Wednesday, December 7, 2005

The House Project: Appliance Excitement in the Kitchen

I have been very busy the last couple of days. My wife and I went Monday at noon to meet with... I can't quite remember. Anyway, there were a lot more lighting fixtures in place. Here you can see the dishwasher in the cabinets, but not yet hooked up. (I think we are waiting on the plumber.)

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Here's the mysteriously missing cooktop arriving, and yes, it is as cold outside as it looks:

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Lighting fixtures not only installed, but working!

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This is the cheap counter for the laundry room. It isn't nailed in place quite yet. It is also a good bit more green and beautiful than it appears here.

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Oh, and here's the last big (in the physical sense) headache. There was a miscommunication between the builder and me about the dimensions of the refrigerator. I ordered a conventional refrigerator--and compared to the counters, it looks like an elephant in pantyhose.

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Here's your hint for when you have a house built: if you order a refrigerator, order one that is "counter depth." Kitchen counters are typically 24" deep. A typical full-sized refrigerator, like this behemoth, is 33" deep. A "counter depth" fridge is about 24" deep, not counting the door. The door brings it out to about 27" or 28" -- stll deeper than the counter, but not so grossly sticking out that it looks dumb.

In any case, the change was only about $300 more for the counter depth fridge, and a $50 restocking fee.

Tuesday night we get a call from our builder. There are no outside lighting fixtures--and we need some hardwired fluorescent fixtures from undercounter lighting in the kitchen. We had picked some out at Grover's, but apparently neglected to tell them what we had picked out. The electrician is trying to get everything finished up for electrical inspection Wednesday, needs those light fixtures, pronto.

So my wife and I blast over to Home Depot on the way to the property, and engage in a slight battle of the wills over the exterior light fixtures. I'm thinking of motion detector fixtures with enough output to melt snow, and get the deer to medium rare while they stand there. She is thinking "decorative." At first, it appeared that there was no middle ground on this, but we found some fixtures that had motion detectors and satisfied my wife's esthetic senses.

And then today, we had to run over to Grover's to pick up the items that we missed in the planning stage: another front hall interior light fixture; a big fancy fluorescent fixture for the master closet; and the simplest possible fixture for the pantry. (You open the pantry door, and a switch turns on the light. Very neat!)

Just to add to the excitement, my wife got a late start. The salescritter at Grover's was brand new, so everything took twice as long--and my wife had to go administer a final exam to her students at 1:00 PM. We transferred the fixtures to my Corvette about noon, and I drove up to deliver them.

I have previously suggested that the Corvette just needs the traction control turned off to solve the snow problem. Well, almost. I reached my driveway--and discovered that no matter how I tried, it just wasn't going to climb that driveway. (The electrician reports that he wasn't able to climb it in his enormous Dodge 4x4 a few days ago, either.) This isn't all that steep a driveway at the start, either. It was 15 degrees outside--just cold enough that any temporary melt turns back to ice--but just warm enough that the weight of a car causes a temporary melt at the surface, preventing you from getting traction.

So I walked up the hill, carrying light fixtures, and getting a very complete cardiovascular workout, what with temperature, slope, and yielding snow.

For the first time, the house looked like it was truly under construction.

The Silestone installers were busily putting in the kitchen counters.

The installers from Treasure Valley Closets were putting in the closet organizers and the bookshelf in the office--very cool looking.

The electrician and his son had installed all the exterior lighting, and were starting to pull the well pump wire from above ground to conduit.

The builder was putting the concrete blocks upon which the backup generator will be located.

The builder's son was installing the permanent front door.

It was just a flurry of activity. Tomorrow, the appraiser for the permanent loan comes by--and everything better be pretty much in place.

I think I am going to have to look into a serious 4WD for winter.

Last house project entry.

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