After a Long Labor – A Kitchen is Emerging!

It seems like forever since we’ve had use of a kitchen (in truth it’s been exactly one month ago today that the work on the kitchen began, although Victor and I actually started preparing on Dec. 17 by cleaning out all the lower cupboards and moving everything out in preparation for what was to come. We had no idea that it would be over a month before we could once again have use of our kitchen.

First the hazmat team arrived and completely sealed off the room so that when they removed the asbestos linoleum, none of the airborne particles would escape into the atmosphere. An inspector working for the Bay Area Air Quality Control Board made an unannounced inspection during this process and was very satisfied with how the workman had sealed the area.

Then the removal of the damaged sub-flooring began exposing the crawl space below the house (and also the fact that there were no supporting joists in the floor! The Christmas holidays were upon us, so there was no work for about a week.  The huge hole in the kitchen floor was covered with a thin sheet of plastic that bubbled up into a dome whenever the wind outside would pick up. In order to do laundry, we had to make sure we were very conscious not to accidentally side-step into the hole as we walked through the kitchen on a narrow path to the laundry room.

Hole in Kitchen Floor

Once the holidays were over, work once again began.  I have to say that I am really impressed with the work of these contractors. They installed new floor joists and a new sub-flooring, making the kitchen floor probably the sturdiest in the house.

They also built up the wall between the kitchen and the living room. The old wall was a countertop that was supposed to serve as a breakfast bar. I have never used it and I’ve been wanting to get rid of it for the past 30 years that I’ve lived here!  Now it’s gone and I actually have a wall that I can use in the living room and also a wall that will provide a back-splash in the kitchen!

Once the wall was built and an electrical switch was moved (another irritation I’ve been living with for 30 years) the painter arrived and repainted the kitchen and laundry area a light butter creme yellow and also painted the wall in the living room. The following pictures are going clockwise around the kitchen.

Kitchen Wall where Sink, Cupboards & stove top will go

Cupboards, Stove Top & Corner Cupboard

Oven and Laundry Room

Laundry Room & Furnace/Water Heater Closet

And TODAY… one month after the work began, we almost have a kitchen again.  Victor and I went with the contractor today to pick out the counter top, the dishwasher and the garbage disposal while the workmen started custom-building the cabinets.  Here are some progress pictures.

Carpenter building out cabinet

Carpenters Building Cabinets

Carpenters Building Cabinets

And here is what it looked like when they left this afternoon.

New Countertop w/opening for dishwasher

Closeup of new countertop

Tomorrow morning they will be here at 8 AM and they actually think they can finish the job.  They have to cut the countertop and install the sink and the stove top, and permanently install the countertop (right now it’s just resting on top of the cabinets.  They also will be installing the plumbing, the new dishwasher, the garbage disposal and do the finishing work on the cabinets.

On Monday, they should install our new floor and voila! We will have a new kitchen!!

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