Before & After

YA and I have a disagreement about one thing at the State Fair.  She loves to go through the Home Improvement Building, see all the vendors, ask questions, take brochures and cards.  I do not.  Honestly, on days when I go by myself, I skip the building altogether.  But when we go together, I always trail after her.

This is how we ended up with cabinet refinishers sitting in our dining room in mid-October.  Contract signed, cabinet fronts selected, countertop material chosen, knobs and pulls picked out.  The original date they suggested was the first week of December.  I pushed it to January – between our Hawaii adventure, the Great Gift Exchange and the holidays, I couldn’t face having no kitchen during any of those times.

All the time we waited and made preparations, I was anxious.  Seems like nobody has ever had a big home improvement project go smoothly.  When they said it would take a week, I expected it would take longer.  In fact, Occasional Caroline and I worked out that if the remodel didn’t go as planned, we would do Blevins at her place instead of mine.  I set up the plumber and the electrician for a week after the project was supposed to be finished.  Weird, anxiety-ridden dreams filled my nights for a week before they showed up.  And we can’t even get into how long it took to get everything out of my kitchen and breakfast room.  The photo above is the front porch… the dining room looked similar.  It took me 6 days.

Turns out this project was the exception to the rule.  Jake showed up on time every morning and was finished by 10 a.m. on Friday.  4½ days.  No surprises, no unexpected issues.  Of course since my anxiety had scheduled the plumber so far out, I had a great looking kitchen but no water.  And no point in moving the fridge back until there was water.  Luckily I was able to reschedule the plumber for Saturday morning and the electrician is coming this morning.  (Electrician is just to provide better wiring for the hood over the stove.)

I’ve started putting everything back – I expect to be all done in the next day or so.  It still seems unreal to me that all my low-level worry came to naught.  Of course, I’ve been to the hardware store seven times now for this 4½ day project (s hooks, little can of white paint, contact paper, electric face plate, wire, cleaning stuff, etc.)  

When was your last pleasant surprise?

34 thoughts on “Before & After”

  1. Help me out here, vs, these are not before and after photos as near as I can tell. I’m assuming the photo to the left is of old cabinets by sink, and the second photo is of new cabinets and countertop by the stove? Am I right? What goes in the empty space at the end of the new counter? The fridge? Where is the sink in relationship to the stove? Sorry to be so nosy, but I’m notoriously bad at envisioning these kinds of things. Is the floor new, too? I’d say that photo to the right is a great improvement over the old dark cabinets and countertop. Good for you and your contractor for getting this project completed on time, and hopefully, within your budget as well. Nice Job. I bet it feels great.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pj, you are correct. The photo with the dark cabinets is on one side of the kitchen and the photo with the white cabinets is on the other side. The stove and the sink are directly across from one another. I took the photo of the new cabinets standing where the fridge eventually returned (behind my back). So nothing goes under the window next to the counter. That’s actually towards the door to the basement. No new floor…we blew the budget on the cabinets, the new dishwasher and the visits from the plumber to get this job done.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks, that helps. I was hoping the fridge didn’t go in that space where it would be blocking the window. Is that a cabinet in the corner under the new countertop? I’d love to have one of those instead of the deep, hard to get to cabinet I have.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The company who put the go-rounder in called it a lazy susan. But to me a lazy susan is that thing you put on the middle of the table with the ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper on it.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. It is now 3 months since the bathroom remodels started, and we are still inching toward the finish line. The carpenter is allegedly arriving today to finish, and that leaves the plumber and electrician to miraculously materialize to do their final tasks. The roads from Bismarck to Dickinson are slippery and ice covered today. The weather has been our nemesis, delaying completion. I hope I will be surprised this week with a completed project, but I won’t get my hopes up.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I have to admit Renee that your project was upper most in my mind as I was trying to cope with my low level anxiety. As well as my next-door neighbors who started a project in July and found a whopping major problem the first week — they are still dealing with it. In fact, they are pouring concrete in the basement today. I feel so sorry for the worker guys.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Last pleasant surprise was actually double – two outings yesterday: a surprise invitation to watch the Vikings playoffs with friends, for which we had to arrive late because we were already planning to attend the Norwegian Dancers from Stoughton, Wisc.

    This group is surprising and indescribable, so here’s an (under 2 min.) video clip. They travel all over the country and are headed for Norway later this year.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When YA wanted to do this I did suggest that she paint the cabinets instead. But now that they’re all in I’m very glad that we went this route. I’m sure painted cabinets would’ve looked fine, but having all of these new fronts on, the new go rounder and the new big cabinet in the breakfast room is really fabulous and the counters are to die for.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I would say my last pleasant surprise was just a few days ago with the price of concrete. And prior to that was how quickly I recovered from the knee surgery. If you keep your expectations, low, every day, you can be full of pleasant surprises. We got 20 eggs in one day. What a pleasant surprise!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And the porch actually looks better than the dining room. This is the hardest part I think of this whole project is that it has really shown a spotlight on how much stuff I have in the kitchen. I did thin out a little bit, but not nearly as much as I probably should.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Once upon a time, I used to cook for friends quite often. I have three large pots that were in use regularly because of this. These pots are as good as new, and I haven’t used them in years. I should really try finding them a new home as I don’t foresee needing them ever again.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Linda has recommended Freecycle so many times here that I’m going to check in with them this week. I have decided through all this that I really don’t need to stand mixers or two bread machines. One of each will do, so those are going to be looking for new homes this week

          Like

        2. I’ve used Freecycle a lot, though not lately, and I recommend it.

          I’m thinking of bringing the pots over to a charity driven thrift shop on West 7th St, though. I’d like to get these pots into the hands of someone who actually needs them and will use them.
          From what I understand, they have a lot of folks shopping there who are looking for household items for refugees.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. I agree, Bridging is a wonderful place, and they do great work, but I don’t want to drive that far to drop of three pots. I actually don’t remember if they even handle such small items. I toured their facility when I was working at the alternative school. Really great people.

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        4. Rochester had a Freecycle and the moderators all quit a couple years ago. You’d think a town this size could manage that. It was useful and I used it often for things coming and going.
          Course I say the same thing about our local “newspaper”… you’d think we could do better for a town this size.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Well, the carpenter is done. All the trim and base boards are in place around the cabinets, the upstairs batheoom window treatment re-installed, all the towel bars and toilet paper holders installed, and the closet doors installed in the largest of the basement bedrooms. The adhesive sticky bedroom carpet protecter sheets are removed. We have been walking on them for three months. Now we just need the plumber to set two toilets and install the faucet for the upstairs sink, and the shower head and mixer for the upstairs shower, and then the electrician to install the light fixtures in the upstairs bathroom.

    The carpenter drove here on ice and is now driving back to Bismarck in a winter weather advisory for freezing drizzle.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. OT-Ooh! We just got a fairly large order of Penzey’s spices delivered, and I have put them in their respective jars, and the house smells heavenly.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Surprise! The Birds love red cabbage when it is well chopped.
    This experience with The Birds is remarkable as it correlates to my human kids. Love it.

    Liked by 4 people

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