Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kitchen renovation @ our bear cave

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
 Tuesday 2 Nov 2010

Looking towards the stove / sink
You can't see it on this pic - but the kitchen sink leaks and is about to fall through the bench top -oven has blown it's top element again and while it is only about 6 years or so old - I be stupid to get this fixed - yet again.  So we really need to get our skates on and try and fix this kitchen.  It hasn't had any work done since 1984 and it is starting to show!!  So here is a before / in-between / after blog entry that will keep going for the next few months - as muggins here has to do some major work (mainly of the destructive type)!!


Here is the other side - fridge and work bench on the north side

Looking back from the window end towards the hot water cub-board; This will be the first to go!

We got a plumber in who drained the cylinder and replaced it with a flow through gas fired unit (which lives on the outside the kitchen wall - and hot continuous water 'till you run out of Gas - or cash to buy gas!!

I made a start. I so hope this was not a supporting wall!! Had to take out the Rimu shelving - find new temp storage space for tee towels etc etc

I shifted the fridge!! This will eventually be the final resting place for the fridge in the new arrangement!! Luckily for us we bought a fridge where you can change the door opening from left-hand side to right-hand side!!

Where the fridge used to be!! Now a temporary bench with the microwave!!!

The job between now and Christmas is to completely remove everything from the kitchen. Cub-boards etc etc. Then re-arrange the plumbing / wiring / gas access!
Then re-line the gib board, gib-stop that, get it painted, get a new floor, get a new life -- ooops :)

AND after all of that we just might get a new Kitchen installed !! We gonna have a gas hob and a must have item will be a stone bench top!!

I will keep you posted on how it goes - might have to make a start next long weekend!!

December  8    2010
Hmmm it was summer, and now it feels like winter again.

Anyhow - after shopping round at 4 places and getting plenty of ideas we have settled on one company to make our kitchen.

(B#$^&$ hell - as  I type another large aftershock!!)

Anyhow - small world - the color consultant working there used to have the apple orchard next to us - to which I used to walk my boys to, in a pram, and the sister-in-law of the sales lady was one of our sons teacher's in primary school!!
No wonder this feels right!!

I shall endeavor to scan the plans and show later.  Meanwhile we have been shopping round for a new kitchen tap ($355) and a exhaust-fan kit-set for the range-hood, ordered 25 Rimu (indeed Rimu from our NZ trees) cabinet handles and the Gib plates for when we re-line the kitchen!!
Had the plumber round today to check out the work involved and give us a fixed price.
Things are humming along nicely.
Oh - also spent most of last Sunday afternoon Google-ing on the net the fire regulations for our gas hob.  There is so much - or shall we say little information out there regarding this, and what is out there is hearsay and contradicting.  Eventually found a authoritative website from our Govt. that clearly stipulated the requirements, so ordered one gypsum based fire resistant special plate to go on the wall where the gas-hob and glass splash-back is going to be - eventually!!

Well the earthquake graph shows it to be a Mag 3.8, reasonably large and far to close for my comfort!!

December 12

Yay - after several tries we finally managed to connect with the electrician.  Seems he has tried and contact us for the last few days - tough luck we where out of town.  Anyhow - he will come on Monday and measure us up and tell us costings.  We do need to rewire the place - shifting the oven etc.

December 13

Wohooo got a call at 7.30 am - the Kitchen installer has rung and made a time to do a final measure check!  He will come this afternoon too.  After this they will order the timber and start the manufacturing process. They are measuring down to the millimeter = lets just hope that these measurements will be the same after I had taken down the Gib-board and added the insulation then re-clad the walls. Hmmm must ask him that when he comes!

December 14

Ok so the Installer has been and gone - had a good chinwag with him re some issues.  Seems we do not need a ventilation hole for the fridge - so that's great.
Also had the electrician round today to give us a fixed price - need to wait for that to arrive in the mail later.

December 16

Got a call from our plumbing supplier - the kitchen sink mixer has arrived and is ready for pick up.  So instead of walking to work will take the car and go from work into town.  I have been there so often I reckon the car knows its own way there!!  She also said it was a big enough box for Santa Claus to hide in! ^^ yes well!!  Anyway when I did pick it up it was indeed a rather large box - 90 % full of polystyrene filling to protect the precious mixer.  80cm x 40cm x 6 cm - large enough to hold large long-stem flowers!!!

December 17

Got the quote from the electrician in the mail today - all NZ $ 995 of it.  A bit more then we had hoped for - but can't be  helped.  Now just waiting for the plumber to supply his fixed price - he has been round to work out what needs to be done.

December 18 

Yup - Plumbers quote in the mail today as well - seems they work together as it was nearly the same prize - ah well - sighs - its a cost we have to bear!!
As a general rule I stay clear of anything remotely related to water or electricity! I just don't trust myself . . . .    ^^

December 20

Part of the renovations is getting new wall-claddings - and one of them has to be fire rated.  So we ordered from Mitre 10 in Rangiora - where we get a small discount and then inquired about delivery.  Blow me - that was gonna cost more then the product itself.  Hmmmm Grandad has a tow bar ^^
Short answer - I asked if I could borrow his tow-bar - and yes was the answer.  Seeing I asked so nicely - he offered me the use of his car (without which I could not use the tow-bar anyhow!) and so off I went this morning.  Took four trips and $15 of petrol - but it was worth it.  So now the plates rest in my garage 'till the day I need them - 11 Jan.  Boy they are heavy - will need minimum of two local brawny lads to lift them up to the ceiling while I run round and screw them in.
Speaking of screws - while in the hardware store I picked up two packets of Gib screws - ready for the job. Hmm I will need to plaster the boards and paint some.  ah well thats for later.
Meanwhile - I took a call from the Kiwi Kitchen - they wanted our agreement to shift the sink a bit to the right.  After some discussion we agreed - seems this was the best solution to a teeny weeny problem! Love it when someone recognizes there is a problem and comes up with a good solution!!
Will need to get a couple of Tables and one gas-bottle from our Scout hall to tie me over while the renovations are happening - hmm that will be this weeks job - just when is the question!! Got a staff luncheon tomorrow and Pam's work-do in the evening.  Wednesday is shopping night (and thats gonna be crazy) that leaves Thursday - 'cause I'm pretty sure I wont get keys on Christmas eve - ah well we will see

December 23

Found a Asian warehouse in town town today - stopped and bought a 28 inch Wok.  So there are no excuses for having home made Chinese dinner ^^!!
oh and we did manage to get the tables on Wednesday evening. Grocery shopping however turned out to be very chaotic.  I'm glad I don't have to go today!

