W & D: Together at last!

This is a love story about two lovers who never met, but knew, somewhere, out there, their soulmate was waiting for them… Alright, alright it’s really about a post of me moving my dryer into the kitchen. But may I say: the heavens aligned and I for one, am infatuated.

Here’s the lovely before:
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And here’s the still-inn-progress, but oh-so-exciting after:
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To the left of my washer is the hallway to the bedrooms. I measured once, twice, a million times and I knew that the little green-topped cabinet, if carefully removed, would fit between my fridge and that hallway – so we wouldn’t lose any of that storage. That’s important because my 1015 square foot house is not gifted with closets.

Before I show you how we did it and what it cost, let’s go over the thought process:

Plan A:Why didn’t you move the washer out of the kitchen and into the utility closet?
That was my original hope, so I talked to a contractor friend, who quickly squashed my dreams. It would really be so nice to have countertops that spread the entire span of those upper cabinets – whoo boy that would be some gorgeous prep space! He told me getting the plumbing done not only would cost mucho dinero but would require us to re-tile and re-drywall – or hireout to get those project done to the tune of… wellletsjustcallitalot.

I do not happen to have a lot as you remember, our number one goal is paying off all our debt! Putting the least amount into the house and trying to sell it in two or three years is going to help us do that. But if we get sidetracked with projects instead of extra payments – we’re just hurting our own future.

So it was too expensive to move the dryer to join the washer.

Plan B: Why didn’t you make a new laundry space in the dining room, off of the kitchen?
Now I really liked this idea: having a dedicated laundry space away from the kitchen but still inside – but again was going to require more money than we had. There was a 220 volt receiver for a dryer just to the right of the stove, so theoretically we could have paid for just the cost of moving the washer, and that wouldn’t have cost us as much in plumbing, since that’s much closer to our sink and we wouldn’t have had to re-tile, but still it was so, so much more expensive, for a few reasons: 1, we saw the dryer plug and though “Eureka! We can bring the dryer in and technically it won’t be “with” the washer but it will be close! And sooooooo much better than separate in the utility closet!” Well we tried that – it would have been THE CHEAPEST option (as in, cost us nothing!!!) although it would hae been crazy ugly I mean a little awkward. But it turns out, that wall plug was a dud! So we would have had to pay an electrician for new wiring anyway. Womp, womp.

Plan C: Why didn’t you leave the cabinet where it was, rip out half of the uppers, and install a stackable washer and dryer?
A. Confidence. We are just getting our feet wet with this whole homeowning thing and we do not have the confidence to remove only part of some upper cabinets. They seem like they’d need a saw and some extra arms and magic to get only half of them down. And perhaps more importantly, B, cost. We have a perfectly good washer and dryer set and it is just not a priority to upgrade to the stackable kind – even used.

So that leaves us with the plan we did execute: hiring electricians to install the wiring needed to power the dryer, moving the cabinet, and altering the appliance to make it work. My birthday was last week and we each get $300 for our birthdays, so I spent mine on house stuff and the electricians! Huzzah! Didn’t even get in the way of paying off Sallie Mae this month. SHE GONE FOREVER. But that’s another post.

So here’s what I did while Handsome was at work: removed all the stuff, drawers and doors from the cabinet and set them aside.img_0993 fullsizerender

Then, kneeling to where I was mostly inside the cabinet, I used just a plain old screwdriver to unscrew the top, then I pried it off with a crowbar I borrowed from the neighbor (another money saving tip: try to borrow tools, otherwise your DIYs will get expensive, quick!) so thanks neighbor!
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I moved the countertop out of the kitchen and went to work removing any visible nails and screws that I could see. Sometimes the nails were so flush with the board they were holding that my hammer couldn’t catch them. This is probably #ghettoDIY but I used my flathead screwdriver to punch down the wood around the nail, so that my hammer could snag it and wrench it out. After about an hour of that, I realized I’d have to knock the grout off of the bottom to get it loose enough to pull out. Then I had this:

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Pulling that cabinet free without damaging it felt AMAZING. Almost as good as delivering a baby: an-I-can-do-anything-type amazing. There was one invisible nail that I finally got rid of and then shimmied the cabinet over next to the fridge, where -guess what – IT FITS!!! I’m going to have to move some baseboards to get it flush and I’ll have an update for ya when I do that.img_0996

The electricians came the next day and installed the wiring, so we were ready! I insisted we move the dryer in right away since we were having visitors come the next day and there was no way the tile and grout was going to be done by the time they arrived. We decided to just move the dryer, do minimal loads, and finish the floor this weekend. I’m not concerned about the ugly exposed wall because shortly it will be covered by a cabinet and tile – so I’m just going to Kilz it in the meantime.img_1013 img_1016
And see that! The light’s on!  It works! Buuuuuut that door was not the most ergonomic. Sweet Girl was excited to help decorate so here she was being Vannah White. Most large appliances that have a side to side door have some kind of way to let you re-attach the door and open it the other way – our dryer was no different.

We unscrewed the door and then started taking it apart, being careful to collect all the screws and hinges in a kid-spill-free cup. The door is actually two parts: the door with its locking mechanisms and the white shell that you view from the front. Four screws later and the shell and the door were separated and we could flip it around and re-attach it to get it to open and close to the right. The hinges on the other hand…. I almost lost it on the hinges. I put them on the wrong way the first time, I put half of them on wrong the second time, the third time I got it almost all the way on until I popped a screw out and had to start again and finally, FINALLY, the fourth time proved to be the charm.
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So now…. we have a washer and dryer together- long lost lovers reunited at last! And I tell you what, I have not been behind in laundry since. Take that, dirty socks.Oh look, there’s one on the floor now.

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Hubba. Hubba.

Left to do in the kitchen in Phase One: Lay the tile, paint the back wall, install the L-hose for the hot air exhaust, punch out a hole in the wall (not sure how – it’s brick on the outside!) & install a critter guard, build out a cabinet (to hold tall skinny trash cans?), paint the wooden side of the moved cabinet, remove the baseboard and permanently install the cabinet, and re-do the counter tops (we already have the concrete- bought it on amazon with a giftcard from work!!!). It’s going to be fun. Let’s see how cheaply we can make it happen!

What have you been doing? Any kitchen updates in these last few days before fall?

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