Nearing the finish line...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Last week Thursday, right on time, the countertop installers arrived and got right to work. They completed installation in a little over 2 hours. The head installer told me he likes my house and that did I know the colors I have are the same as the Mexican flag? Yep, I did know that, which confirms my use of  a “Southwestern” color scheme.

But without a water faucet, it was still tiresome to have to wash dishes in the bathroom. I bought a Moen MotionSense faucet and a filtered water faucet which I started to install as soon as they arrived. But first I hooked up the drain pipes, having to redo one side as it leaked on the first try. 

That “little” project took me all day. It is not fun working under a kitchen sink in such a small, cramped space, upside down, sideways and in any contortion that I could manage to access and finish the job. (Good thing I’m still very flexible for my advanced years!)

The water faucet has motion sensors that will turn on and off with the wave of a hand over a sensor, one on top and one on the stem down closer to sink basins. After MANY hours in and out from under the sink, in and out to read the next steps in the instructions (which were really very well written and pictured) I had it all connected and readied for the grand test to witness this new fangled gadgetry in operation. 

It didn’t.

So, many more attempts to see if I could fix it, all to no avail. 

From there I connected to the company website and wrote them about my problem.

Today they emailed and wrote me with steps to reset the control box. I was prepared to spend the rest of my afternoon squirming and squeezing (and probably with a little cursing thrown in) to get that fantastic electronic faucet to function. Lucky me - following the spoken and written instruction to a “T”, I found I had not completely inserted the data control cable into its plug. Once I did that, the faucet immediately awoke from its slumber and water flowed. 

Even as I hurriedly tried to escape the confines of the cell below the sink, the water had stopped it’s flow - just as it was designed to do. Standing up in front of the faucet, I waved my hand over the magic eye and, lo and behold, the water really did turn on all by itself. And I did not even have to move the lever! Then I tried the lower sensor’s magic eye and as soon as my hand came into its range, it turned on and then off as I pulled my hand away. Amazing! 

Of course I just HAD to keep trying this for several more tries. WOW! Was I ever intrigued. 

That lower sensor operation is especially useful if you just want to wash your hands, or maybe clean a vegetable or apple. It only stays on for as long as you have your hands near the sensor. The top sensor is for turning on the water for a longer period of time, like filling a pan with water. As soon as one waves a hand back over the sensor it will turn itself off.

To say I am happy would be correct. 

The filtered water system under the sink, however is still not reconnected as there are a multitude of tubes and hoses that are confusing to understand, so I’m waiting until I return from my trip to Ohio over the next few weeks to have Steve come and help me decipher and reconnect that part of my water supply. But, now I can completely cook and wash dishes in my new kitchen. Woo-hoo! 

On my return I have an electrician coming in to install new lighting, ceiling fan, switches, some new outlets for above the cabinets, dimmer switches and pendant lights for over the breakfast bar.

Once that is done, I’ll have the GRAND unveiling.

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Progress Report

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Here is the latest update on my kitchen makeover. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Monday, June 8 - 6:45 A.M. the cabinets are delivered.

Below, work progress on first day, 6/8.

(End of 1st day)

Below: Second day, Tues., 6/9, completing install of cabinets.

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Late morning, the granite company came and measured for the countertops. 

In the afternoon, I went to the granite factory in South Phoenix to choose the granite slab lot from which my countertops will be manufactured. That is a fascinating place, a large factory with tons (literally) of stone being cut and shaped into countertops for a multitude of customers. It will be another 8 - 10 days before my countertops will be completed and installed. I hope that will be by the end of next week…

Dave, the installer, made me a template to attached the door pulls, which I did while he finished up with the detail work on the cabinets. I still need to install the drawer pulls, which I will try today. 

Putting things back into the cabinets began last night, but I was too tired to finish that. With different size cabinets and now more drawers, I’ll need to somewhat reconfigure my storage system.

Naked Kitchen

Long but productive day today.

Having risen before 6 a.m., I completed emptying all the cabinets and drawers, then awaited Mark and Steve’s arrival to begin removing all the old cabinets. They arrived around 9 and we directly set about the dismantling. 

