Kitchen Remodel – It’s Never Over

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IMG_9363 (1024x768) If you’ve ever gone through a remodel, you know that just because the lockbox comes off the door and sign gets taken off your lawn, it’s not over. We had a bunch of small issues like molding separating from the ceiling, the instant-hot tasting metallic and a wonky faucet head.

Last week the guys who installed the fireplace surround had to come back and fix the top section of the surround, which was tipping back into the wall, causing the caulking to come off.

IMG_9364 (747x1024) When they arrived, they were able to fix it (vs. replace it, thank goodness) by using suction tools and a wedge of scrap wood (there’s a word for this….shim? I just looked it up and I think that’s right) behind the piece to keep it from falling back again. So far it seems to be working. There is the slightest bit of separation, but as long as it doesn’t get any worse, we’re good.

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New cap

You know I love my central vacuum, so I was very excited to use the new outlet that was rerouted in the kitchen area. I go to pull down the cap and….nothing. No suction. And on top of that, the new cap does not fit our very old vacuum unit (the guy who came over to install it looked at our vacuums, so don’t blame me!).

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Old cap

I called him to let him know (he didn’t believe me and I had to take the above pics to send him. oy) and lucky for me, the old caps we have are no longer being sold because the unit we have is so old. SO…they are going to “make good” by replacing our hose and all seven caps in the house.

IMG_9280 (768x1024)The fireplace guys are coming next week (for the actual firebox, not the guys above) to replace a faulty part and to fix the gas release valve (I totally made that up). Ever since they serviced the unit last week, there has been a six- to ten-second delay from the time the unit is turned on, to the time the flame ignites. When it does turn on, it makes a big “whoosh” sound, sometimes vibrating the glass and scaring the bejeezus out of whoever is standing nearby (usually me or the dog).

Now, if I can only get the carpet guys to deliver that carpet we ordered back in August. sigh






Kitchen Remodel – Week Two: Brickwork, Fireplace, Electrical, Plumbing, Central Vacuum

The demolition crew finished up last Saturday (the 25th).  Week two consisted of electrical work, plumbing, building the fireplace wall and installing the fireplace, installing the vent in the kitchen (above the stovetop/range), relocating the central vacuum vent/pipe and moving the kitchen window.

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New vent (for range) installed and new window placement built out.

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Sawing bricks lengthwise to reuse for window.

IMG_8793 (600x800)IMG_8798 (600x800)The kitchen window was moved eight inches in order to be centered on the inside wall, and to allow for a corner cabinet. A few old vents were removed and a new one was installed. The masons were no-nonsense workers and they got the job done quickly. According to our project manager, the brick used for our house was no longer in production, so they had to mix some newer (longer by an inch, I believe) brick with some of the old brick they were able to reuse.

IMG_8754 (600x800)Sheetrock was delivered at the beginning of the week, but not yet installed.

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Fireplace vent.

IMG_8767 (600x800)And the fireplace and flue were installed. Couldn’t get a photo or peek at the fireplace because of the sheetrock.

IMG_8768 (600x800)Recessed can lights were installed in the family room and kitchen. Four in the family room and seven for the kitchen.

IMG_8762 (600x800)The waterlines in the wall we knocked down were relocated (blue and red) and the central vacuum vent (that gray pipe sticking up) was moved (below pic) to the far wall that adjoins the family room and kitchen.

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New vac vent outlet on kitchen wall (old location was sticking out of the floor near red toolbox).

Speaking of central vacuums, (and after having typed vacuum so many times, I think I may actually remember how to spell it from here on out), have I told you how much I love ours? It’s super powerful, doesn’t spew dust around (there’s a vent running to the backyard where any excess dust goes) and clean-up is easy (I’ve only emptied it twice since we moved in six weeks ago).

The only thing is that the hose is really long, which means it’s kind of a pain to take in and out of the closet (and takes up half the closet). The vacuum guy told me which attachments to use on which surfaces (I’ve been using the wrong one for the hardwood floors – oopsie. I’ll blame the scratches on the dog) and like any good vacuum salesman, talked up the newest central vac system.

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The Turbocat.

There’s “nothing wrong with” our current vacuum, but it’s over 15 years old. And of course their best unit is on sale right now. For just $1200, we can upgrade to a system that is lighter, more powerful and has a head that you don’t have to switch out for different surfaces (I want!). I asked how much it costs to install a central vac system, and I was surprised by the answer: on the low end, roughly $800-$1000 for a house our size. That doesn’t include the actual vacuum or accessories, but still. A lot less expensive than I thought.

I wondered which “regular” vacuum he considered the best, since people seem to love Miele or Dyson (or sometimes another brand).  He said a few things about both (and I get the impression he’s anti-bagless, which would put him in the Miele camp) and said something to the effect of, “I mean, how often do we talk to people about vacuums.” Ummm…obviously he’s unaware of the Facebook post on my page that went on for miles and miles.

We won’t be upgrading our system in the near future (hello, kitchen remodel!). We’re good with our “perfectly fine” (per vacuum guy) Turbocat, thank you.