Wednesday, January 16, 2008

House update - January 16

This has been quite a week in the life of this house remodel. This is the week, that was certain to come along, when we are finding out what we didn't budget for. This is good news and bad news. Remember the blue refrigerator? Frugal persons that we are, we had hoped to find a way to use this perfectly fine, actually quite nice, refrigerator. It came with the house.

It was, oddly, metallic blue. I researched options and decided to spray paint it black using epoxy appliance paint. I removed the handles and carefully masked all the other silvery trim and started painting. It looked pretty good, except for the drips. Ick. The drips. Oh, and I didn't have enough paint to cover this monster. Back to Home Depot for another can, and what should I find, but a new product guaranteed to turn an ordinary appliance into a stainless steel appliance! Well, that would be good. If it worked. It was expensive, but I was a little strung out and desperate and was feeling that feeling of having little left to lose. I bought the stuff. But the next day, before I had the chance to sand off the drips and use the miracle stainless steel stuff, the cabinet installer informed us that the refrigerator was not going to fit under the over the fridge cabinet I chose. See that graceful curve at the top of the doors? Comes up just high enough to keep the cabinet door above from opening.

So I went out and bought a brand new refrigerator. It's a beauty. It's real stainless steel. It matches the other appliances. It fits in the hole and doesn't stick out into the room like the blue hulk. It dispenses sparkling ice and pure water and has a cute little basket just for grapes and slideout shelves and a shelf just for gallon containers. I'm sure it is worth every penny of its considerable cost (it cost more than our first new car) and will probably change our lives in unimagined ways. The blue/black hulk will live in the garage and be the extra refrigerator we've probably been needing. The miracle liquid stainless steel product will be returned to Home Depot and I'll never know if it actually works. Whew! Problem solved. Ka-ching! $$$

And here's the guy installing the cabinets. They are looking good. Of course Ray has had to make a couple trips to IKEA to exchange incorrect pieces, get additional pieces and pick up missing hinges, etc.

We have also had two other guys, Smith (yup, that's his first name) and Chip, installing windows. Things were sailing along there until Smith pulled out the front window in the livingroom and discovered that carpenter ants had been doing their thing all around the window. Here he is breaking the bad news to Ray.

Smith knew what to do, however. He got some stuff to kill the carpenter ants, pulled out the affected wood and replaced it with new lumber. Whew! Problem solved. Ka-ching! $$$

Then Chip discovered dry rot under the old aluminum slider when he started pulling it out. That necessitated removing the decking from the deck just outside the door in order to get to the damaged boards. They will all be replaced tomorrow. Chip said it wasn't really all that bad and they could fix it "easy". Whew! Problem solved. Ka-ching! $$$

Here's the window they installed in the hallway. No bugs, no rot. Whew.

Like I said, good news and bad news. Once I absorbed the initial sticker shock, I am pretty happy about the new refrigerator. Frugal only goes so far. The ant damage and dry rot were a bummer, but are confined to only those two small areas (that's good news, right?) and Smith and Chip seem to be pretty competent and are all about getting it done right. Said Chip, "we'll get that new door sealed right and you won't have that problem again!" He's an upbeat lad, and that, alone, is worth something.


  1. Now that you have it you can enjoy it! It's gorgeous, so sleek and new. What a joy a new kitchen must be. Mine is old and could use a make-over but it's not in our plans at this time. Have a great day!

  2. Competent is the MOST important thing in home improvement. And close behind it is a strong work ethic. Sounds like you found winners with Smith and Chip.

  3. I love that window! Very classy.

  4. Anonymous1:51 PM

    You didn't tell us about the frig -- old and new. Nor about Chip and Smith. Oh the joys.... And all's well that ends well, at least for those on the receiving end of ka-ching $$$


  5. Please tell me about your new fridge. We are having "discussions" about ice and water in the door. I've heard that the new, sleeker models tend to spit both water and ice out onto the floor, which isn't the kindest thing.