Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Week 14 - Granite Install and a nearly the end post!

So the granite got installed on the 25th. It is gorgeous and it looks so much better than in the granite yard. I am so glad we went for the full granite backsplash. It just adds a very nice, and dare I say, sophisticated and rich look. It is almost like the kitchen was carved out of the stone. The granite and the cabinets coordinate beautifully. It is a stunner! The photos will be posted soon, I promise.

I love the new kitchen!!!!!

But.... back to the granite install.

The install did not go very smooth. Some minor things are going to be corrected easily - there is a need to fill in the silicone epoxy/grout in few places (around the sink and between few slabs where the backsplash meets the counter). I have no problems here.

More major issues involve a couple of power outlet cutouts which were cut too large and were not centered around the plug or the light switch. It is a miracle that Bryan and Jeb managed to re-center the outlet box. At worst I had visions of this huge slab coming off the wall and waiting forever for a new slab to be cut properly. At best, I was thinking of a hole cut though the other side of the wall (our dining room) to move these boxes. But the guys came through again and saved the day! However, we now have a lot less choices for the decorative wall plate to cover the outlets. Before I was envisioning a stainless steel wall plate with an edge profile to match our cabinet doors. Now we are stuck with a limited selection of "jumbo" plates, and the "winner" right now appears a wood wall plate that we are hoping to stain to match the cabinets. That's the plan.

The granite installers also managed to scratch my stainless steel backsplash in a lower corner. Not a big deal, it can be covered up with a oil bottle which would be sitting there anyways. But still, they should've been more careful. Additionally, a few minor scuffs were found in deep corners on the cabinetry, but you rally have to look hard to spot these - we can use a touch up kit there easily.

Last, but not least, we were planning to have an overhang on the peninsula. It was not my idea since I felt it would be too tight, but we compromised by having a small saddle stool under the overhang to make it less crowded. We had it in the plan and the granite quote was based on the overhang being there. During the template, we didn't remind them and they didn't ask. When we went to view the template against the slabs, it also didn't jump at us that the peninsula was too "skinny". So, when the granite installers went out for lunch and Brian came down to inspect he was fairly shocked not to find the overhang! However, he realized then that it would've been indeed too crowded to have the overhang and it would've made an access to one wall cabinet above the peninsula a bit tricky. So no hard loss. But what if we would've planned for the overhang to be the focal point of out kitchen? Not cool on their end, for sure.

Unfortunately, I went ahead and called the granite people about my missing square footage that I paid for before coming home first and inspecting the job. Then I think I would've had more leverage. So I only got the money back for the missing footage and not for any damage, which as inconvenient as they are, we can live with. On the other hand, I got a bunch of freebies from them (they polished a trivet for me and the small backsplash piece was on the house as well).

But the missing overhang caused me to do more ordering. We got fake doors panels (the authentic paneling) on all cabinets that had exposed sides as opposed to plain "skin paneling", except for the back of the peninsula which was supposed to have a stool sitting behind and have a overhang shadow. Now it appears too plain in comparison to others. I manage to "rescue" 2 doors that we had replaced (scuffs from the factory) so we had to order only one. The cost was about the same as my refund from the granite, but now I have to wait another couple of weeks to have a completely finished kitchen!

Bryan and Jeb came and worked all day Thursday and part of the day on Friday and managed to do a TON. Bryan went on the vacation and will come back to finish off staining the window frame and the wall plates, a bit of molding install (mostly tow-kicks), one of the pullout drawers under the microwave needs to be installed and a few drawers still need the pulls installed. Also the phone jack is not finished off, but I think this is it.

So the entire weekend I have been busy organizing the layout of the cabinets and putting my dishes and pantry items away. It was a very enjoyable task since I was trying to imagine how I would move around the kitchen when I cook and tried to put things away accordingly. I installed the shelves myself so I would be able put all my things away comfortably. I also moved my most used cookbooks into the kitchen. Nothing is crammed and is easily located./ I can't believe that nearly all of it was once crammed into half cabinet space. My aim is to have clutter-free counter tops and all these drawers and cabinets will help me achieve this goal!

i just love the new DEEP sink. It is flat, it is huge, the faucet is gorgeous and I have a garbage disposal now! I can go on for days and not do the dishes and you won't see the dirty pile!

I just love my new kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

photos coming soon, but it could be a preview... I want to post final photos and it may take a bit more.

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