely (it's tough to tell from this image), you may notice that the bottom of this dishwasher is actually below the tile of the floor.  This thing was essentially tiled into its spot.  This might explain why the other appliances in the kitchen are much newer than this thing, since it's really hard to get out of its little cubby hole.

What this basically meant was that in order to remove the dishwasher, we actually had to remove the countertop first.  Not a big deal when you're already planning on removing the countertop, but would have been a real pain in the ass if we were merely replacing the appliance.

No matter.  After a bit of fighting with the dishwasher and flooring, the fellows who were going to take the cabinets showed up and we got to work.

I couldn't get a good picture of them, as it's a little rude to just snap photos of people, but I did manage to find them on facebook and snagged this profile picture (weird that they share the same account):

Just kidding.  That's not really them.  But they looked similar.  Very, very obese.

Luckily, they were helpful and knew how to remove cabinets and countertops.  It;s not very hard at all, but it does take a bit of finesse if you don't want to smash everything to bits.  Making things a bit harder:

That's a hex headed screw.  What?  Who the hell installed these things?  Those were all over the place (along with other random screw types and even a few nails).  The 80s were an awful time for home building.

With the right drill bit and a few hours of sweaty work with fatsos, the cabinets were removed and it was on to the next task.  But before that, here's the mostly empty kitchen:

And here's the rats nest of terrible DIY plumbing:

Shortly after the demo work was completed, the friendly Ikea delivery fellows showed up and dropped off our new kitchen.  Here it is:

In theory, those boxes will somehow transform into a working set of cabinets, drawers and a sink.  Kind of crazy.

Fun aside: While I was helping to lug boxes into our living room, one of the delivery fellows revealed that his wife or girlfriend had just had a baby.  I asked when, and he said 2am that same morning.  I was dumbfounded.  What the hell was he doing at work?

Next up was trying not to get the house dusty during all of the work.

Since the flooring in this room was essentially the color of an slightly embarrassed albino's face (when aren't they embarrassed?), it had to go.  We had picked up some new tile the night before and I was ready to get down to the business of floor remodeling.  The first step, clearly, is removing the old flooring.  I got to work, and after 25 minutes with a hammer and a prybar, this is how much demolition I had actually accomplished:

This was going to take forever.

Making things more fun, just like the dishwasher, the baseboard had actually been tiled in by the previous owner:


Amanda, while at The Home Depot, had inquired about some rental equipment, and since it wasn't crazy expensive, I took a quick trip down there, singed some papers, and came home with this:

And this:

Inside the box?  This:

When you shove that giant blade bit into that giant tool, you basically have a 30 pound hand held jackhammer that can pry tile up.  It was really a lot of fun.  Physically taxing, but when you're in tip-top physical form lie I am, it was easy.  I kid of course.  I am still sore from using this thing.

*Aside* - If anyone at Hasbro, my former company, is reading this blog still, please mention that something like this would be great to addition to a Transformer.  A jackhammer with a blade on the end of it could easily be stuck on the arm of some boring Transformer and instantly make it thirteen to twenty-seven times more devastating and fun.

Speaking of, were there carpenter-bots on the Transformers' old planet?  Did they have any finish work-bots?  I assume that since they were made of metal and stuff, that they didn't really need all that much shelter, but if so, who did that work?  All of the Transformers seem to lack any soft of soft touch or grace, so I can only assume that all of their home planet structures were finished off really poorly and haphazardly.  Jason?  Any insight?

*Aside over*

Anyways, after a few tens of minutes jackhammering, I had cleared out the entire hallway without much effort (aside from lugging the hammer drill around):

Semi-unexpected side-effect of jackhammering tile?  The unfathomable amounts of dust created.  This pile (below) was swept up from an area of about 30 square feet:

The tile covered 250 square feet.  That's a lot of dust.  The tiles themselves came up almost always intact, so all of that dust was from the mortar.

After about 6 hours of work and an hour or so of cleanup the next day, here are the pink-tile-free floors:

The next day was a bit easier, as it was merely building and installing the base cabinet frames.  Amanda and I set up a little workspace on the floor and got cracking:

It was surprisingly easy and didn't take much time at all.  Before long, we were finished building them and they were installed (attached to the walls behind them):

Next up?  I will be tiling the floor until the proverbial cows come home.  I will likely spend all weekend on it.  It's easy, but will take a lot of time.  Also, painting.  After that, the rest of the kitchen will be assembled and installed, followed by the countertops being delivered and installed, and finally installing the sink and faucet.  After that, it's tiling the backsplash, adding the hardware and installing new lighting.  Oh, and installing new baseboards and eventually getting new appliances.

Did I mention that Amanda is due to pop out a miniature human literally any day now?  Great timing, no?

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