Happy Surprises, Work Required

We got back to Averill on Sunday afternoon, July 14, and immediately launched into projects (what a surprise.) The garage. The electrical work for the light in the laundry room. The closet bar. The kitchen.

The kitchen is a huge project. Marge (my grandmother) and I talked about doing the kitchen before she died, maybe 10 years ago. (She’s been gone for 6.) It’s a bizarre mix of mis-matched counter heights, basically unusable cabinet widths, and a bunch of unused space in a small kitchen. We’re toying with a number of layout ideas, all of which require that we yank out the old cabinets/counters and start with a temporary arrangement that might last for a couple of years.

The floor is another question entirely. The kitchen is about a 2” step up from the rest of the house, with linoleum tiles that no longer are adhered to the subfloor. When you look in the cabinets, there is no bottom shelf, just a dark recess straight down to floor. Which is lower than the rest of the floor. Who knows what’s under that linoleum tile?

First step, after a lot of time in the car thinking about the project and laying it out and figuring what wood we need (and stopping at Lowe’s on the way up to buy the wood!) - DEMOLITION!

Demolition, partway finished.

Demolition, partway finished.

The cabinets seem to have been built in place. The counter tops are planks of wood with formica holding them together. Demolition revealed strange tile-like vinyl on the walls, 4 different layers of linoleum flooring (each with its own layer of plywood under it; no wonder the kitchen is higher than the rest of the house), random wires poking out of the walls. There are heat registers INSIDE the cabinet that the weasel lived in over the winter - no wonder he wanted to live in there. Nice and warm.

And we also found this.


Under that brittle adhesive is HARDWOOD FLOORING. The same hardwood flooring that’s in the rest of the house. What a very very happy surprise!

Granted, it’s a lot more work to refinish those floors than it would be to bang in new bamboo flooring. But it will be so incredibly worth it!

Jeremy’s building the new cabinet frames as I type this. The new kitchen is going to be AMAZING.

Anchored by those floors. Ahhh. Let’s hear it for turn of the century construction.