We made it to the light! | Stage 5: Punch List
Last stage: Punch list and settling in – we made it to the light!
Wow! What a journey it’s been – we made it and we are very happy with it! The kitchen turned out amazing and wonderful, and at the same time, I am so glad it’s over!
The last few items on the punch list were completed yesterday – additional parts were needed and it took a couple of weeks to gather it all together so the contractor could finish up! But we made it – DONE! FINISHED! COMPLETE! YAY!
Over the past few weeks, even though we were not all the way finished, we have hosted several informal gatherings with close friends and family. And I am happy to say the kitchen has worked wonderfully! I kind of felt like I was practicing in my own space – HA!
For this last blog entry, I thought I would talk a little about the “punch list” and what I would change:
The punch list is pretty much the last step in the remodel process. This is the time where the nit-picky details get attention. This is also the same time where you realize nothing is perfect. This is remodeling, not perfection. This is where the settling of the house makes it impossible for something to be straight. Or where you accept the fact that it would have been nice to move the window, but the cost was prohibitive, and you are still really OK with the way it all turned out! We, as people, spend WAAAY too much time looking for flaws and what’s wrong, and not enough energy focusing on what’s right and the beauty that has been brought to the home!
For our punch list, there were some things in the island that had to be adjusted, which meant there were some pieces of molding that had to be ordered to cover the unfinished edges of panels. Then I shorted myself 2 sheets of tile (Really? 2 SHEETS! What was I thinking?) which held up the installation of the backsplash and outlets in the island. The panels on the side of the frig were cut incorrectly and had to be reordered. All in all, there was about 2 ½ to 3 weeks of order time to get all the stuff in and ready for installation. But our contractor came in right away and installed it all in one day! (2 if you count the return this morning to finish the outlets – had to wait for the grout to dry!)
It would be nice if everything came in a neatly wrapped package with a bow on it. Then the contractor could unwrap each piece and install it with no adjustment and move on to the next piece. With ALL remodeling, there are adjustments made in the field. With ALL remodeling, there will be something that will need to be ordered to take care of a shift or adjustment or a detail or an error. We do our best to mitigate the need for parts to be ordered, but as they say, stuff happens. The good news is that no one is going to die because of the change/shift/error, and it can be fixed. A few extra pieces in different sizes than were originally planned, and we are good to go! In the scheme of things, it was not that big of a deal.
Before our contractor came out to install the re-ordered pieces/parts and tile, we made a list of the items that needed attention. Most of the items he already knew about, but it’s best to put that reminder list together so no one forgets. And then there is no question about what’s left to complete. (It’s kind of like going to the store to get one thing – and while you are at the store, you remember you need a few more things but by the time you get home you realize you forgot the one thing you really went to the store for! I am sure that’s never happened to anyone!)
So, now that the punch list is complete, we can rid ourselves of all construction material that has inhabited our eating area and finish putting the place back together. I had already spent the time putting away pots/pans, dishes, glasses, knives and forks and so on, even before we were done with the punch list. I needed to be able to see if things worked the way that I thought and the way that I had hoped. It was relatively easy to get organized since I had it all planned out in my head before the kitchen was ordered.
What I was truly interested to see was if I would have more storage capacity than the last kitchen. I wanted to bring some things from my pantry in the laundry room in to the kitchen, as well as some small appliances that I use pretty regularly, but were kept out of the kitchen due to lack of room and accessibility. I was mildly surprised – after putting away all the additional dishes and appliances that were not in the old kitchen, I actually had one wall cabinet that was entirely empty! I accomplished my goal of getting some of the pantry stuff in to the kitchen! Awesome!!
The last question people have asked me has been “What would you do different?”.
I can honestly say, after living in the kitchen for the past few weeks, entertaining on a small scale several times – no, there is nothing that I would do differently.
The space that I had available to me has been maximized through careful planning. I swear by the drawer storage! While drawer cabinets are more expensive, they will store approximately 50% more than a cabinet with roll out shelves in it. The access to the drawers is awesome – I have my dishes in a drawer with a peg board storage system, and it’s perfect. https://www.google.com/search?q=dish+peg+organizer&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=979&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3hIi0qIDOAhWIyoMKHUgUC-UQ_AUIBygC&dpr=1#imgrc=lHBAKum-NvgKHM%3A No heavy lifting of dishes in to a wall cabinet. Pots and pans fit really well and the lids get tucked in around them. Ovenware and pyrex fits perfectly and access is easy! Gadget drawers and knife drawers – yes!
The second sink we put in the island is so cool! It’s a fun sink by Elkay called the Mystic sink. It’s a shallow depth stainless steel sink that looks a little like a little river. Since we live on the river, I thought it appropriate, and everyone loves it. It gives us more functionality in the kitchen, as well as being a little bit of a surprise detail. http://www.elkay.com/mystic2812
I chose to keep the finishes on the perimeter cabinets and the island cabinets the same. It seems to help expand the space a little. The choice of the grey stained hickory coordinates with the rustic interior of the log house. The simple door style doesn’t compete with any color or other detail. Just what the designer ordered.
I am still loving the countertop choice – and I love the full backsplash behind the hood. It’s a look I have loved for a long time, and I am glad to have it! Easy clean up, plus it looks awesome! The rest of the backsplash is a subtle detail that blends well with the other material choices. I don’t think I will ever get tired of it.
LED lights – both under cabinet and ceiling cans – absolutely terrific! They do not get hot and they are dimmable with great light and the color temperature is not harsh as has been the case in earlier LED lights. It’s nice to know I’m saving energy as well. The outlets are tucked up under the wall cabinets, so I don’t have any outlets interrupting the backsplash. It’s nice to have the ugly outlets hidden.
There were many discussions about the island and how it would be configured – the final configuration includes the seating area raised to bar height, so appropriate stools were needed and this is definitely different than the old kitchen but has worked so well so far. There are outlets in the island that have USB ports so we can charge up to 6 phones or tablets or whatever! The kids will be so happy! And then there is the beverage refrigerator that is accessible from the great room side of the island – that keeps people out of my way when I am cooking!
So here I am at the end of the project so appreciative that I was able to do this! It was a great experience. It was a learning experience. And one that I will draw on for every project I do in the future. The one piece of advice I can give to anyone considering a remodel – make sure to stock up on patience. You will need it for your sanity and the longevity of your marriage!