Renovation Diary: Part {Week} 5.....and 6, 7,8, 9, 10.....

Let me start off saying that I am sorry.  I am sorry, because this post is gonna take you a while to get through, unless you just look at the pictures...then you should be done in no time.   But I really hope my blog isn't in that category...I do hope that you really do read it for the content.


Day 29 (April 14) – Subway tile dropped off in anticipation of tomorrows countertop install!  And that’s it, no other actions.

Day 30 (April 15) – Woohoo!!Countertop install day!!!  Finally our kitchen is getting its finishing touches (HAHA, I just jumped into the Delorean and fastforwarded to the future, and I would say that the finishing touches are far, far away...).  After the countertop is installed, the crew will start (allegedly) the tiling and put in our sink faucet.  

The countertop company was supposed to call between 11 am and 1 pm when they are 45 minutes out.  12:30 pm comes and goes and no call….then 1 pm happens...I call JD to see if he’s called the stone company and he tells me the installers just pulled up.  Apparently the installers wrote my number down wrong, after I called and confirmed it this morning AND gave them JD’s number in case I didn’t answer.  Oh well, they are here, that’s the important thing.  They bring in the first piece that goes to the right of the sink, and, wait for it….IT DOESN’T FIT.  What??  What do you mean it doesn’t fit??  Apparently they mean "it won’t work and a new piece will have to be cut".  Fantastic.  

I just don't know what to say...
BUT, thankfully when I went to the layout process, there was plenty of stone left on one of the slabs to make another cut.  BUT (yes, another but), since it was Friday afternoon it wouldn’t be able to be cut until next week.  Big sigh, not happy, but there’s nothing I can do about it.  So they bring in the other 3 pieces and they all go in like a charm and look amazing.  So close, yet so far.  

Piece # 1

Piece # 2

And piece # 3
BUT (yet again) we have a total of 5 pieces of stone…so where’s the last one?  Um, yeah, they cut it wrong too… doesn’t have to be tossed and started over, it just needed to be cut down in size.  Well, that’s good, but still no countertop by the sink for a few more days. 

So this is our temporary wash station for a few more days
Around 4:30 that afternoon, I get a call from the stone company with not so good news.  Apparently, they don’t have the left over quartz from our slabs.  Not sure what happened to it, but I can guarantee there was enough room on one of the slabs and I have pictures to prove it.  BUT, they can’t find it so they have to order more.  Which means we have to wait even longer for the slab to get shipped.  It might get in as early as Wednesday of next week, but no guarantees….Welcome to the weekend.

Other than the countertop drama, the crew did not work today, they had planned on it, but since the countertops are mia, they can’t do much.  Well, actually there’s still plenty for them to do, but they only had tiling on their agenda.  Guess we will find out more on Monday.

Days 31 & 32 (April 16 & 17)– And just like that it’s the weekend and one week past my ‘day in my head’ of when things would be done.  And since it’s Saturday, no work is being done today.  I am, needless to say, anxiously waiting for Monday to roll around to get info on countertops.

Day 33 (April 18) – Funday Monday.  JD calls the countertop people when we hadn’t heard from the by lunch time.  Surprising news there, the material is already in and he is told that someone will call us on Tuesday to set up {another} install date.

Day 34 (April 19) – Around 1 pm on Tuesday, I call the stone company since I hadn’t heard anything regarding install yet and I am told by the scheduler that she will call me back between 3 pm and 5 pm with an install window…….4:45 pm, no word, so JD calls and guess what?  The scheduler has already left for the day and never called us with an install window time.  I am really starting to get aggravated with this company.  But the receptionist tells JD that we are on the schedule between 1 pm and 3 pm on Wednesday (tomorrow).  Fine, whatever, at least we are on the schedule.  

