Adam Rice

My life and the world around me

Tag: trim

Renovation, week kajillion: colors, trim, and hardware

We’ve gotten to a point in the job we’re all the fussy stuff has to get tackled, and where it takes a lot of work to see a little progress. We’re also starting to see little fit-and-finish issues, consequences of bad planning, etc. Nothing too serious.

One mistake I made in our electrical plan was that the ceiling fans all have light-kits, but I didn’t reflect separate wiring for both fan and light in the plans. I just figured that out last night, and correcting that problem will be a little sticky. We’ll have to compromise in a couple spots. I can live with that. As much work as I put into trying to figure that out, I could have put in more.

Karl noticed that, now that the cabinets are installed in the bedroom, the ceiling fan looks poorly positioned. I didn’t think it was a problem, but he said “we’ve feng-shui’d the heck out of this room, and it would be a shame for it to be out of place.” Another problem with this room—one which we could only detect under the harsh glare of flashlights at night—is that there had been some sketchy taping and floating at some point in the past (I think), and so the new paint was forming bubbles over those spots. We’d caught a couple spots previously, but found more last night.

The brown color we had chosen for the bedroom just didn’t quite look like we expected. Karl pointed out that the color chip we had used is flat, but the paint we had selected is eggshell, which has a little sheen to it; he said the sheen changes the way you perceive the color. He went and recovered the room with flatter paint (and perhaps a tiny bit blacker) and it looks very close to what we were expecting. The paint in the other rooms looks great, though. Karl repainted the oven hood, and annoyingly, hairs got caught in the wet paint as it dried.

One of the two sets of double-doors for the office closets are up, and they don’t quite line up with each other. Not hard to fix, Karl tells me.

I’m thinking/hoping that by catching all these little things as we go along, our punchlist at the end will be very short.

Although the process has been moving along quickly, we’re getting impatient to move in, mostly because we’re fed up with the place we’re in now. It’s not a bad place (hey, we’re trying to get it rented out), but the new place will be a lot better.

Week 5: cabinets and trim

Week 4 was pretty quiet, what with Xmas and all, but things are rolling along again.

Our kitchen cabinets arrived on the 27th, a day ahead of schedule. Karl called and told me “We’re having a little trouble fitting things in the way we planned.” Uh oh. “I’ll be right over” I tell him (even though I need to be at a practice for First Night in less than an hour). Fortunately, we’ve had very few moments like that.

One of our design constraints has been preserving this nifty old Vent-Rite hood that came with the place. It’s 40“ wide (to suit the original stove). We wanted our new 30” stove centered underneath it, or nearly so, but this resulted in an extremely narrow base cabinet (5“–6”) between the stove and the wall. We had approved plans that showed an open-fronted 6“ base cabinet there.

When the cabinets arrived, we discovered that the cabinet-maker had borrowed 3” from the left of the stove and put it on the right, to make that narrow cabinet 9“ wide. This meant that, without some modification, the left side of the stove would be almost flush with the left side of the hood—something we had explicitly been trying to avoid. Either we could live with this, have one of the wall-hung cabinets remade to be narrower (allowing the hood to slide over), or have all the base cabinets remade to the original specs (there is one monolithic base cabinet left of the stove, and the narrow one right of it). Had we insisted on that, the cabinet-maker would have taken a bath on this job, and it would have pushed our schedule way off. I called Gwen to advise her of the situation and say that I was willing to live with the cabinets as-is. She decided to come over and look for herself. She was annoyed at the situation, but decided she could live with it too after seeing it.

I’m not sure why the cabinet-maker made this change. He may have decided a 6” base cabinet was a dumb idea, and wasn’t aware of our reasoning behind it. More detailed communication might have helped. All that said, the craftsmanship on these cabinets is excellent. Better than we were likely to get from any of the big cabinetry suppliers, and tailored to our kitchen’s small dimensions.

Karl’s crew has made the massive boxes for the bedroom’s wall of storage. I think Karl is going to let the cabinet-maker handle the face-frames and doors, but he might be taking care of that himself.

The butcher-block surface for the kitchen island arrived yesterday, and we’re still getting an estimate on the quartz surface for the main counter. Most of the baseboard trim is in place. Karl has been measuring out the built-in bookcases—these are in the part of the house where the foundation and framing are most askew, so those will need a little fudging to look right.

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