January 1 - 2011

The big day after - I listened to the Pummerin ring in the new year from Austria and the traditional "Blue Danube" Waltz from Mr's Strauss and co. (via a live radio stream on the Internet)- and then went to bed.  Had a big-ish day ahead of me.  We basically had to empty out all cup-boards from the kitchen and get it ready for the gutting thereof.  I used my Jamboree experience and set up a table in the lounge that has most things at the ready.  Micky who had been out on  a party didn't know what hit him once he got home back in the wee hours - EVERYTHING had shifted!!  Even the Jug and toaster are in the lounge!!

Hmmm cannot use both at the same time on the same power plug - we keep busting our fuses  . . . ..

Now as to tomorrow . . . . .

January 2

Have this friend I know from Scouting who very kindly agreed to help with the kitchen removal.  I was really glad he offered - as he has the tools and the right know how!! We agreed to have a leisurely start - sometime after 8.30 am - 9 am, which didn't stop me from being awake bright and early.  (nervous energy???)  I put on my Man-shirt and went downstairs and had breakfast - and then it was time.  Yes folks we literally ripped out our kitchen and while we were at it also the wall linings!!  Have to put in the insulation (Pink Batts - a NZ Glass-spun insulation material) later on.  You can see some are already in from earlier renovations attempts.

Where the kitchen sink U S E D  to be!!  Glad that came of!!  It was only held up by the grace of God and a resolute waste-disposal unit!!  But for that it would have fallen through ages ago as the timber underneath clearly rotted away!!
 Monkey see - Monkey do????   A Madonna appearing??

Nope - just Micky checking something out before he removed - shifted actually -  the Pink Batts in the ceiling cavity!!
I could not resist taking this picture . . . . .
Pics show a typical NZ Housing construction - timber framed with a brick Veneer - and I am glad we had that - as it withstood our recent major earthquake very well!! If we had just bricks as walls we would have been buried in that.  Anyhow - we manged to get everything out and the gib-plates off and then replaced the Ceiling plates that very same day!!  Good job all round. Suffice to say - I am stuffed now!!
Bloke I know from work even took the  cabinets away as they are made out of NZ Rimu -- a valuable rare timber here now -- as you no longer can log our native tree.  He will try and make me a bookcase for  the office!  Win win all round really.
Mamabear didn't fancy cooking in this environment - so we decided to treat ourselves to some Pizza takeout and the customary Garlic Bread!!  I even managed to raise a glass of red and toast to a successful working day!!  We still got major work ahead of us - need to get the plumber / electrician in and set up the place - then re-line the rest of the gib board and stop that / paint that - and THEN the kitchen guys can come in and do their bit of magic.  Can't wait!!!!

Stuffed and knacker-ed I am - to bed I go and catch up with some well earned ZZZ's

January 4

Managed to get a couple of Gib plates up yesterday in 32 degree summer heat and was wondering why I was not strolling on the Beach!! Then had to stop until the plumber and sparky have been.  Looked at the stopping and decided to hire a Gib-sander (complete with Vacuum cleaner attached).  This should make the sanding down easier and keep the resulting mess down. You have no idea how far the extreme fine Gib-dust (that is generated from fine sanding) will spread. It goes on F O R E V E R ! ! One Phone call later - uhu - oh yeah - shops not open 'till tomorrow as New Zealand is still in holiday mode - (NZ Statutory day). Will need to book that in next day.
Meanwhile we took a call from the NZ Earthquake commission - they will come tomorrow and asses the damage to our house from the Sep 4 2010 earthquake. This should be interesting.

5 January

Woke to steady drizzle and 16 degrees - almost divine weather after yesterday's heat.
Was still getting through morning routine when the skip arrived - so there was nothing to it - we just got dressed in our Man-shirt (clothes) and got stuck into shifting the pile of old gib-plates and timber and a whole heap of other rubbish that we had generated from the removing of our kitchen plus some stuff that we had accumulated since way back. Took us most part of the morning. Skip is still only half full - so we will clean out our store room tomorrow!!
The best part of this was - I had to look up skip hire in Christchurch on the net and came across this website - http://www.bookabin.co.nz/ that claims to compare prizes with from all the firms and list the cheapest available. You just enter your details (where u live) when from and how long you want it - and the bin size (cubed meters) and hey presto. You have to pay online to clinch the deal. I have to say I was a bit skeptical about this - and so rung three firms - and yeah - they did provide the cheapest deal.
Email confirmation arrived with in seconds and most impressive they rung back and confirmed a date - as I had originally put on the form a bin to be delivered on a working day - which in this year is actually a public holiday - I forgot that part. Anyway - I was impressed with the service received!! Wish this was available for other things like booking a motel or shopping for a camera . . . .
Had to stop here - lunch and meet the earthquake insurance assessor . ..

Later in the day I rung up another tool hire firm and booked in a Gib-sander complete with Vacuum sucker bag thingie gadget!! The time frame for this is tight - so will need to get the skates on - but I really hate the way the dust is spreading from the sanding - and manually it is real hard work!! So I am real pleased that I managed to get this booked in - especially now as many folks are starting to repair their houses from the Earthquake damage!! While at it inquired about a floor sander - yup - can be hired too - and seems easy to use - quote - "well if a little old lady can use it (last year) and was happy with the job she'd done - then I am sure us blokes should have no problemo using it" hmmmm need to think about that one.

