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Can this be the catastrophe?

So, almost every single home renovation project I’ve ever had has had something go very wrong.

In this one, everything’s been going quite smoothly, except:

  1. The flooring was supposed to arrive on Thursday, then it got delayed to today, now it’s delayed to tomorrow, and the contractors can’t move forward until the flooring is in hand (and they’re getting restless) EDIT: Oh right they did get some painting done (specifically applying a primer coat everywhere)
  2. On Friday I tripped over some of my stored clutter and injured myself worse than I’d realized at first (although not nearly as badly as it could have been!), so now I have impaired mobility and also a rather nasty scrape on my left shin which seems to be slightly infected (which is painful but doesn’t seem like it needs direct medical attention just yet)

Basically, if this can be the worst that happens on this project, I’ll be pretty happy. Thankfully it doesn’t seem like much else can go wrong, unless there’s some awful secret lurking in the laundry room (which is quite possible).

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My kitchen before this mess

Oh yeah, I neglected to actually take photos of my kitchen in operation before I’d cleared everything out on day 0 (where it didn’t look so bad), but I did just go back through my photos to find some examples of what the kitchen was like under normal circumstances.

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Kitchen Remodel II, day 1

I’m not sure why I’m calling this “Remodel II” because this is neither the second kitchen remodel I’ve gone through (it’s the fourth) nor the second I’ve had in this house. But it is the second one on this incarnation of my blog, so that’s probably it.

Anyway, today was demolition day.

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Kitchen Remodel II, day 0

Today I finished clearing out my kitchen getting ready for tomorrow’s demolition. Thankfully I actually had a few days to get it done this time, unlike last time when the contractor only let me know the demolition was going to happen at 5 PM the day before.

Because I had time to prepare it meant I could also actually do it in a semi-organized way. Which is good, because I have way less space for “staging” stuff in this house than I did in my last place.

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Bracing for impact

My kitchen renovation starts on Wednesday. Thankfully I have plenty of advance warning this time and have started to pack up the stuff in my kitchen; I need to spend a lot more time finishing that up tomorrow, though. I’ve only put a dent in things.

I hope that the end result of this is I’ll finally get rid of a lot of stuff I’m not using actively, or at least figure out a better way of storing the stuff I rarely use.

The new kitchen design is going to be the same basic layout, but there’s a few nice changes that are going to happen. The lower cabinet next to the refrigerator is going to be replaced with a drawer unit, which will be much more useful for me (I’ll probably move my pots and pans in there, and the rarely-used stuff that currently lives in there goes into the sideboard where those were kept). The weird, awkward storage cabinets that flank the stove will become less-weird storage cabinets, with a utility drawer on top (but still a door down below).

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Yet another kitchen remodel

Very soon I will be remodeling my kitchen.

Why yes, it does seem like just yesterday that I did the last one, but that was actually two years and one house ago! That kitchen was mostly-completed right before the pandemic started, and then finally actually-completed a year later, just before I moved out to my new home. Which is a really stupid pattern, where three times in a row I’ve put off a kitchen remodel until it became unavoidable, and then ended up moving out soon after.

I’m hoping that this will not continue the pattern!

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Bathroom: Not perfect, but Good Enoughâ„¢

Today the work on the bathroom finished up. All that’s left is some minor cleanup stuff, and a few things I need to do (like installing the towel bar and hanging more of my art back up).

It isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for now, and the stuff that needs fixing can wait, I think.

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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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