The Start of Our Home Renovation Project

I previously mentioned that we were in contract to buy a home. Well, we finally closed and, since then, life has been a non-stop whirlwind of meeting or speaking with general contractors, architects, kitchen designers, roofers, painters, gardeners, the list goes on…

I think I’ve dealt with almost 20 tradespeople in a span of three weeks!

My husband and I bought a solid house in a great location. However, the interior is dated and the kitchen is terribly laid out. In light of the fact that we *hope* this will be our forever home and that we have two young children, we are trying to renovate as much as possible before moving in.

This means: Gutting the entire kitchen and three bathrooms, reflooring, raising ceilings, knocking down walls, replacing the roof, converting the fireplace, adding and/or redoing all closets, painting. Basically, a lot of effin’ work.

And, of course, that also means I am now in neurotic research mode. Which has since become my full-time job, for the time being.

I plan to start documenting my home remodeling journey, if for no other purpose than to share my neurosis with others.

So what has been accomplished in three weeks?

1. After speaking with five(!) different architects, I am going with an amazing architect who has promised to provide us with plans in about a week. He also happened to be the architect that our potential general contractor recommended.

2. I have finalized the kitchen design. Big shout-out to Tile World for working tirelessly with me on perfecting the kitchen design.

Lily, my kitchen designer, was able to take this :

Yes, I drew this. At 1:00AM.

And turn it into this:

God bless her heart and her patience with me.

3. I have selected the appliances and sinks and faucets that will be going into the kitchen. (I still have to decide on light fixtures, tiles, hardware. It’s unbelievable the amount of detailed decisions that need to be made when redoing a kitchen.)

Case in point, my latest conundrum: To add decorative end panels or not? What is a decorative end panel, you ask?? Well, if you look at the above picture, next to the fridge, you can see a solid flat surface that will be covered with a veneer that matches the cabinetry. Adding end panels would make the side look similar to a door (without the hardware) and tends to give the kitchen a more refined look… but at the cost of 2k+.

Another example of my neurosis: I can’t figure out where to mount the faucet for the farmhouse sink (at the window.) The sink has a 60/40 split so it would make sense to install the faucet at the divider. However, the center point of the sink is also the center point of the window. These details are enough to drive someone crazy!

(OK, I totally recognize and acknowledge that these are first-world problems but that’s just the state of my life right now.)

Anyway, once I get the plans in from the architect, I can submit them for permits and move forward with the general contractor.

It’s a lot of work. A lot of stress. A huge financial burden. But we took Max and Alexa to the new house last weekend and seeing them excitedly play and run around from room to room reminds me of why we are doing this.

Alexa celebrating her accomplishment of going down the stairs for the first time!

I can’t wait to make this our dream home.

And remember the beautiful bamboo forest, that I fell in love with, in our backyard?

I can’t get enough of this view.

Almost everyone who has come to see our house has commented on how “aggressive” bamboos are. They basically grow like weeds and can pop up anywhere. The gardener has recommended that we dig them out – which will be expensive – but not nearly as expensive if it starts growing in our basement!

I can’t help but want to keep it and, hopefully, control the growth. Much like the millions of decisions that I’ve been making as of late, I guess we’ll see how it turns out in a few years.

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  1. Tony March 13, 2017
    • Mommy to Max March 13, 2017
  2. Wakako Tsujita March 13, 2017
    • Mommy to Max March 14, 2017
      • Wakako March 20, 2017
  3. Deborah March 17, 2017
    • Mommy to Max March 17, 2017
  4. Mr. Zhang February 28, 2021

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