Dan's Kitchen: Almost There

Renovation Diary

The nearly finished kitchen.
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Name: Dan Bailey
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: East Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
Type of building: 2nd Floor Condo in a Greek-Revival Row House

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

Over the last few months I've settled into life without a kitchen. I've found ways to prepare decent meals using only a toaster, a microwave, and a George Foreman Grill. I've even gotten used to washing dishes in the bathroom sink or the bathtub. And then this week I suddenly found myself with a usable kitchen – complete with running water and a functioning stove – for the first time in six months, and I hardly know what to do with myself.

Running water?!
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I came home from work one day this week to find the plumber finishing up in the kitchen. He had added shutoff valves to the water lines, installed the faucet, and was in the process of hooking up the garbage disposal and the dishwasher drain. When he finished he called me over and turned on the faucet full blast. Water rushed into the sink, splattering around the edges of the countertop. After going so long without access to water in the kitchen, I was shocked by its sudden presence. No more trips to the bathroom to do dishes.

The garbage disposal, the faucet, and all of the other plumbing are now functional.
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Later that night I tested the dishwasher by running it empty on a quick cycle. Thankfully, it worked perfectly. I bought it on Craigslist months ago, and while the seller seemed honest enough, I was a little worried it wouldn’t work once it was hooked up. It’s an 18-inch-wide Bosch dishwasher. I’ve heard that Bosch dishwashers are quiet, but it was even quieter than I expected. I couldn’t hear it outside of the dining room. Although my expectations may be distorted since the dishwasher in my last apartment was a 20-odd-year-old behemoth that sounded like a rocket ship preparing for liftoff every time I turned it on.

Earlier in the week, the electrician came over and finished installing all of the electrical outlets, switches, and cover plates. He also finished installing the recessed light cans in the ceiling. Recessed lights aren’t necessarily the most attractive lighting option out there. But since the ceiling is lower in the kitchen than in other rooms in the condo, I wanted the lighting in the kitchen to be unobtrusive, and I think recessed lights accomplish this goal. With all of the electrical work finished and cover plates installed, the kitchen looks a lot cleaner.
New crown molding.
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While the plumbing and electrical work drew to a close this week, my contractor Gregg finished installing trim. He added crown molding above the upper cabinets, which is a very classy detail that fits in well with the Greek revival architecture in the rest of the condo. He also added light-rail trim to hide the under-cabinet lighting, along with MDF side panels on either side of the exposed upper cabinets above the sink and the stove. Once I paint the side panels to match the cabinet doors, they should give the cabinets a seamless, finished look.

All that remains now is to install shelves in the pantry closet and finish a seemingly endless amount of painting. And once I clean all of the saw dust out of the kitchen, I can actually begin using it to cook. Although, I’m slightly worried that if I start using the kitchen now, I’ll lose motivation to actually finish all the little details that remain.

Estimated time for project: 30 weeks
Time remaining: 1 week

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow for installment #34 of Dan's Kitchen Renovation.

(Images and diary text: Dan Bailey)

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