Halfway There (and Livin' on a Prayer)

As we hit the end of our 4th week of our kitchen renovation (technically at our HALF WAY POINT!) we thought it was time to pause and reflect on some of our “lessons learned” for your amusement and (at times) our bereavement:

  • Crickets: Sometimes, contractors don’t come for a few days:  It’s the strangest thing, we assumed they’d be there every day but sometimes there is a natural break in work while you’re waiting on a plumber to plumb stuff or an inspector to inspect stuff.  It freaked us out when we didn’t see much progress for a few days but were assured that moments like this were built into our timeline.
  • The future is bright:  In our original kitchen, we had one light above the sink and one above the middle of the room.  Soon, we will have 2 pendants, 5 can lights, and a whole slew of under the cabinet lights.  Will we need sunglasses in the kitchen? Perhaps… but not to worry because we added also added dimmers.
  • Endless energy options: If you live in an older home like we do, chances are your outlet placement is way outside of current code.  We went from 3 outlets in our original kitchen (one of them was on/in the green couchset…??) to like a million.  In fact, we got two additional outlets in the dining room, too.  The rule is that they must add an outlet into any wall they open up so that they are spaced at maximum 6 feet apart. In fact, kitchen counters now have a more stringent standard: no point along the back of the counter can be more than 2-feet from a receptacle, and any counter more than 1-foot long requires a receptacle! These tighter standards have developed over the years in response to the increasing use of plug-in electric appliances around the home.
  • Inspectors don’t mess: They may not be on time but they sure are thorough.  Momentary annoyance for a long term and worthwhile cause.
  • Think ahead: There are moments in a renovation when you get a call at 10am on a Tuesday and they need to know where exactly you want your thermostat RIGHT NOW or if you want all of your can lights on the same light switch or if you’re okay with a 3-drawer cupboard rather than a 2-drawer.  Study up early so you’re ready to answer these questions.  Look at Houzz and get ideas for how you’ll use your space.  Better yet, hire a designer to help you make these decisions.
  • Seeing double: Our contractor bills his clients once a month.  As he sent us our June invoice, he let us know that because they were moving so fast on our project, they would need a few more buckets of money before the end of the month and would be billing us again in two weeks.  Yayyyyy!?!?

Next up… drywall!  Now, if we could just get those elusive inspectors to give us the green light…