Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kitchen Renovation Update

This renovation was never supposed to be a big deal. It was supposed to be the next (small) step toward a bigger renovation goal but... that's not how it's turned out.

To cut a long and stressful story short, things did not run smoothly once the builders finally arrived.

One of the big surprises for me when I started removing the lining from the walls was the absence of any kind of insulation. The lean-to in summer is unbearable but I figured it had to at least have flashing on the roof and external walls, but no, absolutely nothing. When I made this discovery I decided to strip all the lining off so that insulation batts could be put in the walls and ceiling. (I'm using any and all passive methods I can to keep the house cool in summer).

The kitchen stripped bare. The whole in the floor shows where the wall used to be. And, of course, Loki.

After seeing very slow progress for the first two days, I arrived home from work on the Friday to discover that not only had VERY little been done in a full day by TWO men, but they'd forgotten about the insulation. They'd put up the plasterboard on the west wall (external) and ceiling before they remembered. I was livid! To make matters worse, all they'd done for the day was put up plasterboard in a room that measured roughly 4 metres by 2.5 metres.

This is the state the kitchen was in when the builders were 'let go'.

What really ignited my temper was the builder's suggestion that even though THEY forgot the insulation, I could fix that when I put new weatherboards on the outside walls. AARRRGGHHHH! There was no way I was going to pay for their mistake so I gave them their marching orders. So, my kitchen is STILL not finished. But, at least it is usable... more so once the electrician fits off the powerpoints.

Looking lived in already! The Udden sink from Ikea is great. It's just waiting for the dishwasher to be installed and then I'll organise the Udden cupboard for underneath the sink.

Temporary bench and cupboard space.

Commercial shelving from Officeworks. It's heavy duty and BIG!

The whole debacle has added much more to my 'to do' list than I'm comfortable with. I now have to put up the cornices, architraves, skirting boards and frame up the doorway plus the tasks I was planning on doing myself anyway, like sanding and painting the floor. And, it has been an ongoing lesson in disappointment, however there have been glimpses of a silver lining in there, too.

I've learned a bit more about my own capabilities. Demolishing the majority of the old bathroom and kitchen took a huge effort to do on my own and it brought with it a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Also, confrontations are not my favourite form of communication and I'm adept at avoiding them but this time I said what had to be said and dealt with the situation rather than just letting it go.

All in all, I'm pretty proud of myself!

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