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Week 4: Reality Check – Venting issues

March 5, 2010

Chers Amis,

Have you ever wanted to believe something would work and then found out after getting all excited that there was a fatal flaw?  Disappointment. Pooh. C’est comme ca maintenant.  Dh and I loved the idea of opening up the kitchen to the dining room and having room for an island.  Why hadn’t we thought of that earlier?  Much rejoicing, much research on what we would have to do and who we would have to contact to “make it so.”

Last night I was down in the basement admiring DH’s hard work clearing out the back room of ‘stuff’ so that the plumber could install a new sewage ejector pump (for the new washer and a some day bathroom.) I was curious where the gas line to the stove was as we would have to move it for the island expansion plan. I found the thin gray line and where it punctuated the floor boards. Easy,  Except it was right next to the furnace and the furnace venting – and pipes. Huge pipes that ran from the basement, though the kitchen floor behind the stove, up in between the kid’s upstairs bedrooms, up into the attic and out the roof.   It was the aorta of the house. You can not mess with the major circulatory vessels human or home without great skill and greater cost. Pooh. Farewell island. Wqll behind the stove, I do not find you attractive.

Ok, so where are we on the kitchen design. Being a very visual, verbal person, I must see things (and usually talk or write about it) to make sense of chaos or to weigh my options.) DH and I found two software programs that allowed me   to ‘draw’ my kitchen with accurate measurements and click and drag walls, doors, stairs, cabinets, windows et tout, et tout. et tout.  The first program  is Smart Draw which offers a free trial period and features far beyond home design.  It downloads to your computer. Not bad, but after the first 7 days you have to purchase a copy.  That is NITB (especially after the plumber’s bill today – I need a glass of red wine to recover.) I far prefer the second program It is very intuitive and you do not have to download anything.  Your designs (up to 5) are saved on their server. I’ve been playing around with it for the last few days and must admit it is addictive because you can see your space not only in 2-D like with Smart Draw, but also in 3-D!  After creating your design in 2-D you just click a button and voila!  A 3-d model you can turn and tip and manipulate.

I’ve posted three versions of my current kitchen floor plan so you can see some of the neat features of the software (not the kitchen 🙂 I used to annotate and edit the pix.  Got to love that site too!

I haven’t come up with a finished design and I am still going where I have never gone before in the alternate cabinet universe. A rep from Wood Hollow came out Thursday and took some measurements and another local cabinet maker is going to come out Monday – oh, and another construction company is going to come Thursday.  Wood Hollow will take measurements and give a design for free, the local company builds their own cabinets (I would love to use someone local), and lastly, if we do decide to take out portions of the wall behind the stove – not the section protecting the ‘aorta’ – I will need a contractor to oversee opening the door in the load-bearing wall.  One more day in Week one remains and it should bring closure to the laundry room I hope!


PS – HT to the young DIY couple at Young House Love who mentioned it in a recent post. (If you haven’t checked out their blog yet, do.  They are very young, inventive, perky, and talented.  They purchased a fixer-upper in Richmond, VA and have done amazing things with the home.  Their site has SO much excellent content – and a chihuahua to boot!

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