Kitchen Upgrade Bonanza

(Post 90 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

As promised, the pump for my water tanks returned at lunchtime today, and right at the start, too, just past 1PM! I was surprised to see three guys, my handyman Don Wilbert as well as his son and a helper. SURPRISE. They decided to knock out all my projects! Thank goodness I trust them because otherwise this would have been a bad surprise as I was working in real time with a proceeding in the U.S. and had to edit behind a court reporter while staying quite close to her. So I told the team to have at it and to come get me if they had any questions, but otherwise, they were on their own.

(The pump sounds SO much better now!)

Here’s a tour of the projects, with more detail below.

The first thing they did was unblock my very clogged sink. Oh my goodness what a mess that made. It was really blocked and the smells that were coming up, augh. But they finally got it done! I was a bit distraught after they left to discover my sink and new faucet stained with acid, especially since they normally work so cleanly and take care. I forgot to take before pictures, but you can see the mess in the video above.

I scoured with Barkeeper’s Friend and a green scrubbie, which shocked me by being useless.

Then I remembered I have this stuff, a penetrating cleaner. I let it work while I had dinner.

And then polished with this one, which makes the sink water repellent (water beads up when it hits it).

The end result was great for the sink, satisfactory for the faucet. In a few weeks, everything is going to be hard water damaged anyway and I won’t notice the remaining stains.

Next up, the old fans had to go. They had very cheap blades that were sagging. I did consider replacing the blades and having the fixtures cleaned, but they were just so disgusting and the one in the far part of the kitchen only worked intermittently.

The kitchen fans were rather a “forever” change, so why not just do it instead of expending the effort to clean up the old ones (which my cleaning lady asked for, so they will be recycled).

Fan shopping was a bit overwhelming. I figured out I wanted a rustic style and to keep the three bulbs. That narrowed the choices down considerably. I had a coup de foudre with a Hampton Bay model at Home Depot but wanted to support a local business. No local fan store had anything close to what I wanted and the Home Depot ones were surprisingly inexpensive (1,700 pesos each).

With them, I ordered an extension for the one going into main part of the kitchen as the ceiling is much higher and the old fan had one. I ordered a “chocolate” one and the sans-desseins at Home Depot sent me a grey one. Augh! Well, the guys looked over everything today and said that the extension I bought wouldn’t have worked anyway and we would have to recycle the old one because there was no way I’d find a chocolate extension locally. They were actually surprised that I found a dark brown fan!

So imagine my surprise when I went to the kitchen to check in a few hours later and found that the extension was now chocolate. Amazing how fast some paints can dry!

I also had to decide what side of the blades to have facing down, light or dark brown. I decided the dark brown would look better against the yellow.

The colour match is perfection. Well done them!

The fans look better than I dreamed they would! I thought the lampshades would be too yellow and dim the lights, but nope!

The next project was the new range hood. The old one was held by two screws and plugged in behind the stove, so I expected a simple project. When I said that to Don Wilbert, I got maniacal laugh and shake of the head. He was worried about the cord catching fire, so the only way he was installing the range hood is if I let him bring cabling up above to add an outlet. He’s the expert, so I let him do his thing. I’m not a huge fan of the look, but I agree it was the right call. I’ll be glad to have the wiring up there when I install a fancy extractor range hood in the future.

I bought the absolute cheapest range hood in the size of the old one. It was available for about 1,800 pesos at every store I could think to check, but they all wanted a ridiculous 500 pesos for delivery — maybe acceptable for a mom & pop place, not for a big chain. I ended up ordering it on Amazon for 2,000 delivered.

It fits perfectly to cover the wall damage from removing the old one.

The light doesn’t look like much, but beautifully illuminates all six burners. The fan has three speeds and should at least catch some grease even if it’s not venting outside.

The final project was the outlet below the sink counter for the microwave! I cannot wait to get shelving in there and move it in!

So all that’s left for the kitchen is a thorough clean from today’s activities, the shelving under the sink, and maybe another stainless steel table as an island. I’ve definitely gone over my kitchen refresh budget, with the carpentry still outstanding, but I think it was all money well spent and still cheaper than a full kitchen redo!

Next up, the master suite!