Remodeling the Kitchen

Rule

First rule of construction:  What can go wrong, will.  And it did.

The countertops were supposed to be installed on Friday.  Nope.  The installer ran into a problem at his morning job, and he never showed up on Friday, after calling to say he would come, even if it was late.  Neither Dennis nor I were happy about that, because we’d gone to the effort of moving the stove, the cutting boards that were my makeshift counters, the essentials like salt and pepper and olive oil that I need for cooking, and the utensil containers, and we’d covered the floor with paper again to protect it from the workboots that tend to pick up gravel and mud outside and bring it in.  But these things happen, right? We called and rescheduled for first thing Monday morning (today).

A new set of installers showed up a little earlier this morning than we expected them, and they got right to work.  The lead installer seemed to know what he was doing.  He was training a new helper, a gofer, who has aspirations of becoming a lead installer himself.  But it didn’t take long for the first problem to manifest itself.

The lead installer had not brought the bracket they use to secure the dishwasher under the granite countertop.  He said he’d let his boss know, and he’d come back to put the dishwasher in.  In the meantime, they’d go ahead with the installation.  I got so excited when I saw the first top in place, and that was before the dust was cleaned off.  I love the granite I chose with its beige and gray background, black veining, and dark red flecks.

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And then the next problem surfaced.  The hole for a top mount sink is usually cut on site and outside because it creates a lot of stone dust.  But because our sink base cabinet is HUGE (bigger than a lot of kitchen islands), the installer decided he would have to cut the top for that area in situ to minimize the chance of it cracking.  Okay, that’s reasonable.  However, we didn’t know this was going to be the procedure because we’d been told otherwise, so we didn’t have a chance to curtain off the kitchen with plastic to keep the rock dust out of the rest of the house.  And as soon as the saw started up, the dust billowed out into the living room and down the hall.  Fortunately the doors to the bedrooms were shut, but the office door was open.  Rock dust all over the computer and printer, as well as the leather sofa and recliner, the coffee table and TV cabinet, etc., in the living room, along with the open boxes of kitchen accoutrements that I’d been using and couldn’t put away in the cabinets yet.  Not that that would have made any difference, because everything I did put away in the cabinets is also covered with rock dust.  It’s going to take some serious cleaning to get rid of it all.

All the countertops were installed, the only seam filled with epoxy, and off the guys went to their next job, while Dennis and I started our tasks.  Dennis worked on putting in the sink, and I started cleaning the rock dust off the outside of the cabinets.  (I couldn’t clean the insides because I didn’t have any water yet to wash the dishes before I put them back on the clean shelves.)

Dennis discovered that the sink wasn’t in exactly the same position it had been, so he needed to get a longer length of drain pipe.  I asked him to put the stove back in before he left to get his plumbing supplies, so I could start on dinner while he was gone.  And that’s when the next problem surfaced, and this one is a doozy.

The stove doesn’t fit in the space left for it between the countertops.  In looking at that run of granite, we discovered that the slab is about 3/8ths of an inch out of position.  The seam isn’t in the right place, the sink base countertop isn’t in the right place, and the piece that abuts it and the stove is therefore too long.

We didn’t discover this problem until after 5 o’clock, so we can’t call U.S. Granite until tomorrow morning.  After hearing about how strong the industrial grade silicone is they stick the countertops down with, we’re worried about our new cabinets.  We don’t know yet how they are going to fix this problem, but in the meantime, I’ll be cooking on the stove that’s sitting out in the middle of the kitchen.  At least I can cook in the kitchen, and the sink is now plumbed (my hero is multi-talented), so I have water again in the kitchen after how many weeks?  I’ve lost track.

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The first rule of construction applied today. What could go wrong did.  But Dennis is mad enough that he’s going to make sure it’s fixed right.  And in the meantime, we’ve chosen the backsplash tile.  It’s going to look great with the new countertops and cabinets.

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