This morning, the plumber and his son showed up at 8:00 AM on the dot to plumb all the faucets and the dishwasher. We were very pleased with the work. Right now it seems like the work is proceeding inch by inch. After the plumber left, the granite guy came back to drill another hole in the granite for the sprayer beside the vegetable sink faucet. He was an hour later than scheduled, but we enjoyed the visit very much. He did a great job. We spoke Spanish the whole time he was here (a Puerto Rican guy who married a Mexican girl from Michoacán).
Every time someone comes to fix something, one or two more things are uncovered. This time it was the attachment of the dishwasher (I will eventually put up a picture of that) to the granite. It requires another piece of metal no one had yet considered, but Mark P. promised he will install. In addition to that, we could install the vegetable sink sprayer, but we could not hook it up to water because the plumbing guys were already gone. Mark P. is going to deal with all of that after he gets back from vacation at Crescent Lake in Oregon after the Fourth of July. I will not get to see it until the week after that though because I am spending the fourth of July in China.
P.S. We have water to the faucets and drains in the sink so we actually have an operational kitchen. It will not be completely operational until we have our hood and the replacement for the second oven door, but we are getting very close now.
For a non-eventful day, today has been pretty eventful. Yesterday, we realized that the ceiling in our house is really high. Mark and his wall and/or his ceiling texturing guy brought an eight foot ladder to texture the ceiling. It turns out he needed a ten foot ladder. It dawned on us that we would need a ten foot ladder to clean the windows, so we went down to our local Ace hardware store and bought ourselves a new ladder. The texturing is done now so the living room and the kitchen are now ready to paint.
In the mean time, we have now ordered our third vegetable sink faucet. The first one was too big, the second one was too long (we would have water on the floor–it is a little sink), and now we hope we have ordered one that is just right. It is the same brand as the main sink and the pot-filler sockets so it should match nicely. Also, it is what is called a “bar” faucet so the length of the spout is only eight and a half inches so it should center itself over the drain in the sink. In addition it has a sprayer. That will require another hole in the faucet, but it will be worth the wait. We ordered it from Amazon and paid for one day shipping so, hopefully, we will have water before the weekend.
The latest and most painful challenge so far for Lorena is to decide what color she wants to paint the walls. I am staying out of it. I am sure it will be fine whatever it is.
Mark asked us to check the package for the main faucet to see if everything was there, so we pulled it out and put it into place. We like it a lot. the vegetable sink faucet is scheduled to arrive today. We are looking forward to seeing that, too. The water is not yet hooked up to anything. We are looking forward to that happening next week.
We have had a little bit of a struggle getting the faucets here to our remodel to be able to really start using the kitchen. We were really happy today the first set arrived today. It consists of the faucet and sprayer for the main kitchen. We ordered the pot-filler and the vegetable sink faucet, but they are not scheduled to get here for another week or so.
We had a struggle choosing the faucets. We found the main sink and pot-filler faucets that were just perfect, but we could not find a vegetable sink faucet, so we ordered the best the closets we could find. Today, though, Lorena found one that was much better so I ordered it on Amazon. We will have to send the previous one we ordered back, but in the end, we will have faucets that match.
I thought I would try to catch up on the kitchen remodel posts today because I unexpectedly found some breathing room from my day job and side gig. The kitchen is really starting to look like it is going to look in the end with a couple major items some medium size items and a lot of small items. I thought it would be easiest to just show some pictures of where we are and explain what is left to do.
First, I promised a picture of the oven that got broken in or before shipping. We no longer have the shattered door, but we have a picture of the empty space where the door should be. It does not even look so bad that way, but it is worthless for anything other than shelf space the way it is now.
Here is all the stuff remaining that we know needs to be completed:
1. Faucets for the main and vegetable sinks and a pot-filler faucet for the stove
2. Exhaust hood for the stove top
3. Glass for the buffet/coffee service cabinets
4. All the drawer and cabinet door pulls
5. Adjustment of the cabinet doors so they are level and even with each other
6. Bottom oven door replacement
7. Paint for the kitchen
8. Moulding for the living room
9. Moulding for the cabinet tops
10. Paint for the living room if we can afford it. Otherwise we wait or do it ourselves.
Update: Oops. Thought of a couple more:
11. Light brackets for the ceiling lights
12. Wall plastering
13. Under-cabinet LED lights
14. Electrical fixtures
More pictures to give a sense for the state of the kitchen:
I thought the picture on the left was a great picture of our contractor Mark and his electrician with the ceramic guy in the background. We arrived on Wednesday night while they were still in the house. What a great team of people. It has just been a joy working with Mark and his people. The picture on the left is of the installation of one of the under-cabinet LED lights above the coffee shelf. The LED’s are great because they do not heat up too much like halogen, are now just as bright (for this application) and last a long, long time.
