Monday, August 21, 2006

Whose idea was it to do this kitchen anyway?!?!?

Oh, yeah mine. What was I thinking!!! If you remember, it started with the microwave/convection combo dying. Now mind you, the convection part never worked since we moved into the house, but I liked the IDEA of having the option to bake in the micro also. Of course micro/conv combos aren't easy to find and they aren't cheap. It's not liek you can walk into Walmart or Target and buy one. So we hunted through appliance stores. Then I decided if we are going to buy a new micro combo, we might as well get an oven too. And while we're at it, let's get a larger one, since I can't even fit a standard cookie sheet in the one I have. Well buying bigger appliances, meant a new cabinet. We priced those and found they were REALLY expensive so Jeff figured he would make one. And then he suggested lowering the oven and raising the microwave to create more counter space...not a bad idea since we are severly lacking in counter space. Well this meant we needed new counters. They finally arrived on Monday so that meant we better get started. I figured since we were doing things over, the kitchen could use a new coat of paint. It hadn't been painted since we moved in 7 years ago. So, last Monday we began spackling and preparing the kitchen. It took all week, but we got the ceiling repaired and painted and the walls and molding painted.

On Friday Jeff and I decided to put in the small counter near the door. We removed the old one and we find a hole in the sheetrock and some dead bees. This reminded us that a few years back we could hear bees in the wall. We had called in an exterminator who took care of the problem. Little did we know that they had eaten through the sheetrock though. So we caulked the holes, and filled a gap under the windowsill while we were at it. We let it cure and then placed the new counter in place. Problem number 1 arose. The back splashes were about an inch shorter on the new counters. So the crack under the window sill that Jeff had just filled with caulk was completely visible. Off to Lowe's we go for a piece of molding to cover it. While we were at Lowe's I saw these really cool sinks made of black stone. However, they only had double sinks. So I figured oh well. We went home, painted and installed the molding and got our first counter in place. It looked GREAT!

Fast forward to Saturday. Karen and Bill took the kids to the Catskill Game Farm so we could work. We got another counter removed and realized we needed to head back to Lowe's. That got me thinking about the sink again. I really liked the look and the idea of a black stone sink. Not only would it look cool, but I figured it's would never really look dirty! So we head home to await the in-laws. We got the second counter placed. Problem 2 arose, but we were expecting this one. On the counter above the oven, the wall is not straight. It bows out near the door. Jeff thought he would notch out the wall, but I have since nixed this idea and we are going to order some extra laminate and make a filler strip. Meanwhile, Cheryl and I decided to go look other places for a sink. We head to the local Kitchen and Bath place. They had exactly what I was looking for, BUT it would take a week. I didn't want to wait...and the salesman was a we left. Then it was off to Home Depot. BINGO, we found a sink!! Of course then I got to thinking about how the faucet we had wouldn't work with the new sink. We looked at the faucets there and I didn't like any, so we headed to Lowe's. I decided to stop off at Petsmart (since it's in the same plaza) and buy Karat a new bed. Problem 3 then arose. My key wouldn't turn in the ignition of the minivan...see this is why I drive the truck...the van doesn't like me!! So Cheryl and I keep trying, but no luck. I check to make sure the wheels aren't turned, I make sure the steering wheel isn't locked and then I make sure the van is in park...still nothing. So I call Jeff and interrupt progress at home so he can come rescue us. Then we head to Lowe's and find a faucet (on clearance!) and of course Jeff needs ANOTHER tool to cut the counters.