Only one mishap, early on, as I had removed all the wall screws from a cabinet, not considering it might not just stay put. Once Mark and Steve began work on the adjoining cabinet, the first came crashing down.

OPPS… My fault. 

One door got busted, but can be re-glued and put to use another day. Also, it added some scratches on one wall, an easy fix with a coat of paint. But otherwise, no harm done.

And the work continued until nearly 2, when we stopped to go out for a leisurely lunch followed by a stop at Home Depot to inspect some lighting options. The conclusion after Home Depot was that I need to visit a “real” lighting store and get some advice and see what options they can offer.

Those holes in the wall were there before we removed the cabinets. Looks like the original cabinet installers were hunting for a stud on which to mount the microwave electric outlet.

The kitchen sink unit counter was the most difficult to remove, as I suspected, but Steve got under there and disconnected all the lines, water filtration system, dishwasher etc. Once that was done we found we had to disassemble that corner cabinet for it would not fit through the door to the garage where all the old cabinets are now stored. 


Our final project was to re-route and conceal the coaxial cable to the TV. (Seen exposed along the wall on the left). Luckily, an explosed groove on the bottom of the drywall, behind the cabinets offered the ideal area to hide that cable. A little chisling into the drywall in other places then put the cable out of the way and will be totally hidden after the new cabinets are installed. 

Then it was time to cut in an outlet box behind the tv and run the cable up through the opening, connect it to the cable outlet and then to the tv. It’s all good and still receiving a fine picture on my tv screen. 

The exposed tv cable is hidden in the groove where drywall and floor DO NOT meet. We started by fishing the cable up behind the wall, connecting it to the outlet receptacle and then went backwards, tucking the cable in the groove. 

Some patching was needed, which Mark accomplished in most places before they departed after 5 p.m. I completed the remaining patching, and clean up. 

Almost done. 

Cable TV wire in hidden from view.

Here is my naked kitchen-all cabinets and countertops removed. I am donating all of the removed items to a salvage company that re-sells the used items at several locations around the valley. It’s a win - win situation. They are to pick up the used goods this coming Thursday.

Tomorrow I will sand down any remaining rough areas and then repaint the repairs, even extending the paint into the exposed areas where the old cabinets had hung.

Monday and Tuesday is installation day, after which I’ll share more photos.

I couldn’t have done this alone and REALLY appreciate Mark and Steve coming over the help. Thank you guys!



Kitchen Makeover 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

As some of you know, I have decided to update my kitchen. That work has been in process for several months, but now it is coming down to the actual installation of new cabinets and countertops. The footprint of my “new” kitchen will remain the same with the exception of the island which will increase in size by 18” allowing me to have a pull-out waste basket/recylce bin. 

Instead of waiting until these old cabinets were removed to repaint, I already tackled that over a month ago. Now, any touch-up will easily be accomplished without risking dribbling paint on the new cabinets or countertop. With the intention of using Southwest colors, yet being much more dramatic, I choose some vibrant colors, Moroccan Red and Social Butterfly. The cabinets will be a medium wood color, similar to the back of the chair you see in this picture above and in the “Shaker” style, offering a simple and pleasing appearance. Then, countertops will be a lighter colored granite with darker streaking throughout. The stainless steel sink will be under mounted (under the granite, not on top), a look and functionality that I have admired as I researched and looked through thousands of kitchen remodel photos and in kitchen displays.

Additonally, I have already installed a wall mounted TV. My friends Steve and Mark are planning to help remove the old cabinets this weekend. Once that is done we can then hide the TV cable along the wall behind the cabinets and up through the wall behind the TV. Steve already came and helped hide the electric wiring behind the TV. No messy, unsightly cords and wires hanging down to an outlet.


Here is a succession of photos from old to new:


It was just so-o-o-o much FUN up on that ladder!

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Flat screen TV mounted to the wall

This afternoon I received a confirmation call from the installers that they will be here at 7 A.M. on Monday 6/8 and Tues. 6/9 to put the new cabinets in place. 

However, the granite countertops will not be installed for another 8 to 10 days, as those people will measure after the cabinets are installed, then I get to go to the factory, pick out my slab and they will proceed manufacturing them.

Finishing off the project, I plan to install different overhead lighting.