Sunday, August 26, 2007

99% complete

Still not done, but the kitchen has been 95% functional since the start of August and 99% functional since last week.

Allow me to explain the breakdown....

After most of the work following the granite install was done by Bryan and Jeb, approximately a week passed before the granite people could come back and buff out the scratched (I hound a few more) and to fill in the silicone where needed. I had it scheduled at the same time as Bryan was meant to come in and do some work so that there is somebody to look after them and we wouldn't have to take the time off. But there was a lot of work done by the granite crew so Bryan couldn't do any work in the kitchen. They actually screwed up more than one cutout but they managed to correct them. Anyways, since Bryan wasted his time, I had a case and managed to knock more money off the granite balance, which was to go to Bryan for his time. I have to say that they have been fairly reasonable.

Bryan has other jobs so for the next few weeks he was trying to squeeze us in and little by little the kitchen reached the 95% mark. The paneling from Decora arrived very fast and I have to say that the back of the peninsula looks fantastic. Bryan stained the window to match the cabinets, as well as the wooden wall plates. Garage was cleared out of all the junk and the "tools of the trade".

Nearly 2 weeks ago, however, we ran into some additional issues. As Bryan was getting ready to connect the dishwasher (which was off since it needed to be secured first to the countertop, which in turn required a piece of plywood to be glued to the granite) he discovered that during the granite install, the cabinets to the right and left of the dishwasher got shifted. So, in order to get the dishwasher in, the sides of the cabinets had to be sanded down. Additionally, all outlets had to be replaced, because the granite installers had somehow managed to damage the parts of the outlet where the wall plate would be attached to. ARGH!!!!! Another wasted trip, another week of unfinished kitchen. Granite people continued to be reasonable and we got some money from them that should cover Bryan's additional efforts.

Bryan was back on Monday and Wednesday with new outlets and a sander, and at this point the kitchen is 99% complete. All the wall and floor molding was finished as well. The window got new molding with a ledge. It was nice to be able to use the dishwasher since April! I am still trying to get the soap dispenser to work (I got an attachment called Never MT so that instead of a bottle, the dispenser is connected straight to the detergent bottle).

What remains to be done:

- finish the wiring for the phone inside the wall cabinet (wiring was too short). Once it's done I claim the last empty cabinet.
-bring out the trio switch set (too recessed in the box) and replace ceiling light switch with a dimmer
-Fill in all the little holes from the nails on the paneling and molding.

I have a few boxes that need to be emptied out and a heap of stuff to take to the Salvation army. Since the kitchen was more or less done, I have hosted 2 dinners and a barbecue. It's getting back to normal!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Some photos - not quite done, but getting there

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.

Photos from 9th week and some news from the 10th week

First, the news: a big shipment of what initially appeared to be the replacement molding and the doors appeared at the door step early in the week. However, it turned out that only a SINGLE door was shipped, along with the molding, the shelf (which was sent 3 times as wide as requested, but can be easily cut to the right size) and yet another set of panels for the cabinet sides (as of now, we received 8 of them, needed only 2). I assumed the shipment was split, and waited a day to call KD. Well, just when you see Decora screw up bad, they do it again - and this is taking place when they are trying to fix the initial screw up! Looks like they lost the request for the other 4 doors and I am hoping to get a confirmation of delivery from Dan in the next few days. I suspect it will be another two weeks. Argh.....

Some progress pics:

This is the vent through the toe-kick (this base cabinet is right next to the fridge). Please ignore the dirty floor!
This is a close-up of the wall cabinet left of the window showing off the "crown" molding. The window frame is yet to be stained to match the cabinet.

A bit more of the molding:
Here's the embellishment/aka grape onlay on the false draw front of the sink base cabinet. Ignore the old countertop, sink and the faucet!

And finally, the matching grape onlay above the fridge. We needed this filler since the fridge is 84" tall and the ceilings are just shy of 96". Since the photo was taken, the plastic film was taken off. The photo is s bit dark, sorry. BTW, the door on the left of the fridge is being replaced, so it's off.

I am hoping to make another update early next week, as Bryan is hoping to stop by and install the shelves and door handles. Then, I am off to Russia and I am not sure if Brian will be taking over my duties. Let's hope that by the time I get back, the counter tops and the backsplash are installed!!!