Know when to run

Continued from “Know when to walk away

Knowing that there were a few more items we needed to procure for the rest of the project, my father-in-law and I hopped in the car and headed over to Home Depot ourselves. Since we were already there, we figured that we’d spend a few more minutes looking for a different valve, or a reducer (3/8″ to 3/8″??) or something that would be easier than the chop and pray method. After another 15 minutes of searching, there was absolutely nothing that would fit our reject threads, so we gave up on finding an easier solution, got the rest of our materials, and headed back.

Since the hour was late, we decided not to tempt fate and try and install the new shutoff valves so close to Home Depot closing time. We shut off the main water valve at the meter, disconnected the sink, and pulled it out from the countertop. Next to go was the countertop itself, and at that point there wasn’t time to do much else except put the sink back in place, propped up by a couple of 1″x3″ boards, hook up the water connects, one of the drain traps and turn on the water main again. This went surprisingly well, and we called it a night.

Thursday came and the evening was spent cutting and fitting, after the requisite water-off, disconnect-sink, remove procedure. Being the pro installers we were, we had absolutely none of the correct tools, like a laminate saw blade, so chipping was a bit of a problem. However, since there would only be one visible cut – the seam under the sink – that was the only one we needed to be concerned with.

We would cut one piece to size in the garage, haul it upstairs, see how unlevel it was, add shimming, relevel, haul it back downstairs, recut, sand, haul it back upstairs, lather, rinse, repeat. This process happened about 30 times, at the end of which we had basically reframed the entire top of the cabinets and had both halves of the countertop set in place, relatively level, and a bit too wide of a gap at the seam. The countertops now sat about a full inch higher than the old ones, which would allow us to simply caulk the top of the backsplash and not have to worry about any gap between the two. Other than our grossly miscut hole for the sink, which was a result of a major brain fart and having the two halves of the countertop overlapping when we marked it, it was looking pretty decent for a DIY hack job. Even the sink hole wasn’t really a problem because the sink covered up our miscut fine. If we could just close that gap in our visible seam a bit, this project would essentially be finished. We left that for Friday.

To be continued…

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