Saturday, September 26, 2020

How a dead oven evolved to a kitchen remodel

Here is a story of how my wife Melissa and I allowed a simple appliance replacement lead the way to a kitchen remodel, one that we have talked about for years but always talked ourselves out of actually doing it.   

August 7th 2020

So after 14 years, our trusty Kenmore oven recently decided to give up the ghost.  We moved into our New Jersey home in January 2006 and bought this oven immediately upon move in.  The kitchen appliances left behind by the seller were builder grade and were in sore need of an upgrade.

Shortly after we moved in, Lillian arrived in the world March 5th 2006.

Fast forward to 2020, and the oven situation, it is notable how the current COVID pandemic in the USA has impacted the supply chains.  It is difficult to buy appliances!  After much discussion and searching during late July 2020, Melissa and I settled on this General Electric gas stove and convection oven.

Since I am associating my youngest daughter's growth to our kitchen appliance purchases, for no particular reason, here is the most recent photo of Lillian I have on hand

After we bought the stove, Melissa and I had a discussion about our kitchen overall.  It has not been upgraded since the home was built in 2003.  The kitchen was deteriorating.  For example, the kitchen countertop backsplash by the sink started to separate from the wall around the sink area.  I got motivated one weekend, used an air gun nailer to reattach it in 2019.

I knew this was only a temporary fix.  But now in 2020 given we spent the money to buy a stove my wife and I decided to go big and REMODEL THE KITCHEN!

We have talked about taking this large step before but there was not one single push or driver to get it done, until now.   We are excited to transform this old, tired kitchen with builder grade materials into something more clean and modern.

September 3rd, 2020

The countertops were installed today.   Beautiful quartz material, with an ogee finished edge.

But, this phase was NOT without drama.   

September 7th 2020

On Labor Day, I looked at the left side of the countertop, on the long wall with the sink.  With my eye, I compared the level of the countertop versus the mark on the drywall, left after the old Formica backsplash was removed.  I noticed that the both were not parallel with one another.   I used a 16 inch level to measure the level of the countertop.   A few measurements revealed the countertop being off level.   I left a message for the Home Depot project manager, asking him to have the cabinet laminate installer check this measurement before he begins.   

September 8th 2020

The cabinet guy Michael, an older guy with a thick Polish accent, measured the countertop with a long board and level after I brought the issue to his attention.  Michael agreed with me, the countertop was not installed well !

What the countertop installers achieved was an level countertop that, with a long board and level, showed a pronounced bow, or dip, starting on the left side at the dishwasher progressing through the sink and rising again on the right side by the "L" corner by the stove.  The countertop installers did level the countertop end to end, but they did not shim the middle !

I reported this to Home Depot, who called Michael and asked him to take a video on his phone.  Home Depot called the countertop subcontractor, who then called me.   The will come to correct the problem on September 9th late in the afternoon.

Michael started his cabinet resurfacing work on this day, by preparing the work area and installing a few laminates on the cabinet surfaces.

September 9th 2020

Michael continued work this morning, laying down most of the laminates but stopped on the left side by the dishwasher knowing that the countertop level needs to be corrected on that side.   The countertop crew did come out late that afternoon, and first removed all shims installed on September 3rd by the first crew.   They proceeded to install smaller shims around the sink.   After they did this, the level of the overall sink was achieved and checked with a long level and board.

September 10th 2020

Michael finished up his laminate work and installed the cabinet pull hardware.   He did an outstanding and very professional job.   He was very detailed and precise in his work too.  The cabinets look fabulous.  

September 17th 2020

This is the date when the tile backsplash will be installed, the final phase of the overall project.   Stay tuned for the photos !

September 20th 2020

The backsplash was installed this past Thursday the 17th.   However..   our old General Electric microwave developed a funny habit of turning on the magneto fan when the front door was "OPENED" and then turned it off when the door was "CLOSED".   My wife, understandably, was concerned..   So we decided to dismount it and start shopping for another.  

Here is a picture of the backsplash, and the missing microwave.  It is a good photo to capture all the colors in the palette we selected for this kitchen remodel project.


September 26th 2020

We are entering in the home stretch!   Melissa, Amelia and Lillian hit Marshall's yesterday and bought a bunch of decorations to place on the top of the cabinets.   The last outstanding piece is the window treatment above the sink.   The window topper Lillian chose from Amazon did not meet the discerning eye of my wife, so they are out on the hunt for another.

Stay tuned for the final pictures!

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