Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nearing Kitchen Completion!

The kitchen is ALMOST DONE! We are waiting on backordered tile (approximately 10-14 days) and the blind (roughly 2 weeks). Of course, we can't post the final pictures, before the project is complete... But here are a few pictures, because I can't resist and I'm itching to show somebody!

Take a peek:

Reworking a Register Grate for the Kitchen

We are so close! We just have a couple small things left, then the kitchen project will officially be completed.

Through the course of this project, we were faced with moving the floor vent, or modifying it, in order to put the refrigerator in. We (rather, Lee, our contractor) put a couple plates over the 10x8 inch floor vent opening, making it 6x8 inches. This meant cutting the register grate down to size- loosing the functioning louvers and stability.

The original:

Defintely not going to fit:

I've been to the The ReBuilding Center a few times, and have seen the same register grates that we have in the house, already. I headed over there Monday, to pick up one of these matching grates (hoping to reuse the original when we finish the basement). I was surprised that I couldn't find a single grate that was the same style, let alone the right size.

And there it was:

The perfect 6x8 inch grate. Sure, not exactly the same design, but it was the right size! With functioning louvers! At the counter, the woman sold it to me for $3 off. I figured it was a fairly small gamble, and brought that baby home.

Just the right size:

At home, I ran it through the dishwasher and sanded as much rust and paint as I could. Inspired by DIY projects of others, I prepared to rework this new grate.

Using a Dremel tool, I trimmed just over 1/4" off the long side. A few coats of spray paint later, it was finished. I'm very pleased with the result. A small step for DIY, but a leap towards polishing off the kitchen.

The reworked grate, in place:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Let there be light. And a counter top.

Yesterday, the lights went in. First, the pendants over the sink, then the main fixture in the center of the room. All of the fixtures were purchased from Rejuvenation. Very similar fixtures can be found for a great price at many retailers. Shopping at Rejuv,' meant we had great options, all in one place, without some many other fixtures mixed in. Convenience trumped price tag.

But something is off:

Notice in the pictures above that our matching 24" pendants do not, in fact, match. One measured 23.75" and the other measured 25.5." Awesome. After a phone call and mad dash back to the store, matching, accurately measured fixtures replaced this first set.

There was concern that the mondo cabinet above the refrigerator would make contact with the main overhead light. Fortunately, the perfect fixture was positioned perfectly, to avoid such a disaster.

Just enough room:

In the realm of home improvement, the kitchen is always a major project. And within that project, the counter top and the refrigerator are key points- you can spend a lot of money, and make a big visual impact with these two upgrades.

We shopped for natural stone counter top slabs, and were very unimpressed with the selection we were finding. We had brown in mind, and weren't finding much. We ended up gravitating towards the solid surface counter tops, and found some good options. We expect to be pretty happy with the final product. The install was a snap (for the professional), and this feels like one huge step towards completion.

And to "top" it off:

Seeing it come together is very satisfying, and slightly scary. But, looking at this last picture... do we even need to tile the rest of the backsplash? What do you think?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Goodnight, Furnace.

When we bought the house, we knew the furnace was older, and would likely be replaced on our dime. We bought the extended home warranty, and hoped it would happen during that time. Of course not. Sunday, January 30th, 2011, around 3:00 PM, the furnace quit pumping warm air.

It could be several things, and it should be no surprise that we weren't able to figure out the problem, even though we opened the furnace, poked some things, looked around and made a bunch of sounds like "hmm" and said things like "okay, so that goes there."

Looks like it's time to start thinking of how this will work into our eventual basement finishing project. Ugh.

Cutting edge technology, circa 1987:

The question remains: repair, or replace?

Cabinet installation, Phase I

We now have about two thirds of our kitchen cabinets installed. Last week, the base cabinets went in. The counter top folks asked that we not install the rest of the cabinets, so they would have plenty of room to work. When they finished the template, we were free to install more cabinets, though we were asked to hold off on the wall cabinets, until the counter top is installed. That should be this week.

The base cabinets:

Today, the bulk head next to the range (seen above) and the cabinets around the refrigerator went in. The refrigerator is counter depth- our thought there is to open up as much floor space as possible. The cabinets around the refrigerator are the same depth. We have some serious cabinet space there.

The refrigerator cabinets:

I try to keep tabs on what I call our "lessons learned" in home improvement. Do you have any great lessons learned from your kitchen remodel or things you wish you had known/considered earlier?