I Am Becoming Desperate

November 29, 2009

kitchen, plumbing, remuddling

There are days when I feel a very strong urge to just start pulling down walls here. We’ve managed to live with the lack of electricity upstairs, and the endless strings of extension cords throughout the house. But when it comes to this kitchen, I sometimes go tilt. Last week was like that.

Our kitchen was not the original room for the existing kitchen. I think this area may have been the housekeeper’s quarters. This area became the kitchen probably sometime in the 1940s or so, and then a very shabby remodel was done in the late 60s. It’s a dark corner of the house, and the kitchen is shoehorned between the dining room and the living room; so half of the small kitchen is a hallway and a stairwell and there’s a big (unused) chimney taking up space. And did I mention that it’s ugly as all get-out? Dark brown cabinets, bright orange laminate countertops, ugly yellow-brown busted tiles, a drop ceiling… and multiple paint jobs of bright pink, powder blue, dark brown wall paneling, and green paint? I detest this room. We’ve thought about getting new countertops, but I stubbornly resist. The kitchen is falling apart; to place new countertops in this crumbling kitchen is like putting a new paint job on a rusting Model T.

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I am making serious plans to totally gut this room next summer. I just can’t stand it anymore. LOL!

Well, what started my desperation all over again was when we had to fix a plumbing leak under the sink. Thank God– this was one of the easiest repairs ever.

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It was just a broken fitting, causing the sink to leak. DH got a new fitting, screwed it on, and no more leaks! Yay!

But the plumbing system in this house is TERRIBLE. A few of the plumbing lines are not vented, so the house smells like methane from time to time. The downstairs toilet bubbles up every time the upstairs toilet is flushed… NOT a pleasant situation (!)… and the pre-owner who installed the plumbing here never bothered to attach pipes together– he just tucked little pipes into big pipes. Unbelievable!! The kitchen sink plumbing is like that– it’s held up with twisty ties because the drain pipes just sit in the main drain pipe under the sink.

So I know, deep down, that once I undertake a kitchen remodel, I am going to have to have the entire plumbing system redone. I could not in good conscience close up the walls leaving this disaster undone. So it’s not like we can just pull out old cabinets and slap new ones in place. The ENTIRE systems need to be done– with insulation, plumbing, electrical, painting, flooring, etc all redone. It’s scary to think about it!

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So anyway, in working on the plumbing under the sink, I happened to peer behind the cabinets… which confirmed my suspicions. Namely, that when they redid the kitchen in the 60s, the took down the plaster walls but never put up new walls– they just installed the cabinets onto the studs. Yep. They did that.

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This explains the blast of chilly wind that we experience when we open the cabinets in the winter time. That explains the raw fiberglass tufts tucked in under the toe-kicks in the cabinetry (which my young son loved to pull out as a baby). And it also explains the mouse problems. I’m kind of still dazed by it all. If you’re going to yank apart a room, why not build it back properly?!

Some of you have asked me why we don’t just “get new cabinets” or “just get new countertops.” This is why. 😀 I could, sure, but I’d still have stinky, leaky plumbing and no electricity and busted up tiles and wintry cabinetry. I’m waiting until everything is in place until I can totally redo it, properly. I just never thought it would take so long! But I sense that my time is soon. 😀

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6 Responses to “I Am Becoming Desperate”

  1. Bonnie Story Says:

    Oh, boy… what a discovery. But you are really being smart about it. I agree – no use in putting new cabinets over uninsulated walls and subpar utilities – best to wait until all can be addressed, from the studs out. Holy cow think of the $$ you will SAVE on heating and cooling! Hey by the way that orange countertop is coming back in style now, no fooling. You have officially lapped the pack!!! Good going, patience be with you — and you will win this war in the end….!!! Bonnie

  2. Make do mum Says:

    Ha ha – was going to say the same, that orange counter is pretty cool. maybe you can ebay it?
    I’m in the same position with my kitchen. It has floor to ceiling 70’s tiles which are hideous but we need to wait until we can get the whole room sorted out.

  3. Lin Says:

    Gees, I don’t feel so bad about my kitchen anymore. 🙁

  4. Lynne Says:

    WOW! I thought we had house problems, but mine pale in comparison. I know from reading your blog that you’ve done a lot of wonderful work both inside and outside your home, so I know that eventually you are going to have a heck of a beautiful home.

  5. Brenda @ Split Rock Ranch Says:

    I knew there was a reason we bought an almost new home. Except now it isn’t so new and there are plenty of things that need repairing or replacing! Its just a never ending cycle of repair, replace, remodel when you own a house, isn’t it?! I hope you get your newly remodeled kitchen soon.

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog about my fibers. You made my day!

    And thank you for hosting my entrecard widget today!

  6. Mrs. Mecomber Says:

    I’m glad I have cured some of you from your discontent about your own kitchens! LOL. Mine is bad, very very bad. *sigh* Every once in a while, we discover more fallen plaster in the dishes..

    I couldn’t sell these countertops. They are crumbling. Plus, they were never installed well in the first place. They have warped seams and are pretty damaged. I cannot believe that orange is back in fashion! NONONO!!!