Backbreaking Work…and Fun!


I’m remodeling our kitchen. For those of you who have done it, you’re either thinking, “Wow, expensive,” or “Wow, a lot of work.” And yes, you’re both right. But Shelly has been talking about redoing the kitchen almost since we moved in 15 years ago.

So when the pipe broke in our kitchen wall, dumping sludge under our existing cabinet as well as beneath our floor, I figured it was finally time to do something. I will have to admit, when it comes to home projects, I love to do them. But if you accept me as repairman you have to accept the way I do things. And that’s slowly.

It’s one of the reasons I gave up on repairing my own car. I don’t mind working on cars as long as there’s no deadline. But if I am busting my knuckles on a recalcitrant bolt AND fighting a deadline, that’s when I get cranky.

The pipe in our kitchen wall broke, oh, six or eight months ago. I fixed the pipe and we ripped out the cabinet and part of the flooring. And that’s the way it has remained since then. (I have a very patient wife. Did I mention how patient my wife is?) It was a matter of time and money. Time came to me this summer, and money trickled in as well. And so we have half of our cabinets replaced (the lower ones; the ones I can do) and got the tile ripped up from our floor. Unfortunately, ripping up tile leaves an uneven surface with leftover mortar as well as places where the plywood underneath has either rotted or ripped loose.

Yesterday I cut holes in the plywood and patched it with other plywood. I sanded down mortar on said plywood. And finally I laid down underlayment in preparation for our new laminate flooring. That starts tonight. (I can’t wait!)

Why do I like these projects? Two reasons. My father always did these projects, and shared with me his view that doing this kind of stuff demonstrates manliness. Second, I see tangible results. And for the most part, these are things I know how to do.

Some of it I have learned to leave for the professionals, like countertops and the upper cabinets. I could probably do them, but….no. My back and my sanity is worth something to me.

So today, I am tired, my eyes are full of mortar dust, my back is aching. But I look forward to more of the same tonight.

Yippee!

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