I’m going to write about my kitchen for a while. For any of those who are uninterested, I make a promise of discussing boobs at the end of the post.
Did a bunch of demolition work on my kitchen today. The guy facilitating the work (I don’t know if it’d get him in trouble with anyone if I said who he is since he’s doing this in his free time, so I’ll just call him “Dave” from here on out) is doing a great job and is rolling with the punches the house is throwing really well. This is already 500% more successful than the bathroom remodel. (And yes, I know that 500% is not actually a possible percentage.) So it’s going good so far.
Today we did some pretty serious demolition work. We ripped out an assload of cabinets. The oven has been removed. The island has been dismantled and removed. There was some electrical re-wiring. And I got to make a lot of those lovely smashing noises I love so much. We worked really hard for a long time. It was the most manly work I’ve done in years. It was also the most physical work I’ve done in years. I’m sore all over and I’m going back and forth between exhaustion and endorphin rushes (because my body’s freaking out and waking me up in case more is coming, ha ha). It was a good day.
I mentioned electrical re-wiring (as though there’s any other kind of re-wiring…but shut up). There’s some background information needed here. The house I live in is about 50-ish years old. Since none of us are 100 years old, there was a guy who lived there before my family did. He made poor choices. There have been more repairs needed because of his idiocy and irresponsibility than I can count. Everything from over-ambitious soldering to gas-line remapping to electrical fire hazards…and it was the latter we ran into today.
There’s a flourescent light in my basement (two, actually) that has been there for as long as anyone in my family has lived there (and it’s the only house I’ve ever known). In ripping out the island in the kitchen, we had to kill a power-outlet and pull the wire through into the basement—and the wire for that outlet ran down to the area by the light in the basement. Now, we figured the wire would run down to a junction box and we’d just kill the electric to it for a few minutes, rip out the wire, and be done. Shouldn’t be more than a 5-10 minute effort. Well, it ended up taking about 3 hours.
First of all…the guy who lived there before us wired the outlet in such a way that it was pretty much being powered off of that light (even when the light was off!). That’s insane enough…but wait! There’s more! As I said, this is a flourescent light, which has a nice, long fixture, as most of them tend to. Well…once we got up into the ceiling (I have drop-ceilings down there), Dave informed me that the light is barely attached to the joists in any serious way, and is mostly just resting on top of the frame for the ceiling. But wait! There’s more! The previous owner was using an old light fixture as a jumper box, with an EXPOSED thread. But wait! There’s more! The wiring coming out of the fixture was held together with (only) electrical tape. And it just BARELY covered the bare wire. But wait…etc! Then he had the wiring for the actual flourescent fixture coming off the old, bare, exposed fixture, and it was stretched so tight, it looked like two guitar strings. You probably could’ve gotten a tone out of them if you plucked them. And remember…this is all covered by a drop ceiling. That’s pretty much the entire length of the basement, covered in highly flammable tile, with a bare fixture a shoddy wiring less than 2-3 inches from its surface. How we’ve gone 30+ years without a fire is a mystery.
So…that had to be addresses. We (and by “We” I mean “Dave”) fixed it as much as possible, removing the bare fixture and getting some slack to the wires going to the flourescent light. But we aren’t really able to secure the fixture. So instead, I’m going to go out and look at a new fixture, and we’re going to drop it in so that we can be somewhere NEAR up to code. (And also, that’ll accomplish part of my dream of removing the flourescent lights from the basement.)
…but it occurs to me that there is a SECOND flourescent light on the other side of the basement. Which means all of this is probably happening over there, too… But we’ll cross that bridge sooner or later. One step at a time.
Anyway…once the semi-emergency wiring repair was done, we finally got back upstairs and finished tearing out the cabinets. It’s almost surreal to walk in there and see it so open and different! I’m really happy with how today went and I’m looking forward to this upcoming Saturday, when we’ll be ripping out the drywall and countertop (and sink and whatnot).
Also, I went to Hood’s to look at cabinets and I think I found some that I’m in love with for cheap…and I think I found a countertop there too! I was going to get granite from Lowe’s…but looking around Hood’s, I found one that’s comparable for a fraction of the cost that is a REALLY good-looking laminate. It looks GREAT (I actually thought it was granite!) and pops out some nice brown tones that I think will fit in with my theme throughout the house pretty well. I’ve got to take some measurements and then go back out to Hood’s where they’ll design it in a computer and I can see how it’ll look and what it’ll cost. But I think it’ll be awesome. I’m getting pretty excited about it, and I’m glad I came up with the idea of going out there.
And there we go. I’ll stop writing now, since a lot of you only skimmed this to begin with…thanks for putting up with me and my excitement about the project.
I lied about the boobs, though. Sorry.
A whole bunch of Queen.