Kitchen Remodel

Shine On You Crazy Diamonds (Parts 1-5)

Like you didn’t see that coming.

The cabinets are installed! Oh what a difference a day makes. The installers did a good job too! I only had to fix two drawers… so far. First, they installed the silverware tray backwards and they decided to omit the screws for the track in the towkick drawer. But all is well now, and all that is left to do is patch holes in the drywall, pick out a countertop and appliances, install said appliances, find a new home for everything in the kitchen, finish the hardwood floor, install new baseboards, pick out new cabinet hardware and faucet fixtures, install hardware, pick out a backsplash and install it, re-plumb the sink, garbage disposal, and dishwasher, re-wire an over sink light, install a plug for the microwave, plumb the vent hood, and paint. Yessir, we’re at the home stretch now.

Kitchen Remodel

Here’s Your Sign

Sometimes life surprises you by distilling your life into one short sentence. Today, I drove home to find this sign in my yard. I might as well keep it there until we move out.

Kitchen Remodel

Flame On

Failures like this are not supposed to happen. I had a long rant about how the professional, experienced, expensive, state licensed natural gas plumbing gurus took 3 trips, 3 plumbers, 6 fittings, 10 cuttings, and 20 hours to install one damn gas line, but time is short. This problem is finally solved.

Kitchen Remodel

No Gold Digging for Me! I Take Diamonds.

The cabinets came today! I was told that the delivery was going to be between 11:00 and 3:00, but they didn’t arrive until 4:30. That was probably because the shipping company was making deliveries all day and my order filled 3/4 of the truck. 34 boxes in total. Most importantly, I’ve only got one more diamond pun to come up with.

In an unrelated note, I have attached a picture of my dog.

Kitchen Remodel

Pressure makes Diamonds

I just got confirmation that the cabinets arrive this Friday! I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Car Repair Hardwood Floor Kitchen Remodel

Weekend Update

Well, I haven’t been blogging in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been getting anything done. Quite the contrary.

This weekend I had a great time with some fraternity brothers in the mountains, so I didn’t get a lot done on the house. However, it was a much needed break, because…

The subfloor had to be replaced. That was a crap job. About 20% of the particle board was absolute trash. In the worst spots, I was able to remove the majority of the subfloor with just the shop vac. What garbage. So, most of last week was spent replacing all of the subfloor, and most days I worked until past midnight. There wasn’t much room for blogging, as I was dead tired. However, last night, I finished replacing all of the subfloor with new 3/4 inch OSB. I learned a few things about subflooring, though. It’s very easy to do a crappy job, but it’s quite difficult to get everything right. And I know it’s just subflooring, but like the idiots that built this house, they saw the concrete they were pouring as “just the foundation” and now I’m having to repair it, too. So, I did a quality job and the floor is absolutely rock solid. No creaks, no squeeks, no mushy spots on the floor. That’s what you should expect with new subflooring that was screwed (and not nailed) into the floor joists. For those wondering (probably nobody), I used 7 pounds of screws. I also installed a 6 mil moisture barrier under the subflooring instead of 15 pound roofing paper. I’ve got Rosin Paper for the actual hardwood.

I’ve got some pictures of the job in progress, but since these pictures were taken, all of the subfloor has been put down.

I installed the floor jacks a few days ago and have already lifted the floor about a quarter of an inch. The kitchen door latched for the first time since we moved in!

I also fixed my air conditioner in preparation for the big weekend in the mountains. I’ve got a Delphi compressor that blows in the high 40’s on hot days. Comparing my car’s outdoor thermometer to the barista thermometer I Shanghai’d for my A/C vent, when I’m crusing at a decent speed I can get near a 50 degree drop. That’s just amazing to me.

I just finshed cleaning out all of the cabinets on the refridgerator/stove side of the wall. I can’t decide if I will rip them down next or clean out the other cabinets, but I am excited about ripping out my POS vent hood. I can’t wait to tear that thing up and I may take a few extra minutes to wail on it with my Engineer’s Hammer (An Engineer’s Hammer is what Lowe’s calles a 4 pound sledge. I had to buy it and I’ve used it many times.) Trash day’s tomorrow!

But for now, I’m going to take a bit of a break. It has been a very hard, absolutely draining day. We hope that Jay is in peace, and all of our love is with Susan, Virginia, and Elizabeth.

Hardwood Floor Kitchen Remodel

Dirty Little Secrets

My house has been hiding some dirty little secrets. The photos below are not for the meek.

There are years and years and years and years of spills, grossness, grime, a little mold, and some water warping.  I don’t really know yet how I am going to fix it. I cannot cut off the offending section and replace the subfloor because nobody makes this thickness anymore. If the damage here is the only damage, I will probably try to grind off the destroyed parts, glaze, and sand the floor level here. Everything is getting a coat of Zinsser. Eeew.

But check out that corner! How awesome is that. 4 Floors, all gross.

