September 10, 2011

Kitchen Makeover Part 2

As we have trusted the Lord to provide for our family, He has always been faithful to supply our needs.  But sweet Jesus doesn't stop there.  Psalm 37:4 tells us that as we live for the things of God He will also give us the desires of our heart.
Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Psalm 37:4
I have seen this truth over and over in my life.  Most recently it was through phase two of our kitchen makeover.  Do you all remember last year when we repainted the cabinets?  If you don't you can read about it here.

After the job was finished, we all agreed we should replace the old 1960's counter top.  We started by looking at granite.   Which was about 10,000 dollars for my kitchen.  Can you believe that?  I couldn't.  So we went to plan B.  Corian.  It was still way up there, although, I can not remember the exact price.  Plan C was Formica.  Still too much, for a kitchen that is to be demolished some day.

The last rung on the counter top ladder was the cheapest of cheap no name counter top that you can get at Home Depot and Lowes.  They still wanted more than $2000 and that was not even including installation.  I said, "Forget it!"  No way!  I didn't hate the old one enough to fork over that much money.

But the Lord is good.  He knew that I really would have liked to replace it.  And I think He decided to use our friends as a way to encourage me after 9 years of remodeling and home improvement.

I don't remember exactly how the conversation started.  But we were talking with our friend and neighbor, Terri, one evening this summer when we got on the topic of the counter top and how insanely expensive it was.  The Rutters happen to own Imagination Millwork.  They offered to give us a quote for the materials with their builder discount.  Okay, sure we said.  But I figured it would still be rather pricey.  After a long time of indecision on my part as to color and style etc...  (you all know how I am about that....) we finally settled on a surface and got a quote.

When Terri emailed me the total, $300, I thought it was a typo.  My girl friend confirmed, no indeed it was not a typo.  I seriously about swooned.  And then I was annoyed that the little guy trying to make a little something out of his little house was being ripped off by the big box stores who claim to be saving you so much!  Don't get me going there, okay, folks!

It took about ten seconds for us to say, at that price, when can we start?  And our buddies even went one step further and offered us the use of their shop and oversight to cut the materials and assemble the counter tops.    

So Labor Day weekend, became a labor full weekend, as Allen and the boys, with the help of Mr. Rutter assembled and installed the counter tops.

The girls and I gave everything a scrub and then got out of the way, as we chuckled our way through the whole experience... which would only take 1 day, but really took three.  I have long since come to terms with the fact that all home improvement projects take at least twice as long as you figure it will.

Here is a picture of the kitchen a year after we moved in.  We had removed several layers of ghastly wall paper and went over the ugliest shade of yellow I've ever seen with clean white.  That was Allen's preference. The whole house would have been white if he had his way.  Now he loves color, but I had to take the plunge and just put it up for him to realize it was a good thing.

You just have to love this picture.  It was Christmas and Allen and I were both miserably sick with the flu.  I was pregnant with Aedan and nauseous all the time anyway.  Everyone was coming to our house for Christmas dinner and we had all these  toddlers.