6 January

Yup - Plumber came bright and early.  His comment upon entering the house - "ohhh you don't have a kitchen any longer"  which made it easy for him to do his stuff.  Didn't seem long and he was gone again.  We are shifting the kitchen sink along by 30 cm and next to that will be the dishwasher.
Later that day - a gas fitter came - he was just passing by and wanted to look in and confirm that he wasn't needed to-day and where exactly everything went.  After a bit of pointing here and there and u-hing and a-hing he left a happy man.  We won't need him till after the bench-top has been installed - which could be the end of the month - beg Feb even!!
Decided that I will go and by some Gib nails.  I had to pre-drill the screw holes for the 2 gib-board's I had already put up (remember - Rimu framed = hard wood) and seeing the drill smoking, then actually using the screws itself - I decided this was to hard and complicated and will stick with the nails after all - assuming I can get 40mm nails. We'll see.
Electrician rung and confirmed his arrival time on the 10 Jan.  It will be great to see him and have the pre-wiring completed - as I then can mount up the rest of the Gib boards and get started on the Gib-stopping.

9 January

yup friends, we are living in a "RISK adverse" society. Seems no one is prepared to take on individual responsibility for themselves and EVERYTHING comes with a health warning - just in case someone gets into trouble and then decides to sue any Tom, Dick or Harry.
As you can see - this borrowed ladder has a nice bright sticker on it - which I admit to reading three days AFTER I have been up and down on it like a yo-yo.

The bit that really tickled our fancy was the little sticker on the steps itself. Here is a photoshop'd version.  Dunno if you can read this.

Now to my question - W H Y  has a sturdy Step-ladder been build & is available for sale in shops - then comes with a sticker on it that effectively says - DO NOT climb stepladder????

GO F I G U R E . . . . .    ^^

Oh and I got a bag of Gib-nails the other day - s'pose I have to use the hammer -
;) the one that comes with a health warning (do not use hammer while holding nails) hehehehe

10 January

Oh yes - the Sparky came around 9-ish and got stuck into his job! He shifted several power points and disconnected the Oven.  While he was here also got him to change one of the light fittings (which nearly became dust on touching it - the plastic doesn't cope with the heat generated from the light bulb very well) and install a flash 24 hour on/off timer on our towel rail heater. It is a $120 timer that came off our old hot water cylinder and I wasn't going to toss that out!  I filled in my time with setting up 2 gas ring cookers in the garage I borrowed from our Scout group now that we have lost our Stove.  That did not go fully to plan either as one of the connections seemed to leek gas - so that needed a fix-it-job.  After a bit of poking and fixing it is all good.  Just need to teach the boys now how to use it - safely!!  Anyhow the sparky left after 11 am - so got stuck in placing in the insulation.  It is incredible how much difference these make to keeping the house warm.  So now the only place not having pink batts is our laundry and that has a very small wall - with most of that being a Door and Window. - I got three sheets left over - so that will keep for another day - meanwhile they will be stored in the roof/ceiling.  Here is the nearly completed south wall - yes - where the hot water cub-board USED to be and previously you saw a fridge there for a while.  hmmm there used to be a wall that poked out too!!
Looking back towards the entrance way.  I almost had to rebuild the curved archway. However it does need a lot of work - and need to work hard on getting this really right for painting.
The pink Board is a Fire rated Gypsum board.  Was advised we need this for installation with the Gas-hob. It is a heavy sheet and took a bit on lifting into place.  Actually I was not impressed - the ceiling height on the left side is 2405mm - however on the right side of the wall it measured 2440mm!!  ^.o
The installer is gonna have fun with that one.  I don't think I have EVER lived in a place where the walls where straight and true.  Just as well we are going to paint them.  Imagine using patterned wallpaper on this and trying to line up the pattern's.

Here Papabear can be seen to place the last nail in for the day!!
After this it was mixing up the plaster and get stuck into covering all the nails and cracks and joins! It is not one of my favorite jobs - but I do not mind it too much.  Apparently I am good at it!!  Hm must take a pic of that later.
Mamabear came home from work and I sent her out to get some fish and chips - easy tea.  We then carried on stopping till I run out of tape - so need to get this tomorrow morning from the local Hardware store!!  Took a shower around 10.20-ish and fell into bed.

11 January

Did not sleep much in the end - must have been over-tired!  Got up and after breakfast decided that I really need the plastering tape so got decently dressed and walked to the local outdoor mall and hardware store.  They didn't have any - surprise surprise - everyone is fixing walls after the earthquakes.  They had only the self adhesive mesh tapes.  It is not as good as the paper - but knowing it ends up in a location you cant see - after the kitchen installation - I went and bought a small roll.  While there also bought some replacement blades and a new Stanley Knife (seeing I busted the old one yesterday).
Then on back  home - change of clothes and another mix of the  gib-stuff made - I went on to finish what I started yesterday!
Now I have a kitchen full of plaster - and it really needs to dry out before I can add the second layer - hmmmm summer and we got only 12 degrees - ah well - where is our Blowing-heater???
That means I have the afternoon off!! WHAT shall I do???  What shall I do? ? ? ?  hmmmmmm lets see . .. . . . . .

Got 5 mini-figurines delivered this morning in the post.
Took about ten nanoseconds to put them together - then needed to find a place for them.
Decided to stuff around with my Canon and test different settings / shoots / apertures.  Like the reflections - must go and find a decent black table top and use that - maybe they reflect better? ?

