As a birthday present, our brother in law Ben flew up from Tennessee to help Pat with the kitchen for 4 days. They tackled so much in that short amount of time! There are some things with a kitchen renovation that are impossible to do without a second set of hands, so his presence (and sweat) was an incredibly generous gift. They started with the pantry wall, which if you remember from before, had a really weird configuration of cabinetry.
They had to change the wall vent so we could add lower cabinets. Best we can guess, the wall vent was the reason for the weird configuration before. Seemed like a silly reason to waste so much potential cabinet and counter space, but that’s all we can figure.
Pat and Ben worked 12 hour days, subsisted on a diet primarily of Whoppers and beer, and basically slept on drywall dust. But, they got almost all of the cabinets up and a few side panels also.
You can see the secret spice cabinet in this video Ben sent:
Pat bought this laser level tool that has been worth its weight in gold. He has used it to install baby gates, keep lines straight on tile, and do multiple other projects.
Here’s a view from the foyer. You can see where the coat closet once stood, and how they widened the doorway.
The next big step was to install hardwood floors to match the existing floors. The previous owners had recently refinished the floors in the living room and the small bedroom (nursery). That worked out well for us (though it seemed kind of weird to do only part of the house), as we only had to move everything out of the other two bedrooms upstairs when we had the remaining floors and stairs refinished. Pat bought unfinished wood from Lumber Liquidators, rented a few tools, and got to work. Ben was gone by this point, but thankfully Drew helped!
Kitties had to check out the space. They approved.
We then packed a suitcase and headed over to EJ & Amanda’s house. They were going to Chicago to visit family for Thanksgiving, so we house sat. It was SO NICE to have a kitchen and stay in their home for the holiday. (Thank you again, friends!!!) The flooring company came in to refinish the existing floors, and to put a natural finish on the recently installed raw wood. This was the first of only three tasks that we ended up hiring out. (The other two were moving the gas line and installing countertops.) Refinishing is possible to DIY, but after factoring in the cost of tool rental, we opted to pay someone else. Next on the list: installing the appliances and getting countertops!