This pictures gives a sense for the state of the kitchen when we got there on Wednesday night. It is much further along and I plan to post a bunch of new pictures this weekend. The ceramic tile back splash is completed (we love it). This is the ceramic guy getting ready to do his thing. We really enjoyed having him here working. He placed the tiles on Wednesday, then came back and spent another four hours on Thursday morning to add the grout and (non-silicon) caulking. I think he spent more time cleaning and shining the back splash when he finished installing it than he did on the installation itself. Lorena was super, super happy with how it came out.
I just have a few minutes now at lunchtime to put up what happened so far today. I have more pictures from last night when Lorena and I got home which I hope to put up later tonight. The kitchen has come a long way, but there are a ton of details left. The following are of the backsplash before and after grout behind the coffee shelf and the stove top. The first picture of the stove top shows it with the stainless steel knobs. The second one has the classic Thermador blue knobs. We are not sure which ones we like best. Fortunately, they are easy to change whenever we get tired of the ones that are on there.
Well, a ton of stuff got done today on the kitchen and Mark took a BUNCH of pictures for us. The problem is that he texted them to us and we do not have access to our text messaging on our phones until we get back to into (or at least within radio range of) America sometime tomorrow evening. Nevertheless, he got the pavers put down to make a pad for the propane tank which will be installed along with the gas lines tomorrow. That we means we will have a mostly working kitchen when we get home.
We are very excited to see how it all looks, but are not sure we will be able to put up many (or any) photos tomorrow because we are going to try to make it to our Wednesday night bible study if we possibly can. One of the other things they will be doing is hooking up the Kitchen phone line which we will not use for phones, but only for our DSL service. What that also means is that I have about a half day worth of work to set up wireless for all three floors in the house and especially my upstairs office.
This post is not such an exciting one unless you are really into drawer and cabinet pulls, but later tonight we should have something on the shattered bottom oven of the double oven set. We will have to wait a week or so until a replacement door gets here. Everything is now installed except the stove hood. The back splash has to be all installed before that can go in. The black splash cannot really go in until the potfiller over the stove goes in, so I think we are a few days away from having everything. After that, they will paint. Hopefully, I will have one or two pictures of where we are later tonight.
Mark found the exact pulls Lorena wants and will be installing them soon. This picture is from the catalog.
We are trying to figure out what faucets we want for the kitchen. We need three: 1) the main sink, 2) the vegetable sink, and 3) the pot-filler. Mark told us to just pick some we like, then we will go back and forth a little as the plumber will be supplying the faucets. They just need to know the style and finish we want for each. Here is what we found that we like. We will see how close we can come to this.
On another note, we are starting to look at outdoor kitchen options. We are thinking of going with this grill cooler for the side deck to get us started.
I have a ton of work to get done for my new job, but Lorena sent me the pictures of the granite as it went into the kitchens. I do not have time to say much other than a few notes, but the pictures kind of speak for them selves.
Prepping the cabinets — a steel bar needed to be added as a support for the relatively large over hang.
The small piece of granite for the coffee and tea service area.
The vegetable and main sinks.
Some overall views.
Christian has been to work for three days and it looks like he is getting his arms around things in the lab. He really likes the area where he lives although he says the culture is a little more direct. Actually, he did not exactly say “direct,” but you get the idea. He hopes to look around a little in Boston this weekend, maybe get in a workout and see the art museum across the street.
On another note, we got a call today from our builder, Mark P. He said the granite guy called him and wants to install the granite in the kitchen tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. Lorena was very happy with that. The appliances were supposed to go in this week and the granite next week, but it looks like it will be the other way around. We should have some pictures to put up tomorrow.
The only things we have left after the appliances are the backsplash, painting and a few odds and ends. It will be nice to be able to cook on a stove and in an oven instead of on an apartment balcony grill.
Bob and Gena are true champions. They have been kind to us way above and beyond the call of duty. They arrived in Centralia with all our stuff from North Carolina Friday evening. All of us, including their daughter Bonnie, went to the McMenamin’s Olympic club to celebrate–the weather cooperated wonderful as we were able to sit outside and talk and talk.
We made arrangements for two guys to come help us unload the truck. We got unloaded in about three hours. After two years of taking care of parents and living in apartments, we are grateful to have all our stuff in one place and to sleep in our own bed in a house of our own and not an apartment. After everything was out of the truck, Kelly arrived from Seattle while Bob and I ran the truck to the U-Haul center and returned the appliance piano dollies to the local rental store. Bob, Gena, Lorena, Kelly and I sat out on the deck, ate fresh cherries Kelly brought to us and enjoyed the sun.
