Tuesday, April 28, 2009

IKEA Kitchen Sale

The IKEA Kitchen sale ends Sunday. This Sunday. Like, 5 days from now! We have not ordered our cabinets. In fact, we don't plan to put in the cabinets until July (Ugh, I know!). However, should we order them now? I have no idea! How long does it take them to come in? Can they hold them for us?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Returning to visitors

This weekend, we headed to NYC to drink and eat and get together with friends. We headed to Peter Luger's for lunch on Saturday where I enjoyed the most delicious burger.

The rest of the weekend was spent eating more, and drinking too much. It was great and made me miss living in NYC a lot. Despite the small apartments and dirty subway, the fact is that NYC is a lot cooler than DC. Or maybe anywhere for that matter. It's not like I am rushing back to live there - but I do love to visit.

After too many hours in the car and managing a head that felt like it was in a vice, we finally arrived back home and walked into a yard of wilted plants and a house of new visitors. First, there were ants in the kitchen. This happens every spring/summer and I cannot wait to rip out the kitchen and solve this problem once and for all. Next, a daddy long leg spider made my bathroom sink his home. Lovely. It was like there were coming at us from all angles.

**photo from "A Bug's Life"

One of the many great qualities of my cats is they are great hunters. Fly in the house? They will chase it for hours until it becomes an afternoon snack. Once, in the NYC apartment, the tackled and killed a cockroach. It made me so proud. But, ants? They could give a shit. Maybe they're too small or just not fast enough. No thrill is smashing down your paw and getting 10 at once I suppose.

Despite the lack of enthusiastic hunters, I hope these little bastards know their days are numbered!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dream Home

This place is sick. It covers the essential framework of my dream home (house, barn/pool house, pool). Check out the rest here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life is in the way

The plans for the kitchen are somewhat solid. Setting them in motion however, are not. Between my 9-5, an evening class, three conferences, and four trips, the next five weeks are going to be busy. Not that I don't like those things, but I do want to shut it all down and start my kitchen! Ah, and the price for the lighting I want went up $50. Yay me!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Haste leads to waste

Back in early March I purchased a hammock at Target. It was the first weekend they started bringing in their outdoor decor and I snapped it up. Now, I don't know if it was priced wrong, but this this baby was ringing in at $29.99 and was in my cart in a flash. I brought it home and propped it up against a wall for it to stay until the weather brightened.

This Saturday, I decided Mr. Hammock would make his debut. I moved the lawn and even weedwacked the edges to set the perfect stage. Then, I took some thin rope out of the trunk of my car and strung up the hammock over two diagonal fence posts in the yard. I took my place on the hammock and after several adjustments got it to the right height. I know they say money can't buy happiness, but it can sure buy a hammock, which brought me loads of happiness. While the far side of the hammock was perfectly positioned on the post (say that five times fast), the side near my head was a little precarious. The rope was in danger of flinging the fence cap into the yard. It needed a proper hook.

During my target run I picked up an inexpensive hook and hurried home to set up my precious hammock. I screwed it into the post and took my place again. Then this happened:

leading to this:

and this:

After whining about my sore arse, and reading the hook packaging which clearly stated "no matter what, will not hold over 35 pounds". I headed to Home Depot to get some industrial hooks. I came home with a 2000lb. weight limit carbiner and some sort of load hook. They too stated "do not use for supporting human weight". Whatever. So far, it works...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kitchen Labor Quote

After I quick follow-up e-mail I promptly received the quote for the kitchen (sometimes these guys just need a little reminder). So here's the breakdown:

Demo of kitchen ($1200)
Removal of appliances ($120)
Separate price just to haul away cabinets ($280)
Assemble and install cabinets ($990 - 10 cabinets at $99 each)
Just install cabinets - you assemble ($690 - 10 cabinets at $69 each)
Install 6 side panels ($150 - $25 a piece)
move 2 electrical outlets ($400)
Run new electrical from panel for microwave ($335)
Patch drywall from electrical work ($210)
Move sink location ($480)
Install crown molding ($163)
Tile backsplash ($515)
Install appliances ($500)

So, looks like we are in for about $3500 worth of labor costs for the kitchen. Which, is not too terrible, but it does still seem like an awful lot of money. I suppose it's also because of the times. With the buzz word 'recession' filling the air and every magazine and news story talking about how to save money by like, making your own laundry detergent and stuff, it just seems like a lot of money to spend right now. I'm sure I'll get over it the minute it's all done.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Living in the inbetween

I hate the lag time between projects. The time spent wondering when it will actually begin and how it will turn out in the end.

