The Kitchen Timer — Day 1

IMG_1290 IMG_1288The contractor’s proposal estimated 20 work days (read: 1 month) for the kitchen renovation. Everybody who has ever lived through anything like this told me to multiply the number by 2. Or 3, if I wanted to brace myself.

That said, houses are my business, and even though I haven’t lived through one myself, kitchen renovations are a big topic here. One kitchen is sleek, the other one horrific, the next one dark or tiny. And if they’re impractical, dated or ugly, we want to know what it takes to make them better.

So, I decided to chronicle our kitchen project as an example. We’re talking about a 230 sq ft kitchen in a nice neighborhood right on the District line. What we’ve chosen will be middle-of-the road, neither super high end/luxury nor cheap.

The before pictures here are from last night, our “Day 0.” When I took them, I was hit by a moment of sorrow and guilt. Both environmentally and economically, this project makes no sense, I thought. We’re dismantling a perfectly fine kitchen that wasn’t even that dysfunctional.

But then I remembered that most of the doors have been propped up by Velcro and magnets, most of the particle board drawers have been rebuilt and stapled, the slippery tile floor had different heights, the dishwasher doesn’t actually clean dishes, and that family dinners where five people sit down in a row aren’t very communicative. I immediately felt better.

I felt even better when the crew arrived this morning and the carpenter suggested “recycling” a bunch of the old cabinets into the garage and laundry room. Can’t believe I hadn’t thought of that!

(For a regularly updated slide show of the progress click here.)

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