Things are looking better in the kitchen now that all the doors, drawers, carousels, hinges and some hardware have been finished. A few lights have been hung. And our bowling lane countertop is now in place - I've sanded and varnished it five times with a couple left. Two weekends ago, the forms were put in place in the kitchen for our concrete and the big sink was dry-fitted.
On Saturday, we poured concrete into the molds that were put in place last weekend. Yesterday, we sanded the countertops, and ideally this weekend we can seal them, put in our sinks and have a real functioning kitchen. The concrete countertops deserve their own post so I won't go into detail about them. We already have our stove! A few weekends ago, we went to IKEA to buy a ridiculous amount of lighting for all the rooms, closets and hallways in our house. On the way out, we stopped in the "As Is" section where we found the 36” gas stove with convection oven we’d been eyeing for half off (about $900) due to a dent on the right side that will be covered by the cabinets. It's in the kitchen now but not yet in the right spot because we need tile underneath it. Can’t WAIT to put that sucker in its final home. We were struggling to find a 36” gas range after realizing our gas lines were too small to support a commercial range with higher gas needs. The IKEA model, made by Whirlpool, is the perfect hybrid between a residential and commercial model, and to make it even cooler, it’s counter depth like European appliances. It’s wider and easier to reach pots and pans on the back burners. We still need to find a range hood but didn’t like the style or the cost of IKEA’s $999 option. It was pretty sweet to check out at the register and see that our total was almost exactly the price of the original cost of the stove, but we also bought all of our lighting, bulbs, a bathroom sink and some other stuff for that same amount.
Our outlets, light switches and faceplates are all in. This turned out to be more stressful than we thought, because we couldn’t get any of the three-way switches in the kitchen to work, and it appeared there was no power at all upstairs. As soon as Curt started mentioning tearing out drywall - our insulated, finished and painted drywall - I wondered but did not say out loud…did we really not test these things before putting up walls and painting them?? After a full day with an electrician a few weekends back, everything is now working and looking finished. Lights are in every room, including a sweet Scandinavian chandelier from West Elm that I found brand new on craigslist for $90 ($400 retail, woot!). Four ceiling fans have been put up, including a massive one on our 20-foot ceiling in the great room that creates an amazing breeze. Our beams are done being sanded almost done being stained. I will probably finish that this weekend also.
Also on Saturday, water was turned on and is now running through our pipes. I grouted four bathrooms and we put in our dual-flush toilets. A couple of the bathrooms even have counters and sinks, including a piece of granite Curt put in upstairs on top of a craigslist vanity. I have one bathroom floor left to tile and then three shower surrounds which I’m not looking forward to. One shower is fully tiled (though it wasn't quite done when I took this photo).
|Our $45 wall-mounted vanity from IKEA's as is section|
|The toilet in our master bath|
|Powder room with crazy green tile I found on craigslist|
While we poured concrete in the kitchen, we also pour a countertop for our master bathroom. Two basin sinks were already purchased, as well as the faucets, so those could be all working by this weekend or next.
|Curt had the crazy idea to use a steel I-beam and leftover glu-lam Alaskan cedar from our stairs to build our sink base in the master. It ended up being a little taller than we expected...|
In the powder room, we used a piece of the bowling lane for a countertop. That basin sink and faucet are ready to be installed too. We had a little bit of panic Tuesday night when Curt noticed a water leak on the wall of the powder room that had seeped into the mudroom floor and was visible downstairs on the garage ceiling. After cutting out a bit of drywall, Curt realized the faucet we bought on eBay (from Hong Kong) was at fault - not any of our plumbing work. To his credit, he didn't freak out, even though we were up until almost 1:30am Wednesday trying to figure it out. think once a part is replaced, we can reinstall the faucet. Our drywall guys will be back in a few weeks to fix a few spots and they can fix the holes Curt cut to fix this problem as well as some of the various electrical problems we had. But since all the electrical has been fixed and our water is on, we even have hot water now! And that means heat.
Two weekends ago, we also had road base put in our driveway, plus three trucks worth of dirt delivered and placed/raked all along the sides of the house and backyard. Everything looks cleaner and less like a construction site. Yesterday, I seeded some of the sloped areas on our lot to protect from erosion and to pass our final inspection. Curt also cleaned up the small area of protected wetlands we have near our well, so hopefully that passes muster from the county too.
We had planned on taking a couple weekends off recently because of friends’ birthdays and a concert we had tickets to, but neither weekend was really “off” since we spent most of that shopping for the house and then Curt spent another day unloading everything in Breck while I worked. And on the other "off" weekend planned, we still got two full days in because we both took a day off from work and sold our tickets to the concert (it was 104 in Denver that day so it wasn’t a huge loss enjoying the milder temps in the mountains). I think we needed a little break that didn’t quite happen as planned, but we’re also both pretty ready and excited for things to get wrapped up, which almost overrides the exhaustion of working long weeks in Denver with a lot of OT for me recently and Curt being busy almost every weeknight with real estate clients, and then working two long 12-hour days at our house every weekend. Feeling a little scattered because so much is going on and it's hard to keep up. But the end is near.
Today, our concrete was poured in our back patio area. This weekend, we will start laying our wood floors in the great room, two bedrooms, dining area, hallways and two sets of stairs - the pine beetle kill wood is already waiting for us in our driveway. Then we need to put in carpet in two bedrooms and a couple closets. I need to tile our entry, hallway, mudroom, pantry, wine room, laundry room and kitchen - then grout, buff and seal those. We need to hang doors, install trim and baseboard moulding and stain the wood interiors of our window frames. We will probably save the trim and window staining until after we get our certificate of occupancy. We need to buy a fridge and dishwashers, which may happen this week. We need to put in a cabinet or two plus a sink in our laundry room (clothes washer and dryer will probably wait for awhile) and pour another small concrete countertop in there. We need to tile our fireplaces. Annnnd…I think that’s about it.
Because I’m so excited by the kitchen progress, I’ve already packed up a few boxes of things from Denver to put in our shiny new cabinets. Mostly glasses (wine, champagne, martini – all the important ones), a wine opener, some duplicates of cooking tools…and I may be jumping the gun here but I’ve packed up my hot cocoa maker, the mix and the handled mason jars I’ve been collecting from thrift stores in the last year. I’ve been slowly gathering things that fit the fantasy in my head of our cozy ski lodge. It felt a little silly to pull out my hot cocoa mix on another one of our 100+ days, but when the first snowflake falls in Breck later this year, I will be ready.