News Archive: October 2019

31 October 2019

I installed the kitchen sink for the third and last time—permanently, that is—and then turned my attention to the backsplash on the island, the last bit of tiling left to be completed in the kitchen. This was done in solid dark grey, as opposed to the banded design on the rest of the backsplash, principally because cramming three bands into a narrow vertical space would be too busy-looking. Trim and grout will finally finish off everything.

30 October 2019

While I continued to grout the kitchen countertop, my helper began spackling Kitty Central.

29 October 2019

Finally recovered from a crazy busy weekend, and the first thing I did was add trim to and grout the breakfast bar. The grout color was perfect: a dark grey halfway between the two tile colors. Also, I deliberately skipped the final polish step so that the tile wouldn't be quite so glossy (I'd wanted to use matte finish tiles, which were available in the same colors, but they were more than double the cost—go figure). I'm really liking how it came out.

24 October 2019

Spent a fair bit of the day yesterday just laying out the tile for the backsplash. It was a tricky affair, requiring much fiddling and fussing to make the design work with the outlets along the wall. The effort paid off, as it took only three hours to install the tile this morning. Now it's down to trim and grout.

Meanwhile, my helpers finished the French drain just in time for heavy rain coming on the weekend.

23 October 2019

Finished installing all of the kitchen countertop tile. Thanks to the switch to plain grey for the breakfast bar, it went down very quickly—twelve hours start to finish—whereas it might have literally taken days if I'd stuck with the tree mural, as there were hundreds of tile pieces to place individually. As it was, I'd spent the entire previous afternoon prepping the bar, since there was much shimming, filling and sanding required to get the surface square, flat and smooth. I was also up at 2 AM this morning (such is the life of an insomniac) applying compound to the parts of the wall that will eventually become the backsplash. Plus I had to pull out the sink and faucet fixtures. All part of the process. Next up: tile the backsplash, then apply trim and grout.

In other news, the septic engineer is wrapping up my Certificate of Compliance for the Country Health Department (here's hoping the County doesn't lose it, like all the other things that have been sent to them). At last, the final piece to the puzzle is on its way.

21 October 2019

Got about three-quarters of the breakfast bar tree mural laid out when I hit a serious snag: I arranged some plates, bowls and glasses on the countertop, and while I enjoyed the creativity of the mural, it was way, waaay busier-looking than I'd have preferred. So, it was back to plain grey. Afterwards, I noticed that the grey glass was a decent substitute (color-wise) for stainless steel—originally my preferred choice for the countertops—yet far more affordable. The kitchen was coming together.

Meanwhile... I've got chairs! Yes, they're cheap little things I got through Amazon, but with an event that I'm hosting coming up this weekend, I needed something on which my guests could sit. At least they fit my theme and color scheme: trees and neon green.

20 October 2019

Owing to Nestor (I had social obligations that were cancelled due to rain), I had an unexpected day I could devote to the kitchen countertops, which I spent on preliminary design experiments. The plain medium grey tile (see the 18 October update) seemed vague and undefined until I added a dark grey border, at which point things began to work visually—that's the graphic artist in me coming out. Next will be a mural of sorts on the floating breakfast bar depicting a tree, an idea I began exploring a few days ago.

18 October 2019

Overload! Not only did the tempered glass shelves for the bathroom medicine cabinet arrive today, but so too did the mosaic tile for the kitchen countertops, which I wasn't expecting for another week. It was a perfect happy accident, as it gave me quite a lot to think about. After I installed the medicine cabinet shelves (which look better than expected), I spent the afternoon playing with mosaic tile—a very "green" product, I hasten to add, which is not a reference to color; imported from Spain, it's all made from recycled glass.

In other news, tomorrow night is supposed to be the coldest so far this season, with a low six degrees above freezing. This will be an excellent stress test for my heat pump.

17 October 2019

Today's goal was to install the rest of the garage lights. It was only two units—probably a whopping 20 minutes of work. I figured if I kept my goals simple, I'd have a better shot of achieving them, and everything else would be gravy.

One helping of gravy was the bathroom medicine cabinet mirror, which arrived a little earlier than expected. Tomorrow the shelves will be delivered, so I can wrap this puppy up soon.

Meanwhile, I had my helper toil in the soil to try and wrap up the seemingly never-ending French drain project.

16 October 2019

Success. Now to make more sense of the space.

15 October 2019

Decided it was high time to get my car back in the garage. It's not in there yet, but soon.

14 October 2019

Made a small but not insignificant dent in organizing the garage. It's about all I could manage under current (physical/emotional) circumstances.

12 October 2019

Just ordered all of the tile for the kitchen countertops. Consequently, finances are going to be really tight this month.

10 October 2019

Today was the day for the septic engineering company to make good on its promise to fix their faux pas of never completing their inspection of my system, and finally wrap up the critical step necessary for getting the County Health Department to finally sign off on my well and septic systems, so I can finally get a TCO from the Township. The ordeal isn't over yet—the engineer claimed it would take two weeks to process the paperwork (anyone see Money Pit?)—but it's a huge step in the right direction. Meanwhile, my helper and I continued the rocking streak in the garage, with only two sheets left to put up.

9 October 2019

Thanks to the unending rain (which was supposed to have ended in the afternoon), my helper and I managed to get a lot more of the garage rocked. It was an unexpectedly good day—and often they're the best.

8 October 2019

Unable to sleep, in the wee hours of the morning I added some trim (the vertical strips) to the bookcase. And spent the rest of the day organizing my books. Yep... it was that kind of day.

7 October 2019

Fortunately the 40% chance of showers predicted for today instead turned out to be a 100% chance of sunny, unseasonably warm (83°) and breezy—go figure—so I was able to finish the gutters after all. Good timing: the next four days are supposed to be rainy, assuming one believes the reports anymore.

6 October 2019

Wanted to finish the gutters today, but couldn't even get all of the fascia stained before the 20% chance of showers arrived in the early afternoon. Oh, well.

4 October 2019

With my focus still on the bathroom, I ordered the medicine cabinet mirror and tempered glass shelves online, and in a week or so I'll be able to knock that item off the list. Meanwhile, I continued spackling the walls so I can finish tiling around the sink. And then...

Paranoid as I am about failure, around noon I ran a quick test to make sure the plumbing all worked properly. But I still waited until the evening to give it a full, practical test. Just the fact that the hot water never gives out is awesome enough...

3 October 2019

I've continued distracting myself from using the shower by spackling the walls and ceiling of the bathroom—it's my least favorite thing to do, so you know I'm working really hard to keep my mind off of a nice looong, hot shower...

2 October 2019

While I (im)patiently wait to use the shower, I'm distracting myself with other odds and ends. Example: the door for the air handler enclosure in the ceiling of the closet/laundry.

Also, I dressed up the floating breakfast bar support beam.

1 October 2019

I knew going in that the shower floor would take a lot of grout, but I honestly wasn't prepared for just how much (hint: about a gallon). There should be a warning on the tile package: "Consumes grout like a champion competitive eater. Get four times as much as you think you'll need." I had to go buy more—again. But I've got to say... it looks great, exactly what I'd envisioned over three years ago, back when I bought the tile. Now comes three days of waiting (which will seem like another three years!) for the grout to cure...

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