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The Curse Rears Up Again

October 13th, 2014

It’s been a LONG time since we’ve done a major home improvement project, for a few different reasons. One, we simply don’t have much time. Two, we’re undecided as to what exactly is going to happen here. Three, did I mention we just don’t have much time? Four, there is what we call the “Morris Curse” in that projects always take five times as long as you think and cost ten times as much. That being said we’ve been wanting to get our oven hood vented to the outside for a long time. Venting the hood outside is extremely important for indoor air quality. Cooking produces fumes that are not good to breathe, so if you’re cooking, have that vent going! Don’t worry about losing heat, worry about getting pneumonia, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, COPD and lung cancer if you don’t vent it outside. I’d say it’s well worth losing a few pennies of heat to not be breathing cooking fumes. This is especially important if you use a gas range which causes pollution from the flames. Any kind of cooking produce acrolein fumes that you shouldn’t breathe as well as fine particle pollution, so if you have an electric range don’t think you’re off the hook, you still should vent your range hood outside to keep your indoor cleaner.
kitchen redo 1
There has been big discussions around here revolving around remodeling the house or building a new one. Every small project we tackle has us leaning toward the second option. While installing our new powerful range hood we came across several issues, first one being the very spot we wanted to instal it had four studs stacking to form a support beam – GREAT. So we decided looks weren’t as important as fresh air so venting it with two elbows off to the right side would work. Oh well look at that, another group of studs. So we decided to vent it to the left.
kitchen redo 2 (1)
What did we discover with this option? Oh yeah a gas line. You can imagine our thoughts when we saw this. After a little searching we discovered it was and old line that was disconnected – whew.
kitchen redo 1 (1)
While tackling this project we also found a HUGE nest of insects underneath one cabinet, not sure what exactly happened here – but they are those bone beetles and I found some dog kibble there. Being that we don’t feed dog kibble, I’m guessing perhaps the previous owners kept their kibble in this cabinet? We also found that part of the wood paneling had been eaten by some sort of insect – great. There also seems to have been a time when water got in this corner of the house, not sure if it happened a long time ago and was fixed, or perhaps it’s just lots of mouse urine judging by the rather larger number of old mouse nests we also found – DOUBLE YUCK!
kitchen redo 2
With all of our setbacks we’re still working on getting this crazy thing installed at 8:30pm on Sunday night (so much for a quick project). We ended up having to use two elbows to get the vent in, so now we can’t cover the vent pipe. It’s a good thing I don’t mind the industrial look, and pollution free air will make up for the less than perfect look! I also now have four outlets in the kitchen, super awesome. Before the stove actually had to be plugged in above the countertop (crazy I know) and two outlets didn’t work, so I had to unplug the stove or my over the sink light if I wanted to run the blender or mixer. I’m debating whether or not I want to take the time to paint the kitchen, it’s pretty sad as far as a paint job goes. As you can kind of see in this image, the area above the stove hood wasn’t painted previously, so there’s a square of rather grease stained drywall paper. You can also see the outlines of where the upper cabinets and other things that were hung on the walls – decisions, decisions.
kitchen redo (1)
As we do projects like this we keep adding things to the list of reasons it’s probably not a good idea to sink more money into this current house. There are those times when remodeling can be more costly than building new, we’re still looking at things around here, but we may have reached the tipping point. At least we’ll be breathing clean air while our discussions continue!

Have you tackled any home improvement projects lately? Any setbacks?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.