Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 6: How It All Began

Day: 6
Schedule: A Little Behind
Prognosis for Survival: Improved

Six days in, I finally start to record this. In case we don't make it through this alive, I should begin at the beginning. This is a record of the remodeling of a kitchen (but not just a kitchen) in a 74-year-old (relatively unremarkable) house in Hyattsville. As I begin this blog, about 25% of the main living space is inaccessible. The fridge is in the living room, as is most of the dinning room. To get to the laundry, we have to go outside to the basement door. The dog doesn't know what to do; neither do the kids; nor do I ... thus I'm blogging.

[Insert Time Warp Sound Effect]

Day: −5070
Schedule: Only a Consideration
Prognosis for Survival: Good

It's June 2000: We just bought the house. After a search of neighboring areas, we ended up in a house a few blocks away from where we ended up when we returned to Maryland in 1998. Bits were dated, but the house didn't exhibit any major problems, the gardens were nice, there was a pond and a patio, and it was well priced.

Even at that point, the kitchen was identified as something that needed work. The house had been built in 1940 and had been through several owners. The kitchen had been redone in the 1980s or so. Harvest gold stove. Dropped ceiling with hidden fluorescent lights. No door covering the stairway to the basement. Kitchen remodels can be expensive, so the flaws were noted but nothing done.

Fast forward through the years: We make various improvements. A new roof. New gutters and siding. A new water heater. We paint. We replace the windows. The pond is filled in and the patio removed. The upstairs bathroom is redone (new tile for the floor and new fixtures. We replace the AC and furnace (twice). We rebuild the front porch. We buy the empty lot next door and tear out two decades worth of vegetation (including lots of poison ivy) that had grown over the former property line. Some painting, changed light fixtures, etc. In the kitchen, we replace the range. We replace the dishwasher. We replace the garbage disposal (twice).

Circa 2001Circa Last Week

Day: −150
Schedule: Soon to be Set
Prognosis for Survival: Good

November 22, 2013, we start meeting with the contractor for the project. There is talk of walls moving, french doors, a deck, the floor, the ceiling, appliances, and more. We meet regularly over the next few months at the house, at the cabinet place, at the lumber yard, with specialists. Decisions are made. Compromises are few. The budget is high. The wishlist narrows. Decisions are made. A contract is signed. Permits are secured. Work begins ... (to be continued)

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