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  • No Progress! - The weather has been so uncharacteristically good in western Oregon, that I haven't worked on the beach house kitchen at all this past couple of months. I'...
    2 years ago

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Follow-up on our Pegasus Granite Sink

I get a lot of hits on my blog for info our Pegasus granite sink. After two years, it's still basically as good as new.


There are no stains, it still cleans easily, and the surface finish is fine. I just looked at it closely, and there are no scratches.

I undermounted this sink, attaching it to the granite top with polyurethane glue. It is sealed with epoxy grout - no leaks or problems of any kind.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cooking for Christmas

My DW and daughter spent much of the week cooking all kinds of great food. I really liked the cookie plates (read display) they set up in the hutch. The food, colors and beadboard texture all go well together.


Here is a picture of a very busy kitchen, which is why we did the remodel...


Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Treat: Skiing!

We are lucky enough to live 90 minutes from a year-round ski slope in Oregon, so my son and I took an early day off and went up for the morning. The snow field shown on the right side of picture sits at and elevation of 8500 feet.


What does this have to do with remodeling? Nothing at all - sometimes I need to take a break and have fun. This helps me remember all the good things I have, and how lucky I am to to have my family, my job, my friends, my faith...

I hope all of you out there have a great Thanksgiving, and get the chance to enjoy and appreciate all you have.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Coffee Center

We have gone a little over a year without any additional projects in the kitchen. After staying in a vacation home that had a high-end built-in coffee maker, we decided to add one more.

We really liked the Miele coffee & espressp maker, but at $2400 or more, it's pretty much a budget-buster...


After doing some searching online, the cheapest built-in unit we could find was $1800. Free-standing units with the same features run $700 to $1500, so we decided to go with that option, hoping to spend less than $1000. My DW doesn't want it to sit on the kitchen counter, so we will build an in-wall coffee center. This will hold the machine, canisters for beans and cups, and it will pull out for easy access.

The only place available in the kitchen is on the wall outside the pantry as shown below. It can sit between the pantry door and the fridge, and push back into the pantry shelves.


Here is the concept picture...


I will need to move the display shelf up 4 to 6 inches and frame out a box. At present, I think the cabinet will be 18" high, sitting 36" off the ground. This will take up about one and a half of the pantry shelves on that wall, which really isn't that much.


I hope to build and install this over the Christmas to New Years holiday. If any of you readers have had a good or bad experience with automatic coffee & espresso makers, I would appreciate you leaving a comment. I am currently considering one made by Bosch...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We broke the $1000 mark

We just past the point of earning $1000 from the Google Ads on this blog.


I don't actively manage the ads - I just let them run. Now that the kitchen remodel is complete, we get about 500 page reads and earn a few bucks a day.

As noted on the side bar, the money we earn is going to Compassion to help feed and educate children that live in difficult circumstances. We hope to be able to sponsor four additional kids with this money.


My hope is that people who benefit from the information on this blog will consider taking a bit of their savings and invest that in the human race, where ever they see fit.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dimmable CFL - Disappointing Performance

We installed three Philips dimmable CFL bulbs in the kitchen about a year ago, wanting to see how the light and dimming function would work. They worked well for a while, but we had a 100% early failure rate. One burned out about 2 months ago, and the other two burned out in this past week.


The bulbs are supposed to last an average of 8000 hours. Assuming 8 hours a day use for a year (3000 hours), these should have lasted almost 3 years.

We have converted over to CFL in almost all of the fixtures our house, and I would have liked it if these were more robust. I think they provide a good solution to saving energy while allowing dimming.

I plan on taking the 3 bulbs into Home Depot tomorrow and asking for replacements and trying again. At $12 a piece, I am reluctant to just buy them, so its worth the hassle of possibly arguing with the return desk.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Resource #9 - Fine Home Building

I think Fine Home Building magazine is a "must read" for those who want to improve their construction and remodeling skills. It is oriented mainly toward professionals and serious DIY people, with a focus toward technical content.



The magazine comes out every other month, with some additional special issues. It's not cheap, but I think well worth it, since I keep these as reference materials for future use. My favorite features are those dealing with design priciples and very detailed how-to articles. The publisher, Taunton Press, has a number of other high quality books on building and design.

The magazine's forum Breaktime, is a good spot to get advice from people with a lot of know-how. It is not the place where you ask "How do I fix a leaky faucet?" (save those for DIY Network) but where you might get input on using PEX vs copper for your plumbing system.

A point of note: I am not getting paid for blogging about any of these resources. These are the ones that I personally recommend, because they have been of good help to me. I believe they were well worth the time / cost to help me with the remodel.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Resources #8 - The Hammer Zone

Hammerzone.com is a great site for detailed information on DIY projects. I refered to a number of the articles here during the kitchen remodel.



The article that came in most handy was one on installing a garbage disposal. I could have figured it out on my own, but I would have likely made a couple of errors that I would then have to fix. The article provided me with a ton of detail and pictures, which allowed a "first time" install.

Here is an example of the level of detail the author provides...


If you need more detail than this, I suggest hiring a contractor for that phase of your project.

Finally, the web link page is fairly good. I did not look them all up, but a few of ones I did had good information.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Resources #7 - This Old House Online

TOC has been a standard for me for number of years. I like the show, the magazine and the web site. They have created a very high quality site, with a number of photo galleries that can provide ideas.



For example, the photo below from the TOC site shows a lot about a kitchen island. You can see the green color, the overhang required for the stools, and how black stools go with the green. All these are basically incorporated into our design.


I don't expect the photos on the site to give the exact ideas, but help us gain ideas. You can sit down for a few hours and grab the photos you like. I use the freeware program Screenhunter to capture and gather images.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Resources #6 - The Lite House

At the beginning of our kitchen remodel, lighting was a bit of a mystery. How many lights? What spacing? What kind? I knew generally what was required from our last house, but I wanted something a little more concrete to make decisions. Unfortunately, many of the "resources" on the internet are add sites, or very general. TheLiteHouse site was a nice find...


It actually provides some ideas and technical discussion to help you make lighting decisions.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Resources #5 - PDX Street of Dreams

Online resources and books can help out immensely with design ideas, but nothing compares to actually touring a few kitchens for the hands-on experience. The PDX Street of Dreams has been a great place for my DW and I to do just that.


The homes are very high end (and often over the top), but you can get a real sense of how various designs, materials and gadgets would work. One of our guidelines was to have a few high-end features in the kitchen, and this is the place to get exposed to them.

For instance, our back splash design came from this kitchen:


Here is ours...


Not exactly the same (wouldn't want that) but definitely a spin off.

We were willing to go with both painted and stained cabinetry, because we saw it here first - now it's obviously everywhere.

Now were working on our home theater, basing our design on pictures we too while on touring a number of them at PDX.

Resource #4 - Black & Decker Books

The best reference books I have found for remodeling are published by Black and Decker.


They are very comprehensive and contain a large number of step-by-stop photos. The plumbing and wiring books were particularly helpful. I found most of the ones I needed at the library, but ended up buying them to keep as reference guides.