Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9/18/2013 More of the same


Good progress on the kitchen, although the process is way scarier than I anticipated.  Our designer has everything measured down to the 1/16th of an inch of how it should all fit together.  However, we are finding that new house construction is rarely true, square, and accurate compared to the blueprints.  This has caused us to work very hard and be a little creative with making everything fit like it's supposed to.  For instance, if we had not purchased commercial leveling hardware to attach to the cabinet bases, I cannot imagine how we would have made everything work.  From the far left side to the far right side of the cabinet run, the floor varies as much as an inch and a quarter from true level!  Remember my comments earlier about self leveling laser levels and purchasing quality equipment?  Well there is no better example than this installation as to what good equipment can do to make a job turn out better.  The most difficult portion of the install is yet to come.  This weekend we are going to start on the wall cabinets on the north wall.  Those cabinets vary in height and depth, so a single ledger board like we used on the west wall will not work.  That plus we have to mount the microwave/vent hood at the same time.  Usually all wall cabinets would have been completed before the bases went in, but we are trying to get the counter top specialist in to measure everything up ASAP so we can get the sink installed when the plumbers come.  It will all work out in the end, but just adds to the complexity now.

This wall will have cabinets from the left corner all the way up to two feet higher than the tall pantry showing on the right.  Besides increasing in height, they will also increase in depth for a three dimensional appearance.

Here's a little better picture of the kitchen as a whole.  We will also have to construct the island, which will be located directly below the lighted pot rack showing in the upper center of the picture.  We still have to add the upper crown moulding and lower light trim railings, but that is a low priority for the time being.

We also got around to installing the vanity top for the master bath last weekend.  There will be one large mirror on the wall, but not until the plumber gets done messing around in here.  We still have to do the wall tile around the tub, but that can wait until after we are in the house. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

9/2/2013 Plenty of stuff going on simultaneously now

Plenty of stuff going on simultaneously now.  Debra and I have successfully mounted our first set of cabinets on our own.  The straight line set of five seemed like a good way to get our feet wet so to speak.  It went reasonably well, considering our amateur status as cabinet installers.  What really shocked us was how far out of straight and level our brand new walls were!  Our technology provided us with absolutely level and true cabinets, but we found to our dismay that the walls are actually out of square by a noticeable margin.  We will have to do a little trimming to mask the one spot that shows.  I'm including the link to the web site we used to learn our cabinet hanging skill.
In addition to the cabinets, we also stepped back outside to try and finish the last of the deck.  We want to move in as soon as possible, so we can prep our other house for sale.  Before we will be allowed to occupy though, all safety items have to be installed, i.e. deck railings, stair hand rails, etc.  I did finish most of the deck railings last week, and Debra helped me work on the last portion of the deck floor.  Because of some of the poor quality boards we rejected for use on the deck, we were going to come up short, so I went to our local big box lumber store for more.  To our dismay, we found that the local lumber was fully 1/4 inch thicker than what came with the house.  That may not seem like much, but actually was quite noticeable and did create a trip hazard.  Our solution was to go to the last section of deck on the far side of the house and pull up the last few boards and use them to finish all the transition portions of the deck.  We can then use the new, thicker boards way at the end, and all together.  It will be barely noticeable then, and after drying and shrinking to their final size, be much less obvious.
Other items finalized were, tile floor finished in the master bath, and the double vanities installed.  This week we will finish screwing the vanities down, and install the sink top.  The only remaining obstacle to having our plumber back for final hookups will be the sink base cabinet in the kitchen.  Hopefull we can get at that by next weekend.
Our first five cabinets installed. We fastened them all together on the floor to make sure they were true and square, then lifted and mounted them on the wall as a single unit.  A good self leveling laser is a must for this task.  If there is one major lesson to be learned from building our own house, it is that cheap tools make for cheap results.  Every step of the way thus far, whenever a specific tool was needed that I didn't already own, I purchased quality equipment.  The results have spoken for themselves thus far.  I will speak more to this when the house is done and I do my wrap-up to this blog.

This shows about 1/2 our deck so far.  Behind me in the picture is about another 35 feet that juts out to ten feet rather than the eight foot sections you see here.

Double bathroom vanities set into place after tile was complete.  Still have to fasten them down and install the one piece vanity top.