At 8am Thursday morning the plumber arrived to disconnect the old kitchen sink and then at 10am two cabinetmakers arrived, firstly to dismantle the old lower kitchen cupboards including the pantry cupboards and secondly to instal the new cupboards. They worked right through to after 5pm before they were done and we were pleased they took all the old cupboards away and even vacuumed the floor before leaving.
The new cupboards are entirely different to the original and now I have the task of trying to decide where everything is to go. I have 4 extra drawers and can also now use the corners of the cupboards which I couldn't before but have to practice opening those strange doors.
Where the pantry cupboard stood I now have 4 drawers below, room for the microwave on the extended bench and an open cupboard above which I am not really sure what to do with. It is quite high and not deep enough to take the rack I keep my dinner set in. There are going have to be so many changes made.
You can see here where they had to cut away some of the vinyl 'cos the new cupboards are a few cms deeper than the original and this revealed the red and white tiles that were here when we moved in in 1974. They were quite worn so were very quickly covered over. They were well and truly glued to the floorboards so had to stay put. Think perhaps a paler vinyl to go with the paler bench tops although we've always liked this one with the cork pattern. Time for a change though.
It is wonderful to say goodbye to the original very dark brown benchtops. They were the type that you could wipe down, turn around and in 5 minutes you'd find more 'bits' to wipe up. After 30 years it will be so wonderful not to be plagued by those damned brown tops.
We now have white tiles all around instead of just under the window. I didn't realise they were going to do that so perhaps would have asked for cream tiles but perhaps a contrast is good. Before there were just white tiles on the window ledge and right under the window. They probably thought I'd like the same colour and so be it. You can see the spacers are still there and Reece (the boss) will be here next Thursday to remove them and do the grouting. Until then we can't put too much stuff on the benchtop or we'll have to move it all again. I really do love the new benchtops.
This morning a different plumber arrived at 8am to connect the new sink which took him simply ages as he had to make up a new connection. He was a terrific young bloke and was so patient with what he had to do. I felt for him as he had almost to be a contortionist to get in under the sink. I said I was sorry the old taps had to go back (they weren't of course damaged in the flooding) and asked if he could replace them for me if I paid his firm. He rang his boss and told him I had an email account so I spoke to the boss and he said to give my name and address and email address to his employee and he would send me an account via email and I can then pay for the taps by bank transfer. Now, instead of a couple of old brown taps, we have two new shiny silver ones which are easier for my hands to manage....and this new strange type plug which I didn't push in hard enough and wondered why the water kept escaping. Phil to the rescue and now it works fine but seems so much of it I wonder will it be easy to keep clean. I am glad they have trusted me to send immediate payment for taps.
It looks a little bare without the bottom cafe curtain but I will wash the two lots of curtains and will wait till next week so Reece can do the grouting without curtains getting in the way. My old sink had two sides to it while this new one has only one drainer which is also going to take getting used to. I have no idea why they replaced it with this one but perhaps it is the modern trend. I didn't argue as I just wanted to get the job over and done with.
I think the plain cupboards do fit in OK with the pine upper cupboards but we now have to get new knobs for the old cupboards to match the really nice new silver handles on the lower cupboards. This photo doesn't snow the true colour of the new cupboards. If you look at the first picture you will se they are a deep cream. If you are wondering what the little red star is.....when one has grandies and you are presented with a sticker or two you have to show you love them by popping them somewhere so they can be seen. : ) Perhaps its time they were removed now as I think that one has been there for a year or two. We just got used to it being there. It has a smiley face.
This has definitely become an ongoing saga (a little like EC's driveway but at least ours is mainly covered by insurance except for the $500 for the new sink and tiling and of course the taps). I rang the people who had sent a chap out to check the damage to vinyl and hall carpet. "Oh no" said the lady there "we only check to see if it is repairable or needs replacing. You will have to ring the insurance company and speak to them about having a firm measure up for new vinyl". Tried ringing GIO, joined a queue so tried again 2 hours later and got straight through thank goodness. This 35¢ to call 1300 numbers really annoys. It is for their convenience, not ours and yet it costs us nearly twice the cost of a normal call. Anyway when I spoke to a very helpful lady in Newcastle (on the other side of this vast country of ours) she said our "Claims manager" would call us next week and arrange for someone to come out and measure up for us. Hopefully all this will be over and done with by the end of April. Sigh! Easter and Anzac Day (25th April) are sort of getting in the way right now.
There is one problem I'd not even considered which is of some concern. Because there is now a small panel between me the the sink I found when I washed the first couple of dishes this morning that having to lean over that wee bit further plays havoc with my back, and I mean it really hurts. Phil looked at me knowing I was in pain and said that doing the dishes may be his job more than usual in future. Still, I am a very good drier up so more adapting to be done perhaps.
The two of us are really quite worn out today and I even managed to sleep for 30 minutes this afternoon and it is most unusual for me to be able to sleep during the day. Haven't slept too well past few nights either so have been getting up much earlier than usual. Our little world has been turned upside down with more to come with the flooring to be done. I can assure you that in future no tap will be left running when I leave the room. I've learned that lesson only too well.
I will say that the four workmen who have been here the last couple of days are some of the nicest I've ever had to deal with. They were all relatively youngish but knew their jobs so thoroughly. Offers of tea or coffee were refused and we were told they had their lunch and were OK. We just kept out of the way except when needed to answer a question or look at something in particular.