A sneak preview

The work around the house should be coming to a close this weekend. Believe it or not, but photos will follow shortly. In the meantime I wanted to give people a preview of the new look for our kitchen:

The new kitchen

And, of course, the theme for the nursery:

The new nursery

It’s hard to believe that after 2 years this house is truly coming together…

Ouch

This weekend we (and since The Woman is 37 weeks pregnant, we really means I) had to get some painting done. That included:

  • Priming and painting the kitchen ceiling
  • Priming and painting the kitchen walls
  • Priming and painting the nursery ceiling
  • Priming the nursery walls
  • Priming the new linen closet
  • Pretending to prime and/or paint the kitchen trim

The Woman did, in fact, help out a lot. But she can’t be in the room when the primer is being used, and she can’t paint anything that’s lower than 3 feet or higher that 6 feet. Unfortunately our walls extend beyond both limits. The real shame is that she’s a better painter than I. But in the end it worked out – and for the first time in a while, I may actually be owed a tad more sympathy than she is. Holy crap does every square inch of my body ache.

To be fair, by now I’m already well on my way to recovery (until I paint the nursery walls tonight) while her feet are still ballooned to twice their usual size. And trust me, I’m smart enough not to try milking this for anything, anyway. Regardless, this was an incredibly rare weekend during which I was actually looking forward to returning to work on Monday in order to relax. Fool me once…

From the new digs

The move is complete… Wait a minute… I moved? Not me, but my company. Well, part of my company. And that part included me. So… uh… yeah… I guess I moved. This has been a long time coming and now finds me sitting in my glorious new office. A very nice place to be considering the sheer amount of stress that has been hitting me (and, to be honest, still is hitting me) as a result.

No details here. Maybe I’ll post a photo when my office is a tad cleaner. It’s a pretty sweet setup, but I probably shouldn’t be showing photos of our “data center” to the entire Innerweb. Let’s just say that the actually network/server room is probably twice the size of my previous closet… er… office. And right now I’m living proof that a good working environment goes a long way. So much more can be accomplished when you don’t have several servers and an A/C unit blowing noisely on you all day.

In case you couldn’t guess, this move would be one of the major reasons I’ve been such a bad blogger of late. One of the other reasons would be that I’m frantically working on the nursery. And yet another reason would be that I’m frantically working on the kitchen. And all of these things require me to run around from place to place in total ignorance of current gas prices. On top of all of that, I also have a shiny new toy to show off and haven’t even had time to demonstrate it’s awesomeness.

More to follow, including photos of me covered in plaster and breaking wooden boards with the power of my mind…

Grown-up decision time

Hey, remember that TV show I was on? And I won a bunch of money? And I made a comment about remodeling our kitchen? You don’t? What the hell is wrong with you?!?!

For those of you paying attention, the comment about the kitchen wasn’t just me trying to get quality, non-dork, face time on TV. Next to paying down credit cards, that was the number one option The Woman and I had decided upon for spending any significant winnings that might befall us. Actually, there was a more complicated mental list that included completely renovating the second floor, but wussing out on the Rudyard Kipling guess prevented that plan…

For now let’s just say that the kitchen is job number one… alright, the growing baby is job number one. So we’re back to calling it number two. You all still following? Great. The point is that we’ve talked to a few places about remodeling costs, and it looks like we’re ready to move forward. But there’s still some hemming and hawing and hand wringing (by me) as various numbers have begun to crawl ever upward. Sure, the cabinets are fairly reasonable, even with all of the upgrades, but the extra work to make sure the entire room is completely up to snuff has squashed any notion that we’d be able to do multiple jobs (i.e. fix up a bathroom) this year, and also has me worried about longterm effects.

When it comes down to it, our kitchen is totally functional as it stands. Now that we’ve replaced our broken oven and upgraded the refrigerator to a decently-sized unit, cooking has become less of a chore. So the debate has become whether a full remodel is excessive or a sound investment. Guarantee me that we’re still living in this house in 10 years and it’s a no-brainer. However the skyrocketing property taxes in my county suggest that is not a certainty.

But there’s no two ways about it – we either do all of the work or none of it. I made a decision not to half-ass things with the house. Ripping out old, poorly configured cabinets and replacing them with new, poorly configured cabinets is a waste of money. Tearing up an old, sagging tile floor and replacing it with a new, sagging tile floor is a waste of money. Ignoring plumbing problems when everything is going to be completely exposed for a week is just asking for it to comeback to haunt you further down the road. Couple these things with issues like questionable lighting and outlets, an undersized pantry, and a lack of a dishwasher and there’s plenty for the contractor to do.

But what would you leave off? Skipping work to save one or even two thousand dollars right now will just leave me aggravated when I realize how much it will cost to fix things later.

We may still skimp on the demo work, because apparently soffits in kitchens are some sort of magical contraption that more than doubles the cost for contractors. I’ve got a sledgehammer and a case of Yuengling that says my friends can make short work of it. Still, something tells me that my engineering degree still isn’t enough to confidently wire new electrical outlets next to a gas pipe.

This decision was a hell of a lot easier when we were just looking at cabinets and DIY installation…