The kitchen reno has been moving slowly lately. After our holiday guests left, we had to wait on our permits to get approved. Emmett was pretty much stuck and waiting around until the city gave us the go-ahead. Despite the waiting, things have changed A LOT since my last update… click through to see what’s going on now!
In case you missed the first two updates, find them here: Kitchen Update #1 // Kitchen Update #2
Since we’ll be installing brand new appliances (yay!!!), our outdated electrical setup wouldn’t be able to handle everything without being a major fire hazard. We bit the bullet and forked over some serious cash for new electrical upgrades, and lots of insulation to make our home safe and efficient. It’s funny… this part of the process is Emmett’s favorite. It’s all about the time consuming work that you CAN’T see or won’t even notice, but is 100% necessary. Is it pretty and exciting? Not in the slightest, but it’s absolutely imperative. He’s all about doing things the right way- from the ground up.
This part of the reno also involves lots of waiting. After pulling permits, we had to schedule the inspection. You never know how those are going to go, or what the inspector will make you upgrade or change. Our home and it’s ‘original’ quirks often cause problems- or at least there are things that aren’t up to Emmett’s standards. For weeks, he was so nervous about the first inspection. I’m happy to say, the inspection went great and we’re now able to move onto the second phase (whew)!
Speaking of permits and inspections, I’ve had some people reach out on Instagram and ask about Emmett’s day job. Contrary to popular belief, he’s not a contractor. His real job is accounting, believe it or not. Ha! I have been encouraging him to test to get his contractor’s license… he does all of the work anyway, so it’s kind of crazy that he’s not able to pull our own permits. Every state, city, and township is different, but we try to do things by the books and permits are necessary sometimes.
Alright- back to the kitchen… the biggest thing you’ll notice in this update is the drywall. Emmett began framing new walls and hanging drywall (which looks amazing), but the majority of the work happened behind the drywall. Obviously he spent A LOT of time and money bringing our electrical up to code. It was super outdated and hadn’t been touched since the 50’s.
As far as my reno duties are concerned, I finalized our plans, door style, stain color, and paint color, along with the custom cabinetry features and I’m happy to say the millwork and cabinetry is now in production. Ahhhhh!!!! That’s super exciting news! It feels like this is actually happening, and although we don’t yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, we’re making progress.
I also had to create a new lighting plan. We added hookups for recessed can lights, a sconce above the sink, a chandelier above the dining table, under cabinet lighting, and added all new switch locations. It’s little things like this that make a big difference in functionality. Of course everything will be on a dimmer, because that’s how Emmett rolls. I’m totally ok with that though! The switches are much more intuitive now and better positioned throughout the room.
Other things I need to accomplish this week? I need to choose tile, order hardware, and buy one last light fixture…. three very important decisions that will greatly impact the aesthetic of our kitchen. If you’re wondering what I’m leaning toward- I have NO idea. I’m way behind on designing my own stuff and need to get with it. It’s hard to come back after a holiday or long break, isn’t it? I allowed myself some much needed time off, but now it’s time to get back in the groove. Anyone else feeling that way?
You’ll also notice more demo. We’ve been without a sink since Christmas Eve and we’re pretty much solely eating carryout (not great the for New Year resolutions, argh). What can you do within a sink or oven? Here’s to hoping I don’t gain a hundred pounds. Haha! I’ll take all the cleaning and eating tips you have. Living during a reno is a totally different ballgame. We renovated our previous kitchen while living in a different location, and it was cake compared to this!
That’s pretty much it for now… here’s to knocking this project out in 2018 (maybe even January / February if we’re lucky)! I can’t wait to show you the fun stuff and dive further into the process.
Katie RJanuary 3, 2018 at 7:10 am
Cooking and eating during a kitchen reno is even harder than the actual work involved in the reno! We ate a lot of slow cooker meals, local deli for easy components (premade sides, rotisserie chicken, etc), and super basic meals that could be made in a toaster oven. I’ve vowed that we’ll have a hot plate for the next reno so we can at least boil water or scramble eggs!
