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Back in White Center

Yesterday the contractor insisted that the shower would be usable by Wednesday, so today I moved back to White Center. As usual it was the worst possible thing to happen that my cats had to endure the car for a whole 20 minutes, but now they’re back home and back to their usual shenanigans. They’re definitely happier here than in the barren condo with no view.

The bathroom is indeed coming along quite nicely. I’m skeptical that it’ll be shower-ready tomorrow, but it’s definitely getting close. The shower is almost done being tiled, and then after that it just needs grouting and hardware installation, and it seems like Thursday is a more realistic target.

Supposedly the toilet will get reinstalled today, too, so maybe I won’t have to use the outhouse anymore? We’ll see.

My house is very much a disaster area right now but at least it’s a comfortable disaster area. And it was nice to get a proper shot of espresso again. (I mean, okay, it’s not like that would have been hard to come by in freaking Capitol Hill, but it’s nice to get espresso from my own setup.)

Meanwhile, the replacement kitchen faucet arrived, and it seems in the past few months they changed the design of the sprayer head a little bit, hopefully in a way which will prevent future clogs from happening. Thankfully it’s still compatible with the old faucet, so it was just a simple swap out, and now I have a working kitchen sink with good water pressure once again.

Current situation

So, the bathroom remodel keeps on hitting some pretty bad roadblocks. And I’m not entirely sure what to do next.

Basically, the plumber started a week ago, and has been trying to get the house plumbing working again. But something keeps going wrong, but I have no idea what, because the plumber only speaks Vietnamese. But the short version is that even after over a week and multiple complete re-dos of the plumbing, I still have no running water, and all that the plumber can tell me is that it doesn’t work, but can’t specify what he means by “it” or “work.”

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Remodel mess update

Insurance inspector came out today to look at the damage. He said the situation is a bit complicated because part of the damage was due to an ongoing maintenance issue and part of it was due to an emergent issue, and insurance only covers the emergent issue. He thinks that he can at least get me coverage for replacing the sink cabinet and all of the water mitigation, at least, and also since my house is without running water, the insurance company is putting me in a fancy hotel for a week. I’ll still probably be driving back to my house to work, though (as well as making sure my cats are okay), and fortunately I have a port-a-potty and a portable foot-pumped sink for that stuff.

Also, post-leak-dryup it became pretty obvious that the fiberglass in the ceiling wasn’t put there by a previous owner to mark/plug the leak, but was actually pulled down over time by the ongoing leak. So that must have been going for much longer than I realized.

The housing person said I could also take my cats to the hotel with me if I want but that seems like it’d cause more problems than it’d solve.

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Got the disaster out of the way

So, my bathroom renovation got delayed a few days (due to supply issues), and then started today.

You know how every home renovation project always has some major disaster, usually towards the end? This time we at least got it out of the way right away: while they were removing the sink cabinet, a pipe burst.

Fortunately nothing got badly soaked, and what got wet has dried off pretty quickly. I don’t think there’s any specific water damage to anything (although that was an extremely close call for my entire recording studio), although only time will tell. The main issue of concern is that my guitars and some of my acoustic treatments were directly below the water blast. The guitars have dried out easily, and the acoustic treatment is easy to replace if it gets moldy (it’s just cheap acoustic foam which I have plenty of).

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The kitchen remodel curse

Seattle, 2007: Redid my kitchen, ended up getting a job in San Francisco a month later

San Francisco, 2012: Redid my kitchen, ended up getting a job back in Seattle a month later

Seattle, 2020: got a kitchen remodel mostly done, last little project kept on getting pushed back for a year, and finally got scheduled… for the day before my move to White Center

At least I was able to enjoy (most of) my new kitchen for a whole year this time.

Given the state of the kitchen in my new place I think that will be one of the first things I do once my condo sells, just so that I can possibly experience a whole new form of my life being upended as soon as it’s completed.

Mice

When my old kitchen was being demolished I noticed that there were signs of mouse droppings in my sink cabinet, but no signs of mice. I also noticed that there were a bunch of gaps in the drywall behind the sink, and because of the… odd construction of this historical building it seemed likely that mice were able to occasionally get in, but didn’t stick around since they had nowhere to go.

Well, last night while working at the computer I felt something furry brush against my foot, and I looked down and it wasn’t Fiona. Then a few minutes later I saw something move out of the corner of my eye, and a little mouse peeked out from under my equipment shelving system and then scurried back underneath. (Fiona was, of course, asleep nearby and didn’t seem interested in me gesticulating at said shelving system.)

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Kitchen remodel, day… somethingsomething

Today my stove and dishwasher arrived. I wired up the stove’s power cord and found that I need to properly level it before it’ll slide in and I was worried about damaging my cabinets, so I decided to wait for the contractor to be able to take care of it. But I did at least get a chance to try it out with my cast-iron pan (affiliated link). It’s pretty quiet, and gives much better temperature control than the induction hotplate (affiliated link) I’ve been using in the meantime; the Max Burton seems to be like… low hot HOT HOTTT HOTTTTTT!!!! HOTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!! PLASMABALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and then there’s 5 more heat settings. This one isn’t like that.

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Kitchen lighting discovery

One of the bits that was left over from the installation was an extra lighting module, which seems to be the same as the ones that are installed. It’s an L&S Nova Emotion, which it turns out has a bunch of features that are available with the matching driver.

Mine didn’t come with the matching driver.

Well okay it’s not that many features, but it has variable color temperature (and possibly brightness?), and Bluetooth remote control support, as well as touch control built-in.

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Public blogging my kitchen remodel

Sorry about the sudden backfill of entries; I was posting progress photos on Facebook (mostly for my mom’s benefit) but the response to them has been positive enough that I figured I’d also post them here. Some of the text might be redundant as a result with other things I posted about here already.

I also did my best to merge the Facebook version of the day 5 demi-disaster with this one but it ends up a little weird. Anyway there’s photos now in case you already read that entry.

Kitchen day 7, things coming together

Huge progress. All of the cabinets are in the right place, the range hood is installed in a way that DOESN’T have spikes coming up from my living room floor, and the electrician also came and finally updated my outlets to GFIs (which I’ve only been putting off for the past 8 years) while also adding the switched outlet for the under-cabinet lights.

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kitchen day 6

No real progress today, instead the contractor came and looked over the installation variances from yesterday and we formulated a plan to fix everything. Mostly just took down the range hood (and settled on a new solution with HUGE thanks to Spud for some much-appreciated unsolicited design work), and two of the base cabinets got moved 3" to the left. Oh and the hole in the wall next to my phone got bigger.

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