12 January

Today is a slack day!  The gib is still semi wet and it needs to dry our completely before the next layer goes on. Hmm I do have a floodlight that acts as infra-red light - that would help - but that would mean digging that out from storage. As we are slightly ahead of schedule - I decided to take it easy.
yeah right so far - I had been visited by a representative of Habitat New Zealand - who very gratefully accepted our old Oven/stove.  Again a win win situation - they get to recondition (needs a new $50 grill element) and re-use a new-ish oven for free and I don't have to go and pay dump fees.  While they were here I also gave them our (more to the point - Grannys old) laundry hamper. 
I then went ahead and conditioned / seasoned our newly acquired Wok.  After some research on Google - should be straight forward. Basically you heat the thing up until it is well - HOT HOT HOT and then you rub in some food grade oil - with a high flash point.  So rice oil would do nicely!! And I do have some.  This makes the wok black and ugly looking - and oh yeah - you get a lot of fumes.  Once you have done this set aside to let cool naturally. The advantage is that no food should ever stick to the surface as all the steel pores open up and soak up the oil.  Under no circumstances use any soap or dish-washing liquid to clean your wok after cooking. Wash with warm water only and run a oily rag over it after it has dried.
Having suitably smoked out the garage I discovered that I don't have net access - so spent  an hour problem hunting our network.  It would seem we have a switch (only about 1.6 years old) that is slowly dying!  This may need replacing soon.  Sighs
Then the Bin/skip man came - he knocked on the door - urm sir - have you finished with the bin - it is well - empty-ish?? (3/4 actually).  Ok - well we do have some stuff but your office said you could not take that.  After a wink and a nudge we got our left over long iron roofing sheets (from when we added the garage and granny flat to our house)  - folded them up and added them into the skip along with some old plastic guttering!  yipee - saves me another trip to the dump and opens up the last remaining area for gardening work.  Hmm while there looked at the spuds - they look like ready for harvesting - might do that later.

Meanwhile Mamabear is having trouble getting the Rimu cub-board handles.  We ordered them well before Christmas - but then they lost our order . . . . .   then can't get them made till end Jan / beg Feb.   How hard can it be? ? ? ?   There must be scattered around in various stores within Christchurch a total of 25 handles I am sure!! After all I always see them when visiting a hardware store!

Ok will take a picture of our temporary cooking station in the garage and then have a drink - and its only 10.47am so far.  Wonder if I can sit down in peace and read a book later on . . . .

15 January

Hmmm never did get that book read!  Was up bright and early and after breakfast Mamabear took me to the hire place and we picked up the Gib-sander-vacuum gadget.  Took no time at all to sand down the bulk of the excess gib and make it ready for painting.  However seeing it was a round disk - we also had to sand some areas by hand and particular in the corners.  Now while the cleaner took away the bulk of the dust - it did not took away everything.  As a result we had a very fine white layer of dust on EVERYTHING in the lounge - which in turn needed cleaning!  You would not believe how far this fine dust can travel.  Luckily we had a nor-wester in Christchurch so  most of it went out through the kitchen window!  Having dealt with that, I was keen to get the sealer coat on the areas that need painting.  Before that though I had to take a shower and get the dust of me.  It is so fine it clogs your pores.  Even though I wore a mask - it still got inside my nose and the snot was yellow for a while!!  EEEEK.   The undercoat/sealer on the whole  went ok - even though I used more paint then anticipated.  Sadly it ripped some small holes in the ceiling where the Gib hasn't settled totally so that needed a patch up job- which means leaving THAT to dry overnight before I can smooth-sand it back and then seal.  Hopefully I can do that tomorrow. I really would like to get the first coat of paint on and then the final coat on Monday - as on Tuesday I be back at work!!
With this in  mind we decided to go and watch Jogi Bear at 1 pm at the movies and then paint in the late afternoon / evening.  I would expect more people there then we had experienced when watching the  Tron legacy movie. The theater seats in excess of 600 people and there was a grand total of 4   yes   FOUR  watching the movie!  I actually enjoyed the original Tron movie - but was a little disappointed with the sequel!  I should also mention that our wok got a good workout and produced 2 lovely meals - which even my boys liked to the point of asking for more!!!!  I will need to hunt for more recipes - or just make them up as I go along!!   ^^
Also we got the final bill for the cabinetry in the post - need to pay that!  With the bill came the news that the cabinetry will be installed around 1 February!! Can't wait!!!  Oh and Mamabear informs me that our Cabinet Rimu handles have been sourced via a Mitre 10 store somewhere south (Invercargill I think - cannot go any further south then that!)  They should be here next Tuesday!!  Way to go!!
We also need to go and pay for our oven / fridge etc.  Harvey Norman very kindly agreed to store them at their warehouse until we are ready to have them delivered to our place - which we asked to be done on Monday 24th!  They will fill up the empty space in the garage again!! We will have a nice kitchen - and a nice cash debt!! o-^

18 January

Ahhh - the joys of holidays.  Decided to totally treat myself and sat and read a book yesterday.  Titled "inheritance" by NZ Author Jenny Pattrick - a short little book about - well life and relationships (failed and successful) - ok   I am procrastinating.  The paint on the walls went on during the weekend.  Modern paints - they are touch dry within 30 minutes and - so the label says - can be repainted after 2 hours.  So that all happened on the weekend.  Last job to do was getting the lino up and sanded back and varnished - I started on Monday - yesterday - but after 30 min of scrubbing gave up and rung a firm to give us a quote.  He came late  afternoon and promised to ring back in the evening with a price.  Evening became 8 am today - "urm - urm  we lost a job today - could do it this morning from 10 am - oh and s'pose you want to know the cost first?!?!!?"  
Well the figure given was within budget - so woke up the lad and got him to give me a hand shifting out everything from laundry - then went to work.

I now no longer have a usable lounge neither, let alone a garage or a kitchen!  Must say I am looking forward to have everything back to "normal"!! Came back to a racket of a noise - sander etc.  They are now putting on the first coat!! oh yummm - I so love the grain and colour of NZ rimu - it is going to look very very nice.
Lets see if i can snap a quick picture . . . . . 
The look back from the laundry into the kitchen with the glue-iy old uneven timber-floor!

