Does one *really* need a kitchen?

Although the kitchen reno is a few months down the road, I though I'd meet with a kitchen designer, just to start planning, and to get a realistic idea of the costs.

Here's the problem - the kitchen itself is quite small - 9' x 11'. And there are three doorways and one window in that, so there isn't a lot of space. To make it more functional, I decided to do cabinets in the dinette area as well - more storage, and the counter top can act like a buffet. I wanted that to look more like a built-in, so I decided to go with wood, instead of white cabinets. And of course, the only ones I like in a dark wood finish are the really expensive ones. Okay, it's only 5', so I can afford to go with those, right? And, I want the uppers to be for display, so I want glass fronts. Nice, right?


I pick out the glass pattern I like. When I tell the kitchen planner, all he said was "Oh".


For EACH door.

Plus the cost of the cabinet itself.

So I'm going with plain glass.

The estimate for the kitchen, dinette and bathroom cabinets is ~$9,000 - $13,000. I know that's not too bad. But it is huge chunk of the budget, and doesn't include things like counter tops. Or appliances. Or door handles. Or or or...

$13,000 buys a lot of take-out.

Do I really need a kitchen?


How not to run a business

The crawl space really needs to be insulated. Now. Before the pipes freeze. Dad thinks spray foam is the way to go, and not just because it means I have to actually hire someone else to do it.

So, I call around to get quotes. Guy 1 takes my call, and immediately makes an appointment to come and see the space a few days later. Guy 2 - some female answers the phone and tells me Guy 2 will call me back. Okay. At almost 10 pm that night he does so. Here's the conversation:

Guy 2: Are you available during the day?

Me: Yes.

Guy 2: Oh. Are you available in the evening?

Me: Yes.

Guy 2: Oh. Well, I should be able to make it up there sometime this next week.

Me: Oh. Are you going to call first?

Guy 2: Well yeah, or else it would be a wasted trip.

Me: Okay.....

A few days later, he calls early in the morning to see if I'll be around. I say yes, so he says he's coming by.

Then he asks if I have a ladder.

I pause, then very politely ask him if he knows he's giving me a quote for insulating a crawl space.

"Guess I won't need the ladder then"

Ah, no.

The quotes are in. I'm going with Guy 1.


How many hole saws does one person need?

After my fun with replacing the front door lock, I decided to wait until the next day to do the back door lock. That lock was a bit more challenging, as a new hole had to be cut for the deadbolt, and the corresponding bit chiseled out of the door jamb. Again, Dad said something about the attic, and disappeared.

I started with the handle part, and that went well. By that time, Dad's curiosity got the better of him (or he was tired of hearing me whine), and he agreed to drill out the section for the deadbolt in the door and the jamb. To drill out the jamb part, a 1" spade bit is required. Of course, I have a 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4. No 1". Off to the hardware store - thankfully, it's near by. While I was gone, Dad decides to start on the hole in the door. And we both have a hole saw attachment for the drill of the correct size - woohoo! Except, it's for wood. And the door is metal clad.

I come home from the hardware store to the smell of burnt wood. Using a wood drill bit on metal produces a lot of heat, apparently. And the inside of the door is wood. Dad looked at me and said nothing actually was set on fire...

Okay, the first hole saw cut through one side of the door, and through the center. But we still have to drill through the second metal sheet. And the first hole saw is dead. The teeth are completely worn down. So, let's use the second hole saw. And we proceed to wear the teeth down on that as well. Okay. Did I mention I'm really glad the hardware store is really close?

Home with the new $26.00 hole saw, and 2.533 seconds later, the hole is complete. And the new deadbolt covers all the scorch marks.

Moral of the story? ALWAYS use the right tool for the job. And make sure Dad knows were the fire extinguisher is kept.


MacGyver is my hero

One of the first things you should do when you buy a new house is change the locks. As this was previously a rental house, it was very important to me to do so, as I have no idea how many keys are floating around out there. Fortunately, Mom and Dad just replaced some of their locks, so Dad installed their old ones for the first little while. But, I don't do shiny yellow brass, and I knew I would eventually want to replace them with something more "me". I found a set I really liked a few weeks ago, and decided to replace the old ones. Easy, right?

