Tag Archives: Kitchen renovation

Kitchen Renovation (6): The Final Lag and Finish Line!

My excitement was beyond words when the cabinets arrived soon after the dry walls were finished and the tiles laid on the floor. The cabinet installer also started working on the same day. Watching him work, I discovered how exact the task was to ensure that seams and joints were aligned, the hinges on the doors were adjusted and tightened, and the shelves were placed to provide functional partitions. I was very pleased to see the two-tier lazy Susan trays which would give me all the space I had hoped for in the corners of the cabinets.

In the meantime, the painter came in. I had been expecting him for a while, especially the contractor told me that the painter had promised to complete my job before his three-week holiday in Australia. I could simply not bear the thought of my kitchen on hold for three weeks! To my relief, a jovial painter bounced in like a kangaroo (he told me he was Australian), decided on the colour with me and the job was done.

The final lag of the kitchen renovation was a piece of orchestration and co-ordination by the different trades, and the supervisor did a superb job lining them up. Once the lower cabinets had been installed, the countertop person was called in to do the measurements. He used an equipment that was similar to a surveying tool. That was an innovative procedure to me.


It took two weeks for the counter top to be ready. The cabinet installer continued with his work and so did the electrician who put in lighting under and inside some cabinets.

I welcomed the counter top on its day of its arrival like a groom waiting for his bride. I heaved a big sigh of relief when it was brought in, because finally I could tell that it matched my choice of the floor tiles. The backsplash were installed the day after the counter top. Another day for grouting and cleaning up. The last item to go in was the kitchen vent.

I had no idea when I started to post about my kitchen renovation that it had taken some eleven weeks to have everything completed. Not bad, because I was given an estimate of nine to ten weeks when the job started. I had become used to cooking and eating in my make-shift kitchen in the basement, but it’s certainly time I moved to my new kitchen and caryy on. It would take me several days to wipe it down and return to the old routine with new appliances and new storage arrangements . If you were expecting drama from my renovation, you might be disappointed. However, it was an educational experience, nonetheless, finding out the expertise of the different trades and craftsmen, learning to be patient and how to communicate clearly what I wanted using trade terms.

Please don’t ask me about kitchen warming yet; just let me enjoy the sight of it first.


Kitchen Renovation (5): The Long Wait, and Suddenly…

The dry wall team did not turn up the day after the electricians had left. They did not turn up the next day, nor the following day. I call the supervisor. He told me the dry wall people were finishing a big job, and he was hoping that they could come by and start working in my kitchen soon. He sounded reassuring when he told me that dry wall workers usually carry several jobs at one time, because when the plaster was drying in one place, they could go over to another place to do some work there.

In spite of my optimism,  they never turned up at my place. I had an entire week without any workman in my house. I tried to carry on my life as usual. I went to work, did minimal grocery shopping since I had to plan carefully what to cook in my makeshift kitchen and we ate out more.

The inspector from the city also did not come, but it was a relief to know that he did not need to come because they were over-booked and could only manage one in three of the sites. They apparently knew the work of the electrician and my contractor,  and skipped us. That was good news. According to the schedule given to me by the contractor, they had allowed two weeks for the dry wall work. Ten days had elapsed.

When I returned home from work on the eleventh day, I walked into a dusty hallway and the stinging smell of plaster. I started to sneeze but I was more relieved to see that work had finally resumed. The dry wall team had given me the walls and the new ceiling of my kitchen! These people only spent three days in my house and completed their work. These were dusty and sneezy days, but the job was back on track again.

The tile people followed suit. They first did a good job reinforcing the floor boards by punching nails on it. In came the wire sheets and they did a patient job lining the floor before putting on the ceramic tiles. It was another three-day work because when they got the corners and the side of the room, the tiles had to be measured and precisely cut. It was fun watching them, as they placed the tiles as working on a jig-saw puzzle. Another chapter of my kitchen renovation saga completed.

Kitchen Renovation (4): Plumbing, ducts and lights

After the tearing down of my kitchen, the plumber, the duct and vent installer, and the electrician with his assistant appeared as planned in the ensuing days. They were friendly and efficient.

New pipes were installed, because by opening a wider door, the pipes had to be moved. I did not feel too much inconvenience. I could not flush the toilet for over half a day, and the main was shut down for about half an hour.  The plumber’s assistant came the following day and gave me a new vent.


I was very impressed by the electrician and his assistant. For me, it was an eye-opening experience to see how much was involved in electrical work that was behind the scene. Since my renovation involved installing new outlets, re-positioning existing ones and installing pot lights in the ceiling, it took them twelve hours to get the work done. I tipped my hat to their work ethics. They told me that they had a schedule to keep, and as long as I did not mind, they wanted to complete the job. Why would I mind?

The team had been working for ten days and the ground work was done. The supervisor  dropped by at the end of the day and was pleased. He told me that an inspector would come to look at the electric work, and the dry wall team would be next. So far so good, I said to myself.

Weekly Photo Challenge: CHANGE (Kitchen Renovation 3: Go, Going, Gone!)


This is a stage of my kitchen renovation which fits into the Weekly Photo Challenge Theme: CHANGE.

A dump bin was placed outside my house on the drive way. The two workmen came. We had a mini-conference as to what I would like to keep. In fact, my friend had wanted my old cabinets and the workmen were extremely helpful in keeping them intact and moving them to the garage for my friend to pick up. Then the banging began.


I could not bear to stay around because the images of knocking down cabinets and walls on  the television show Restaurant Makeover and similar programmes were too vivid and harrowing to me. Furthermore, with the noise going on, I could not even work at home. My home was dusty, despite the sealing of the doors and the staircase. The tearing down took them three days.




By the end, the floor was only a pile of rumbles, the ceiling was gone, the sink was gone, the pipes were exposed and part of a wall was knocked down. I was excited to see a bigger kitchen–of course, because the cabinets were all gone (silly me)–and the wider door was what I had wanted.

So far so good. The supervisor dropped by at the end of the day. I was pleased with the way the workmen tidied up the place every day before they left. So far, I had no complaint.

Kitchen Renovation (2): Dislocation and Relocation

I have cleaned out my kitchen cabinets and pantry and this is time to take a last look at the kitchen as “before” and then I shall tidy up the utensils, dishes, cutlery and condiments for everyday use to evacuate from the kitchen for the renovation.


The boxes are filled, and the corner of my living room is filled with stuff I think I don’t need (I hope).

There is also a pile of take to the thrift store but I just cannot do so without taking a picture of this beer can chicken roasting tin. This white elephant has occupied an entire cabinet for some five years, and only in the first two years of having it in my possession that I roasted my chicken rotisserie-style  while it sat on a can of beer. It is time it retired.



My kitchen is now re-located in the basement. I feel reasonably well-equipped with my microwave oven, a toaster oven, a slow cooker and an induction heater. Mind you though, I cannot use more than two equipment at one time, because the electric fuse will jump. All this is more for my sense of security than functionality. My fridge is in the family room, and the contractor has cleverly given me a zipper entrance to screen off the dust but allowing accessibility from one area to another.

Stay tuned….the destruction is about to begin.