Demolition, Debt, and Doggies … Oh, My!

When we purchased our house, we got it for less than market value because the kitchen was extremely small, outdated and, to be completely honest, ugly. Despite doing our best to paint it, decorate it and make it more charming, we always expected to do some kind of update or face-lift; however, "When?", "What?" and "How much should we spend?" were questions we struggled to answer for the five years we’ve lived there.

After a lot of discussion, (during which we debated remodeling the kitchen and doing a few other repairs vs.. sell and buy a new home elsewhere) number crunching, agonizing and one false start with a very unprofessional, dishonest scam artist, we finally hired a reputable contractor to remodel our kitchen. It will be an expensive endeavor, and very stressful on our home life for both us and our dogs, but we have at least 10 years left in this house, and a kitchen re-do will increase the usability & enjoyment of the kitchen, a swell as the value and saleability of our home when we retire and are ready to sell and move.

Design has been finalized, funding has been secured, contracts have been signed, deposits have been paid, Cabinets have been ordered, colors and materials have been selected, kitchen has been cleared out and house has been shuffled to accommodate a microwave, keurig and other kitchen essentials, where they don’t belong and we are all braced for at least 4 weeks of renovation hell. (Although our contractor feels strongly, and keeps reiterating that, he can and probably will have this job done in 3 weeks, he continues to stick to a 4 week time frame to allow for unexpected delays should anything arise. And we know it could be longer, although we hope not.)

Today is the first day of demolition, so there is no turning back now.

As the dogs would go crazy with people in the house, loud noises and all kinds of activity going on for hours at a time, weeks at a time, Puppy Daycare has been set up at my Mom’s (aka "Grandma" to Harvey and Rita Mae.) Every weekday morning, we will crate the dogs up and haul them to Mom’s ( about 10 minutes away ) before work, then pick them up on the way home. We’ve made the trip 3 times so far (Monday night to set up the house with dog bed, toys, food, treats, necessary barriers and gates and install a dog leash corkscrew in the backyard to try to make the stay as pleasant for them and as small an inconvenience for Mom as possible; then yesterday before and after work.) Up until now, the dogs have mostly only ridden in the car to and from the vets, pet store or grooming place. Harvey has always ridden on my lap in the front seat, Rita has ridden in the back seat. However, as we will be dressed for work, we can’t be covered in hair each morning, and we really needed a safer and easier way to transport the dogs in the car since we will be doing it daily for the next month or so. We discovered their crates fit perfectly in the back of the Forester, so we can easily transport them in their crates, which is what we’re doing. Rita barks a little bit, but has pretty much acclimated to the short trips in her crate in the car. Harvey, however, having been spoiled for 5 years riding on my lap in the front seat, is not a happy camper, and has developed a new sound to punish and torture us for this new indignity: a caterwauling that sounds like the cross between a baby lamb bleating slowly and sadly, and the guttural sob of a small child learning that Santa will not be bringing him/her any presents this year. He does this non stop, from the moment we close the hatch on the car to the moment we open it up again at Mom’s. We hope, over the course of the next couple of weeks, as this becomes routine, he, too, will acclimate and stop this heart wrenching noise. Of all the inconvenience , cost, stress, and mess this kitchen renovation is causing, this will be thing that I struggle with the most: the guilt of torturing my poor little Harvey with a ten minute car ride in his crate each morning and afternoon.

I just hope we can keep the ASPCA off our backs for the next month.

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17 Responses to Demolition, Debt, and Doggies … Oh, My!

  1. mike says:

    We bought a home with an impossible kitchen. Finally we are at the point of facing what to do with it. Hired a designer and have plans for the recreation. We are doing the demolition and in the process of making hundred selections. i feel like an evil queen bitching about everything that goes wrong, it is a small kitchen and we are spending a god awful amount of money….I could never imagine this

    • Sassybear says:

      The cost of this has soared way beyond anything we imagined. We are up to our ears in debt over it and it will take 5 years to pay it off. If I had seen the hard numbers before we started, we probably would have never done it, even though I know it needed to be done and will eventually pay off. Hindsight is 20/20. Good luck!

  2. Ravager619 says:

    Good luck with everything. I know my cats go nuts when I have visitors over, but after awhile at least one of them will venture out from her hiding place and see what’s going on.

    • Sassybear says:

      These guys would love all the people, and our contractor loves our dogs, but they’d be in the way if they were out free, and noisy as hell if they were caged up. Better they’re at Mom’s for it all.

  3. David says:

    chronicle the process, I have the worlds second ugliest kitchen need to do this someday.

  4. wcs says:

    Oh cool! I hope that you take plenty of photos of before, during, and after and share them with us. I love kitchen remodels (having had one done in our SF house many years ago). The pain and inconvenience is sooooo worth it. 🙂

  5. Bob Slatten says:

    We’re in the “talking” stages of a kitchen remodel. Hopefully yours goes well and inspires us …?

  6. Steven says:

    Good luck with the remodeling project!! It will pay off in the long run.

  7. javabear says:

    What a silly dog! I hope he calms himself down and enjoys the adventure. Good luck, you guys. Remodeling is so exciting, forget the stress… if you can.

  8. Sorry I had to laugh. You should hear the chorus from my backseat when taking all 6 somewhere. With 6 I have to use crates. They will manage, you are doing the right thing and it’s only temporary. Plus you’re gonna love the new kitchen!

  9. good luck dear with everything. before/after pix of the kitchen please. I remember well the pound cake I baked in your kitchen…

    • Sassybear says:

      I think only people who have been in our kitchen will actually appreciate the full depth of the transportation. Of course, no one can cook in it anymore – we have to keep our expensive new kitchen clean LOL

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