7/6/2015: Kitchen renovation — appliances

Listen up you guys, appliances were delivered today which means we’re almost done. Hopefully by the end of the week?  Last thing I want to do is pull a Judith and tell you our kitchen is gonna be done and then not be done for another month.

Management chose all the appliances.  Did a bunch of research on Consumer Reports and then ordered all of them online from Sears.  The range came from Home Depot.  All in we spent like $6,500.  Gonna put a 32″ flat screen TV above the fridge.

All I asked for is a fridge with an ice maker in the door, which I got.  Thing looks like you could climb in then blast off to Jupiter.  Eat crushed ice the whole way there.

6/25/2015: Kitchen renovation – countertops 

Lots and lots of decisions being made on the kitchen lately. Went to LeaMar Industries in Marlborough last week to choose countertops. Never heard of this place in my life but it’s a football-sized warehouse filled with stone slabs.

Walked into the place and told the guy I was looking for countertops.  He said are you the decision maker?  I said are you kidding me?  Do a lot of husbands come in here and say that shit?  He laughed like a bastard, then we waited quietly for Management to arrive.


So Mike took us through the warehouse.  We told him we’re looking for inexpensive marble.  He said I got you brotha — so I knew we were straight.  Mike showed us about 10 slabs of carerra and they all pretty much looked the same.  Some different veining, some shiney, some honed.  No real rhyme or reason on pricing — kinda like cabinets you guys.  The price scale is alphabetical and the slab is graded based on color, where it came from, etc..  The slabs Management & I liked the best were actually the least expensive.  We wound up choosing a marble called Grigio Adriatico with a honed finish.

Weird thing about countertops is you don’t know how much you’re spending until your cabinets & island are measured by the installer.  Pete told us to expect to buy 3 slabs and pay around $5k — which was pretty accurate.  The 3 slabs cost $5300.  Remember we went way over budget on the Home Depot cabinets so the entire cost of the countertops is above-budget.  Countertops are set to go in sometime next week.

6/19/2015: Kitchen renovation – cabinets

A few weeks back, Management and I took a field trip to Lamson Lumber in Hudson to pick cabinets.  Pete met us there and we worked with a guy named Dusty, who already had the kitchen layout and seemed to know what’s up. He showed us a few different styles and helped us pick some white, wood Kraftmaid cabinets.

You guys are probably saying hey can’t you buy Kraftmaid at Home Depot?  Yes – yes you can. But we went to this place instead. I think because Dusty is good and works a lot with our countertop guy Jamie. I pretty much had no idea what was going on. Was like high school all over again.

Before you know it, Dusty was like ok that comes to $18,000. Huh?  How did we get there?  We went $3k over our cabinet budget but somehow didn’t get high-end cabinets.  Pete and Dusty kept saying well you have a shitload of cabinets.  I didn’t see one price tag or a calculator but everyone agreed cabinets were $18k. Um…ok?

Anywho cabinets are being installed in the next few days. Think they will look nice but again I just have no idea.  I feel like when someone says cabinets I just blink and nod my head a lot.

6/18/2015: Kitchen renovation – mudroom

Sheetrock and plaster was done earlier in the week.  So Pete decided to knock out the mudroom today.  Pete is not a general contractor, he’s a builder.  He doesn’t show up for a few hours each week and tell the subs what to do.  He builds shit.  There was nothing in this room at 7am this morning.  Now we have a great mudroom.  Management is so excited her texts are all emoticons.  Salsa dancing.  Beer mugs.  All kinds of stuff. 🍔🍻👌🎉

6/10/2015: Kitchen renovation — thanks you guys

Just a quick shout out to everyone that’s hosted us for dinner or brought over food while we’re out of a kitchen.  Had some great meals and times with the old gang on the street. Another reason I love Randlett Park.  I mean people have brought over dinner, desserts, breakfast stuff — even a sixer of Coors Light. I think about it and get a little dusty and am like — aw you guys….


5/26/2015: Kitchen renovation – plumbing 

Onto plumbing this week. Our boiler is in good shape and we’re using toe kick heaters, so this job isn’t nearly as big as it could be. Radiators and old cast iron pipes have been ripped out. This bathroom has found a new home.

Gotta say I’ve been amazed how much duct tape the plumber has been using. Just going through reams of the stuff. Where I would have used pvc, a 2×4 or even cement – this guy is just covering shit in duct tape. Fine craftsmanship indeed.