Yes, I thought I would die.  And as I look back at the pictures, I think I look as if I already did!
And here is the kitchen after the improvements we've made one step at a time throughout the years... cabinet makeover, new paint, flooring, trim, and little bits like wall hangings and curtains.  We have had to replace every appliance, too.  The only thing still in the kitchen that was there when we moved in, is the hood over the range.   (Terri, I think this should be the next thing on Allen's to do list, don't you?)
Friday the guys set to work.
 Remember what I've said before?
 When we have a project going... everyone within eyesight or ear shot is put to work.
 But it's never all work and no play... the boys, especially Sam, spent some time on the fork lift.
 This machine is totally amazing.  You program something or another and it automatically cuts to your specifications.  I would so love something that did that for sewing!
 The girls and I packed a lunch and took it to the shop.  We enjoyed observing the fun for a minute before we served the meal.
 Aedan helps his buddy, Mark.
 The boys hard at work gluing the laminate to the underlayment. 
 So you know how I said it seems like we ALWAYS have unexpected company show up as soon as our house is torn apart?  Well, guess what.  Friday at 5:00 our friends from South Carolina arrive in town.  With no plans for company, and half my kitchen in the basement, and quite frankly not much food in the fridge, the girls and I found ourselves pulling together dinner for five unplanned guests.  We were so happy to be able to see our friends... it has been almost two years... more about their visit in another post.  But I think that proves my point.  The best way to guarantee a get together with old friends is to have my house as much of a disaster as possible.
Saturday morning, demolition took place.  
 We found lots of long missing items behind the drawers and under the cabinets!
 Pa had to call in the big guns to carry out the old counter tops.  Herman and Herman Demolition at your service.
 If the boys hadn't enough excitement with visiting the shop, fork lifts, Grandpa and Grandma Jackson's visit... Mr. Rutter showed up with his BIG truck to deliver the finished product.
 And the girls and I discovered men have a yoga all their own.
 With the counter tops in place and firmly attached, Allen set about installing the new sink.
 And quite frankly, it didn't go so well.  To start with, we needed to replace a $30 part on the reverse osmosis system.  We happened to need new filters, too.  Which cost $100.  An entire new system only cost $10 more.  On top of it, the whole system had to be torn out to replace the plumbing for the sink.  Allen decided to put in a new system.  The only catch is when he opened the box late Saturday afternoon, he discovered, someone had put their old system in the box and returned it to the store!  With parts damaged and missing, of course, he had to head to Lowes and exchange it.
 And then there was the issue with the clamps.  Apparently there were some clamps that were supposed to hold the sink in place.  But hours under that sink, and he couldn't get them to go on the way they were intended.

He was so frustrated.  The girls and I were laughing so hard.  Because he never gets frustrated or irritated.  We knew well enough to laugh from a distance, though.  Especially when we heard him say, "I hate this sink more than I have ever hated ANYTHING!"  (Dawn, we laughed as much as the mud incident.  You would have loved it!)

Fortunately, my hubby is such a good sport and just laughs at us laughing at him.  Love you, my good humored sweetie.
With a sermon to finish for Sunday morning, he finally gave up for the night.  It looked really good, even though it was completely nonfunctional.
Did you ever notice, whenever they show pictures of a kitchen makeover in magazines, there is always some kind of citrus on the counters?  Check it out sometime and you will see what I mean.  Being August we were short on oranges so we put some limes up there.
 It is a good thing we had a picnic at church on Sunday...
 ... since we were still eating food that didn't require cooking off paper plates at home.  So grateful the Jacksons brought that bushel of peaches!
 Sunday evening, was back under the sink.  
 While we watched his progress, the kids ate potato chips for dinner.
He finally got it all in place with running water and everything by bedtime on Sunday.  We were really proud of him.  And glad to have running water again.  We were getting kind of hungry! 

I figured it probably was best not to mention the new light fixture until a later date.  One night this week, I had the girls pull the box out of the closet and set it on the counter.  Then we cooked up some bacon for BLT's.  The fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  

I have found the fastest way to a finished project happens to be through his stomach, too.  Allen walked right into my trap.  When he came home and saw the box on the counter, he asked if I would like him to hang my light.    
He may not be a plumber, but he is an electrical engineer.   And as of today, Kitchen makeover step 2 is officially finished. 

All thanks to Mark and Terri and a patient hubby who can do just about anything... even if it takes a few days longer than planned.
And the grand total? 
Paint and supplies for cabinets $50
Sink and faucet $250
Countertops $300
Light Fixture $50

= $650


  1. Your color scheme is fabulous! Your kitchen looks so warm and inviting.

  2. Whoo Hoo. Don't you just love those projects that make a HUGE difference yet don't cost a fortune.

    Great job!! It looks wonderful. I'm looking forward to the day when we can finally start on our kitchen.. but that's a few projects down on the list.. :-)

  3. Mrs. Kat, it looks beautiful!!!! :D I love getting to see your family work together, it sounds like what happens at my house! Hehe! When we tore up our garage, the whole family was pitching in to make cages for our pets and preparing for everything! :)
    Great post, your kitchen looks great!
    Jedi~Chick <3

  4. Love it! That new countertop/ sink combo really pull it all together!

  5. Wow, it looks really good... but poor Mr. Wachter, with all that trouble he had to go through with the sink! :)


  6. What a beautiful transformation for so little. :) I love it.

  7. Your kitchen is beautiful. I love the colors of it. Your countertops look fantastic & what a great deal. It makes you think everytime you go into a retail store about just how much they are really overcharging you!!!