Ideally, the first floor renovations would begin in June. It will be warm enough to open the windows and air out the sawdust and fumes, but not too hot that I will be melting. In a few weeks I'll start boxing up the kitchen items and cleaning house of a few I no longer need. I may even try and tackle a project or two before this all begins. My weekends are filling up fast and between now and the end of June I have 5 weekends where I can potentially do some work on the house. At least hang the hammock we recently purchased and enjoy some time outside.

The cherry blossoms in DC are almost over and the heat will soon start flooding in to keep us all indoors much more than we would like. By the time fall rolls around I hope to have most of the house done and be underway with tackling some bathroom projects.

It will be nice when all the projects are over, but there are somethings I will miss about it. A few years to recharge and I think we'll be ready for a new project . . .
**photo courtesy of Flickr

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ben? And, you're a girl?

I have no memory of when it started. I just always remember being called "Ben". It faded slightly during the high school years and has come back in full form as I grow older. I'm about to turn 29 and I still carry a nickname from when I was a little girl. So, where did it come from? When I was little I loved Peter Rabbit (yup, from Beatrix Potter) and since I wanted to be Peter's best friend, well I guess my folks just started calling me Benjamin Bunny (his cousin) which turned into "Ben". And, it stuck.

I know, it's a little odd. Glad we cleared things up though.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

IKEA Kitchen Experience: First Contractor Visit

After e-mailing back and forth with the IKEA contractor regarding the cabinet height, I scheduled a time for him to come out and take a look at everything. I have to say I was impressed. He made the appointment time one of those 3 hour windows - like the cable company or something. Initially that was annoying, but he showed up at the preferred time in that window that I had asked for and we were on our way. He patiently answered all my questions and informed me I would receive a quote for the full job in a few days.

I'll keep you posted. . .

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Back to Reality

I love soapstone. I really do. But, the fact of the matter is that I don't think it is a wise investment for this house. This is not our "forever home" and we don't think we'll be staying here for five more years even. Ideally, we would buy something larger (DC Rowhouse is a 2 bedroom and the 2nd is pretty small) and rent this place out. This may be a pipe dream.

I'm keeping the soapstone in mind for when I have a kitchen with beautiful handcrafted cabinets in a house I plan on staying for a very long time.

For now, I'm thinking that the black granite is gonna work just great.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

IKEA Kitchen Installation Options

It was pretty confusing walking around IKEA for the first time looking at the kitchen prices. The signs noting the installation prices seemed pretty vague about what exactly that meant. Was it for the cabinets + installation? Just installation? After visiting Lowes, and Home Depot, a price tag of over 3k for cabinet install was no longer sticker shock. In fact, the lowest rate we got for our kitchen (just to hang the cabinets) was $1500. Mind you, our kitchen is about 8 x10. Not big.

Interested in what IKEA charges for their services? I've made a quick list for reference (this is based on the College Park, MD prices):

- Basic cabinet install: $99/per cabinet (but, if you assemble them, it's $69/cabinet)

- Assembly only: $30/cabinet

- Planning Service (they design it for you): $150

- Measurement service: $75

- Countertop installation: $25 per linear foot (this includes 2 cut outs)

- Environmentally friendly appliance removal: $40 per appliance

- Appliance install for 4 appliances: $500

- Install sinks and connecting water supply: $250

- Delivery service: $79 for the first 20 items, $10 for each additional 10 items (one appliance = five items)

What do you think?

Injuries Obtained

  • Sprained Toe/Foot: 1
  • Blood Blisters: 2
  • Splinters under fingernail: 1
  • Bird Shit on me: 1
  • Eye Injuries: 3
  • Burns: 0
  • Falls off ladder: 0 (this is because we don't have a ladder yet)
  • Headaches: too many to itemize
  • Broken Bones: 0
  • Bandages Needed: 5
  • Electric Shocks: 2
  • Stiches: 0
  • Bruises: way too many