This is a fun post.  On the same day that we bought all of the kitchen and vanity cabinets and delivered them to the building in a hugely oversized U-Haul, the boyfriend and I busted our butts at the building putting all of the cabinets in the units where they were to be installed, and tearing out the kitchen in apartment A.  Okay, technically, the contractor was the one tearing the cabinets out of the kitchen, but the boyfriend and I were the lucky ones who got to throw the kitchen out the window.  I’m not kidding.

Tearing Out the Kitchen Cabinets

Remember that the kitchen in apartment A is the one that smelled so rank even weeks after the tenants left, and after having ample opportunity to air out because of the broken windows in the unit.  Tearing out the kitchen was something that definitely needed to happen, but it was a really dirty job.

Tearing out the kitchen

Look at the size of that dumpster, too! This is the second one that size that we have filled up.

My contractor was at the property fairly early starting to rip out the kitchen, while the boyfriend and I were out getting the cabinets in the U-Haul.  By the time we unloaded the kitchen cabinets and returned the U-Haul truck, there was a pile of kitchen cabinet pieces that we needed to throw away.  There was also a giant dumpster in the alley next to the building.  I had picked up a couple of pieces and was walking toward the stairs, when the contractor said he had just been planning to throw them out the window into the dumpster.  Really?

I went to the bedroom window, which was open, and looked into the alley.  The bedroom window is on the upper left of the photo above.  It was a straight shot into the dumpster.  It seemed like it would be too far to throw the pieces, but we were higher up than the rim of the dumpster, so it seemed possible.  I threw my first piece, and nailed it.  Woo hoo!  This was FUN!  The boyfriend had a really fun time with this, too.

We were able to throw out about 95% of the kitchen pieces that way, and the last 5% we had to walk down the stairs because they were too big or unwieldy to throw out the window.  I had to tuck them under my arm as I walked down, and let me tell you, the smell was BAD.  I felt like I needed a shower immediately.  I have a pretty strong stomach, but it was churning.  I’m really glad we made the decision to ditch those cabinets.

Digging out the Weird Landscaping

After chucking all the cabinets, the boyfriend and I went downstairs to stay out of the contractor’s way.  There was a planter bed full of some weird leftover-looking landscaping that had been bugging me.  The artificial turf looked so nice and pretty, and this flower bed was just busted.  It had scraggly aloe, some weird miscellaneous plants, and a really strange Jesus shrine that the tenants left behind.

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Sorry, Jesus. Time for you to go.

Jesus was heavy, too.  He must have weighed at least 60 or 70 pounds.  He was also placed in this giant concrete shell that weighed even more than that.  Thankfully they were separate pieces, or I wouldn’t have been able to move them myself.  Once the shrine was removed, I shoveled out all of the weird plants, leaving just the three big cypress trees.  I’m not very fond of them, either, but it’s going to cost some money to rip them out, so they’re staying for now.

When the artificial turf installers did their work, my contractor noticed that they didn’t cap off the sprinkler pipes that were in the old lawn.  This sucks, and I wish I knew about it when they were doing it.  If I turn on the sprinklers now, the water will run underneath the artificial turf.  That could destabilize the whole base of the artificial turf, and cause it to get wrinkled and hilly.  The last thing I want to do is wreck the thing I just paid $6,000 for.

And I don’t know if the sprinklers in the flowerbed are on the same valve as the lawn or a different valve.  I could try to test it by turning on the valves to see if I can see any water under the artificial turf, but I’m not 100% sure I would be able to tell if water was leaking under the artificial turf unless I let it run for a very long time.  I’d not only be risking wasting water, but I could slowly be causing the destabilization that I’m so afraid of.  In short, the turf installers pretty much hosed me on all of the sprinklers.

Finally, I decided to just eliminate the sprinklers entirely, and just plant things in the planter bed that don’t require regular watering.  The existing cypress trees will probably be fine without water.  I can fill in the blank spaces with Russian Sage, just to soften it up a little.  I have sage planted at my house, and I completely neglect it, and it still seems to be doing fine.  I’m hoping that this works out to be a good long-term solution that will save a lot of water.

Arranging the New Cabinets

The contractor left around the time that the landscaping was done.  The last thing the boyfriend and I had to do for the day was to load the cabinets into each of the units and arrange them in a way so that the contractor would know which cabinets were to be installed in each place.  Oh boy.  We had two garages full of cabinets.

I pulled out my kitchen diagrams and got to labeling boxes.  The boyfriend grabbed the dolly and started loading the cabinets into the right units while I labeled.  After I finished labeling, I started helping him get the cabinets moved.  Fortunately, there was only one upstairs unit, but unfortunately, it was one of the ones where the kitchen was being replaced.  I don’t know how many trips we took up and down the stairs, but I know that my feet felt like they were going to fall off by the end of it.

Then we got to arranging.  We moved the bathroom vanity cabinets into the bathrooms, which was easy.  For the kitchens, we took over the whole living room.  On the left side, we created the layout of the base cabinets, and on the right side, we created the layout of the upper cabinets.  I also emailed him the kitchen layouts, so he could use those to make sure the cabinets were installed in the right places.

Next time: painting, windows, and countertops.