Hi y’all! I owe you a kitchen remodel update. It’s been quite a while since I shared the before picture of our kitchen, and it’s looking quite different in there these days. Here’s what’s been going on:
When we were about to start the project, our contractor estimated 9 weeks for the job. “I can probably finish it faster, but the only thing out of my hands is the city permitting, so that could be the only delay.” I mean…sign me up! 9 weeks is really fast! I’ve had friends do kitchen remodels that take 4 or 5 months, so I felt really great about 9 weeks!
Our contractor showed up on that Monday morning in August at 8 am, just like he said he would. This man is lightning fast – in just 2 weeks he did what I call all of the “ugly work” aka the part that doesn’t look very pretty on social media. He got the entire kitchen gutted and did all of the electrical, plumbing, and drywall.
And since we removed this load bearing wall, he had to re-route all the plumbing and electrical that was inside that wall and hide it inside the foundation. There was a lot of loud jackhammering in our house during week 2!
^ Here’s what it looked like before they started….
…this is what it looks like right now.
They’ve done a ton! See that corner in the back where the green broom is resting? That used to be our pantry. It’s going to be moved to the left side of that wall (where the ladder is resting.) The doorway to the dining room has been closed in for seamless cabinets, and all of the electrical and overhead lights have been moved. Relocating the plumbing and electrical underground was a big thing, and it’s all ready to go.
^ They also had to reroute our exhaust pipe for our new stove hood, which vents out of the house about 2 feet higher than the old one. So that project involved doing some exterior brick work and making a new hole for the new hood.
And then this was an entire situation! We had a 30 inch gas stove in our old kitchen, and we’re ditching gas and moving to a beautiful 36 inch induction stove. But that means moving from 30 amp to 50 amp, which required electricians to tap into the electricity from the foundation in a different room, go up through the wall, across the ceiling, over to the stove, and re-do this. (Totally wrong lingo, I know…ha! That’s why I’m not the GC here.)
Anyway, it was a lot of work and he got it all done in 2 weeks! He told me he was WAY ahead of schedule an we could get this thing wrapped up in about 5 or 6 weeks. Dang!
And then he pulled the permits to have the city do inspections. He told me when he’s done projects in Dallas and San Antonio it typically takes 2 days, and we should get our cabinets installed later on that week. And then…
…crickets! The city was slooooooow, y’all. I mean, I can hardly even use the word slow! More like nonexistent. The city of Austin city permitting department was kind of a nightmare. Thankfully the contractor and project manager have been dealing with them (although at one point they asked if I wanted to also try calling them to speed things along, which I gladly did – I’ll do ANYTHING to get this moving). Our contractor said they treated him a bit poorly, made him jump through a bunch of hoops, and then after a few weeks of ghosting, we found out they were experiencing an IT glitch that had delayed our permits. Boooo.
All that to say…permits are officially scheduled! We’ll have one this week, and then one next week, and our cabinets are scheduled to be installed mid-week next week. I. Am. Elated! We had 2 weeks of lots of work and noise in our house, and then it’s been completely quiet for 5 weeks while we wait around on the city.
I’ve had a few friends ask me if I’m losing my mind living without a kitchen for this long, and honestly? No. I’m totally fine! Because can we just stop for a moment and call this what it is? Remodeling a kitchen is a huge privilege. I am so, so fortunate to be able to do this. And I’m not going to be that upper class white lady who spends her time complaining about how hard her life is because her kitchen is being remodeled. 😉 Haha. Not only owning a house with a kitchen but ALSO having the opportunity to turn it into a beautiful and functional space for our family to enjoy is a massive privilege, and I’m making sure I remember that every day. After inspections are done they’re estimating 2.5 weeks to completion, which means we’ll still finish right around that 9 week mark, which is amazing. And every week of delays just builds the anticipation for seeing my final kitchen in completion, and I’ll get to enjoy it for the holidays this winter.
The energy was and always will be gratitude and awe that this is happening in my life. That was the vibe 3 years before it began when I was saving money and didn’t even know if/when it would happen, and that’s the energy during the permit delays. And that will be the energy for the decades after completion when I get to enjoy it.
I apologize for not updating y’all earlier! I kept thinking, “ok, by the end of this week we’ll have permits scheduled and I can let them know what’s going on” and then permits kept taking another week…and another week…and another week… But they’re on the calendar now, so we can see the light at the end of this tunnel!
Ooh, one final picture for ya:
If you look at that blue tape on the ground, you can kind of imagine where the new big kitchen island will be. It will have a big sink in the middle, two dishwashers, and a beverage fridge stocked with craft beer. There will be a beautiful white countertop and 6 bar stools surrounding it where we will have many nights of cooking, doing homework with the kids, hosting friends, sharing big holiday meals with family, and sitting around talking and laughing and doing life together. I can see it all and I already feel so, so thankful for every bit of it.
And also…I can’t wait to share an update with you when we get our cabinets installed next week!!