it’s been a long time
well sorry everyone but I took a long-term contract that has me in someone else’s office all week! Things got busy and I have neglected reporting on the kitchen!
More to come soon…
aaargh the damn fireplace. and human nature
The fireplace is central to our kitchen’s design - it is a major focal point and we adjusted our whole layout to suit it’s monstrosity of depth.
So the installers arrive and start to do stuff. They run the lines, they measure stuff, unpack stuff etc. They are super careful, they dropsheet my gorgeous white tile floor and take their shoes off otherwise.
Then the bomb drops. They need to run the exhaust/intake for the fireplace through MY CABINETS. Are you kidding me? I needed to know that when I had the designs done! Now I need to hack the CUSTOM CABINETS APART on site???
Of course I’m super upset, but I figure I’ll call Aunt Sandra (designer) and she’ll calm me down. Which of course she does. She assured me we can’t make changes to the CABINETS (all-caps indicate my level of tension around CHANGING). She also gave me an interesting tidbit of knowledge: often tradespeople will take an easier route for them even if it means doing the job less than perfectly. She said to go back to them and indicate how upset I am about that and really try to get them to go out the chimney.
I’m not sure why I’m so trusting, I just figure everyone is like me and wants my house to be perfect.
But doesn’t the chimney just make sense to vent a fireplace? It is right behind the location of the new fireplace! But it means having venting all the way up, knocking through a couple of layers of brick and going onto the roof to do the chimney cap. Not as easy as going through my cabinets.
Then we wait a week. The salesguy visits, at which time I have to tell him that there is no more money for the fireplace, and the venting can’t go through the cabinets. I didn’t get a lot of confidence from him, and I still don’t know if he is going to send me an additional bill for this extra work.
My stance is that there is nothing new that the installers discovered that wasn’t obvious when I bought the unit from the salesguy. So if he didn’t quote it correctly that isn’t my fault, right? Did I just turn into bad client?
And I have to wait to find out when they can put this thing in. *sick stomach*
To add ridiculous to this, the bulkhead for the fireplace has to be FIXED. It is perfect according to the instruction sheet drawing in the brochure supplied, however, there is no reference to the clearance height of the exhaust pipes. So the whole thing is too high. The drawings are super simple but also lack a lot of information. Valor Fireplaces, you need to fix that!
day 2 and already a change from me.
Arrrgh now that the wall is down, I can see my pokey-lil-36” doorway into the kitchen just will not do.
Both Aunt Sandra (designer) and DH said the doorway should be opened, but our design formerly had pantries there. Now, without pantries we can do it but I never realized until things were being torn out how much of a difference it would make!
I find my contractor, John is super-easy to talk to, so I asked him about opening the door up, and luckily it’s not a problem! And now its been done, I can see clearly what a huge difference it makes to the kitchen - now it aligns with the stairs to the front door, improving the sightlines dramatically.
Sunny sunlit awesome!
I’ve said goodbye to the inefficient, crappy old kitchen and the process of tear-down has officially begun. Luckily I’m freelancing at this time, and I can be home all day, which has turned out to be super-important, as I have to make decisions on-the-spot.
My availability is certainly speeding up the process, and allowing me to see the progress of items as they leave through the front door.
In one day, my amazing team of Dutch contractors (Louws Construction) tore out the old kitchen, ceilings, wall drywall and were able to assess plumbing.
They began by dropsheeting the floor and wedging plastic up in the doorways; NOT stapling it up so there won’t be any wall repair!
Next they carefully removed the old cabinets (DH wanted some for the garage) and carefully placed into the driveway.
Then they started ripping up the floor - guess what heinousness was underneath - a couple layers of 1/4” plywood and some lovely fake brick vinyl.
Off came the fireplace brick and next came down the drywall on the load-bearing wall - yielding the double surprise of plumbing and a duct going upstairs. The plumbing was rerouted successfully but the duct had to go and align next to the beam in the cabinet wall - resulting in a wider-than-expected beam across the ceiling. Luckily I was there to say no problem, as the cabinets next to it have ample space in the doorway to move over the 6”. My contractor is so fast and capable I don’t even have a pic showing the duct prior to moving it - when a decision is made he just gets to it! You can already see how amazing this will be when that wall is down!
back to the fireplace issue.
Luckily I’m pretty good with photoshop, and I whipped up a quick mockup of what could work in our kitchen. It is a ‘sketch’ meaning the proportions are out of whack, and not precisely our surfaces. But you get a good idea how the island/fireplace/fridge could work.
We’ve had Sandra go back to the drawing board and provide some solutions, and I’m absolutely thrilled to say we are going ahead! We have built out the entire wall to a 24” depth so that the fireplace and fridge will be flush with the pantries, and really maximize the space. An added bonus is that we get extra-deep pantries (24”) and extra counter space either side of the stove.
Starting to take shape!