I Don’t Like It One Bit

We have been needing wall plates for the kitchen electric plugs ever since the backsplash was installed on the coffee bar side of the kitchen.

We have regular and GFCIs on the backsplash in the kitchen.

We have regular and GFCIs on the backsplash in the kitchen.

I would really like to paint the plated to exactly match the honed limestone but right now I just don’t have the time.

In the store these looked pretty good.

In the store these looked pretty good.

So I  stopped at Lowes and bought (using a 10% off coupon) a six pack of brushed nickel plates and 2 special ones for the GFCI outlets. Less than $20 for everything.

KitchenElectricTile

Unfortunately they don’t look good but I’m going to leave them there until I have time to work on trivial things.

What are you saving until you have “time” for it?

Pluggin’ Along

Bit by bit we’re getting the conservatory dry wall in place.  Yesterday I was trying to give a helping hand by cutting out the holes for the wall sockets.

My work was carefully inspected.

My work was carefully inspected.

When I got to this 4-gang outlet it was hanging at a slant so Charlie banged the bottom nail into the stud but it slipped out again.  Then he whizzed 2 drywall screws into the side of the box which didn’t help much either.

We knew a crooked box would drive us nuts.

We knew a crooked box would drive us nuts.

Ultimately he found a piece of scrap 2 by 4 and screwed the free side of the switch box into it.

I just notched the top of the drywall so it would snug up against the switch box.

I just notched the top of the drywall so it would snug up against the switch box.

I trimmed the drywall around the box and it fits. Woo-hoo!

Do small corrections get you off track?

Screens in the French Doors

I was clearing up some of the large boxes that we’ve been storing in the unfinished conservatory bathroom.

Inside these tall boxes are screens for the French doors.

Inside these tall boxes are screens for the French doors.

There were 2 large boxes with screens for the French doors in the conservatory and master bedroom.  Who knew French doors came with screens?

The French doors without screens and grilles.

The French doors without screens and grilles.

I was delighted because now we can stay inside and leave the French doors wide open.

The screens slide across the entire opening so both doors can be left open.

The screens slide across the entire opening so both doors can be left open.

Our contractor installed them while he was here this week finishing up odds and ends.  He even put the grilles in the windows.

With the grilles in the doors look more in keeping with the style of the house.

With the grilles in the doors look more in keeping with the style of the house.

I can’t wait for warm weather so we can enjoy our new screens.

What will you enjoy if the weather ever turns nice?

 

The Final Kitchen Countertop Installation

We have 3 different countertops is the kitchen and we’ve been waiting for this last one made of LightCast by LightBlocks.

We had uncrated a piece of countertop earlier in the week so we laid a piece of thick black plastic under the particle board to keep it safe and dry.

We had uncrated a piece of countertop earlier in the week so we laid a piece of thick black plastic under the particle board to keep it safe and dry.

It’s been in our driveway in a crate for 4 days and now our contractor and his helpers have muscled it onto the cabinets on the window side of the kitchen.

We put chairs on the crate in the drive to stop us from accidentally backing over it.

We put chairs on the crate in the driveway to stop us from accidentally backing over it.

They dry fit the countertop making sure the sink cutout lined up with the sink. (I wasn’t there but when I stopped by in the middle of the day the carpenter said they beat it into place. Yikes!)

The sarcophagus is empty.

The sarcophagus is empty.

Since our contractor (nor anyone else in our region apparently) has never installed this material I emailed the company for some installation details.

I wrote: Hi Jenn,

We received our Lightcast countertops today. Thanks for fabricating and shipping.

Our contractor would light to know any details of installation like what adhesive to use. I presume no screws are necessary. Is there any special procedure? I understand it can be trimmed with a jigsaw if necessary.

Thanks for any info you can furnish.

Jo

The reply from LightBlocks is as follows: Hi Jo,
This can NOT be trimmed with a jig saw.
If you need to trim it should be done with a hand router and a straight edge and only a little should be trimmed at a time. It should also be fully supported underneath while trimming, clamped to mdf board or something similar.
If you find you need to cut these pieces let me know and I can have someone in our office call your installer to walk them through this.

For adhesive, you can use silicone or liquid nails FRP. Make sure not to get any adhesive on the face of the material as it will leave a permanent shiny mark.

Let me know if you need any other info.

Thanks!
Jenn

The small end cabinet was permanently installed before the countertop was put in place.

The small end cabinet was permanently installed before the countertop was put in place.

LightCast is translucent so fastening it down with screws is not an option.  Instead a bead of silicone was carefully put down on the counters.

We're leaving the protective paper on the countertop until the backsplash tile has been grouted.

We’re leaving the protective paper on the countertop until the backsplash tile has been grouted.

