Weekly Steamie Kitchen Update…

2|20|15-  we’re creeping up on 10.5 weeks after project start.  finally ALL cabinets have been installed.  HOORAY!  I did a happy dance when I walked in last night to see them all UP on the walls where the are supposed to be.   They are naked cabinets though, as they took the doors off to start prepping & lacquering.   Hopefully in a few days all the boxes will be prepped & lacquered as well.  I’m told the painter is good (Better be!) and the darker color for the lower cabinets may take a few days, as it will require more coats for coverage, and drying time will depend on the weather.  (of course it looks like rain again, that rarity in so-cal, can always be depended upon to show up right when you need dry air!  haha.)
But, the full volume of the kitchen is in place.  It will have a bit of different feel once the cabinets are all in, but at least now you can stand in and around the kitchen and see exactly what we’re getting finally!   It’s TALL and there’s a LOT of cabinets.  which is exactly what we wanted!
The stove and the sink are in.  The rest of the appliances will wait to go in until after painting.
After the cabinets they still have some work to get the lights and outlets all in… then the counters, backsplash & overall touch up and we’ll be DONE!
I can’t wait to re-load.  I have NO idea where we’ll put everything, and how to decide which rarely used items get shoved way up in the upper cabs, but we have a TON of cabinet space up there, so we’ll be sure to put it to good use.  (Like maybe some of those kitchen items I have stashed in the hall closet can come to live in the kitchen finally!)
I’m still bummed about a few details that got lost in translation from our plans to the actual execution- so some things might not fit as I had planned (darn it, poor vitamix!!)  but I think we’ll survive.  And after already waiting over 10 weeks to get to this point, we’re sure as hell not going to wait for them to remake everything, so it’s the time in the process to concede on a few things, and carry on.    They were able to accommodate some of our original preferences (like a printer in the drawer, and power in the long cabinets for appliances) so everything should shake out & find it’s new home.
Hopefully the painting goes smoothly, and the pretty new look will come together quickly from here on out!

Weekly Steamie Ktichen Update

02|13|15-  after being told they would measure on Monday the 9th, Friday at non- I showed up again without being asked, actually- more like I showed up specifically after being told NOT to…    right as the sub contractor who was measuring for the countertops was leaving.  I asked him- hey did you have any questions, he said “nope” and was packing up his truck.  I walked in and asked a few questions to the cabinet guys, and they quickly brought him back in- and we clarified a few big items I was concerned they might miss (and would have if I hadn’t shown up!)  Another reminder to always go with your gut, as they project manager insisted he had relayed all info, and that I didn’t need to be present when the measured.
Let’s hope those counters come out PERFECT!!!  :)
But first, those darn cabinets need to get finished up!  Nearly all the bones are in place- today is the 17th, and I stopped by at 9am- they had the upper cabinets and the panel around the fridge up- which makes it feel like we’re extra close now.  But in our typical “2 steps forward, 2 steps back” fashion- the long cabinets that were already installed, had to be taken down, be rebuilt.  (They didn’t build them per our design intent).

The kitchen saga continues (allow me to whine a bit)

2|05|15- after another week of failed promised.  (Cabinets would be DONE on Jan 30th, Painting to begin on the 2nd…)   Yet again, I bounded to the house with optimism, only to discover NOTHING had been done.  I could tell people have been there, but only because things were more apart & strewn about… not because anything looked closer to completion.

So I called, and called and called, no responses, AGAIN from our disappearing contractor.
So instead of calling him, I moved on to calling a lawyer.  I spoke with two lawyers, they both advised me to present the contractor with letters to formally document my complaint, and to let them know if the work was not finished by the agreed upon date, we would have to take legal action.
With no response still at the time, suddenly, when I use the term “legal action” there was a flurry of activity.  He messaged me that they’ll be working that day. That they’ve given up on the cabinet shop who’d been making the cabinets, and would be constructing the rest of them on site.  That everything would be done that week.
Another project manager from the company then contacted me to let me know he would be taking over to see our project to completion.  Within minutes of him calling, we met at the house.  I brought him extra sets of the plans, and images of some of the items I was just not sure they were clear on. We met for over an hour and half.  He was professional, apologized & said he’d work to make sure we were happy with out final product.  His conservative estimate would be 3 more weeks of work before the kitchen would be finished.   From the 5th- an additional 3 weeks puts us at Feb 27th completion (Original estimated date was Jan 15th).
So, we’ll  roll with this new plan.  Moving forward I’m being vigilant about getting  daily updates and I’ve made sure they know I will stop in to the house daily either at lunch or after work to check on the progress.  Thankfully so far, they are working daily,  but I’m still not confident in that final completion date- but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, and reassess next week.  Once they complete the millwork- the painting and other finishes should go fast (right!?)

