Here we are at the end of July, and the kitchen renovation that started back in the middle of March has finally, tortuously, come to an end, barring a couple of little touch-up jobs. You would think I lived in a grand mansion for it to take 4 months, but my kitchen is just 12 meters square, enough room to swing a cat, (not that I’ve tried 🙂 ), but a really small cat.
March was cold, and we moved our kitchen into the conservatory for 3 weeks or so and shivered through cooking. I’d frozen lots of meals so we could just use the microwave.
We were naive of course, thought that when you hired a company to do you a kitchen, they come in and do everything and that’s it. The ripping the old one out was done in 3 days. The floor was levelled and concreted over the day after. The plasterer came and went then had to come back a week later because we were not happy with the bits he’d missed. The electrician wired the hob up wrong. The floor layer didn’t turn up on time as he’d been on another job, felt ill, gone home and then came to ours in the afternoon, laid the floor but hadn’t any skirting boards with him to finish the job. Luckily Phil had some in the shed, but later when Phil pulled the fridge out to paint, he discovered the floor man had forgotten to skirt a section so he had to do it himself. We didn’t bank on having to shift our boiler, which was part of the deal when they did the design, but their plumber wouldn’t touch it. So we ended up getting a new one, which we waited 4 weeks for due to our gas-fitter (son-in-law!) being busy and having a holiday! 🙂 This resulted in the kitchen fitters leaving some cupboards behind for us to fit when the boiler was done, as they weren’t hanging about. The Son-in-law organised a chap to do that but when he came he discovered that special screws were missing, and he wouldn’t compromise and bodge it (quite right too) so off he went. Phil and I drove up to the kitchen company to see if we could get some screws but went to the wrong place, eventually, we got to the right place and they didn’t have any anyway, but a chap promised to post them out to us. He actually turned up with them, so after a 2-week delay in all, the boiler cupboard got put up. Phil had painted the walls, then had to put up coving as where the ceiling and walls meet wasn’t great. Then we had to choose tiles and find a tiler. I was talking to my hairdresser and as her chap is in the building trade, asked her to see if he knew anyone good, and it turned out he was! However, he did have a proper job so would do it at evenings and weekends. No problem for us, by this time we were so used to everything taking forever, another slow one was water off a duck’s back. But he would start on a Monday and we had 2 days to get tiles. Went to B&Q, didn’t like any of their tiles at all. Came home, went to the tile shop in South Shields, didn’t like theirs either. Came home, did our research on google and went off to the shop on the Industrial Estate advertising some we liked the look of. They didn’t have any. Went to another tile shop in the area, they didn’t have any either. We went to one last shop, and as we walked in the door, there were the perfect tiles displayed on the wall. The last piece of the kitchen puzzle was good to go. The tiler didn’t turn up. There’d been an England world cup match on the Sunday and he was poorly sick. Still, eventually he did turn up, and then on and off over a couple of weeks, he got the job done. Though we had to finish the grouting. Phil had to do the sealant around the edges, it was white, and after he’d gone round all the work surfaces, we looked at it and decided it was too in your face. So back to B&Q and bought some grey sealant to match the grout, and poor Phil dug out all the first lot and redid it yesterday, and that is just about it!
I gave up taking in-progress shots after progress became a crawling monster, but here are some before and after shots.
The old boxed in fridge there was on its last legs, and that’s how this whole kitchen thing started, we needed a new fridge, and it escalated somehow into a new kitchen! The new fridge is a piece of work. I call it Arkwright after the Ronnie Barker character in Open All Hours. It’s got a mind of its own, as did Arkwrights till. You’re supposed to push on that square bit on the right, it comes open and you can take the milk out without opening the door. Not sure why that’s a thing, it’s supposed to be an American Fridge so maybe that’s what they do there. Anyway, we can open it but can’t then shut it, so once we did get it shut have never used it again! It has an icemaker, and when you put your glass under the outlet you either get a violent mass dump of ice cubes in your glass & on the floor, or maybe one ice cube shot at you if you’re lucky, and just now and again, if you ask nicely and he’s in a benevolent mood, Arkwright will drop 2 or 3 gently into your glass. I like his chutzpah.
I like it in spite of everything, a chap on a flying horse wouldn’t notice the flaws, but I don’t think we’d get on Grand Designs. 🙂