Well even more fantastic news, at 6:00 pm (an hour after they close), the shop manager calls me.  Great, what now?  He says he has concerns about the cabinet measurements and is not sure they are right AND he says the remnant piece of countertop from our original slabs fell and broke and he has no more material.  He says ‘sorry for the bit of inconvenience’.   Wait, what?? There are so many problems with this call that I am absolutely livid.  First, JD and I were told that there were no more remnant pieces of our slab and that new material was ordered on Friday.  So if they ‘found’ our remnant piece, why wasn’t it installed on Monday since it was available on Friday?  I told the shop manager that we were told that more material had been ordered and had arrived on Monday.  He didn’t know of any new material.  Needless to say, I went from being aggravated to being extremely pissed off. 

Around 6:30 pm the customer service representative called me and said ‘the shop manager is here with me and he says you are under the impression that your project has to be started over.’ Where in the world did he get that??  That is not what I said at all.  So I repeated what I had said about her, the customer service rep, telling us that they had ordered new material and why couldn’t they use that since the other had broken.  Well, apparently, they never ordered the new material since the found the old stuff and now we are back to square one.  So, when we talked to someone on Monday and they said the new material had arrived, they basically lied to us.  Not a good look for their company, that’s for sure.  IF we hadn’t already paid for our stone and had it partially installed I would be asking for a full refund at this point and going to a different company.  I do love the look of the stone that has already been installed, but it’s hard to like the company after everything that has happened.  I understand accidents happen, but a lot of this could have been avoided if they had done their job correctly the first time. 

Day 35 (April 20) – Here I am sitting at my computer, typing up this drama waiting for a call back from the customer service rep who promised me she would call me first thing today (Wednesday) with an update….oh, it is only 9:30 am, so maybe she hasn’t gotten into the office yet….

Good news – the crew is back at the house today working on a project that can be completed without the countertops.  They are supposed to be making us a dutch door, working on the barn door for the butler’s pantry, putting together the hutch, and a few other smallish projects.  Can’t wait to get home to see the progress.

11:45 AM – I get a call from the customer service rep saying that the material has been ordered and has been requested to be sent via express or whatever they use to rush shipments of that size.  She says she will call me back as soon as she gets an ETA.

11:50 AM – literally as soon as I hang up with her, the shop manager calls to tell me that they have miraculously found more quartz in the exact style as what our countertops are and can cut it today (It's a miracle.  These countertop people are ridiculous).  But he is not sure of when they can install it.  He says he will contact the customer service rep for working on an install date/time.  At this point, I am the mindset of ‘I’ll just believe it when I see it’. 

2:30 – Customer service rep calls me and leaves a voicemail saying she has talked to the shop manager and it looks like they might be able to get it to us today….sure….call me pessimistic, but sure….

4:45 pm – I get a call from one of the managers and he says my countertop has been cut and is ready for install AND if I’ll be home in about 45 mins, he can have a crew there to install them.  Um, let me think for a few minutes….YES!!!! COME ON OVER!!!

5:30 – countertop installers arrive and get to work.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I present my {long awaited, tons of tears shed for} countertops:

I might just hear angels singing with I look at this {and it fits!!!}

At the end of the night, we had our faucet, disposal, and dishwasher all hookup hooked up and working. Then we ran the dishwasher…and it wouldn’t drain….and then the faucet started leaking….and then the sink trap under the sink started leaking… we go again. Hopefully all easy fixes.  I may be done with remodels.  I thought that paying someone else to do the work for a change would be awesome.  I could sit back and drink a beer while the work gets done.  Not so much.  We may be doing all our own remodels in the future.

Day 36  (April 21) - Holy cow, day 35 wore me out, I feel like a massage day is in order, maybe this weekend. 

Back to renovations – our contractor and his right hand man showed up this morning and started working away on the sink/drain/leak issues. 