5/8/2015: Kitchen renovation — framing

Foundation is poured and back filling all the dirt is done.  We’re on to framing.

Hey — you guys remember when the Pats lost week 4 to the Chiefs 41-14?  And the next day all Bill Belichick would say is We’re on to Cincinnati?  That’s us.  We’re on to framing.


So if you ask about the new dumpster — gonna tell you we’re on to framing.  Choosing cabinets?  We’re on to framing.  Appliances?  On to framing.

4/30/2015: Kitchen renovation — excavation

So they brought in a backhoe yesterday and laid waste to the backyard.  Ripped out the back stairs and small roof overhead.  Then dug out the perimeter of the new foundation (21×8′) — which is only 5-6′ deep since it will be a crawl space and not a full basement underneath the addition.

I’m kinda encouraged that they were able to bring in a dump truck with trailer and backhoe on top without crushing the driveway.  The real test will be today/tomorrow when they park the 80,000 lbs cement truck on the driveway and start pouring the foundation.

Pete’s been clear from the jump that I’m not allowed to use and/or touch power equipment. Did he talk to the guys at Star Quality Construction that did my front steps last summer?  I mean I thought me & Star Quality made magic together.  Not gonna kill you to leave the backhoe & keys overnight, is it Pete?  When I mix Coors Light and power equipment — wonderful things happen!


4/28/2015: Kitchen renovation — design

So we’re adding a 21×8′ addition off the back of the house to accommodate a new mudroom and half bath.  Also, going to open up the wall (a little) between the kitchen and dining room.  Here’s the new design:

Here’s the rear view.  Adding 2 more windows over the sink.  South-facing so it should let in a lot of light.  The new stairs will be wood — maybe trex?  I don’t know.

And side view.  Our lot is only 7,500 sq/ft — so we didn’t want to make the addition too big and ruin the backyard.

We don’t love the idea of a flat roof over the addition but didn’t have any other options.  We ruled out skylights after this winter.  Last thing we need is water damage you guys.

4/27/2015: Kitchen renovation – cost

So Management & I met with our general contractor, Pete Ekdahl, yesterday.  Kitchen renovation is gonna cost $112k you guys.  This is about what we expected.  We had estimates as high as $150k.

You might be saying whoa that’s a lot for a kitchen — this guy must be made of USDs.  (I’m not.)  We’re doing a 21×8′ addition off the back to make space for a mudroom and half bath. Pete says anytime you do an addition, the price is going to jump up because you’re dealing with foundation, framing, roof, siding, etc..  Makes sense.  We could have renovated the existing space for around $75k, but there wouldn’t have been room for the mudroom and half bath.

Here’s the existing floorplan.  With that stupid half bath next to the stove.

4/25/2015: Kitchen renovation – will the cement truck crush our driveway?

Spoke to our general contractor, Pete, today. Our work has been approved and  we got our permits from the city. The small addition we’re doing off the back of the house fits within the city’s setback requirements. That’s the good news. 

Bad news is when we pour our new foundation, the cement truck may crush our driveway. Pete says the cement truck weighs 80,000 lbs and the excavator thinks our driveway may get smashed to shit. So we have that going for us. 

Kinda feel like there should be an over/under on whether or not it gets smashed. Would love to get some action going on this. 

Meeting with Pete tomorrow morning to go over budget, design and timeline. Hope to have a design to share with you guys next week. 

4/9/2015: Renovating our kitchen

So Management and I are renovating our kitchen.  For real this time.  Not like my blog post from January 2013 when I said it was on.  You guys wouldn’t remember that one. Only person reading the blog back then was Myrna — who told me the writing was good.  Thank you Myrna, but we both know the truth.  We know…

So I’m just gonna blog this renovation the whole way through.  The good, the bad, and the days I walk through the door and say WTF is going on around here?  Gonna tell you who our contractors are. How much we’re spending.  Where we bought cabinets & appliances. How steamed Management is.  Everything.

So let’s start with the “before” shots.  Go ahead, drink it in.

142 kitchen

Yellow formica counters.  Cabinets dating back to the Roosevelt administration.  Linoleum floors WITH duct tape.  Toilet 5 feet from the stove.  Whoever designed this kitchen should be driven out to the Berkshires and left there.

Meeting with our contractor next week to finalize design & budget.  Hope to pull permits in next 2 weeks and be underway soon.  Stay tuned you guys.