Sunday, November 22, 2015

Renovation Reflections

Yesterday my kitchen renovation was officially complete. It began October 5, there were few snags, it's all done now ~ overall project success! 

Thought I would post a few photos and notes for amusement...  #1 tip I would pass along to anyone about to undergo a major reno?  Keep your cold air return and vent registers covered during the work process!! 
Random items such as dog toys (namely bouncy roll-y BALLS) (which are expensive!) easily roll into the ducts when they are open.  Dog thinks it's fun.  Duct-cleaning-furnace-maintenance guy does NOT. 

Claire and I began the demolition process when the dumpster arrived a couple days before the contractor, with Reese looking on in confusion/horror, perhaps wondering if his humans had gone crazy (there may have been some raucous yelling while we bashed apart the old cabinetry and flinged it with glee into the dumpster):

Our strong-silent-type Contractor continued the demolition with careful removal of the 70's decorative bulkheads on the ceiling, and properly cleaned and repaired the sub floor to prepare for the new 12mm laminate flooring I chose (our house is too doggy and high traffic to have easily-destroyed hardwood).  


The Electricians helped us map out the grid for all new recessed lighting - I think the new pot lights are my favourite part of the reno?  hhhhmmm.. that and the dishwasher.  Yah baby - D I S H W A S H E R

Felt like we were camping in our own home for a couple weeks there, but worth it.

Cabinets started coming together, major drywall patching on the ceiling, flooring in half a room at a time, fresh paint... just a four-week wait for the new countertop. Beloved countertop...

The bench, with storage, for which the Warden is fashioning a cushion. :-) 

The hutch, for all the paperwork junk and technology our family loves to use:

Nod to my beloved Norwex representative for showing me awesome and environmentally-friendly products for cleaning the new sink!

And.... tah dah..... done! 

I have dreamed of this renovation for the 12 years I have owned this house, and it has turned out even better than I had imagined it would. It's like my very own little Make-A-Wish dream come true (except I got to pay for it all LOL).  
Many thanks go out to everyone involved, from the Home Depot folks who walked me through the whole design process, to the amazingly talented and cool-as-a-cucumber Contractor who became part of our family for the time he lovingly spent restoring my home to my specifications, to the family and friends who patiently put up with me through the process.  I have not been a peach to deal with some days.  Imagine!

I thought long and hard before making the decision to renovate while off work battling cancer; was it the right time to do it or should I have waited until I was back to work and had to deal with that stress as well as reno stress?  
I found it to be a surprising amount of work, it increased my busy factor by quite a bit.  Lots of decision-making and errand-running, not to mention packing, cleaning, and unpacking.  I thought I would want to and have time to escape reno commotion to catch up on visits with friends out of my house but it was just the opposite; any time I wasn't involved in reno stuff or every day  family stuff, I was doubly exhausted than my normal.  Thankfully Contractor made it easy on me, he is extremely neat and thorough, and considerate in everything he does.

We jumped in with both feet and just went for it, and now I am glad we did.  Not only is the kitchen more functional (especially for my bum leg the drawers are SO much easier to use!) it is more comfortable for us to relax, cook, and hang out in.  Our family and friends can sit and enjoy this fresh start and MY fresh start all together in one beautiful, healthy environment.  I am so grateful! 

Article & Photos © Natalie Richardson, 2015

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