photo: old kitchen

My nine month silence on our kitchen remodelling project might have duped you into believing that we finished it. Oh, optimistic you! After we got all the major appliances installed and had a floor, walls, lighting, and a working sink again, we were ready to give the project a rest. We were so tired of spending a year working on the kitchen and living in a shambles that we just haven’t been able to bring ourselves to pull out the tools for another weekend adventure in DIY. Our attention faltered. Besides, we are highly adaptable here. Compared to the old kitchen, or the kitchen in progress, the almost-finished-but-not-quite kitchen was good enough for now.

Our focus shifted to a new project, a garden house project. One thing this kitchen project taught us is that we wanted someone else to do the next big project. As most of you know, however, the garden house project ended in disaster, a lot of money spent and little to show for it except that we still have another big project to tackle.

To retreat from that prospect for a moment, we turned our attention to some little things we could finish up in the kitchen. Motivation ran high because Margaret is coming for a two week visit in October and she is “looking forward to seeing the new kitchen and garden house.” So we looked around the kitchen and saw it with new eyes, as someone who hadn’t been living in it the last nine months might see it.

After we returned from running screaming from the room, we decided the highest priority was to get new doors for the closet. I think this space was actually a walk-in pantry. I don’t know if the water heater has always been there; rotted wood floors indicate that at one time it leaked. The CACH system is fairly new. I think it was installed in the 1990s just before I bought the house. Perhaps that’s when a wall was put in to make one deep closet two shallow ones. Whatever the case, we had to do something to hide the water heater and central heating system.

photo: new kitchen

I had been eyeing various strategies for replacing the old plywood closet doors (which always hung crookedly and were peeling). Because the kitchen is so small, I wanted a translucent or reflective surface. I didn’t want anything that would make the room darker or feel more cramped. AJM and I finally agreed on these rather pricey ($325) doors from Home Depot.

As usual, our non-standard handmade house presented difficulties during installation. The biggest problem is that these new doors run on a wide track that didn’t fit in the space for the track in the closet. AJM had to remove a board in back of of the existing track. Unfortunately it was very difficult for him to prize it out because the CACH unit was in the way. So he had to cut it out in small pieces by hand.

After he got past that hurdle, the installation went fairly smoothly until the doors were up and we decided that they were too short. Yes, we measured…twice. Either cutting out the old board changed the dimension or the doors were designed for rooms with carpets. We were unhappy with the gap at the bottom. So AJM took the doors down, screwed a board to the header, and reinstalled them. Another weekend (the long Labor Day weekend) wasted, I mean, with a project successfully behind us. We were so pumped that we finished putting all the cover plates over the light switches.