Kitchen Renovation: It’s Mostly Finished Now

With the kitchen part of the kitchen “functional” by the end of 2018, most of the remaining effort happened in the mud/laundry/whatever room that used to be the kitchen. One awesome thing I got to do in there was tear down the old soffit that used to be on top of the wall cabinets that used to exist there. I used a mallet, tin snips, a pry bar, and a hammer. Knuckles were scraped, wire mesh was cursed.

I’m not sure it really merited three photos. And then Rick the Drywaller came back again and made the walls look good.

If you see that little green triangle at the bottom right of that last photo — that’s carpet, that I’m guessing was the (original?) floor covering in the kitchen that had since been buried under the cabinets. Fun!

Some time in this vicinity I also did some stuff with the floor. Where the cabinets had been, there was just sub-floor, so I used some of the leftover engineered hardwood planks that the previous owners left behind to fill in some of that. And then I also cut some of that flooring out to sort of designate a line between the “kitchen” and the “mud room/laundry”. That line is pretty visible in this photo:

And then apparently some time in February I built one more base cabinet and bought/installed a coat rack thing.

It also turned out that the subfloor didn’t match up, plus — eh, it was weird, there was glue used, hidden nails, uneven surfaces, etc.  I was going to have to remove/replace the subfloor before tiling the mud room. It didn’t seem that fun, plus it was the middle of the semester meaning it was about time to just hold my breath and wait for it (the semester) to be over, meaning that nothing was moving.

Fortunately, fate intervened and my friend James Waite, whom I knew from the ward in Pittsburgh, was moving back to Clearfield and starting up his construction company. So I had him come out to Logan and, you know, do almost everything that was left to do. He got the sub-floor pulled up and put down backer board, then did all the tile.

Which was finished in time for Easter.

I suppose I should’ve closed that cabinet before taking the one photo I was going to take on Easter. And, like, composed the photo.

James also did all the cabinet trim, all the end pieces, all the baseboards, the transitions from the tile to the engineered hardwood, and a nice transition between the side door landing and the mud room tile. He was also nice to the dog.

After all that got stuff buttoned up, I still had a base cabinet and some drawers left to build. That’s when the real IKEA problem showed up. (Spoiler alert: it worked out, it just cost time and money.)

When I placed my original order, IKEA’s internal system specified all the materials I would need from them to complete the kitchen. These materials included the cabinets, some of the hardware, and the countertop. At some point in the project, it became clear that IKEA had shorted me about 6 linear feet of countertop, which given that IKEA is located in Draper (about 90 minutes from here), was irritating.

I decided that once I had the base cabinets built and therefore had a place to actually put the countertop, I would trek on down to Draper and just buy what I needed. Built the cabinets, trekked on down to Draper in May, and found out that IKEA had stopped making/carrying the countertop that they had sold me the previous August. And, to make things more exciting, they were not stocking any countertops in Draper because they were “remodeling their warehouse” (that sounds made-up, right?).

So I drove home, went to IKEA’s just absolutely awful website and bought the new countertops, accepting that I was going to have to tear out the ones I’d already installed (since there was no way to match them). And then when the delivery day came, it was the one possible time-day combination I couldn’t be at home to accept the delivery, and IKEA corporate insisted that I had to be there to accept it. So I hung up on their rep, took my chances, and, fortunately, the delivery guys bailed IKEA out and just left the counters at my house without a signature.

Whoever the delivery guys were: thanks. IKEA: I’m probably done with you.

That last photo shows the nickels and pennies I was using for shims to try and get the countertop level across the seams. Pretty exciting.

Here’s the countertop at a fun in-between stage. You can also see the cabinet trim, toe-kick, and register additions.

And then the plumbers came out to re-install the faucet because it was still too hard for me. It was a different plumber this time (same company), and this one also hated the experience because it was too hard.

I also changed my mind on the below-countertop microwave. That was a pain to use. It would probably work better with the drawer-style under-counter microwave. Maybe next house, but probably not

Which brings us up to the present time. After some attempt at cleaning (which involved stashing a lot of things in the front living room), the kitchen looked like this:

It’s not quite done yet, but at least it’s also no longer absolute, soul-draining chaos taking up most of the living areas of my house. After only 14 months. So that’s — that’s good, right?

Here’s what’s not done:

  • Backsplash :(. I’m sure it’ll be fine, I just haven’t loved doing tile in the past.
  • The exterior trim for the new window. James is scheduled to come out and take care of that first part of July.
  • Tightening down the countertop and then caulking it up.
  • Repair (re-finish?) the engineered hardwood floor. When I started the project, I was planning on getting rid of the floor (better said: covering it with another floor). Then, once I got the walls painted a light color and had white cabinets installed, the floor no longer looked ridiculously dark and, instead, looked kind of nice. Except that stuff (paint, drywall sludge) had gotten spilled all over it.
  • The worst spill was from that time that the dog brushed into a trim panel, which somehow fell onto the step-ladder, which then fell onto a can of primer that was on the floor but somehow tipped over anyway. I don’t blame the dog, I blame the can of primer. It lacked hustle.
  • The inset shelf thing that Mark Lyons told me I should keep still needs to get done.
  • The one cabinet door on the cabinet right next to the washing machine maybe. $200 to acquire it.
  • A lot of touch-up paint, plus all the baseboards and cabinet trim need at least another coat, probably in a color that better matches the cabinets.
  • Paint the fireplace bricks since removing the acoustical tile revealed that the top inch of the bricks were still their original (off-white) color.
  • Get the pendant light over the kitchen table to work.
  • Grout between the laundry room tile and the edge of the step.
  • Re-hang the curtains on the sliding glass door.
  • Rent a dumpster and relocate the back yard trash pile into it.
  • Take the plastic off the appliances.

So I have those things to which to look forward.

I’ll post some before/after pics next time out I guess.