The newly sanded floor - ready to be varnished! Isn't it looking absolutely fabulous??? Love the grain and color!! Oh did I say that before already ? ?   :) 

First coat is going on - notice how it changes - yup this is going to look very nice indeed!!

20 January

Hmmmm the handles have arrived - but we are still short so will duck into local hardware store and see if I can get the last few we need.(yep - got them so bought enough and a couple of spares - just in case!!)
The sanding firm has completed the job.  I am impressed with the finish - much better then I could have done.  Learned  too that you now can get water based varnish that is touch dry in 20 minutes and then you can apply the first coat - which took 12 hours to dry!!
Just had to screw back the doors to the door frames and do some final clean up.  Then I will have to bring back the washing machine into the laundry and hook that up. Got a friend who owns one of the wheeled trolleys - which is great - and we won't damage the brilliant newly varnished floor!!  After that we wait for the cabinets to arrive.  They are being build as I am typing.  Meanwhile - tomorrow we have to go into town and pay the final bill (ouch) and also the final payments on the fridge / stove etc etc.  The oven etc will be delivered on Monday and will live in our Garage till the kitchen is ready to be installed.  We have a three car garage and have not yet ONCE managed to park any car in it - this is of course a great kiwi tradition!!
Looking real good right now!!

21 January

Went into town and paid the last cash owing for the white ware (fridge etc).
Actually - Mr Credit Card and then Mr Overdraft-on-our-Mortgage paid for it now - while we pay it back monthly and  slowly over the next few years.  Then went on and paid the kitchen cabinet people their dues, and gave them the 23 Rimu door handles that we  had trouble sourcing.  While there talked about colour for the Glass splash-back.  Couldn't make up our mind up so took the samples home to hold up in various lights and go from there.  So far something in lavender / purple seems to be the favorite.  We will see.  Also "booked" in the delivery date for the cabinets.  Oh and we confirmed the delivery for the new white-ware for next week.  The garage will be full again - having just cleared out some stuff!
Not long now - can't wait.  Hope its finished soon.

24 January

The mice are dancing and there was general joy in the house!! After some nervous waiting the white-ware has arrived. The new fridge is in the lounge and already plugged in to the grid - pre-cooling itself so that we can transfer all frozen food etc without thawing it out.
The rest of the stuff is (yet again) back in the Garage, and awaiting deployment! Only thing we still need to get is the microwave - but Kiwi Kitchens are on to that! Next week the cabinets arrive - wohooooo!! We got a bottle of bubbly on ice - ready for the celebrations!!

30 January

Sunday - a day of rest / contemplation etc.  Boys are looking forward getting the kitchen installed as then they no longer need to carry hot water from the laundry into the lounge and wash up on a separate table there. Last job I did was to strip down and sand the door jam's (after having the nails removed) and then nail them back up on the door - then cover the nail holes and give it one final coat of paint.
Meanwhile we are having a hick-up with our kitchen bench top - seems the paper work got lost in translation.  The stone itself has been made (we think) but missed the container - which was already sealed - so it has to wait for the next shipment.
our Bench-top colour from hanstone  <----- our choice, although mamabear was also fond of the chocolate cognac
As far as we can make it out it currently sits on a beach in South Korea - or was that Italy???  It will not arrive here for another 10 weeks and then of course it takes 10 - 12 days to fit into place.  So Kiwi kitchens have very kindly offered to put in place a temporary MDF bench top - nothing flash - but at least we can install the kitchen sink and the cook top, thus making the kitchen usable!!! Just means that the plumber and possibly the sparky will have to come back after Easter and help with the final install.  Sigh's
Meanwhile they are all booked in for this coming Tuesday!! We got a bottle on ice already - for the post install celebrations ^^  Hmmm have to have another one when the bench-top has been installed and EVERYTHING is finished!!

1 February

Joe - the installer arrived  soon after breakfast and got stuck in setting up.
At last some more progress.
As mentioned before the walls are nowhere near straight.  Here is the evidence.  It is joined at the back but out by 7 mm at the front and also as you can see it diverges from bottom to the top. Fun fun . . .   ^^
Where the dishwasher is going to be and also the temporary mdf bench-top.  He will need to find a little sink to fit - otherwise we be using a bucket for a long time yet.
Space for the Oven and Microwave, and yet again the temporary benchtop. Little stuff up at the far end - the draws were s'posed to have two set's of handles each - but now they have just one.  Talked it over with Joe - the installer and also later with mamabear - and we decided it is something we can live with.
These Rimu handles have a grommet inside which does give them extra strength - so no worries there

3 February

What a difference some days can make.  More progress yesterday and today.
The Sparky was told everything is ready for him by the installer. So the sparky rung here and came round this morning before I went to work - just to clarify some things.  Just as well he did -  I felt a bit stupid as I had forgotten to cut out a spot on the gib board where the mircowave plug ought to be.  For the last 2 or 3 weeks I was wondering why I seemed to be short one electric plughole.  Anyhow - he said no big deal they find it and cut it out. So off to work I went. 
When I came home the Oven was in and everything plugged and working - yahhh!!  Till Mamabear came home and pointed out that we have the wrong Oven. The model we ordered is a rare breed with a side hinged door.  This makes it easier for access and cleaning.  Didn't know you could get them in NZ until we saw one in a special shop - so we made a point of ordering said model and planned the kitchen around that very fact. I am sad to say - at this point in time I lost it a bit and the language was suppressed coarse and a tad colourful.

Sigh - -  so now I have to ring up the shop and get them to organize a replacement (which includes an electrician to un-install and then re-install the oven's as they are hard-wired in).

The installer came round this morning too and brought with him a nice temporary sink / benchtop.  Guess the plumber will call soon and hook that and the dishwasher up.  This means that the kitchen will be usable for doing dishes at minimum.  While he was there I pointed out the fact we have on the plan 4 drawers of equal height and not the three unequal ones as installed.  When he left he told the boys he be back few days later and fix up the flaws.  Good stuff.
I also should say that our boys are very impressed with Joe - when he's finished with a days work but before he leaves he cleans up - and probably to a higher standard then our boys!! 