 Oh yeah. You’ve got ugly white lineolum installed with window caulk, then some ugly yellow lineolum installed with Elmer’s, then some dark brown faux parquet lineolum that was installed with molasses–and it’s still sticky, then my soon-to-be-trash oak floor installed with black roofing tar. Right now, the plan is to use the original white lineolum as the fabric barrier between the subfloor and the new flooring (which prevents squeaking), because it is not going to come off that subfloor without bringing chunks with it. It’s going to be fun going to Lowe’s and asking for the cheapest, ugliest self-stick lineolum they’ve ever carried.

Finally, here’s a quick question you’ve probably never asked yourself: How much does your kitchen sink weigh? Don’t know? Why would you… it’s not like you’ve ever picked it up, but go ahead and guess. 20 pounds? 30 pounds?… 50 pounds? Mine, was one hundred and three pounds. I’m pretty sure that it was enameled cast iron. Anyway, it looks like my dreams of a temporary sink basin might be fleeting. We’ll see how long I can survive without a kitchen sink.

Kitchen Remodel

Better a Diamond with a Flaw than a Pebble Without One

I got an email from Diamond verifying that a maple tree has been felled, sawn into lumber, kiln dried, and is now being squared, formed, planed, dadoed, grooved, ripped, sawn, routed, sanded, stained, and  assembled into our new cabinets. They dont know exactly when the the cabinets will be done, but they expect that delivery will occur some time between June 4 and June 11. Wow wow we wow. That’s 8 days from now at the earliest!

We ‘gonna hafta figure out what kind of countertop we want to install, ’cause right now it’s looking a lot like plywood and cardboard.

Kitchen Remodel

Did someone call about empty pipes?

I hate plumbing. I do. It just pisses me off.

I don’t mind starting a project from scratch, but what I do mind is fixing someone else’s work. When you plumb for the first time, you can set everything up very nicely. Lay out your work, cut all your pieces to size, glue, thread, or solder everything together and boom: you’re done.

When you’re adding a line to existing plumbing, you have limited options unless you want to drain all of your pipes. You’ve got compression fittings, adapters, reducers, couplers, and a thousand other little things that you have to crimp, thread, re-thread, glue, curse, re-buy, hit with a hammer, and finally encase in epoxy.

So, whenever the previous owners bought their newfangled ice-box with an ice maker, some $8-an-hour “contractor” drilled a hole directly through the floor, uncoiled about 25 feet of copper pipe, ran the piping through the floor and used a quick-tap to tap the line into the water mains, screwed that up and re-did the job with new epoxy adhesive, and just smashed about 10 feet of pipe behind the fridge. Not willing to drill a hole right in the middle of the new floor I will be laying, I put in a refridgerator water tap, and it looks a lot like the picture I posted above.

Obviously, I have to fix the drywall holes, but Lord knows I’ve done that a time or two in this house. So, there it is. A freakin’ fridge tap that only took 4 hours to do correctly. I struggled with one stupid adapter I bought that absolutely would not stop leaking. I put some plumber’s dope on it, teflon tape, screwed it together so tight that I had to put it in a vice to get it loose, and nothing worked. So, like any good engineer would do after messing with a job too long, I resorted to a 3500 degree propane torch, a quick brushing of flux, and a dab of solder. Guess what fitting doesn’t leak anymore?

I am leaving the holes open now to verify that the leaks have all been addressed, but once it’s good, I’ll cover it up.

To compare, the other job you see pictured only took an hour (and no, it wasn’t installing the stove).

Kitchen Remodel

Can’t be more than 114!

Oh man was it hot today. I spent about 4 hours in my car today, and serendipitously my air conditioner decided to completely crap out… again. I have a thermometer in my car’s air vent to tell me the temperature of the air, so I can keep tabs on my A/C system that I rebuilt. It was consistently over 100 degrees all day. Anyway, today’s A/C failure is the A/C clutch on my 4-month-out-of-warranty A/C compressor. A note to anyone out there who might be working on their air conditioner any time now or ever: I have learned the hard way many times over, unfortunately, that Factory Air is an absolute shit company. Everything they make is shit: their customer service is shit, their products are shit, their build quality is shit, their warranty is shit, their service life is shit, and their return policy is shit. Highly recommended. So…. It was really nice to work inside today!

I have started ripping out the old kitchen, and it was surprisingly easy. I just grabbed the countertop and pulled it up, and it came right off. This cabinet was installed with only two nails, so I pulled those out and just lifted the box right out of it’s space. I know that this was the easiest cabinet by far, but taking this thing out was probably only 20 minutes, and that includes vacuuming up afterwards.

These humongoids I did first, however, and they took significantly longer than 20 minutes. I had my dolly all ready, I had a makeshift ramp in place, and I was awkwardly maneuvering them to go down the stairs, and nothing was really working right. So, I just picked one up and put one of the sides on my shoulder, and that worked way better than I had anticipated. Maybe lifting 2 tons of concrete helped make these things more mobile than I was used to. Or maybe the idea of having two giant cabinets sitting in my doorway was the motivation I needed to get these things downstairs.

Most importantly, I found out the scale of the task of ripping out the old kitchen, and I don’t think it will be too bad. It’s certainly not going to be as rough as moving all that concrete! However, I do have to add another job to my crazy honey-do list, and that’s cleaning the den and the garage. Ouch.

I’m definitely going to need help moving the fridge, so whoever comes over can help me clean all the beer out of it first.