So going back to the beginning, now that you have seen pics of the outcomes, what went wrong during the process to cause such stress? It wasn’t just one thing of course, it was a variety of factors.
Initial design delays — we started asking for design meetings in January, pressured them throughout Jan / Feb / March and didn’t get any official designs until June 15th. Of the nine versions, eight of them were unworkable, a waste of paper not to mention the time and effort they put into doing them. It took another 45 days, mostly waiting on them to get back to us with answers to some questions that should have been dealt with back in April or May, but delayed us into the summer. This meant August 1st before we had an actual design.
Overall start delays — we wanted the project to start in mid-July and, based on the two week estimate, to be mostly over by August 1st.
There are three other areas that I wanted to talk about quickly, as they are part of the design and reno — the ceiling, the flooring, and some special cabinets.
For the ceiling, the main issue was the bulkhead over the island which matched the island layout but was basically useless to the regular design. Somewhat aesthetically pleasing, but had to exit for the new design. We cut it back considerably as you can see in the photos, and changed the lighting options. We didn’t know what we would find exactly when we opened it up, but there were no issues in the end.
For the flooring, we had considered a number of options. Some required a subfloor that would have meant a step up going into the kitchen, if only a few inches. So, no. Others would be cold, others would be hard, some would take some wear, some wouldn’t take much. » Read the rest
Before we started the reno, we had a dining room of sorts. Essentially, when you came into the front of the house, there was a small foyer, and then you went up two steps to a big room that was one-half living room and one-half dining room. It was configured as such, but we never used the dining room, for a couple of reasons.
First, we like having our table in the big kitchen. All together, easy to move from one to the other. It’s also how I grew up, one big kitchen, and while I’m not against a dining room, I don’t mind the kitchen and eating area being one.
Second, we didn’t like the location of the dining room. If you were eating, you would feel a lot like you were almost at the front door, particularly if anyone came by and knocked. Sure, lots of people say, “Oh, eat in the kitchen when it is just you, but use the dining room when you have guests.” » Read the rest
The other big element of our design was to fix our lousy island. It had a bend in it, which you can see better in the photos below, and the sink wasn’t to our liking either. Mostly though, it was just part and parcel of bad flow in the kitchen.
It took 4 weeks to get a working countertop and our sink back in action. Andrea spent a lot of time doing dishes in the laundry room by hand in a little plastic tub we have for dishes when camping, and then dumping it out in the basement, so she was pretty happy to have the sink back in the rotation. The new working counter helped me for prep for food too, for lunches, but her inconvenience was way above mine.
We were pretty adamant that we wanted a table in the kitchen (one of our two design elements), and by the time the reno started, we had already bought a new one. This created a few design challenges as we wanted a table large enough for the three of us but also able to hold six people comfortably, and without crowding the rest of the kitchen. Often if we have guests, there are only 2 more to take it to 5, and we rarely go above 8 (us plus Andrea’s parents, and her sister’s family). The table we chose is perfect for that, but it presented some space limitations for the cupboards and the island.
One option was to put the fridge all the way to the left of that first picture, where a bunch of cupboards are showing now. However, the fridge would need a lot more swing space than the cupboards do, and that would have pushed the table too far out into the family room. » Read the rest