So here is the story…

February 22, 2008

Our kitchen faucet had this neat trick of spraying straight out from the base (where it swivels) when you turned it on. Figuring the build up of lime and whatnot over the years was the culprit, I decided to remove the faucet, soak it in vinegar, and put it back with a new gasket as it was leaking under the old one. So I unscrewed one knob, and the other had a stripped screw. Undaunted, I tried for about 45 minutes to loosen the thing. Finally, I decided to disconnect it from below, then return to the loosening task later. As I climbed under the disgusting base cabinet (more on that later) I found that the sink drain was nearly rotted through, and had nicely rusted itself to the underside of the sink. I decided that perhaps I should simply replace the sink and faucet and make things easier. That would only be about $150 anyway. Not bad for a “new” look.

As I grumbled loudly yelled about the clips being inaccessible on one side and nearly so on another, I came to the leaky side only to discover that the counter top had sustained considerable damage from water seeping under an improperly sealed sink. Okay, at this point I decided that everything I wanted to replace along that wall of the kitchen suddenly “needed” to be replaced. This was excitement mixed with trepidation, knowing that I would have new stuff and not be quite so embarrassed when people came into my kitchen, but I would be the one installing said new stuff!

Jeff and I got the sink and faucet Sunday night. We went to Home Depot and I found the faucet I wanted, then we began the search for a sink. I had a stainless one and figured we would just replace it with another stainless one. As I was perusing the many varieties of sinks, my eyes settled on a bright yellow sticker proclaiming a discounted item. The box was open, so I had scanned past it moments before, not wanting to deal with an open item. When I realized the sink was the size we needed and was marked down nearly 70%, I looked more closely. The sink is an 80% granite sink in volcano black. It is not solid black, it has little flecks that almost look silver. It only had one hole for a faucet and that was the style of faucet I had already chosen. When I got the sink to the register, it was marked down even further, to a whopping $53. The original price on the sink was $190. I was quite pleased with my bargain.

Good thing this all happened on the first day of my “weekend.” I got out of work at 8am on Sunday and started this process at around noon. Yes, I only had 4 hours sleep before undertaking faucet repairs…call me crazy…I know! Monday morning I was up at 5 assessing the situation, making a list of what I would need to purchase. I went to a couple of stores in search of what I wanted and located everything I needed. My MIL called around 11 to say she was on her way to help me pick stuff up…she has a van. We went to the store that was holding my new sink base, only to find that there had been a communication error and they did not in fact have the cabinet I wanted. They sold me a different one, the major difference being that it did NOT match my existing cabinets, and it DID need to be put together, ARGH! We bought it, two new counter tops, and a few miscellaneous things. Then we went to two other stores searching for something to put on the wall behind the sink area, as the old wood paneling just wasn’t doing it for me! Who puts paneling in a kitchen anyway!?! We finally arrived back home around 2pm and I was ready for my nap to get started. I had already pulled out the old stuff and had the dehumidifier running to dry out the soggy subfloor that the sink had apparently been leaking on since the dawn of time, or at least the last several years… Talk about gross!

After putting everything in the kitchen, I stared in disbelief that I had all this stuff to do by myself. So, I shut off the water, cut the old soldered shutoff valve out, and fit the new compression fitting on. As I turned on the water, Kyle started yelling. The “geyser” in the kitchen made quite the mess. Four tries later, and many foul thoughts, I went BACK to Home Depot to try to figure out what to do. The very knowledgeable man in the plumbing department assured me that I could do this (I was all set to buy a soldering torch and supplies). He instructed me to gingerly cut the pipe again allowing the pipe cutter to do all the work and to only snug, not crank on the pipe after each turn. He said with softer copper, sometimes the pipe gets “out of round” and then won’t seal properly. I went home, did as he said and got a perfect seal!!!! YEAH!!! One small victory in a seemingly unending list of things to do.

At that point, Jeff got hungry so we went to get some food. My in-laws had taken the kids since we had no usable kitchen. When we got back, Jeff offered to help me, but I was too overwhelmed and tired to deal, so off to bed I went, but not before opening the box with the new cabinet. Upon opening it, I found that the front was smashed. More ARGH! The next morning I got up early and got started. I called around and found the cabinet I originally wanted and asked them to hold it for me. My MIL came over and we returned the old cabinet and got the new one. Kyle and I got started on the installations and by about 5 pm, we were finished. HOORAY!!!

Normally when I do anything this involved, Mark and my Mom come up to help, but this time I did it all myself. It was a really good feeling to stand back and see that it looked good and to know that I had done it all myself.

Here are a few pictures of the process along the way…


The raw materials


The tileboard is cut, now it just needs to be installed


Just a few more finishing touches to go…another day.


Here is the other side of the kitchen. As you can see, we still have some work to do, but it looks so much nicer already. Now I am super motivated to do more…

One comment

  1. The worst, worst, WORST part of building or remodeling is when you start working, building your momentum, only to discover you need something, what you got is wrong (or broken) or you aren’t *quite* sure about a little task!!! Once you get going, it is so great when you have a “gopher” who understands exactly what you need and can gat it for you. Unfortunately, there were many trips to the building centers for me!!! hehehe I really like all the components you got and it looks like the kitchen is going to be so nice once it is completed. Just remember that a task as big as this takes some time! So, take your time and enjoy the learning experience!

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