It was one of those moment to realize it is great to be alive in this time and place.
Bob and Gena are on the last stretch home with our load of stuff from North Carolina. We are very grateful for their efforts on our behalf, but also pretty envious. They had some excitement (see the burning car), saw some beautiful places, got together with family and made friends with some of our (and their) old, dear friends from Raleigh. This picture Gena sent along of their drive yesterday through the mountain west did not do anything to make me any less envious.
Gena said, “This is my kind of country -cowboy country! Ranches, old homesteads, horses, cows, sheep, antelope, sage brush, rolling hills, tall mountains, odd rock outcroppings, small streams, large rivers.” Boy howdy. It is my kind of country, too, even if it is not my home state like it is for Gena. Right After I got the email, I called my cousin, Udo, who lives in Bozeman and told him we were coming out to see him soon.
The cabinet designer Mark uses has an amazingly broad range of cool things to have in a kitchen. There is a lazy susan that allows for the use of the normally difficult area beneath the counter in a corner (see the picture below). It makes that space way more accessible and just about perfect for bigger pots and pans. The “two trash cans in a slide out drawer” is amazingly useful as are the suggestion for ergonomically exceptional placement of pullout cutting boards. The big opening on the left of the image is, of course, for the refrigerator.
The problem Mark saw when the cabinets went in is the placement of the lights too close to the cabinets. He opened them up and will move them to a better place sometime this morning–a minor foible.
Lorena and I have a date with our friends, Harvey and Gladys, later this afternoon. The last coat of finish goes down on the floor then, too. We expect to be in the house (probably with one of the builders) late this evening. The smell might be a little strong for a few days, so we might spend one more night in a hotel, but we can hardly wait to get there.
Tomorrow, I will try to put up a few more pictures. We are supposed to pick out the granite, back splash and sinks in Olympia tomorrow, too. Hard choices.
We are completely slammed with the move (drove to Tempe to spend a few days with Christian, went to a church event in Casa Grande for four days, drove from Tempe to Bakersfield yesterday, then from Bakersfield do Central Point, Oregon today), but I thought I should put up a few images of the work Mark and his team has been doing on the house. We particularly like what he is doing with the wall across from the island. It is a narrow cabinet, but has glass doors and a “nook” with a granite shelf for coffee and hot water (for tea) pots. Eventually, the door to the right in the picture will feature a glass window, too.
One thing that happened that was pretty frustrating is that the lights above the cook top, ovens and cabinets on the opposite side of the room from the coffee nook were too close to the cabinets.
Mark said and I quote, “…they looked really, really bad.”
He is such a consummate professional that he is bringing the electrician up tomorrow to reposition the lights. It is a long drive and well above and beyond the call of duty, but we are very grateful for it. A little bit of a setback, but to say we are pleased with the work so far would be a wild understatement. We have a lot more pictures which I will put up as time permits.
Mark brought the cabinets to the house on his trailer this morning. I was worried because weather.com forecasted a 90% chance of rain. Mark told me to chill out though (no pun intended) because there was a zero percent chance of rain until 1:00 PM and, as usual, he was right. We are very excited to see how it looks. They got everything off the truck and into the garage about mid-morning and the path to the kitchen from the garage never goes outside, but through the laundry room so it is all good. The next thing is to figure out how to get the furniture into the house if stuff is drying or we would be in the way during the whole process. We might have to leave at least some of our stuff in the garage for awhile to wait for stuff to get finished. It is all supposed to be either finished or very close to it by the end of the month so this is a very minor inconvenience and we love to watch the work progress anyway.
I am not sure how far the installation will get today because there is some work that has to be done on the walls before they can start on that. Still, the cabinets should mostly be in place by the end of the weekend. I hope I am going to have time to put up some pictures, but we will mostly attending things and driving through Monday or Tuesday, after which we will be staying in the house full time (along with some of the builders, floor people, etc.).
Mark just sent me these two images of the current state of the hardwood floor. This is not the last of the finish that will go down, but the first two coats. The first image is from the living room looking into the kitchen and the second image is from the kitchen looking into the living room. It is very early in the morning because Mark hauled the cabinets up there and will be putting them in place after he does some additional work on the walls.
The drywall started going up today. I guess the floor is not quite finished so that will happen tomorrow and, hopefully, the cabinets will be ready by Friday. In the meantime, I think we started cutting the grass in the nick of time. Mark P. was able to send us this shot of our new friend down on the lawn going at it.