I started with the front door, as it already had the cutouts for the door latch itself and the separate deadbolt. Dad was fixing the attic at the time (he said something about getting it done before the snow came, and caved in the roof. I'm pretty sure he was exaggerating...), so I read the instructions, gathered my tools, and, with Kip supervising, started the job. The latch part is sloped, and the instructions make it clear to make sure you put it in the right way, so you can close the door when you leave. So, being the logical person I am, after installing this part, I decide to test it and make sure it works, before I put the door handles on.

So I stepped outside and pulled the door closed.


Effectively locking myself out.

There is a reason Kip is not named Lassie. I looked in at him through the door window, and told him Timmy was in the well, and to go get Grandpa.

Kip yawned and started licking his nether bits.

On to plan B...

Mom was due to stop by after work, and she had a key to the back door, since it was still her old lock set. I could wait. Except I had no idea when she was coming. And I was in my shirt sleeves. And it was cold.

Plan C...

Think. Think about how it works. One turns the handle, and the innards move. So if I can find something to move the innards... have I mentioned there are a lot of trees in the yard? After 15 minutes or so of searching, I find a stick that is small enough to fit, yet sturdy enough to push the part back. And viola, I'm in the house. Kip looked at me and yawned again.

New lock set - $203.39
Stick from the backyard - $0.00
Realizing that all those hours spent watching cheesy 80s TV weren't wasted after all - priceless


And more Christmas....

This is it for Christmas decorating this year! Too many other things I should be doing.

Oh, And Kip asked me to tell you all that he hates Christmas for some reason....

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas.....

Thanks to my lovely sister, and 3 trips to Wal-Mart (ugh), I decorated the outside this weekend. The garlands and wreath are presents from my sister and her family - thanks! The plan is to get the inside done this week - we'll see how that goes!

Location, location, location

So, why did I buy a house like this? That needs everything inside replaced? Other than the price, the style of the house and it's large yard, it was location, location, location. It is literally seconds from Lake Erie. And the lake shore area here is all parks, walkways, and trails. A great area to go for a walk; an even better area to take your dog for a walk. Here are some pictures taken this fall; I'll try to get more this winter. And don't tell anyone I said this, but I can let Kip off-leash when no one else is around - it's fun for him, and good training for his recall! We have even done an entire, door-to-door, 30 minute walk off-leash. We did encounter other people, but he heeled quite nicely past them. He's a GOOD dog!

And the bedrooms.... again with the stippled walls!


The kitchen. The back area is currently a laundry area; it will eventually be a dining area.

The living room... and yes, those are green stippled walls...

And all the furnishings are NOT mine - these pictures were taken before I bought the house!

Like manna from heaven...

Of course, I had a home inspection before buying the place. And, it went better than expected. For an 80 year old house, that has been a rental property for the last few years, it's in good shape - and structurally sound.

The highlight of the inspection though, happened in the kitchen. You see, to make life easier, the last person who did renos put up a suspended ceiling in the kitchen, so that wires and pipes could be run across without actually opening a ceiling or wall (and yes, this will be changed).

So, there we are, in the kitchen - Mom, Dad, the inspector and me. The inspector climbs up the ladder, and moves one of the ceiling tiles to take a gander at what's up there. And something falls from the ceiling.....

An old VCR tape box.


With, um, *interesting* pictures all over it. Right in front of my mother.

After that, finding the old wasps nest up there was anti-climatic.


Home again

I bought this house in Fall, 2008, and took possession on Halloween... I hope that didn't jinx me!

The house was built in 1928, and is a block away from the shore of Lake Erie. The house has a lot of great features, like the original trim and doors, good layout, a large lot, and a GREAT location.

The house also needs a LOT of work, which should keep me busy over the next few years, and hopefully, will keep YOU entertained! Wish me luck!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...