Remodel in progress… and still… in progress…

1|27|15  – So last week was a HECK of a week.  This marks week 7 on kitchen remodel timeline. 7.  SEVEN.
There has been DRAMA.  There have been tears, yelling, and general rage induced hysteria on my end.  Without the gory details, let’s just say, there was some major blatant non-responsiveness from the contractor once it became apparent the cabinets would not be finished as initially promised.  (We were told they would be arriving on site the first week of January).
If there’s one thing that riles me up to MAXIMUM sass, it’s being ignored.  Maybe it’s a latent only child trait, but you MUST pay attention to me!!!  haha.
After literally 4 weeks with 1 day total of actual work, and minimal communication as to the reason, the cabinets actually arrived! I walked up to the house SO excited.  And was immediately deflated as I stepped into the living room, and I took one glance at the cabinets laying everywhere.  I could tell instantly. they just weren’t right.  While the correct style, simple not the right layout at all.
With no answers to my phone calls, I may have had to ambush our contractor.  I “pulled a Jamie” as my family would say (I have a history for showing up unannounced when I deem it necessary, charming trait, I’m sure)  – I popped up unannounced on a job site where I knew our contractor was working.    While he did seem surprised & apologetic, he still failed to get me any updated that night as he promised.  But the next day there were some correct cabinets in our kitchen.  I say only “Some” as those that were there were still not 100%  but they were closer, and for now, I’ll have to embrace that as progress, rather than focus on all the things that sill need to get done.
slowly chugging a long.
The cabinets that are onsite now do look nice, and we had a long meeting yesterday (which he did actually show up for- albeit 20 mins late) and I think we’re squared away on all the remaining pieces they need to finish (or rather actually start!).
My inner optimist is trying to creep back out after being bashed over the head with the rage I felt last week.  And I’m starting to day dream & get excited again for the final product.  I can’t wait to load up those cabinets with our pretty glasses and wooden bowls galore.  And a may NEED some new tea towels just for the cuteness factor.
We picked out our final appliance today- the Fridge!  It’s NOT an happy task to find a side-by-side fridge that is counter depth that isn’t some horrifically expensive built in model.   A built in would have been beautiful, but the budget was NOT allowing that.  So we found a reasonably priced fridge with good capacity & reviews, and we went for it.

Kitchen progress…

01|06|2015 –  While this kitchen project is really only a little over a month (well allegedly, I guess we wont know till it’s actually done), it feels like it’s taking FOREVER.  But maybe I’m just antsy to spread out some cookies on those new counters! We’re still excited to see the changes each step of the way, and can’t wait for the cabinets to arrive soon.  Things will take shape pretty quickly after that (I hope), and soon we’ll be ready to cook and enjoy the new space!

Here’s some progress pictures of the new space, with all drywall and electrical in.  The higher ceilings, and no wall between the kitchen & dining room already make the space seem so much more open & brighter.  I know it will still look different once the cabinets are all in, but overall already it’s a big improvement!  We opted to keep our existing floor- so hopefully it will work with the new cabinet layout!  *fingers crossed*

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Still plenty of holes and strange things that remind me we have a ways to go before completion & a dust free home again.  But at least they answer my question about our little house having any insulation on the exterior walls!  There is it… (but it doesn’t explain why it’s so COLD in there!)

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We also went hunting for countertops the day after Christmas.  We’ll be going with a solid white quartz material for the main kitchen, and then doing a white/gray marble for the bar counter & backsplash.   It was really neat to go marble shopping in the giant warehouse down the street!  I just keep saying I wanted a big warehouse of my very own!  haha.  This pic is one slab we were ogling- it had these faint blue traces and I loved it.  But still waffling since classic Carrera marble still calls to me too!  Once the counters arrive we can take the real measurements and make the final selection!

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Happy New Year!

IMG_2570Happy New Year!
Welcome 2015!  Team Steamie is ready for ya!
We spent our new years eve snuggling (aka being the human mattress) while our Teeny Steamie sweated and slept off her mystery fever.  Poor babe, nothing is more sad than looking at those little eyes all glossy & cheeks all flushed with sickness.  But thankfully she perked up on the 1st, and so far has been her happy (and feisty) self for the new year.
Cheers to all the adventures to come in the new year.

2014 | Recap

Before we get knee deep in the adventures of the new year, I wanted to do a little reflection on what 2014 brought us!
January  |  Steve was awarded City Employee of the year!  (Go Steve!!)
February |  We sold the condo we’d been renting out for 3 years.   But first It got a pretty new kitchen for the new owner to enjoy!  (clearly we like to start kitchen renovations in Decembers!!)
March |  Paid off student loans!  HOORAY for that.  Only took me 10 year post graduation, but I’d say it was worth it, and honestly if I had to do it over again, I would have probably borrowed a bit more, and lived in nicer apartments!  haha- but hindsight is 20/20 right!?  :)  So long Sallie Mae!
April | Celebrated our darling little girl’s first birthday!  What a milestone for our little family.  So fun to see all the changes a year brings, and celebrate our little miss!
September | I got a new job- which means way less [so far none] traveling for me, so more time at home with my hubby & baby!
October | Rang in Team Steamie’s 4th wedding anniversary- in the same suite we stayed at during  our wedding weekend at the LAAC!  Love that hotel, and running around downtown for a weekend!
December | Commenced with the kitchen remodel!  That project won’t wrap up till later in January- but the prepping, planning and demo started in Dec and led us to finish 2014 with dust & excitement of pretty new things to come!
Not too bad for one little year.  It’s always crazy to look back and see how quickly things change each year.

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