Saturday, September 28, 2013

Our IKEA Kitchen- Part II: The Demolition

The first step in getting our new kitchen in, was of course taking the old one out. This sounds like a lot more fun that it is. I was kind of looking forward to beating the crap out of the old ugly kitchen- but all the surprises we ran into kind of rained on the parade.
The thing is, my house was built in 1954, and I'm pretty sure every single owner of it since then (I'm not sure how many there have been, but the wall colors sure have changed a million times, I know that much.) has thought they were really good at DIY projects. Except, they thought wrong because every single professional we've had in here- be it plumbers, electricians, general contractors, etc. has been totally left scratching their heads at what the heck whoever last worked on [insert whatever they're here to fix] last was thinking. Good times.
Several things came up that we really had no way of anticipating until we were well past the point of no return. It was super stressful. Anyone who has ever done a home renovation project knows that "surprise" is synonymous with "unexpected and likely large expense." In our case, we've been lucky enough to- for the most part- have at least one family member proficient in just about every area of construction and home renovation and have been able to remedy most things without totally busting the budget. Our timeline, however, has completely gone out the window. That's been frustrating but I've accepted that it is what it is.
Jon started ripping out the floor first. It was just a blond laminate that was pretty ugly. We found this lovely linoleum straight out of the 70's underneath it. Nest he took off the counter tops, and pulled the lower cabinets away from the wall.
Jon's dad and sister came to our rescue for a weekend to help with this part- and oh man was that appreciated or what! The person who built this kitchen seriously LOVED nails. I mean, he loved nails so much that he probably used approximately eleventy billion more nails than what was actually necessary to mount these cabinets. Getting the upper ones off the walls was tricky. Not to mention the fact that being solid wood they're unreasonably heavy as well.
We discovered all kinds of fun stuff.... like the fact that behind pretty much my ENTIRE lower cabinets, there was no wall. There was a giant flippin hole that they covered by...drumroll please... taping a garbage bag over it! Not kidding. Plus, zero sealing of any kind around the duct work for the vent under the cabinets, no insulation whatsoever. I'm talking hollow shell of a wall, made out of trash bag.
We also had a galvanized pipe that was literally about to corrode through any second, so I'm glad we discovered it BEFORE it sprung a leak. I don't think my basement needs to flood any more times. In fact, I *know* it doesn't, because I might lose my dang mind if it ever does again. We've replaced all the main lines since moving in, and have replaced some of the other plumbing along the way, but this pipe was hidden until everything had come off the wall so we had no way of knowing it needed to be replaced.
We also discovered that a lot of the subflooring was in pretty rough shape- another thing we probably should have anticipated with having an older home, but being newbies to all this, we just didn't.
In addition, the walls behind the existing laminate backsplash were in HORRIBLE condition. Literally, crumbling apart. (probably because the lower half of the wall is missing?) We peeled it off and the wall just kind of started falling apart. It was one of those "uhhh... wasn't expecting THAT." moments.
I reached the point I had to just walk away before I lost my mind. I was having one of those days that everything under the sun made me want to cry (pregnancy is stupid like that) and I was feeling 1. super overwhelmed, and 2. super embarrassed to be so emotional and stupid in front of Jon's family. They probably think I'm a super unstable nutcase.
Once we got it all torn out, my kitchen looked.... well... it looked like a total disaster, because that's EXACTLY what it was. It was dirty, and had holes all over, and smelled funky. I had no idea when we started this project how much work it would really be, or how many surprises would come up- or just how rough of shape it was really in to begin with. This renovation was so much more necessary than I ever realized. I'm glad we discovered these issues before they started really causing problems, though. That's a blessing in disguise- even if I did feel totally overwhelmed the entire time.
But, that was it. Everything was out. There was no going back now. We had surprises, but no choice but to deal with it and carry on. It helped knowing that no matter what I was getting a new kitchen. Staying the way it was wasn't an option, period. At the end of all of it, things were going to get put back together... though I can't even begin to tell you how many times along the way I stood in that room, looking at the chaos and destruction, and wondered if I'd ever be able to make dinner again. Who was gonna clean up this mess, anyway?!

Our IKEA Kitchen- Part I: The Professional Planner

Our IKEA Kitchen- Part III: The Install (Coming Soon....)
Our IKEA Kitchen- Part IV: Customer Service [or lack thereof] (Coming Soon...)
Our IKEA Kitchen- Part V: The Finishing Touches (Coming Soon...)
Our IKEA Kitchen- Part VI: In Summary & Review [A look in retrospect] (Coming Soon...)

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