Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I'm Not Really a General Contractor

I'm a mom of five grown children; I know how to multi-task. When the kids were little, before each Mother's Day, John would read them a poem called, "Hats Off to Mother." The poem talked about some of the various roles that moms play, and it was accompanied by paper cutouts of a mother and the different hats she wore. 

I have felt like a taxi driver, a nurse, a chef, and other professions that the poem mentioned. One job the poem did not have is that of general contractor. 

John and I are having some changes made to our house prior to moving into it, and I'm finding myself struggling to coordinate everything. However, stressful though the job can be, it is also rather fun to pick colors and materials, and to see the changes occurring. Nothing is complete yet, but I thought I'd share some in-progress photos with you. 

One of the biggest changes we are making is in the kitchen. We chose to make changes to improve the functionality and to put our own touches on it, but it certainly would have served its purpose if we had kept it as-is. (Houses do not have to be updated to be homes!) Here are some before photos:

Photo: The kitchen as it came with the house. The cabinets are light maple and stop shy of the ceiling. There is a desk area on the left, with a sheet-rocked, closet-style pantry next to it. A peninsula extends from the right past the center of the room. Also on the right, is a triangular-shaped cabinet (a "Utah cabinet," I'm told) which juts out oddly from the wall.
Photo: Another photo of the kitchen, taken from a slightly different angle. Starting at the left and moving around the kitchen, we find: the desk area, the pantry, space for a refrigerator, a corner section of counter top, the stove, a tiny section of counter top, a corner sink (hard to see in the photo), more counter top, then the peninsula. The kitchen, minus the desk area, is about 10 feet by 10 feet.
Photo: The open stove door and the open dishwasher door touch. If someone were standing at the sink, that person would be trapped. (However, they might not mind because two big corner windows provide a great view of the outside.)
This next photo more accurately shows the current state of the kitchen: 

Photo: A nearly-empty kitchen, with most of the cabinets removed. Copper plumbing pipes run exposed from floor to ceiling, and electrical switches dangle from wires from the ceiling.
It will be a while yet before I can post an "after" photo. However, John and I did pick out granite this week for the counters. Here's a sneak peak of the cabinet stain sample against the granite:

Photo:  My hand holds a small piece of natural maple wood (with a dark Van Dyke glaze) against a dark "Aspen" granite slab
Tomorrow the plumber is coming to move the refrigerator water line. (He already moved the exposed copper pipes earlier this week.) On Thursday, the electrician is going to take care of the dangling light switches, and complete some other tasks. Once the demo is finished, we can start putting the kitchen back together. I'm excited to see the new look, and to take off my hard hat! 

Have you survived remodeling? Do you have any tips or advice?

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  1. Whoa! You really ARE a general contractor with all this major work being done. I'm eager to see the remodeled kitchen.

    1. Trying to keep everything organized makes my head spin! There are so many details to remember, but I am excited to see the finished product.

  2. very interesting post. before and after is alway fun, it being by a 'real' person (as opposed to someone with a staff) is even more so. look forward to next set of photos.

    1. I always like seeing before and after photos, too--and I'm curious to see the after photos on this project, also!

  3. I love remodeling and wished I could do more of it. This house needed nothing but the bathroom remodelled, but I loved every step of it. Especially picking out the new tiles and cabinet (little old cabinet turned in to sink by yours truely) lights and bathroom accessories. Breaking out all the old stuff, hammering away at the old tiles and seeing a bare cold space turn in to a warm and inviting bathroom.
    I would do it all again. I sometimes dream of 'doing' the kitchen too, but I'm too cheap to put in a lot of money in a space that's funcions just fine and has everything I need. I rather spend the money on a holiday ;-)
    If I'd live close, I would love to come and help. Seeing a house turn in to a home with the resident's character is always lovely to watch.
    Stay strong and it will be worth the hassle, I promisse.

    1. You are so handy!
      We're alike in some ways--we are not doing anything to the bathrooms for the same reason you aren't touching your kitchen. Like you, I think I'd prefer a vacation!


Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!