Sighs - I now will go and have a decent glass some white medicinal drink, then head of to bed!!

4 February

Rung the sparky first thing this morning and started explaining about the oven - and the need to un-install and sorting out times when he said - oh you live in urm yeah - we can come round now if you like.  Hmm ok and he did - he was here inside 3 minutes.  Seems they work from a base VERY close to us.  The chap that came was nice and had the oven out and disconnected inside 5 minutes! Well done.  Then tried to ring the shop - hmm shop hours are from 9 am.  ok I can ring from work.  Decided seeing it was a nice warm morning that I would walk (it's only 3k there) - and that way bleed of some of the stress.  Arrived at work reasonably relaxed then placed the call.  Long story short - they agreed to swap over the oven and best of all seems there is a unit in town - so should not have to wait to long.  They just need to pick up the other one.  That shouldn't be too hard.  Then tried to concentrate on work when the phone rung - our Plumber!!  He wanted to know a few things before he came to our place.  hmmm ok, that was unexpected -- but ok - we have some action.  Clarified a couple of things and then went back to work.  Boys showed him where the tap was and other stuff!! Got home - and he was obviously at a late lunch, but had made good progress.  He was nice chap- couldn't believe that our bench-top was still in some beach warehouse in South Korea - or was this Italy?!?!.  He hooked up all the plumbing on the temporary bench-top and got the dishwasher working.  The Boys  L O V E D   that part.  I had to go out and babysit our Venturers and then on to a scout troop camp planning, which doubles as a sleep over - and I bet the boys have already loaded the dishwasher and got it going by now!!! (writing at 11 pm here) Hmmm, there was other stuff happening toady for the kitchen as well - but its late and the kids - well they need attention!!  ^^ Scouts!! :) oh and there will be pancakes with nutella for breakfast!!!

10 February
Small victories.  Got a call on Tuesday afternoon - the Oven is in town!! (yah) We can deliver Thursday or Friday - when would you like it???   Thursday - of course!!
That's today - yussss.  It arrived while I was at work - but thats ok - I had my boys primed for this.
Once I got home I unwrapped the oven and looked at the door. Yup, it's on the wrong side but thats no big deal - you just open the door REAL wide and use a screw driver and undo the teeny weeny screws and then . . .  long story short - it is now where they should be - hinged on the right hand side.  yesssss
Then rung the sparky.  He nearly had forgotten about this little job. They can send someone round Friday morning, so that's great.  Even better - he will be here by 8 am - meaning with a bit of luck I can still WALK to work instead of having to drive there. We'll see.
I also emailed my scout-leader who has "keys to the kingdom" - might get him to bring a 2 burner gas cooker.  We shall plonk that on the mdf temporary bench-top and cook from there.  Not sure who is organizing the gas-fitter, and while we have access to the scout cooker there is no rush.  This will be great - stops me from having to cook in the garage and it just might FEEL like we have a kitchen again.  It has to be said the boys are enjoying the dishwasher tremendously!!!!
Our brand new Westinghouse oven
Will endeavor to  take a pic on Friday once the oven has been installed and display here!!

Friday 11 Feb 4.55pm

Yah here it is.  Sparky forgot the 8 am time and I had to ring him after lunch, however he came after that soon enough.  So I am using it for the first time - roast spuds with a herb mix and a dash of garlic and some roast carrots and Mushrooms.  Dunno if you can see them in there.  Stuffed chicken breast with apricot and cream cheese to follow shortly.
Ohhhh yummmm can't wait.

Eagle eyed folks will notice that two of the stickers are upside down.  That is because they come delivered left side hinged and I had to turn the door over to right hand side hinged - meaning the stickers ended upside down!!  :)

Wednesday 16 February

Got a call on Monday - will some one be home on Tuesday 8am.  Said yes
So the installer came round again and started to fix some of the mistakes.  I left them to it and walked to work.  They (so junior says) were gone by 9.30-ish
I could have sworn as I walked out of our house, there was the corner cupboard brought in, alas it was not to be. Anyway - we got the right draws and soft-close etc. all fixed.  Four equal sized draws and the big door handle in the middle, just as is should be!!  :)  Then this morning he came round on the off chance that some-one was home and fixed one draw that had everything except the runners.  Luckily for  him and us - the boys were out of bed. (time they went back to UNI me thinks)  Can't really do much more installing until the bench-top arrives in the country. As far as we know it is still rowing somewhere in the Pacific. At least we have a workable kitchen for now.

Our kitchen decor. Cant wait to open the bottle and have a celebratory drink ONCE everything is installed and ready to use. Might even have a decent bottle of red bubbly!! Wohooooo

Micky had pancakes for lunch.  The whole family is getting used to cook on gas.  Well at least we no longer have to cook in the garage.  So there are minor blessings all-round!!

Wednesday 15 March

A couple of emails circulated - eventually rung the kiwi kitchen place. Great news, not sure if the tsunami created by the japan earthquake helped (body surfing) but it would appear that our bench-top has stopped doing breast stroke in the Pacific Ocean. Ergo must have made safe landfall. Not sure on the details yet where etc. but it would probably be in Auckland. This means the bench-top would be on it's second leg of the duathlon - a gentle bicycle leg down the country - some 1500km!! Confirmation of that leg is expected soon . . . ^^

Monday 11 April

ah yes - we had a couple of emails going forth and back recently - short story long - the installer came today first thing and firstly fixed up the one panel above the hole where the fridge will be.  That's great - means that we can now shift the fridge  O U T  from the lounge and  I N  to the kitchen!! Yesssss  progress!!
See it just fits and the space on top is for our untold recipe books. Hmmmm must go and dust them out of storage.
Further - he took the temporary bench-top where the gas hob is going to be, away. Seems this temporary top is acting as a template for the new stone bench-top.
Yussss -- the marble stone has finally arrived in Christchurch and they will be making / cutting  our bench-top this week.  Naturally I am VERY happy about that.  I should chill a bottle of white medicinal for later celebrations.  ^^

