Every place I've ever lived has been designed for that "average American family," with lots of bedrooms, living room, dining room, family room, etc. The problem was that I was a single person, not an average family. I needed space, but for hobbies, not people. And because I'm over 6'2", bending over to use sinks designed for children was a constant frustration. Over the years, I collected a list of things I would change if I could have my dream house. As I approached retirement, I realized time was running out for that house; it was now or never.
Dreams are not always perfect, however. I could never afford my dream house, a spacious Southern California home overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But I could afford a modest ranch house, with a 20-mile drive to the beach. It was a very long way from perfect, but it had potential.
This blog documents the process of turning that small average house into something that matches my lifestyle. It will be as close to my dream house as I can make it. I'm doing all the work myself to stretch my resources. By not hiring contractors, I can afford high quality materials, and I'll know the job is always done right. The remodeling will be my primary avocation for a few years, even as I try to fit in my writing and other hobbies.
It promises to be an interesting journey, and a challenging one!
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The New Kitchen — Part 4
This first photo shows the PEX supply lines installed in the open wall, already covered with pipe insulation, fastened in with several brackets to keep them secure. At the lower end of the supply lines, I added a frame protruding from the wall so the stop (shut-off) valves will have good clearance inside the sink cabinet.
Once the PEX was installed, the drywall went up. At the same time, I built a short end-wall for the line of cabinets. The dishwasher will be next to that wall. Dishwashers typically do not have cabinets of their own, but rather are installed in a 24" space between cabinets. Hence the need for the little wall (to substitute for a cabinet on the left side of the dishwasher). I stuffed the wall with fiberglass insulation to mute the noise from the dishwasher.
A little joint compound and paint, and a couple of GFCI receptacles for the two 20-amp kitchen receptacle circuits, and we're ready for the next task.
As this was happening, my five-foot wide commercial stainless steel countertop for the other side of the kitchen finally arrived, with Sophie looking on as I put it temporarily in place.
Tomorrow I will start work on the cabinet that goes underneath all that stainless steel, beginning with the base. To the right of that cabinet will be the refrigerator; I need to build the partition for that, as well as a small cabinet that will go above the refrigerator. Then I shift back to the other side of the kitchen, and build the base for that 12.5-foot run of cabinets. Once that is done, I will install the kitchen's quarry tile floor.