Finally we head home...expecting to make great progress. It's already 3 and the kids will be home around dinner time. While Cheryl and I were gone, Jeff and his dad removed the sink, cooktop and the last counter. Of course I didn't come off easily or in one piece. So Jeff opens the packing for the new counter...and PROBLEM 4 rears it's ugly head. And it's UGLY! See, we originally wanted a 31" wide, double bullnosed counter. The salesperson at Lowe's told us it couldn't be done. So we ended up ordering a 30" wide bullnose front, flat capped back counter. The reason we ordered an inch smaller was because then the counter would be flush with the wall. I am always concerned with flat capped that if you hit it wrong, or catch on the corner that it will delaminate. ANYWAY...I digress. So we ordered a 30" bullnose front, flat capped back counter. What do we get but a 30" DOUBLE BULLNOSED counter. So much for the fact 'they can't be made'. So now, the counter isn't wide enough. Along the back of the counter (on the sun room side) there is no overhang and it looks horrible. So BACK to Lowe's we go. (I think we are up to about 20 visits in the week). We talk to a nice lady at customer service who assures us it will be fixed, but that we need to talk to someone in kitchens. The salewoman we worked with was off so we talked to another lady. We explain the problem. She'll need to talk to the laminate place, but of course they are closed on the weekends. She tells us she will let us know on Monday, but that she is sure they can make a new one. The problem is it takes about 4 weeks to get a counter normally. I can't go 4 weeks without a counter and the old counter is in pieces. So we ask if we can cut up the incorrect counter untila new one could be made. She says we would need to wait until MONDAY when she talks to the manufacturer. I explain that I won't wait because we have no water and no cooktop and 3 BABIES (okay, so they are really toddlers, but...). So she calls the operations manager and explains the situation. He FINALLY agrees that we can cut the counter, but that we will need to give it back to the manufacturer when they deliver the new counter. He is hoping that Lowe's can re-sell it. This is fine by me, but I remind him that it will have HOLES in it from where the sink and cooktop are installed. Truly, what are the chances they'll find someone with the EXACT same counter set up as us...well, that's his problem. So by now I am realizing that the kids can't come home because we have no water and no way to make them any food and there are construction materials everywhere. Karen graciously agrees to keep them and Jeff and I head home to install the mis-cut counter. By 10pm we give up for the night. The counter is cut, but the sink and cooktop are not yet installed.

So we are showered and all ready to climb in bed and a MOUSE runs across our bedroom floor. I scream and the cat goes into attack mode, Jeff is frantically looking for something to catch it in and the dog is just oblivious. 30 minutes later, our bedroom is torn apart and the mouse is finally caught. Another day is over....

Sunday arrives...Jeff and I are worn out. We get the sink and cooktop installed. While reading through the manual for my sink I come across this interesting tidbit. Now this is a stone sink. It's made of 80% granite. And the manual says to dry it out after every use. I stood there in stunned silence. It's a sink...what do you mean I have to dry it out?!?! And it's made of stone. Does Mother Nature whip out a towel after the rain to dry off all the stones....NO, so why in the world should I have to? I see this as something I will probably never do.

So, to take a break, we decide to go out for a little bit. Jeff and I in conversation complain about our mattress. We've been complaining for a few months now that we are waking up all aching from it. So I suggest we go to Huck Finns, just to see what they have. Well, this just to see turned into buying. Then we realize the truck isn't big enough, so home we go...Jeff will have to go back with the mini-van. I get left at home to put all the knick knacks and curtains back in place. Jeff gets home about 2 hours later with what looks like 3 beds stacked atop the van. Now the bed was really comfortable...and a Sterns and Foster at a great price. And, Jeff HAD to have a S&F mattress because they are the best. And they truly are, he used to sell them, BUT, we didn't stop to think that it was sitting directly on the floor for a's really thick. We manage to get the thing in the house and place it on the bed frame. I drop into uncotrolled, hysterical laughter when I realize the bed is now about 34" high. I can barely get into it without jumping and it's taller than the twins....oh and did I mention, the sheets we have WON'T FIT IT!!!

In sum, it was a really long weekend...and the kitchen isn't done. I can't wait til we get the new counter and have to start over! Below are some pictures. On a side note, the mattress was darn comfortable last night!

Click pictures to enlarge...
This is the kitchen in process. On the left is the long counter with the old counter top. On the right is the oven cabinet that Jeff built. He still needs to build the microwave cabinet, which will be even with the bottom of the other hanging cabinets.

Below is the long counter awaiting the new counter top.

Below is the 'finished' product. New counter, black stone sink and new faucet. And the counter that had the bees behind it.


April White said...

I don't know you guys but I enjoy reading your news I found your blog on sarah's page but anyways I have the same black sink from Home depot and i do NOT by all means dry it each time I use it and it is fine Good Luck with the kitchen

JSmith5780 said...

April- thanks for visiing. I am glad to know you don't dry your sink every time!