The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Kitchen Renos – Building A Bird’s Nest

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This is now one for the books!! For some reason someone up there thinks its funny to mess with our heads.

Our contractor arrived this morning. When he called a couple of days ago and said he could start today, we were ecstatic. For once we were at the top of the list and Nat’s anxiousness would be relieved. Right on the mark at 8:30 am Simon and his workmate got started. As luck would have it, the workmate was going to buy the old cabinets from us and the cost would be deducted from our final tally for Simon. Not going to look this gift horse in the mouth – we’ll take it.

After morning pleasantries were over with, the two men started disassembling, unplugging and unscrewing whatever was in their way. The lower cabinets went first exposing bare walls and paint lines. The upper cabinets were next. Finally Nat and I would see the end of the inset for the microwave sitting atop a piece of shelving that jutted out just enough for me to bang my noggin on every other month. My forehead still shows slot holes from where the corner shelf smacked me at lunch time while fixing sandwiches.

As Nat and I were sitting in the living room discussing the day’s events, we overheard Simon and his workmate giggling. We also heard mention of a bird’s nest. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to peek in. Sure enough, they were taking down the range hood vent and exposed a large bird’s nest filling the entire vent. The twigs and other debris had been stuffed and crammed all the way down to the very bottom of the vent just above the stove and leading into the overhead fan. We couldn’t believe it. How in hell did the fan even work – or were we smoking out a bloody bird and her family?? Although the nest was old, Simon concluded the bird flew in from the outside only because the exterior vent with flap was the wrong style and any bird could have made its way in at any time with a little bit of “squeeze” power. Simon and his workmate had to hold a garbage pail directly underneath the vent and try to dig the debris out hoping, all along, no bird was going to come flying in. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at whatever else was going to show up behind these walls. And little did we know, there was more to come.

The disassembly continued on so Nat and I took a trip down into Fort Erie. We received a call earlier that our Income Tax Returns were ready and we could pick them up. We wanted to pick up the Returns as soon as possible and then grab some grub from Tim Horton’s to bring home for lunch. It also worked out for once this year we had some half decent good news about our Income Taxes – Nat didn’t have to pay as much and I was getting a refund. Our balloon was soon burst as soon as we walked into the kitchen. Simon had to talk to us. Oh God!!!

We were soon informed that the measurements between the actual size of the south kitchen wall was smaller than the number of cabinets that were to be installed. We were going to have to make some adjustments and perhaps lose a cabinet or two. Like I said – Oh God!!!

We spread the Ikea kitchen plans out along with Simon’s original measurements and started calculating. Simon had blocked out all of the cabinets with pencil measurements on the walls and it looked like the smallest base cabinet between the oven and dishwasher was going to be left out. We were also going to have to switch a couple of cabinets between the north and south walls, including one upper cabinet with a glass door. As Simon played around with things he soon came up with a good plan that would work, and everything would fit – but we would lose the smallest lower cabinet (as stated) and one mid-sized upper cabinet. As he explained, it really appeared to be the best solution. We would need a couple of filler pieces, however, to fill a couple of small gaps to make up for the shortfall that was resulting.

As Nat and I ate our lunch in somewhat disappointment – we really screwed up with the plans somehow – we realized there wasn’t a whole lot we could do and we would have to bite the bullet regarding the two lost cabinets and unnecessary expense. Not for long! My little head was spinning about how good Ikea’s service and return policies are. I immediately GoogledIkea’s return and exchange policy” and what to my surprise, we would be able to return the two built-up cabinets (within 90 days of delivery) and at least get a store credit. If the cabinets were still in their original packaging and not disturbed we would get a full cash refund, but as there were already assembled we could at least get the credit, which was better than nothing in our eyes.

Our day so far was up and down but we were muddling through. If ever there was a home that could tell a story, this was one of them. The electricians, working away and swinging to the oldies on their radio, also came upon some left-over drywall stuck behind the exposed painted wall. At least we were now fairly certain this would be the last of it, as our kitchen cabinets were gone, the bird’s nest was cleaned out, and there were now numerous electrical holes exposed for re-wiring. The room looked like Al Capone and his boys had shot the place up.

The electricians left around 4:30 and Simon finished off laying the subfloor in the dining room and headed home to his family around 5:00. Nat and I were starving – Timmies for lunch and pizza was going to be supper. Any ambition and good thoughts had now drained from our minds and bodies. We would have to keep our fingers crossed that tomorrow will be a better day.

For what it’s worth, pictures from the past couple of days:

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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