Meanwhile - the cutlery draw still has got no backing - so when I pointed that out - it was - oh yes - we will fix this today.  Also we are getting a fitted Microwave and the Trim-kit on that was (newer model I think) a few mm larger then the original - so the drawer under that needed re-working, and the installer took that away with him too.  Careful observers will notice the color splash on the wall.  We are looking towards a glass splash-back and this would be the preferred color!!
The really amazing thing is that the house has survived two large earthquakes
(Sep 4 2010 and Feb 22 2011 - with the first one a 7.1 mag and the Feb a mag 6.3) mostly intact with some various rooms having got  cracks in the Gib linings and also on the outside around the foundations   Y  E  T   the newly gib-ed out kitchen hasn't got a single crack anywhere!!!!!  Touch wood it will stay this way!!
We can see the light at then end of the renovation tunnel!!  It will be good to have this finished!!

Thursday 14 April

I dunno if we should laugh or cry.  When the head poncho of the Kiwi Kitchen firm rung and said he wanted to meet with us and go through a couple of things - we assumed it was concerning the plans and getting the cutting out of (the hole for the gas hob on our bench-top) in the RIGHT place and making sure of that.  Turns out we were way of course.
Seems that our Bench top has mysteriously vanished.  The paper says it is inside a container, the customs paper says it has arrived etc - yet no-one in the industry can actually see it.  The firm went to the benchtop sub contractor who went to the importer (who's vanished as well - can't be contacted) and so on it goes.
Given all this, Kiwi kitchen have made a very generous offer - one which I am sure we will take up - but it will mean NOT getting the bench-top we ordered, which is a bit of a let down.  We will be going in next week to see what they can offer us and go from there.  Will keep you posted on that.
It does mean however that they might have everything finished in less then 14 days - which would be great . . . .

Monday 18 April  

Went in and saw Kiwi kitchen and from there we went to the factory! Saw lots of slabs of marble or granite as well as some engineered stone! Most of them are the modern plain looking whites or blacks.  The sample that was originally shown to us was indeed the best looking thing round - so we went with this. It is a marble that comes from Brazil, of all places!! dang - I should have taken a picture. Ah well - it will happen once it is installed!!! Should be soon and so glad it is happening.

Friday 29 April

I should know better.  No point in getting to excited.  But I could not help it, having gotten a call advising or actually asking "seeing that they had to shift a order" would we mind if they bring round the bench-tops today??!!  No contest - got for it!! So naturally I was full of hope and joy.  Mind you had to ring the plumber - then ring him back again - they weren't needed today - but made firm arrangements for next Monday.  The folks duly arrived after lunch and started the install.  As you can see this is before the hole for the gas hob is cut and as they explained they had to dry cut this on site.  Mainly because of the weight and the narrow joins left once the hole has been cut.  I tried to get a picture of this but it didn't turn out to great, suffice to say - it is just about as bad as gib-sanding.  It went everywhere even though we had a drop sheet and a vacuum cleaner sucking the dust while the cutting was happening.  Must say - that is the first time I heard of marble being dry cut - I always assumed it to be a wet cut. Anyhow after a lot of dusting and well other things here is the bit ready for the hob and to be silicon-ed in.
And here comes the other bit.  Sadly - yes very sadly - it turned out that the template was not right.  They had to chop of some off the end to start with and once it was carried in very carefully and placed in - (I ended up helping) it was discovered that it was to narrow by 4 cm.  Stuffed!!  Some calls later between trades men - I am not sure what they will finally end up doing.  There was a suggestion to take apart the existing joinery and shorten them by the missing 4 cm, however as I pointed out that the dishwasher is already hard up against the wall and there is only 3 cm max left to cut of - which is not enough.  I am pretty sure they will have to cut another piece.  We then measured the laundry and decided we could not use it even for that - so they have a piece which MAY get sold eventually for a holiday home.  Who knows.  Meanwhile we are without a kitchen sink (hehehe yet again) and the boys are washing up in a bucket on the table.  With a bit of luck we might get this fixed next Monday and then the new sink gets glued on (under-bench mount) and THEN the plumber can come.  I ended up emailing them and advised them of the new situation, They were really great - they come when we are ready and at this stage I will wait until everything is  fixed and ready.  What's a few extra days????  We are now 4 month into this.  
Not much on TV tonight - some royal wedding and some NZ basketball game.  might get a bottle and go somewhere quiet! ^^

Friday 6 May

Oh yeah, so the good folks from Piente Marble came again late in the afternoon and brought with them the other  half of the Benchtop and sealed off the edges.  While they where here they asked for the hob - and placed it in.  Basically to check and make sure that the hole they cut was JUST the right size.  After all they, I am sure, do not really want to come back here unless they have to.  As you can see it fits!!

Yes here is the missing half.  Life got very exciting on Friday!!  The sink got glued in and needs 3-4 days to cure. No problemo - can't get the plumbers till early next week anyhow (confirmed via email that they will come on Wednesday and hook us up with water and Gas)!  That means after they have been, we will be back to having a functional Kitchen.  No more doing dishes in the Laundry, or cooking in the Lounge!  Yay!!  So now we need the rest of the cabinetry to arrive and the last thing to go in will be the Glass splash-backs!  Then this "little" project" will be finished.   Oh - and seeing it was Mothers-day AND we got the bench-tops installed we cracked open a bottle of Gew√ľrztraminer and raised a glass in celebratory Toast!!  Cheers everyone!!

