Well, hello there! Welcome back to this space! Big news here, people!
I debated starting this series for a while. Who’s gonna care about some random remodel. What finally won me over was regretting not doing it in a year or 5 when the details become foggy. So here we are.
Last Friday was a momentous occasion. It was the official kickoff meeting with our team from Crescent Builds, the lovely folks who are about to GUT our house! Perhaps some history is in order at this point…
We’ve lived in this house for 15 years. It is a small house, especially when 4 people and a dog lived in it for nearly all of those years. It has three bedrooms, one bathroom, a very small kitchen – and no dishwasher – built in 1953, 980 SF.
After we sold The Geek’s parents’ place and had a decent sized nest egg, we started thinking we’d find a sweet mid mod place in Normandy Park or maybe even bolt to Port Townsend. We’d fix up our house so the kids could stay and rent it from us, nothing fancy. The real estate market had other plans and it quickly became apparent that was a losing game.
Instead, we thought we’d remodel our current kitchen and bathroom and stay in the house. I started talking with August at Crescent Builds – they’d done our neighbor’s kitchen and bath AND our friends’ complete renovation and both gave glowing reviews, so honestly, we didn’t really look elsewhere. It felt like we were on the same page and perhaps naively, I thought that counted for something, because what the hell do we know about a project like this. It seemed wise to us to go with someone who would handle it ALL. Definitely not the cheapest, but we are only doing this once and we want it done right. When I met the rest of the team last Friday, they either fooled me well or I’m pretty sure they’re my kind of people and we’ll get along swimmingly.
SO! We headed down the path to rearranging our kitchen for more efficiency, picking out some things, working with Alicia, designer at Crescent. Then one day when Ryan, project manager, was on site for something, I mentioned when we were in our godforsaken garage that perhaps in the future we’d expand into the garage, because half of it is unusable to park in anyway and it’s off the kitchen. His eyes lit up (perhaps I exaggerate) and suddenly, the whole scope changed! NOW we could add about 220 SF, creating a great room by stealing space from the garage. Adding a powder room! A laundry room! Finishing the remaining garage. Ditching the oil furnace for a heat pump. New plumbing! Actual insulation. Electrical wiring from this century.
But, friends, I’m burying the lead here. For YEARS, I have coveted Kerf Design cabinets. I have the old issues of Atomic Ranch to prove it. But never did I think I would be lucky enough to be able to have them. Never. Not once did I think that could be a reality. They are fully custom, made in Seattle, plywood cabinets and they are a thing of beauty. Not only is it a reality, we have actually BEEN to the workshop. We have renderings of Kerf Cabinets that say PRICE on them. FOR OUR HOUSE. We will have an ISLAND with DISHWASHER DRAWERS. I will be able to cook and SEE people at the same time. I will have a drawer for booze!
I know what I want and for the most part don’t have to think about it too much, but Alicia has been so helpful, especially thinking of things I would not from a practical standpoint. It is a huge amount of money to spend and sometimes I am terrified I am going to screw it up. What if what I am picturing in my head looks like complete trash when it’s done. I feel like a total imposter doing such a grown up thing. It’s a lot of pressure!
Over the last month, we have been sorting and purging soooo much crap, some of it literal garbage, because we have to move out for 6 months. The junk guy has been here once already, we’ve given things away, gone to Goodwill so many times and the junk guy will come again after the movers. I keep telling myself it isn’t often a person gets to start over. This is our chance. (Odds are still good we’ll be having a giant garage sale when we move back in late August. Save the date.)
It’s ridiculous, when I think about it. Completely surreal. Especially when you consider the times we have been living in. We have learned to count on nothing in these last two years. I’m sure there will be surprises along the way (hello, asbestos, you are not my friend) but nothing is ever completely perfect. Come August though, our house will be pretty damn close. Happy birthday to us!
In the meantime, I’ll do my best to post some exciting updates and teasers in this space. Can’t wait to make you a drink in that badass new kitchen.