It appears it was just a two man crew today.  When I got home, the barn door was completely installed!! I love it, I am so glad I stood my ground with JD when he said he wanted to get a new door.  I really wanted to use an old door and this door was ‘original’ to the house.  I do plan on giving it a little something extra just to make it a bit more unique, but I am loving the way it is currently.  And JD is glad he stood his ground on the bada$$ barn door hardware.  It's hard to see from the pic, but it's very large, industrial hardware.  Very cool.  

getting so close now
We also have a leak free, fully functional sink, faucet, disposal and dishwasher!!! Goodbye to the days of hand washing our dishes in the bathroom sink!  Hallelujah!  So you ever watch those real estate shows where people look at houses with no dishwasher?  Don't EVER do that.  Washing dishes by hand is a giant pain in the butt.  Really, I can't stress this enough.  Don't do dishes by hand.

The shelf brackets are up in the butler’s pantry as well as the hutch is almost completed.  Of course the brackets were put in the wrong place despite both BD and myself telling the contractor and his foreman the measurements.  When the shower was ripped out, this wall used to be a shower, the old siding was exposed.  It looked super cool, so I cleaned it off and sealed it.  Kind of neat having part of what was (probably) part of the original house left.  

love how JD made this wall look

mini fridge already stocked and ready to go
We do have a small issue with the hutch.  While I love the way it looks, the cabinet guy didn’t order it to the right specifications and it’s a bit large for the wall.  We thought we finagled a way around it when our contractor built the wall out a few more inches, but turns out, the crown molding on top will still probably stick out…so right now we are trying to find some smaller profile molding that will work.  Cross your fingers for us because right now, it’s looking kinda naked. 

Just needs a little trim

oohhh fancy with under cabinet lighting

top left - our inspiration from one of THOSE stores
The wall tile guy is supposed to come tomorrow morning; our contractor thinks it is going to take him a few days to complete the project.   Of course, I’m hoping for a quicker turn around.  While I get along great with the contractors and crew, I can’t wait to come and find my house empty.  These days, I never know what I’m coming home to.

Day 37 (April 22)– I had to take off a littler earlier today and the house was nice and quiet when I left. I’m sure that will change soon.  I can’t wait to see the tile on the wall at the end of the day.  When I got home, the tile guy had gotten about halfway up the wall above the stove.  And so far, I’m loving it.  I know once it gets grouted (I’m pretty sure that’s a word) and the vent hood goes up, it will probably look completely different all over again.  BD and I went back and forth on how far up to do the subway tile.  I like to do BIG, statement type things.  I say all the way up.  To break the tie, we asked our contractor.  He said he thought we should do it, so he could see if it would look good or really bad.  Great...
a whole wall of subway tile....
I was hoping that our kitchen reno would really have been done by today.  Why this date?  Well, every 3rd Friday one of our neighbors has a Happy Hour, super casual, bring a snack or a beverage and just enjoy each other’s company.  We always have a wonderful time.  Anyways, I was hoping to have this month’s happy hour at our house with our brand new kitchen.  Shooting for May now!!

Day 38 & 39 (April 23 & 24) – So the tile guy was supposed to show up Saturday morning, but as the norm in this kitchen renovation, he was a no show.  Apparently, he’s been hired and fired multiple times by our contractor, but he did such a great job, our contractor tried again. 

Day 39 (April 25) -  Day 3 of subway tile ‘work’ and again the tile guy is a no show.  It is safe to say that the contractor has fired this guy….again…..  Our tile guy said he was injured in a soccer game, but actually got, wait for it.... ARRESTED.  HAHAHA  

Day 40 (April 26) – New tile guy shows up and really ‘shows up’.  He knocks out the wall-o-subway tile in half a day.  Love it!  Looks great!

a little pop of color from the flowers JD brought home

When JD got home that night, he had a little surprise for me.  Tulips!  I think he may be jealous of the sink…and the countertop….I have to say, that pop of color looks pretty amazing.