As for washing dishes, everything clearly had to be done by hand so we used lots of paper and recyclable products and bought a small tub for washing on the bathroom counter (dumping waste water down the toilet so it didn’t clog the sink or shower). This is the kind of tub we have and still use for camping https://redgorillausa.com/collections/flexible-gorilla-tubs/products/small-shallow-gorilla-tub-4-gal
SarahJanuary 3, 2018 at 8:51 am
I agree! It’s really really tough. Thanks so much for your amazing suggestions!!
SarahJanuary 3, 2018 at 8:54 am
I love reading about the ‘guts’ of the reno just as much as I love seeing the pretty stuff at the end. I find it interesting finding out what kind of insulation people choose, whether or not they upgrade their old cast iron waste stack, waterproofing for bathrooms, what type of can lights, etc that they use! haha
Anyway, love to see the updates!
SarahJanuary 3, 2018 at 9:21 am
So glad to hear that! We have plenty of guts to share. haha!!
ColleenJanuary 3, 2018 at 10:29 am
My kitchen renovation, like most, took double the time I expected. I bought one of these and did dishes in the bathtub so I didn’t have to use paper/plastic.
For meals, I had a microwave, toaster oven (trader joes frozen pizzas are marginally less unhealthy than delivery?), and a LOT of salads.
Best of luck!
SarahJanuary 3, 2018 at 10:51 am
Thanks so much, Colleen! Buying one of those amazing dishpans right now- that might be a game changer!
DebbieJanuary 3, 2018 at 11:15 am
I tried every item on the Siam Pad Thai menu during our reno. That and the kindness of friends. Have you checked out that instant pot? I am thinking about getting one.
SarahJanuary 3, 2018 at 11:51 am
I am becoming all too familiar with our local carryout options. Haha! The instant pot is in the mail on the way to me now. I’ll let you know if I like it! xo
HeatherJanuary 3, 2018 at 12:19 pm
During our kitchen renovation, I used my slow cooker almost every day. It was dead of winter, and with no central heat because we had to gut the ceilings so it was all turned off, a hot stew or baked macaroni was such a warming treat in a freezing cold house! I would just throw it all in before work and then clean up consisted of using the garden hose out back for a quick rinse and the bathroom sink for the actual wash! It wasn’t perfect, but we made it through!
StacyJanuary 3, 2018 at 6:09 pm
God bless you two and keep the humor! Miss you sweetie!
SarahJanuary 4, 2018 at 8:52 am
Ha! Humor is definitely a must. In some situations, all you can do is laugh. xox
ErinJanuary 3, 2018 at 9:03 pm
We lived off of Trader Joe’s Salads and wraps during our Reno, they’re pretty good!
SarahJanuary 4, 2018 at 8:53 am
We currently have a stack of the TJ salads. haha! Love them.
ArdithJanuary 4, 2018 at 1:01 am
Wow, beautifully designed guts galore, so I tip my fedora to Emmett. His work is very impressive. Also impressive are the great recommendations from other commenters. It’s always a treat to come here for a visit. Thank you all and cheers, Ardith
P.S. I’ve also lived through some adventuresome renos, but I can’t come close to ideas that top these excellent solutions. We just barreled through…I don’t remember how.
SarahJanuary 4, 2018 at 8:55 am
Thanks, Ardith! He’s a perfectionist for sure. And yes- 100% agree… everyone has the BEST tips. Sort of like you, we just started the reno without planning or thinking about things- like how to make living through it easier. Ha!
rJanuary 4, 2018 at 12:55 pm
Get a hotplate so you can still cook. We made a lot of sandwiches, soup, and eggs and washed our dishes in the bathroom sink.
SarahJanuary 4, 2018 at 2:52 pm
I’m thinking that needs to happen! Our appliances just got backordered. Argh.
sjpJanuary 11, 2018 at 4:40 pm
Are the wood samples in your photos for cabinets or floors? I’m stuck on two mid-tone stains and it is freaking me out! Afraid I’m going to end up with just plain painted white again since I’m so darn indecisive.
SarahJanuary 11, 2018 at 5:07 pm
The samples are for the cabinetry! Good luck :) xox