It was all going swimmingly. That alone should have clued me in that something was looming overhead.
Last Monday came with the resolve that we'd make the plunge and get really started on the kitchen renovation. It should have happened sooner, but it takes a bit of committment to completely redo a kitchen in a house you are living in, in the Arctic, in the winter. You are going to be without a place to cook your meals, all that stuff needs to find a place to sit in a house that is already far too crammed with things. But nothing else could proceed until it was done. It was time to take a week off work and buckle down.
Monday was mostly taken up with the ripping apart of the old kitchen. The top cupboards came down and will be reused. The base cupboards, with their glued on countertop and glued to the floor construction, didn't fare that well. The old (well not that old really) stove was given away, and the fridge moved out of the way until the new one could go into place.
Then we lifted the tiling. I never want to look under tiles again.
When I originally planned the renovation, I had planned on just laying the underlay ply directly over the old tiles. Then I discovered that the vinyl tiling had not been glued down properly and could easily be lifted out by hand, so plans changed. Now you have to realize is that up here most country food gets eaten on the floor. Cardboard is layed out and the seal, fish, caribou or what ever is cut up and consumed while everyone sits around on the floor. Its not hard to see how that came about, iglu and qarmaq don't have tables. Its not a bad thing.
But over the years some blood gets spilled and mopped up and apparently that works its way underneath poorly glued down tiling. Where it percolates. So a clean up and eventual painting over of the subfloor put a minor delay in plans. Nothing major though.
Next step was the laying of the underlay. Very simple process, with no hiccups. The underlay gets cut to length, a light bead of adhesive and then I get to go crazy with the stapler. More firing than any "First person shooter" game yet designed. The only bit of a challenge was where a fridge which had been leaking from the self defrost thingy over the years had rotted some of the floor below. The old underlay in that area was simply cut out, lifted and replaced before the next layer of underlay went over top.
I expected more grief with the cupboards quite frankly. I had little faith that the walls would be square, or plumb. They weren't, but neither were they as bad as I had expected. And the cabinet system made it fairly easy to deal with.
The upper cabinets are hung on a rail, essentially you measure up a distance from the floor at both ends of the walls and snap a line to mark the top of the cabinets. Snap another line 2.5 inches below that and mount the rail. The cabinets bolt to the rail and you can adjust them up or down, and side to side.
The two flies in that ointment was a rise in the floor along the exterior wall, throwing out my line. That coupled with a corner out of square made it challenging to fit the upper cabinets in well. The other thing was more of an aggravation than any thing else. Not one stud on that far wall in the photo above was spaced equally. Not even close. Centres ranged from 24 to 11 inches, with no two values the same. How in the hell do you build a wall like that?
But I suppose that is what stud finders are for. And to make a long story shorter, by Friday Leah and I had put together the cabinets, installed the main bank of them, and the counter top for it. The kitchen now looked like this.
Yes that counter is 10 inches shorter than the cabinets.