One Aging Geek

Monday, July 10, 2006

Three steps forward, one step back

The continuing saga of a house undergoing some minor remodeling...

Over the weekend, as I was installing the old kitchen cabinets in the garage, I kept looking at the kitchen tile. It wasn't laid square to the walls. There's a pony wall that separates the kitchen and living room. At one point it takes a 45 degree corner that echoes an angle in the exterior wall where the breakfast area "bays out". But a line from the corner of the pony wall to the "matching" corner of the exterior wall isn't square to the rest of the house. If the house was built a little more carefully that line probably would be square with the walls. But it isn't.

The tile had been laid with that off-square line as the baseline. So the whole floor was at about a 4 or 5 degrees to the walls. It took a couple of phone calls to the tile company owner to convince him that is how it was. It is not what he had told the crew chief. What he (and I) had wanted done was for the tile to be laid in a grid square to the walls. The last course of tiles were to be cut along a straight line snapped between the two off-kilter corners.

So today the tile in the kitchen came back up.

I'm working from the house so I can check up on it and all looks good this time around. Since the tile was only down for two days it came back up with little or no breakage. The noise around here is something. Got a guy with a grinder outside taking mortar off the back of tiles. And some occasional wet saw work as another guy fits tiles to edges and corners. Earlier there was also a little jackhammer device going that breaks the mortar loose without going into the foundation. There's four guys working on this so it's going in faster than last week when two were in the kitchen and two were in the foyer. Expecting tile laying to finish tomorrow and grout to go in on Wednesday.

Moved to the "done" column now are:

  • Final tiles in foyer (they had left a couple out at the door so we could get thru it if necessary).
  • Powder room tiled.
  • Old cabinets and countertop installed in garage (DIY). I've cut but not installed pegboard to form a back wall. It's going to be a nice workbench. And 9 feet of upper and lower cabinets will hold all the stuff now in boxes on the garage floor.
  • New kitchen sink purchased from Home Depot. This one may go back too. Lowe's has a nicer one that might work.
  • New kitchen faucet arrived (black, special order)
  • Installer has inventoried and checked the cabinets. One drawer front arrived with a big nick so he'll rush order that. Not a hold up for install, though.
  • Kitchen cabinet Install tentatively scheduled for Friday or Saturday depending on tile completion.
  • New microwave ordered. It's black. The old one was white. Wouldn't do.
  • Faucet for powder room purchased.
It will be nice someday to be able to walk into a hardware store without a list that comes to four to five hundred dollars.