March 9, 2006

A Window Goes In

Almost the end of the second week and emotions are on a rollercoaster.  Joe and Kirk are making great progress, but as things evolve Linda and I are wondering what we've got ourselves into.  It is particularly hard on Linda as the kitchen evolves in ways that neither she nor I had anticipated. 

Most importantly, the windows are considerably smaller than we'd expected.  One a design mistake and the other because the framed windows are simply much smaller than the aluminum frame windows they are replacing.

The design error is that the window over the kitchen table doesn't go down as far as it should. I think it was originally sized with a "bar" in mind and then when we went to a design that didn't have a bar we all forgot (and, in particular, our designer forgot) that the table would be lower than the height of the original bar.  Consequently, the window doesn't come down close enough to the table top.   But we do get a nice view of the back yard!

That would have helped with the second problem that's developing, which is that the kitchen will have much less natural light than before. All of the windows and the door have less glass area, and we removed one of the windows and made the one over the sink much smaller.  Hard to tell what's going to happen by looking at plans!

We are also worrying over the lighting plan. I'd expected expert guidance from the designers on the lights, but Chris admits that he knows little about lighting and almost nothing about the fluorescent fixtures required under the new Title 24 code requirements. Consequently, Linda and I are puzzling over Chris' lighting design which meets code, but seems to have way too much down lighting in it. We are worried that we'll spend a thousand dollars for unnecessary fixtures and end up with a ceiling that looks like Swiss cheese. We also went looking at lighting fixtures yesterday -- nothing looks appealing and everything costs twice as much as incandescent. The only bright spot is that this is all so new that there are very few choices -- like three!

Joe has had some words of wisdom on all this.  First, don't pay too much attention to each item (e.g. the window) as it goes in because you see it in isolation and it will look different when everything comes together (God, I hope so!).  Second, if it is over lit, you can always turn off some of the lights.  However, if it is under lit you are screwed since there is no easy way to add lighting to the kitchen once it is finished.

Well, this whole process has depressed the hell out of Linda and I'm not feeling any too well myself.  I've heard that everyone who does a kitchen gets to the point where they regret ever starting on the project ... I just didn't think that I'd feel that way at the end of the second week!

Anyway, the space is opened up and I'm trying hard to imagine what it will be like when it is all over.