Kitchen reno, day 9

This is one of those days when I really had to sit back, after a beer, and really think hard about how much this entire process must mirror my day-to-day work life, only that I’m the client, and I’m making the requests that normally drive the person on the other end nuts.
Or rather, I would, except that I know damned well that there’s a fair share of communications failure on the other end, and it’s not from a lack of us trying to keep things straight and even. (That said, having talked with some of the guys doing the work, this is normal within the renovation/contracting biz. Go figure.)
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Kitchen renovation, day 8

Just over a week ago, our kitchen officially went out of commission. Today, it looks oh-so close to being functional once again. Considering the short period of time, and some of the challenges that have come up, I’m rather amazed at the progress (and pleased with the results thus far).
At the same time, I’m starting to get worried. I can see what remains. I know how things tend to get rushed towards the ends of projects, and how corners get cut. I know how things can go from “good” to “okay” to “terrible” in a shockingly short period of time.
I’m hoping I’m way, way wrong.
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Renovations, Day 6

It’s not even been a week, and the changes at the house are so dramatic as to be unrecognisable at the moment. Given, that’s largely due to the things that have been torn out. But that alone would not produce drama — for that, we’d also have to have a few misunderstandings, bouts of miscommunication, and a few problems.
But above all else, we have progress. Dramatic progress.
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The kitchen reno moves along

Well, since I last wrote, much has happened in the house. In our previous installment, the floors were starting to come up. Since then, a lot as happened, and we’ve had the prerequisite miscommunications, strange discoveries, and mild panic attacks (from us, the client — our contractor is likely annoyed as hell with us at this point).
But if there’s one thing I can say, we have progress. Lots of it.
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The floors start to disappear

Funny thing. Yesterday, when we’d thought the renovations were due to start on Tuesday (that’d be tomorrow), we weren’t exactly in a pressing need to finish getting certain appliances and a massive table out of the kitchen. Instead, we did what we could before passing out, exhausted, in bed. (Which, of course, didn’t last all night, as Choo Choo woke up crying because she wasn’t in her crib and was completely in the dark.)
It’s funny, because at just after 13:00 today, I got a series of text messages from Alex saying the floor was coming out of the kitchen. The same floor that wasn’t supposed to be coming out until tomorrow. This, of course, soon turned into bits of frustration, as I was already struggling with my project at work, and suddenly my home was under attack.
It’s very safe to say that I’ve had better/easier days.
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Kitchen goes bye-bye

Well, if you read the note about Choo Choo’s birthday, then you know that we did a little bit of the reno work today. The single most major part of our reno work upstairs is the kitchen, and it’s basically getting stripped right down to the floor — the subfloor, that is. So that means everything needs to come out, and that’s an opportunity to try and make back a few bucks on our rather large reno bill.
Thankfully, Alex — the Queen of Kijiji — found a buyer for our cabinets, who was quite happy to take them off our hands. We didn’t get a lot for them, but when all’s said and done, we’re up on their disposal, rather than being further in the hole. Not that they’ve eliminated the total cost of the reno…
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Upstairs Reno: The fun begins!

Well, about five years ago, we bought our current house. We knew that when we moved in, we were going to make changes. Our plans were lofty, and while we didn’t hold true to all of them (the tankless hot water wasn’t much of an option at the time), we did succeed in totally tearing out and rebuilding the basement — the single biggest thing to start with.
Then we moved to Costa Rica for a year and a half. When we got back … well, we started to notice a couple of things. First, this house was okay, but once you’ve got a very active person (or two) under your foot, you need a bit more ease at knowing what they’re up to, and having walls that obscure the view can be a problem.
And second, the kitchen was just plain uuuuuugly.
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2011, A Year In Review

I like long years. Really. Yes, I complain about when things seem to drag out far longer than they should, or if I’m busting my arse far harder than I think I should. That’s part of being human, no? In the end, though, I like long years because I get to look back and not worry about how quickly time has flown by. Time should never fly by quickly — it means I’ve missed something, and … well, darn it, I just hate missing things!
This last year was a big one for me in one major way: it was a redefinition of my professional existence. Since the end of 2009, I’ve transformed from a professional manager to a … hmm … well, my title (however formal it needs to be) is “Solutions Lead”, but that belies a lot of what I do every day, and just using “web developer” or “programmer” — even with a “Senior” prefix — completely understates the reality. This year was really about taking all the skills and knowledge I’d acquired as a leader, and merging that back into my day-to-day development practices.
And that, as the saying goes, was only the tip of the iceberg…
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A new window on the world

One of the many things we identified with our home as needing improvement when we purchased it was the windows. Nearly all of them (save for an odd bay window added on an extension that seems to have gone on in the 1980s) dated back to the house’s original construction, in the early 1950s. Single pane, and no matter how much foam you jam in there, fairly drafty.
Our first winter in the house, we used that fancy shrink plastic to improve the draft-factor. To a degree, it helped, but the rooms still felt cold. Last winter, the rooms were outright frigid. And after Choo Choo’s window displayed signs of mould, Alex and I started talking much more seriously about replacing the windows not as part of a larger renovation, but for a sense of urgency.
Urgency finally arrived today. And boy, do they look spiffy!
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