95 Percent Or Your Kitchen Remodel Project Really is Never Finished!

That’s an A right? So I can be happy?  I don’t know about that.

Our home remodel project is about 95% complete. Oh, the kitchen and tile, etc. were done long ago. I’m the one who decided that this was the perfect time to repaint all the rooms.  So it’s me, I’m the slow poke.

When we started this project I had grand ideas about keeping a diary to share with you. As you might imagine my grand plans fizzled quickly when “I” actually had to do some manual labor. So here is the project in a much more condensed version…

As I wrote back at the beginning, we (meaning Bob) decided to install new kitchen lights while everything was open. It was a good idea and because my husband is talented, we (meaning Bob again–) were able to put in recessed lights and rewire for lights over the island. Truly, my job during this whole first part was to help think about the light placement and to hold the tape measure. I learned a lot. For example, I learned that the air conditioning duct has to run some place…and that some place generally is right where you want to put your light. I also learned that there are umpteen types of recessed lights and sure enough you won’t buy the right one the first try. This part alone was an experience and offered many opportunities to visit our local Lowe’s and Home Depot.

No wonder Rebecca was looking for a summer job!
Matthew found his niche, taking
all those fairies off the wall!
“What I did on my summer vacation…”
Of course we have a mitre saw!

We did not use a general contractor (and yes, it might appear we used some slave labor…) It might have been easier but over all scheduling everything went very smoothly. As long as we had our part done the guys could do theirs. The place where we ordered our cabinets recommended a non-profit agency who would come take out the cabinets, clean them up and resell them. I loved the idea of recycling PLUS, we didn’t have to do the removal! You may see them now at the Stardust store in Phoenix.

Originally I wanted to be Super Woman and take up all the tile myself. After all, I had seen this gizmo on television and was sure I could do it in no time. Fortunately, I was convinced to let the tile remover guys come in and what a smart move that turned out to be. Apparently, the tile was pretty well stuck and the super buff muscle man used a giant sledge hammer to pound most of it up. (My little As Seen on TV gadget wouldn’t have lasted long.) Instead of taking it up, Matthew and I sat in the living room for two days as the crew worked. I knew it would be noisy but had not realized how much dust and grit they would create. Oh the mess! At one point I got up out of the chair and looked back to see a ghost print left from the dust in the air.  Fortunately, that was the worst of it. The cabinet guys delivered their stuff and everything fit perfectly. The counter top guy brought the slab of granite and cut it in the yard. He was amazing and took painstaking hours to find the perfect design before cutting the granite. The tile layer was another perfectionist working ten hour days so he could get the job finished on time.

Aren’t they lovely?

Just when we thought everything was going to go swimmingly we realized the stairs had become a problem. The new stone was not the same height as the old tile and everything had to be readjusted. After a whole bunch of ideas we found that Lowe’s carries ready made stair tread so we (and yeah, you got it, Bob) spent the weekend ripping out the old stairs and installing the new before the tile guy arrived.

After the cabinets and tile were done it was finally my chance to work. We cleaned, and cleaned, and are still cleaning the dust from the tile. It didn’t matter that we covered things, the dust and grit permeated everything. Once we got the dishes and food back in their homes that’s when I started looking around at the walls. It’s been a while since everything was painted and you know how it is, once you paint one wall you have to do the one next to it, etc., etc. We became good friends with the Sherwin Williams clerks. I also learned, if you’re not sure you’ll like one color don’t go wasting your time and energy painting the vaulted ceiling wall first. Oh well, Bob reminded me the walls probably needed that extra coat of new paint. I almost forgot, because had the tile done it made sense to take up the base board molding. After looking at all gunk and old paint we decided it would be much easier to replace it. Again, having a husband who understood mitre cuts was certainly a savings (although he decided he got much better making the measurements and cuts by the end of the project).

Just some of my paint…

What’s left to be done? Since I piled all the junk in the laundry room and it’s still waiting for me to sort through, hopefully tossing most. Then we’ll finish painting it. We also don’t yet have all the pictures back on the walls. And…forgot to order enough hardware for the bathroom cabinet. We’ll get that ordered soon. We also did not finish the back splash in the kitchen. There were too many textures and colors to think about so we’re still thinking. Most likely we’ll just have the tile guy back and just tell him to make it pretty.

Stain does not easily come off the fingers.

Oh, I know you are wondering how the budget went. Well, we didn’t start out with a “budget” per se. I think we did well by shopping at several stores. Both the cabinet and tile stores were smaller companies and not located in the fanciest part of town.  But they both were licensed and bonded, etc., etc. There were plenty of unexpected costs; the wire for the lights, that hardware, the faucet, even the new toilet paper hanger in the bathroom. Oh, caulk, lots and lots of caulk. I didn’t know my Discover bill could go so high! Bob is still eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to make up for it.

So here you go–photos of the before and after. And trust me, it didn’t take us long to fill all the flat spaces with clutter…

Bathroom under constructions…note the four different colors
of paint I tried for the walls…

After: Bathroom (rid of that sunny yellow!)
Before: Pantry area
After: You know it’s the same house…
see all the pictures on the fridge!


Before Kitchen…
After...Yeah, I know…new cabinets are almost the
same color as the old… How’d that happen?

Family Room

More Family Room



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2 thoughts on “95 Percent Or Your Kitchen Remodel Project Really is Never Finished!

  1. Wow! It looks beautiful!! What a lotta, lotta work that was!! It made me tired just reading about it! I see at least one extra cabinet in the kitchen… The bathroom is great! It must feel great to have it all done. Lucky me, I just get to sit back and look at the end product! 🙂

  2. Thanks Karen! It was a lot of work for Bob… I felt bad that his weekends and evenings went to prep work, etc. But he has always enjoyed working with his hands creating things so this gave him opportunity to feel like he was part of the whole project. Never the less, we are glad it's done 🙂

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