About Me

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I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and businesswoman with a passion for life. I try to keep my priorities in life straight - Faith, Family, Friends. I love to try new and challenging things, spend time with friends and family, sew, embroider and laugh. I run a custom apparel decorating business from my home. I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Remodel the Kitchen 101: Oh, the things we learn.

 We are at  two months into this project.  I took the before photos on February 18 and deconstruction began the next day.  To say I have learned A LOT during this renovation of our cooking/eating space would be a gross understatement.  Without an excessive amount of whining, I will try and touch on the major lessons I learned. 

These photos illustrate a problem we didn't know we had until it was discovered about a year or two after the house was built.  I feel very blessed I am married to an intelligent, and skilled man.  He entered the garage on several occasions only to smell something that wasn't quite right.  After investigating, he discovered:  The plumbers hired when the house was built back in 1979 had cut a hole in the drywall and vented our stove vent directly into the wall.  Note the melted vapor barrier and singed insulation.  I shudder to think what could have happened if Rick hadn't fixed the problem by venting it properly.
NOTE:  Double, triple and watch over workers.  They may act like they know what they are doing, but in some cases, haven't got a clue.  Hire those you know are capable.

Next lesson, or should I say, frustration- the floor.
Things seemed to be going along rather well.  I had researched flooring options and made the decision to use carbonized bamboo.  It is one of the hardest, most durable floors and I like the fact that bamboo is replanted and ready to harvest in four short years.  I ordered it, no problem.  We made spaces for it to acclimate to the environment. still no issue.  We also purchased underlay, as suggested by the salesman when we picked up the flooring. And that is where the problem began. 
My brother, the contractor we hired, is a skilled, dedicated carpenter with over twenty-five years experience.  He's my go to guy when we need that type of work done in our home.  Anyway, he had a terrible time getting the floor to go in and look good.  Bamboo is a hard wood and he went to the website and read their directions, followed their recommendations and began. He questioned the use of the under lay, but the website and the salesman was adamant about it's use. It's a good thing he is not a swearing man, 'cause it might have sounded like I a had a sailor in my house.  He worked and struggled and still the floor would not install properly.  What he thought should take 3 days for all the flooring, turned into three days and less than half finished.  And neither of us was happy with the way it looked.  It was uneven, had dimples [bulges where the nails went] and in general, looked terrible.  We both knew these would wear quickly and I was feeling quite sick to my stomach.  I called the company.  Try a different nail gun.  So I went to a local rental agency and rented a tool that was recommended. 
'That will $40 for the tool and $3000 for the nails."  Well, you can imagine my reaction to that request.  "I am NOT paying $3000 for nails on a $3000 floor.  I will rip the entire thing out and use a different floor before I spend that.  It's just not good math.  I'll buy a few nails to see if this works on the floor."  So I took two sleeves of nails and left the store.  Sure enough, the salesman made a mistake [really?] and had called my home before I left town.  We tried the new tool- didn't work any better.  We called the company again and I made a special trip to purchase the tool they sold, about 50 miles from my home.  When that tool couldn't handle the job, we made the decision.  Rip it all out!  I knew I couldn't live with a disaster of a floor for the next twenty years.  My contractor brother talked to all the experts he knows about our issue with the floor.  All said the same thing - Never use that under lay with bamboo.  The Quiet Walk sold to us was rolled up, rosin paper replaced it and the floor went it as he knew it should.  LESSON:  Trust your instincts, not the salesman.  He probably works on commission.   
More on lessons in my next blog.

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