Day 40 (April 27) – Tile guy came back, yay!!  He finished up the grouting.  Now, JD and I had some disagreement on the grout color.  JD wanted the super dark grout and I wanted something much lighter.  I didn’t want to walk into my kitchen and have the wall screaming at me.  I wanted it to look at me and tell me I’m pretty, but that wasn’t going to happen either.  In the end we compromised on a shade darker than I wanted and several shades lighter than what JD wanted.  But now that it’s done, it looks fantastic.  And yes, JD likes it too.

Start of Week 6.....

Day 41 (April 28) – No work today.  But, I’ve been told by our contractor that everything, let me repeat that EVERYTHING, will be completed tomorrow.  And that’s quite a list:

Kitchen To Do’s

1     1.     replace kitchen tile removed when layout changed
2     2.     remove stickers on windows
3     3.     rewire outlet for microwave (currently it is turned on by a light switch)
4     4.     wire microwave shelf for under cabinet light
5     5.     wire hutch for under cabinet light
6     6.     paint touch ups
7     7.     cabinet trim
8     8.     2 screws in door handle for exterior door
9     9.     install a few more knobs/pulls
1    10.  top trim piece for hutch
1    11.  shelves for butler’s panty (I think JD and I are going to handle this one)
1    12.  patch hole accidently punched into playroom wall
1    13.  drywall and trim window in mudroom/dogs room

Whew – think it can get done in a day?? We shall see.

So a few weeks have passed since that April 28th date.  Slowly but surely they have gotten almost everything done.

Installed vent hood 
BUT, we needed to order a flue extender to go all the way to the ceiling
Tile is finally back in place
And then somehow they broke our only remaining 2 pieces of original tile and used this tile to 'fix' it....not a good fix

nope, not gonna work
So, now we have to have a brand new floor the whole kitchen......I am not a happy momma.

Yay, microwave has been promoted back to the kitchen

Door to the doggy {mud} room

We had them make it dutch door  Everytime I see a dutch door, I think of the Chevy Chase movie, Funny Farm.  If you're not familiar, you should check it out, it's hilarious and you will never look at dutch doors without laughing again.  You should also watch all Chevy Chase movies, especially Fletch.

old house + old crooked walls = improvise

yay! we have a  vent that doesn't look like it was chopped off

While we were waiting on the crew to come back and finish up some work, JD and I got bored (well, I got bored) and started working on the shelves for the butler's pantry.  We thought about trying to find some awesome reclaimed wood to use in there, but we couldn't find exactly what we wanted.  So, we improvised (a lot of this going on lately).  We bought plain, pine 2x12"s and beat them up with a hammer, needle nose pliers, chain, and a drill.

I had to cut each board a different length.  Wait a second, the walls aren't straight???
since, you know, old house walls aren't straight jinx.
ready for some staining
We looked online at a few tutorials and decided to go with Minwax Special Walnut stain.

I think I could have been a bit rougher with the beating
and they fit!

We love the way the shelves turned out.  Now, we just need to put everything back....well, temporarily that is...we will have to vacate again once we do the floors.  And unfortunately, due to prior obligations, the floors will probably have to wait a few months.....tears.....sad face.....really sad face....

So here we are on day, um, 63? and we still don't have a completely finished kitchen.  But, what we do have is pretty cool.

Here's to moving back in to my own {upgraded} kitchen!

Oh, before I forget, I need your help.  I am looking for something for my kitchen and my searches have yielded nada, zero, a big fat goose egg....

I would Love to have something like this!!  

Finder gets an honorable mention in an upcoming blog post! I know, that's soooo hard to pass up!!

I hope that the next time I work up a blog post, it won't take you half the night to read.  Sorry about that...JD was complaining enough for everyone.  And as always, his comments are in red.


  1. What quartz did you end up using? SNAFUs with the install aside, I really like that pattern/style.

    1. Hi Becky, glad you like it! We ended up using a quartz called Zodiaq Bianco Carrara and we love it! I'm a little particular about being worried about stains right now, even though I've read this is one of the lowest maintenance materials!


Life in the Big House Blog Design by Ipietoon