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The Major Renovation: Closets, cabinets and moving day

This is how the week of May 18 shaped up.

Day 45:  Victoria Day Holiday

Monday May 18

The contractors had let us know that they were going to be on another job over the holiday weekend and would not be returning to our project until Wednesday.  After the cabinet maker dropped off the upper cabinets.  I headed out to one of the big box stores (they are all a blur to me now) to purchase shelving for our closet.  Later, I assembled the Cubeicals for our daughter’s bedroom and we started moving a few things upstairs.

Day 46:  Upper cabinets in kitchen

Tuesday May 19

As expected, the contractors were still at their side job.

I was installing the shelving and storage towers in our closet when the town’s bylaw enforcement officer dropped by for a quick chat about the state of our front lawn.  One of the contractors usually parked his truck on the lawn, for convenient access to his tools.  It’s really hard to cut grass when there is a truck parked on it.   I didn’t have that excuse today and in fact, it was already on my “to-do” list.  But the visit by the officer was the kick in the butt that I needed to take a break from my work inside and get some fresh air.

The cabinet maker began installing the upper cabinets and discovered that he had made an error in measurement.  He would have to build another box to fill a 10 inch gap.  My wife and I decided on an open shelf, suitable for a few cookbooks.

kitchen cabinets
The upper cabinets have been installed.

Day 47:  Moving day

Wednesday May 20

The contractors were back on the job on Wednesday.  Their focus was to get the hallway ready to lay the tile on Thursday and Friday.  We were going to be heading down the highway to visit the in laws and would be out of their way on those days.  The tile would have the entire weekend to set up before we returned.  Because this was our last day before leaving, it was our last opportunity to move stuff from storage and get the bedrooms ready.

Next time I might consider another mover

We hired the same mover that we used to move the stuff from my Dad’s house into storage last year.  I figured that since they were the ones that crammed the stuff into the storage unit, they might as well be the ones to get it out.  We scheduled the move for 9:30.  They were an hour and a half late.  Had I known they were going to be late, I could have used that time to pick up our daughter’s new mattress.  That would have saved me about half an hour on the way home.

This was not my first negative experience with this mover.  When I moved from my apartment to my first house back in 1996, I had hired this same company.  It was a small move.   There was more than enough time to accomplish it before I had to be at work for the afternoon shift.  But they were running more than hour behind at that time, too. Rather than risk being late for work, I cancelled them and hired another company for the next day.   That company showed up on time and completed the move in 2 hours.  Unfortunately, they no longer appear to be in business.

The lengthy delay in the morning set the tone for the entire day.  There was simply too much to do and not enough time to do it and we had to run some other errands to get ready for our road trip on Thursday.  At the end of the day, the state of the house was far from perfect, although we managed to get the guest room in order and set up the new mattress in our daughter’s room.  Wednesday night marked the first night that our daughter slept in her own bed in her own room in this house since we first moved in six years ago.  I guess that in itself is a major milestone worth celebrating.

Cool angles in the kid’s room.

Day 48 and 49:  Work continues while we’re away

Thursday May 21- Friday May 22

The contractors continued working on our house while we were hundreds of miles away visiting my wife’s family.  We returned home Sunday night to find that the contractors had indeed laid the tile in the kitchen and in the hallway as planned.  Sunday marked the first night of a two month visit by my mother and father-in-law.

We had managed to keep the extent of the renovations a secret in order to surprise them.  Unfortunately, the extent of the construction still going on was also a surprise.  It’s hard to say at this point exactly how they felt about the whole chaotic nature of our house, though they seemed impressed.

tile floor
Tile floor in kitchen.

Kitchen tile looks good

Once again, it is my wife who deserves the credit for the color choice.  The tile works really well with the cabinets, and the bold wall color makes everything pop.  (The tile has not yet been grouted.  That will be one of the last things the contractors do on this renovation).

Progress in the hallway

The contractors had applied several coats of drywall compound in the hallway, to unitize the mix of new drywall with the old button board and plaster.

They also finished removing the heavy stucco on the ceilings going down to the back landing and down to the basement.

The transitions between the old wall and new drywall. Also, notice the smooth ceiling which had been coated with thick stucco.

So on Sunday night, while we gave the in-laws a tour of the renovation, we were also getting our first look at the latest developments.

This post contains content consolidated from 2 posts originally published May 2 and May 28, 2009. Revised 2018