As some will already know we have been having our kitchen re-done. We have lived in this house for over 15 years now and haven’t touched the kitchen in all that time so it was probably long overdue. Initially we had intended on only doing the kitchen until our very own version of Kirsty Allsop (I’m looking at you Sharon!) came round and innocently said “why don’t you knock down that wall?” The wall in question was between the kitchen and what the property particulars described as the “breakfast room”. To us it was a dumping room cum library and probably the biggest waste of space in the whole house, so on the face of it this seemed like a good idea.
Being the good project managers that we are we had a budget in mind to complete the work but removing the wall was obviously going to increase the cost. What we hadn’t considered was that the wall would turn out to be load bearing and had a soil pipe running though it which added additional cost and complications. Then, of course, adding a new room to the work also increased the cost so in order to meet the new budget we had to start looking down the back of the sofa for any coins that might have been lost there!
After literally months of planning work finally got under way at the beginning of July and started by cutting off the water supply to the old kitchen meaning we had a month ahead of us of washing up in the bath and taking clothes to be washed at family and friends. Fortunately we also had a holiday planned in the middle of all this which meant we could escape for some of the time but also meant that we weren’t on hand to answer any questions.
Now a month later we are almost complete. Well it looks complete but there still isn’t any water to the new sink but we do at least have a washing machine! And it does look stunning, already I have forgotten what the old kitchen looked like but the new one is certainly more spacious, thanks to the removal of the wall. You can see pictures of all the stages of the work from beginning to end below.
Of course no matter how meticulously you plan you cannot plan for everything. Half way through the work the boiler stopped working – given that this is summer we weren’t that fussed about the heating but the hot water was useful. All of this I could, perhaps, have taken in my stride had there not been a complete lack of responsibility taken over fixing the issue – the electrician blamed the plumber and the plumber blamed the electrician. In the end we were forced to bring in someone else to do the work, which was not only a costly pain but is also ongoing.
The kitchen is only a small but important part of the house but I have found having it done very stressful at times and I wasn’t doing any of the work (only paying for it!). I’m sure that if I ended up wanting to build my own home you would see my head explode live on Grand Designs!
For those that are interested in seeing the final thing we are now taking bookings for September…