Dan's Kitchen: Working and Waiting

Renovation Diary

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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.

I originally planned to complete this renovation within 12 weeks. But with week 7 now behind me, it’s safe to say that I’m behind schedule. I’ve never done anything like this before, so my original 12-week schedule was kind of arbitrary. Even so, I’m starting to feel pretty anxious about the possibility of not meeting this arbitrary deadline.

Four floorboards were removed from the rear of the kitchen, exposing the pine subfloor, and were used to patch the floor in the front of the kitchen. This space will be filled in with new lumber.
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The slow progress this week was mainly due to the lack of an electrician. My contractor lined up an electrician a few weeks back. But when we contacted the electrician this week, he told us he wouldn’t be able to start working for another few weeks. For whatever reason, contractors in the Greater Boston Area have been very busy lately. So I’ve suddenly found myself without an electrician at the point in the renovation when I most need one. Before my contractor can begin putting up sheetrock and closing the walls, we need an electrician to rough in all of the wiring for lights and outlets. So my contractor is now searching for another electrician and assures me he can find someone quickly.

The old floorboards that were removed from the front of the kitchen – I’ll find some other use for them, maybe shelving?
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In the meantime, my contractor continued patching the kitchen floor. He pulled up the floorboards on either side of the hole in the center of the kitchen. Then he removed four floorboards from the rear of the kitchen and reinstalled them over the hole. And finally, after filling in a deep gouge in an adjacent floorboard with epoxy, he flipped it over to expose a clean surface and reattached it. He worked some magic here. These newly installed floorboards blend in seamlessly with the rest of the floor – no small feat considering that all of the floorboards are random widths. He even reused the original 150-year-old cut nails to make sure that everything matches. He’ll install new pine floorboards in the rear of the kitchen. These new boards won’t perfectly match the rest of the floor, but they’ll be hidden beneath cabinets. We spent a long time discussing how best to patch the floor, and I think we made the right decision. The floor will look great once it’s refinished.

Gross water damage.
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There’s some old water damage to the wall in one corner of the kitchen. The leak that caused this damage was dealt with long ago, but the damage remains. As I was pacing my apartment one night this week, lamenting the slow progress on the renovation and wishing I could do something about it, I looked up and saw this section of damaged drywall. So I cut it out and removed it. It didn’t take long, but it made me feel like I’d accomplished something.

Damaged drywall removed. The lathe beneath the drywall is discolored, and may also need to be removed.
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Estimated time for project: 12 weeks
Time remaining: 5 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for installment #11 of Dan's Kitchen Renovation.

(Images and diary text: Dan Bailey)

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