As previously mentioned here, my dad knows a lot about electricity. He is a DIYer himself and through many home projects, he learned a lot about wiring, circuit breakers, and the likes. Jim was feeling confident about outlets and ceiling fans – but adding new wires, changing circuits, and just dealing with the circuit breaker in general was another level. Lucky for us, my dad is now retired and was willing to come help us with the electricity in the kitchen.
In preparation for the trip down, Jim and my dad were sending e-mails and planning the project. My dad pointed out that we might want to rethink our lighting situation. The old kitchen had three overhead lights. Jim and I planned on just replacing the light fixtures. But with a new island and placement of cabinets, etc – that was not going to cut it. Jim came up with a whole new plan for our lighting. 7 recessed lights and three hanging lights above the island. This meant a lot more wiring and work for Jim and my dad.
Jim got to thinking about all the work we had to do in the ceilings and walls. He realized we’d be adding a lot of holes in order to get the electricity done. Solution: tear down the ceilings and walls. Once again, I needed to face my fear of hammers and also ladders. One afternoon Jim and I had at the ceiling. After just an hour or two, it was gone. So were our lights in the kitchen. The next day, we brought down the walls. The kitchen was now down to the studs. We were ready for the electrical work.
My parents arrived on a Tuesday afternoon. I had the hopeful idea they might be able to get the electrical work done in one day – THEN we could move on to other things like putting the floors and walls back up! Jim and my dad had high hopes of finishing in two days. My mom laughed at all of us, saying we’d be lucky if they finished in four days. After one day of working, we all realized my mom was right.
There were a lot of unforeseen problems. Problems such as no space in the circuit breaker (they created some by getting rid of the old solar panel circuit breakers), wires connecting through the dining room, wires that didn’t want to move, etc. There were steps that took up a ton of time – like figuring out what each circuit breaker controlled throughout the entire house. Jim and my dad turned out to be good partners. By the end of the third day – all seven recess lights were in and working! At the end of the fourth day – the dimmer for the recess lights was installed and all the outlets were hooked up and working. After FIVE days, the hanging lights over the island were up and we were done! Below are some pictures (courtesy of my mom) of the men working.
In addition to taking pictures – my mom was a HUGE help clearing out the garage. We had been using our garage as a dumping ground for all the trash we couldn’t throw away in our normal trash cans. We rented a dumpster on Wednesday and that evening my mom and I got to work on putting the trash into the dumpster. Then while I was at work on Thursday, my mom finished emptying the garage! She even swept the floor afterward! I never got a picture of the massive mound of trash but imagine all the cabinets, ceiling, floor, closet doors, etc in one mound. It took up half of the garage.
Thanks Mom and Dad for all your help!! We would be lost without you! (Also thanks to Jim’s parents for bringing all four of us a delicious homemade meal one night!)