Then the Royal Grey honed limestone backsplash which matches the one across the kitchen over the stainless steel counter was installed.

Unfortunately the backsplash cannot be totally finished until the missing upper cabinet is delivered.

Unfortunately the backsplash cannot be totally finished until the missing upper cabinet is delivered.

After the grout sets we can peel back the protective film from the top of the counters.

We're even getting tiled behind the stove.

We’re even getting tiled behind the stove.

Can’t wait!

How eager are you to pull back the figurative “protective film” in your life?

Two Quickie Updates

A wire basket that hangs over the cabinet door.

A wire basket that hangs over the cabinet door.

I’ve been regularly visiting all the local discount stores for some kitchen runners.  No luck in that area but at Marshalls I found a storage basket ($6) for the door under Charlie’s sink.

This basket is sturdy enough to hold a few more items.

This basket is sturdy enough to hold a few more items.

If he thinks it will work for him maybe we can permanently mount it.  For now we’ll just let the over-the-door hooks show.

Under sink cabinet

Under sink cabinet

They’re not really too noticeable.

Sheetrock on the wall is hung horizontally.

Sheetrock on the wall is hung horizontally.

On the opposite side of the house in the conservatory we’re starting to get more drywall hung.

Charlie's working his way right around the room.

Charlie’s working his way right around the room.

Wow, does it ever change the feeling of the room.

What small change have you made that has had a big impact?

Quarter-Ton Package

This is the story of our final kitchen countertop. We have a stainless steel countertop on the peninsula and a piece of granite on the island.

The peninsula has a stainless steel countertop and (in the foreground) the island is covered in granite.

The peninsula has a stainless steel countertop and (in the foreground) the island is covered in granite.

I first saw the countertop material for our longest counter at Starbucks. When they couldn’t tell me where to get it I discovered it on my own by a little web surfing.

The Starbucks hand over counter.

The Starbucks hand over counter.

Last August I emailed the LightBlocks company some questions about their product called LightCast.

LightCast Vanilla goes with our kitchen wall color, the cabinet finish, and the other countertops.

LightCast Vanilla goes with our kitchen wall color, the cabinet finish, and the other countertops.

At the end of February we hired someone to make a full-size template for the counter and we shipped it to LightBlocks in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Charlie packed the template and took it to the freight place.

Charlie packed the template and took it to the freight place.

Last week the company called to say the countertop was packed and ready to ship, I just needed to pay the balance and shipping.

Our shipment in the local warehouse.

Our shipment in the local warehouse.

I paid immediately and they must have shipped fairly soon after that because Monday morning I received an email from LightBlocks saying our countertop was en route by Old Dominion Freight Company.  By early afternoon Old Dominion emailed me that the shipment had been delivered to our local PDX office.

The package is only ten inches tall but fills most of the local delivery truck.

The package is only ten inches tall but fills most of the local delivery truck.

The plan was for us to stop by PDX with a pick-up truck and get the 549-pound crate.  Instead PDX brought it up the hill to our house in a truck for $50.

Two mighty men unloaded the quarter-ton countertop onto the driveway.

Two mighty men unloaded the quarter-ton countertop onto the driveway.

I notified our contractor that our final base cabinet and the countertop were ready for installation.

I made Charlie open the crate and take the smaller piece of LightCast into the kitchen and put it In place just so I could see it.

I made Charlie open the crate and take the smaller piece of LightCast into the kitchen and put it In place just so I could see it.

When all is said and done I think this is the most expensive countertop EVER.  I hope I love it that much.

Do you ever get so stuck on something you grab onto it like a pit bull?

Resolution: April 1

I know resolutions are the kind of thing one should make around January 1st but I’m in a bog and can’t even enjoy spring (if it ever gets here) without a little pro-active action.

The dining room not only has the dining room table but also the living room chairs and the new refrigerator.

The dining room not only has the dining room table but also the living room chairs and the new refrigerator.

Just about every room at The Glade is ripped up or cluttered or filthy or any combination thereof.  I decided to try tackling this enormous job by the “eating the elephant method” (one bite at a time).

Just 2 small chores that didn't require much forethought or planning.

Just 2 small chores that didn’t require much forethought or planning.

I started yesterday morning before I left for work with 2 dust-encrusted bowls from the living room: one with glass balls and one with shells.

The wooden bowl held shells and the glass bowl held glass balls.

The wooden bowl held shells and the glass bowl held glass balls.

I put everything (one type at a time) in a dishpan filled with soapy water, wiped each item then rinsed it and left it to dry.

Sparkling clean glass balls

Sparkling clean glass balls

If seashells can't get me in the warm weather mood, nothing can.

If seashells can’t get me in the warm weather mood, nothing can.

I plan to do this everyday until the clutter is under control.

Do you have a springtime resolution?