Monday 9 May

Things are positively rocking along.  While out on my daily constitutional walk - got a txt from son Numero Uno - more cabinets are to arrive today!! And they did, and as much was done as could be hoped.  We now even got a fitted microwave oven.  Hehehehe  another time piece that needs changing at Daylight saving change over!!  Now they have measured the space left behind and the last thing to go in will be the exhaust system! AFTER that the glass splash back.  Am told that the rest is coming Friday afternoon.  Yay!! Must get the Lapp-top ready and get the skype thing working - so Oma from Austria can have a virtual tour.  Either that or Mamabear will have to model and we upload on You-tube!!  ^^

Wednesday 11 May

The marble stone from Brazil
 Had a false start - was told that the plumber was starting 8am - or 8.30am the latest, so made arrangements at work to be a few minutes later then normal, and eagerly awaited said plumber.  The firm we use has always given us good service so had no hesitation using it again.  He eventually came after 9 am - so he asked a few questions - and some more = and then I went to work.  All was completed by the time I got home - even  the gas-fitter has been!! The boys are happy that the dishwasher is hooked  up now - so they no longer have to wash dishes by hand in the Laundry!!  So this night I cooked our first ever proper meal in the new kitchen!!  It was a Mexican Stir-fry!! yumm
Sooon we have it completed!!  yuss

Friday 13 May

Yes well - it was the day and I am not really a superstitious person, so what could possibly go right???  Well -- we had the Earthquake assessor come round and re-look at all that needs fixing after all the after shocks and getting it priced.  Then later in the afternoon the installer came with the rest of the cabinetry and started putting them up and that includes the range hood.  Bit of a challenge that is - the power point for it was right behind the exhaust chimney - so that sits now on an angle.  And because it is the latest model the doors to cover that needed remaking, as they were 10 mm to long.  Then we noticed that the last door handle on the pantry has been screwed in vertically - instead of the horizontal (which it shows on the plan) - so we will have to ask for that to be fixed.  They will come on Monday and  fix up the rangehood doors and hopefully take away the last door and then we should be done.
Mamabear says we can not celebrate until I have fixed the skirting boards on the floor!!  Better get my skates on and cut them to shape and nail them up - and paint them.   The Bottle of bubbly has been in the Fridge since January 2 - so it is well chilled!!

Monday 16 May

This was good - the installer came back reasonably early and finished installing the range-hood.  So nearly finished.  He did all the little odd finishing jobs that needed doing (like adding missing shelves ) and then we agreed on one more little job to be done! Fixing the door handle.  While that took place I got an email - seems the glass people have been trying to ring me - with no luck.  Now I KNOW that happened to me on last Friday, basically you either get a engaged sign or  no answer - even though no one actually is using the phone itself.  A mystery there! Anyhow - I rung them back and made a time for them to come and measure up --  Wed 8 am.  Wonder how long it will take them to make that splash-back?
Meanwhile we are cooking in the kitchen - Yay!!  On the weekend we will need to completely clean out the kitchen - top to bottom!!  There is still so much sawdust everywhere - even after the guys cleaned up good and proper after each job - and then after migrate our plates cutlery etc etc!  Hmm what to keep and what to donate???

Wednesday 18 May

The glass people came very promptly first thing in the morning, and he started to make a template out of card board for our Glass splash back!  We had a teeny weeny hick-up - but as soon as I pointed out that the three screws are just holding up a metal plate cover and can easily be undone and redone after the glass is installed he was a happy chappy! - no extra cutting required and it should just fit perfectly straight!!  While he was there I asked how soon - well - we are in the Que and that usually takes 2 weeks!!  2 WEEKS o)
Can't be helped - we had waited so long for this - whats another 2 weeks??  I just get tiered reading back from when we started - before Christmas!  Oh well - with a bit of luck it will be finished before my 50th ^^!!  Meanwhile I cleaned out every surface - first with the vacuum cleaner - followed by a damp rag. After that I started with the simpler things to migrate - cutlery / plates / cups etc. I also grabbed the usual breakfast things and shifted that in, as well as some pots and pans.  Mamabear will have to make some tough choices with regards of what to keep and use and what to donate out to another worthy home!!

Wednesday 8 June
It was my 50th Birthday yesterday = in bear years that is still a spring chicken!!  We decided to share the momentous occasion with some folks for a cake party with tea/coffee (after we come back from a meal out) - so decided to email Kiwi Kitchen to find out where the glass splash back got to.  Turns out they have to make a special paint - as we unwittingly chosen a brand that they do not normally work with. I F only we had known - as we actually looked at their brand and almost picked a color from there.  Sighs - ETA of said glass splash-back now beginning of next week.
this gives me a few extra days to fit in the 2 skirting boards and touch up some paint!!  Just as well that I am on annual leave .  . .

Thursday 16 June

 While out at work - son numero uno took a call!! Seems the glass will be installed on this coming Monday!!  As soon as I found out -  I checked the fridge to make sure the 2 bottles of bubbly are still chilling down!! - you they are!!  There will be a party - a celebratory drink!!  Already fixed the skirting board - soooo THE END IS IN SIGHT!!   yusssssssssssss

Monday 20 June
The end of the story!!   The final install!!  The finished version!!  Nothing left to do in the kitchen apart from cooking and cleaning!! Which reminds me - need to get some glasses and a certain bubbly ready!!

 after glass splash-back install
waiting for the glass
 over the sink - waiting for the glass
 a mirror finish!!
 at last - it is finished
Now I suppose everyone expects a gourmet meal!!

Oh yeah - one final act to do - that is to drink to this!!
 to pay back in  monthly installments to the Bank certain cash loaned,
and then we will put up our feet and rest for a year or so - then tackle the laundry! (maybe)
Apart from that - dealing with the earthquake repairs!!  

yumm yumm

bear print

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Anonymous said...

Reinhold - your earthquake damage looks very extensive!

oldbear's trip said...

yes i know!! Town is in a real bad shape!! Still we endeavour to rebuild it to something just as good if not better!! Eventually!!

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