Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Kitchen, almost done!

Here are some pictures! More detailed summary is after the pics. My grandma says Brian must be "an angel, to do all that."

Here is the kitchen, BEFORE. Many of the white tiles were cracked, and the grout was stained and/or difficult to keep clean. The bar top was awkwardly set back. It didn't jut out at all, so you had to lean over quite a bit if you wanted to eat off a plate at the bartop. And the design of the bartop meant that a lot of the countertop below was taken up. The worst part was the faucet and sink! It was badly stained from years of hard water buildup, the faucet was beyond grody, there was no garbage disposal, and the sink was small and the faucet wouldn't stay in place.

Before, 1.

Before, 2.

Before, 3.
Barrett's birthday party day! Bar top and backsplash come off. 
Sunday - kids are too sick for church. Brian starts ripping off the counters.
And they're off!
Monday, Feb. 15 - I have a "new" plywood countertop.
Monday, Feb. 15 - my new gorgeous sink is also installed!
Thursday, Feb. 18 - forms are built, rebar installed. Temp faucet installation has to come out now. (Back to washing dishes in the laundry tub!)
The sink edge is formed with sheet metal, double sided tape, and styrofoam. Feb. 19, Friday night - tomorrow, they pour!
February 20 - Saturday morning, waiting for my dad to come help Brian pour the countertops.
Here's a quick video of them pouring that I took for my aunt.

Sunday morning - Feb. 21. Plastic sheeting has been draped over the top to retain moisture overnight. It's been about 24 hours, forms can come off now.
Brian was very eager to see how the edges had formed. The forms came off quickly, early that morning.
Taking out his homemade sink form. (You can buy a plastic one for about $50, but he made his own.)
Double sided tape around the edge held the sheet metal on. That stuff did not come off easily, let me tell you.
All the forms are off. He's happy with the result!
Monday, Feb. 22 - he sanded all the previous evening (Sunday night). More sanding followed Wed. and Thurs.
Friday, Feb. 26. The countertop has been stained and one coat of sealer has been applied. He's repairing the drywall now.
Friday night, Feb. 26 - reinstalling the faucet (permanently this time). Apparently the holes formed in the concrete for the fixture weren't big enough, so this turned out to be a huge headache for him. 
Saturday night, Feb. 27 - countertop has been sealed a couple more times. The bar top was bought and sanded today, a couple coats of finish applied (won't dry glossy).
March 1 - bar top has been finished and sanded for the last time. The stools are back in place. Most of the switchplates are back and the wall is painted. Backsplash and final switchplate - last item on the list!
UPDATE: Saturday, March 5. The backsplash is done! So notwithstanding a few tiny things that Brian wants to reseal or retighten, etc., we are done! 
Saturday, February 27:
Brian finished (for the most part) the kitchen! We still need switchplates and a backsplash. It's been a long two weeks of having no kitchen and watching the kids by myself, but man it's going to be worth it. He did such a good, good job. He worked so hard. Lots and lots of heavy sanding, lifting, tricky plumbing. Heavy work. I am so thankful for him!

I don't have a before picture, but we had all white tile (many cracked) and the nastiest, stained-est white sink and faucet that no trick could clean. No garbage disposal, which was my only request. (I'll never forget the day we moved into this house, it was so exciting... This has always felt like my dream house even from the beginning. The only feeling of disappointment was standing at the sink for the first time and realizing that the sink looked gross and there was no garbage disposal... two things I'd failed to notice before.) Brian told me he wasn't going to install a disposal without replacing the sink, faucet, and countertops. Well now was the time. 

On the day of Barrett's birthday party, he stripped off the bar top. The bar top was all white tile, too, and unlike typical bar tops it didn't jut out above the counter beneath. The edges were aligned with each other. It made for some awkward leaning when trying to eat at the counter and it essentially took up half my counter space.

Over the next two weeks, he stripped off the rest of the counter and backsplash, removed the sink and faucet, reinforced the cabinetry, added a plywood top, built the concrete forms, installed rebar and control joints, and installed the sink, faucet (temporarily) and disposal. A week ago, with my dad's help, he poured the tops. 

A day later, he stripped the forms before church. After church he sanded for several hours, creating a lot of dust! That was a long day for him, and me! I shamefully admit to grumbling and complaining quite a bit after being "trapped" upstairs with the kids to avoid the dust for a couple of hours. (I had left the house and shopped during their nap time, got back, woke them up, and for the next few hours entertained them in their room, feeding them shelled peanuts and string cheese! I had it easy!) It's not something I'm proud of. I did apologize. 

On Monday and Tuesday he had to work quite late and didn't get home until after the kids' bedtime, so no work on the kitchen. On Wednesday he wet sanded quite a bit more. On Thursday, I woke up with a pounding headache, fever, and sore throat. He decided to take a sick day and stay home with me. I was absolutely wiped out until about noon when I started feeling quite a bit better. I told him to work on the kitchen if he wanted, so he finished up the sanding and put a layer of stain on the counters. We debated quite a bit about doing this. I really liked the concrete as it was, and he did too, but he thought a little bit of tint would be a good idea. So he did it. We put several coats of sealer on over the next 36 hours. On Friday night he spent several hours reinstalling the faucet and sprayer. There wasn't enough space in the concrete to tighten the fixture on, so he had to drill more out and it took a long time and I'm sure it was a tremendous headache. He was a trooper though. I can tell when he is having a heck of a time but he really doesn't complain very much. Unlike his wife. 

Saturday morning (this morning), he went to a mill and picked out a board for the bar top. He spent the day sanding it down and installed it this evening. He then brushed a couple coats of boiled linseed oil on to finish it. My after picture doesn't do the kitchen justice, it's a crappy cell phone picture and hopefully I can add more later. But the bar top now juts out like a typical bar top, making a lot more counter space on the other side, and the open space underneath the countertop makes the kitchen feel so much bigger. My sink is an absolutely enormous horse trough of a single bowl stainless steel sink, with that purring kitten of a garbage disposal down in there. It's an incredible feeling to have a garbage disposal after over two years. I am a happy woman!

I want to say again how hard Brian worked on this. It can't be easy to get home from work and immediately throw yourself into four hours of heavy manual labor. He predicted it would take three weeks, but he did it in two. I'm so thrilled with our "new" kitchen, and I stand in awe of all of the updates he has made to our house in not even three years, doing most of the work himself. More pics to come as he wraps up loose ends!

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