This is my journal of this process. This is probably insanely boring to 95% of people out there but it has been neat to see what has been accomplished on a weekly and now, daily basis. (I promise good pictures will accompany all posts starting withe the next one.) ;) So if your ready for a long journey, then come along with me for a couple of weeks and if not, you probably want to skip this blog for a while!!! ;)
So, in case, you couldn't guess what we are doing... we are remodeling our 10 year old kitchen and turning it into a large eat in kitchen by taking down the wall dividing the dining room and the kitchen.
September 19 (Week 9/16 of marathon training) -We had a meeting with Gene, the framer to find out which walls were weight bearing and to get an idea of how big we could safely make this project. Blake won a huge contest earlier this year at work so we a huge credit at CostCo that we are trying desperately to use for the remodel. So far, we have ordered the faucet, the new garbage disposal, the stainless steel hood and the wine refrigerator from there.
September 26 (Week 10 of 16), We met to look and start the process of choosing appliances at KIVA. Over the next 2 weeks, Blake and myself exhausted every other option to make sure we were getting the absolute best prices. We even were in every single Scratch and Dent place in the city, Sears outlet, online, etc... Sandra's discount at wholesaler KIVA couldn't be beat. The big decision this week was double oven or single oven with warming drawer. Do we want wall oven and a couple of weeks later, it evolved to, do we want to do cook top and wall oven underneath or go with the more commercial look of the 36" gas range. We did decide to change our cook top over to gas from electricity when we found out that it wasn't too bad of a cost with where the gas line already was in proximity to the kitchen. I even went over to Brigitte' Perkins to see her awesome layout of her appliances. Blake had his heart set on a range around this time but the cost of a basic 36" gas range was shocking and we quickly re-evaluated. Ultimately 3 weeks and multiple hours of thought and research later, we ended up going with a very sleek and industrial looking Viking 30" gas slide in range with convection oven, that we got from KIVA for half off. It was the floor model, just like the warming drawer, and they were making room for the slightly newer model, so we got it for 50% off their wholesale price! Blake and i couldn't be happier with the look and style and never thought we would have a Viking range, for less than what we would have paid for a cook top and wall oven.
October 3 - First evening meeting with our cabinet maker, Hank. We loved him. I had tons of pictures and lists of what I wanted. Sandra had awesome ideas for layout as well. Sandra also started bringing over counter top and tile/back splash samples. Blake and I are continuing to try to make big decisions about the appliances and are slowly realizing the cost of this project and specifically the cabinets. Sandra calls me early (8AM the next day) saying that she was on Overstock.com the night before and found the most amazing deal for me to get bar stools for the new island. They were the identical look that I had repeatedly showed her pictures of the look I liked. So I snatched 4 bar stools up for the price I would have paid for 2 at a everyday furniture place on sale.
October 7 (Week 11 of 16 of training) - Sandra met me at the house super early with her plumber so he could give bid on switching to gas, shutting off and re-hooking up refrigerator line and sink. She also had quote from her electrician, Bruce, who has done work at our house several times over the years, that we love. I am keeping a tight budget on all these numbers. I am starting to put pressure on myself about making some decisions on appliances because with out the selection of appliances, we can't move forward with cabinets. The cabinet bid came in late this day and Blake thought it was better than he thought it was going to be. We feel it's more than fair for all the work he is doing and the quality. We are having to plan this remodel around him now and his schedule. Sandra is pushing him to start by the 2nd week in November. That means now at this point, demolition starting around Nov 5. I need to talk to my mom about possibly moving in for a couple of weeks with them. This is just now registering to me that Blake and I are running a marathon in the dead center point of a MAJOR house remodel.... probably some poor planning on my part. But what can you do?!?! ;)
October 14 (Week 12 of 16 of marathon training) - Went back and forth on keeping the 59 bottle wine refrigerator when Blake and I will probably NEVER own and keep long term that amount of wine. Even though the refrigerator is in essence free with Blake's CostCo prize credit, we want to be extremely smart and practical long term for all our decisions. I just know that Blake is and ALWAYS will more of a beer drinking kind of guy and I found out they make "beverage coolers" that hold half wine bottles (around 25 bottles) and 60 cans. So poor Blake and our wonderful neighbor Corky got to load up the wine refrigerator and take it back to CostCo. Late this afternoon, Blake and I met, Sandra, her daughter and fellow designer Beth, and their two granite fabricators, Jamie and Little Bill with CSI at 3-4 different granite yards. Yet again, for the 5th time, Blake and I were BEYOND impressed with professionalism and knowledge these contractors that worked with her, were. Amazing and yet again, it reconfirmed how worth her fee is not mess with dealing with 5-6 different contractors that either don't know what they are doing, don't care or waste our time. We had so much fun with them and I really felt that they knew EXACTLY what look I was going for. They were on their cell phone's calling all the other gratintie yards not only in San Antonio but in the surrounding area to see if they had slabs I would be interested in. I know I am in love with WHITE QUARZITE - Luce de Lune, Quartzite Bianca, etc... I have spent probably 8 hours this week late at night researching everything about counter tops. I even have an appointment withe the CostCo Dupont counter people just to make sure I shouldn't save money and use them. Every major grantite yard in SA knows what I am looking for and now, we are just waiting for the right one to arrive.
October 16 (Week 13 of 16 of Marathon training) - Blake goes by more stores so we can finally decide on range or cook top and seperate oven. He goes by KIVA but our sales rep isn't there. The next day, I get a call from Sandra around 3:30PM, while she as at KIVA with another clinet. She was so calmly excited and told me Rae will sell me a industrial VIKING 30" range for less than the cook top and oven. God was on my side, beacuse I happened to be in a parking garage near Northeast Methodist Hosptial working and was able to get there in less than 10 minutes. Within 60 seconds, it was a done deal. Yet again, another example, of how Sandra's connections pay for herself!
10.18.11 - This afternoon, after I get out of a district meeting, I have time to run by 2 grantite yards. One new one that had a couple of maybe's and the granite yard, that I first went into - YoungStone. They took me to a bundle that they had just received. They had named this new white quartite - Quartite calcutta, since it looked stikingly similar to the highly desired Calcutta Marble. When in fact, since I know keep a HUGE bag of all my files with me all the time, I was able to show her the "Luce de Luna" I as on a mission for and we think we may have found it!!!! They offered to bring the 3 other matching slabs in from their Austin yard so I could have first dibs for the counters. I called Sandra and she knew to jump on it. She said she would call Jamie and head over there and make sure they were put on hold for us. She knows how sought out those peices are and knows what to do to get them. Yet another reason to love her!
So, the funny thing, is Sandra, is very laid back and has NEVER put pressure on Blake and I to make a decision about ANYTHING, which I love. I however, am not the same, I am always trying to think ahead and now the pressure I am putting on us, is finally deciding on the sink style and material. We have been all over the board with apron stainless, hammered silver apron (untill I got the price), apron porcelin. Undermount single large tub stainless or with smart divide.... so mant choices. So this week, with any free time at lunch time, I am trying to make 5 minute stops to figure out the sink we want. I also stopped by Lighting Inc yesterday, on the way to pick up the kids, and am really excited about lighting for the 3 seperate areas. I didn't see anything I love and ever since have been monitoring Overstock.com. It's amaizng how much great stuff they have there!
So that was my journaling from the planning process, the next week, I headed out of town all week to Florida and the very next week - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 has been officially deemed as demoltion day!!!
So from the first live meeting Sandra and I ever had to demoliton day was SEVEN weeks.