Every now and again a project comes up that truly tests your mettle. I certainly have one or two of those every year and we started this year off with a bang with a complete kitchen renovation in only 8 days.
Yup, 8 days. My amazing man and I trucked out to Manitoba, back to my hometown, to gut my Mom's kitchen. In a post some weeks ago, I explained how to go about designing an IKEA kitchen and showed a few renderings of one of the proposed options for my Mom's kitchen. After a few more versions, we finally settled on the one that we all really liked and that served her needs the best. Getting it ordered and home included a call Calgary to Winnipeg to speak with the IKEA designer, international help in the form of my sister and brother-in-law to pick up the kitchen, a U-Haul rental to haul the goodies back to Mom's house, and a treacherous drive along the TransCanada highway in a snowstorm in a truck that apparently only had summer tires on it. Good times!
Then the real work started.
Out With The Old!
Since we moved into this house, some 18 years ago (yikes, I'm getting old!!), this is the kitchen that had always been there:
It was reasonably functional, managed to feed 5+ mouths at any given time and had served us well as we grew up. However, my Mom was finding it was really dark and not really working for her any longer.
Day #1: Demolition Day
Our first day required only a small crew (good thing because we were only two of us with an occasional third helper). It was strategic demolition as we wanted to salvage the cabinets as much as possible so we could offer it to another individual in need. Not much to be learned on Day 1 other than whomever installed these cabinets had an odd need to double up nails in really hard to reach areas. However, I was far more determined than the original installer was. Those babies were comin' out!
Day #2: Prep Work
After hauling all that wood out of the kitchen, the elbow grease work started. Not only was the backsplash wallpaper, there was a wallpaper border that ran around the entire rest of the kitchen. The only way to take off that wallpaper border was a scraper, a bucket of warm water and some serious arm work. Thankfully, our team had expanded to four full time dedicated souls. No pictures to show our progress from Day 2 however (the photographer was so pooped she forgot).
Day #3: Getting Railed!
While a bit of the prep work spilled over onto Day 3, Day 3 also presented the first installment of the new kitchen! While my Mom and sis were busy building cabinets in the basement, my man and I set to work to secure the first rail.
To explain more fully, IKEA kitchens work on a rail system. Each cabinet is built with a set of brackets secured to the back that slip onto a rail that is strongly secured into the wall. The awesome thing about this system is that once you set the rail, the cabinets pop on like nothing and in 5 minutes or less, you start to have something that resembles a kitchen!
Day #4: Keep Going!
We started to see the fruits of our labour by end of Day 4. The doors started to go on to the upper cabinets but the bulk of the day was technical things - building the last of the boxes, building each and every drawer, all 19 of them, and then, unfortunately, rebuilding nearly each drawer after we realized a small error in our reading of the instructions.
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