Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 garden planning

I've got one thing on my mind in the dead of winter, and that's the upcoming growing season! After two years of garden planning, hauling dirt, removing concrete, etc., I can start to get serious about planting the remaining trees and getting the production garden ready. I've spent the past two months flipping through my Raintree Nursery catalog, and have chosen a few select edible and ornamental varieties to plant next year.

  • Olympia Blueberry: Small antioxidant packed blueberries.
  • Bluecrop Blueberry: A larger blueberry. More productive, but less antioxidants.
  • Ananasnaja Kiwi: Nothing beats fresh kiwi fruit picked directly from the vine. I ordered three plants in total, one male, and two females.
  • Asian Pear: This particular dwarf pear tree contains four Asian pear varieties.
  • Fig (Madeleine Des Duex Saisons): Figs do exceedingly well in the Pacific Northwest, and are an extremely attractive and productive fruit tree.
  • Hops: Both golden and tettnang hops for interest, and for beer making in the future.
  • Russian Tea: A small bush, reaching 2-3 feet in height. The leaves are picked and used to make a black tea. This one is entirely for fun!
  • Kwanzan Flowering Cherry: This will work perfectly in my Japanese inspired Pacific Northwest landscape design. The flowering cherry will add color and interest during the early spring months of the year.
  • Paper Bark Maple: I went back and forth on this decision, but I've decided to plant a Paperbark maple alongside the pond and waterfall as a focal point. This maple is very slow growing and remains small to medium size with pruning.
  • Red and Black Currant: Why not. I know nothing about Currants, but they were thrown into my order for free.
My original thinking was to plant all of the fruit trees in the area where we tore out our driveway, but I have since changed the plan. Instead of planting all the fruit trees in one area, I have now decided to scatter them around more throughout the landscape. By doing this, I've reserved more room on the south side of the house for sun loving production berries and vegetables.

A friend of mine introduced me to a permaculture themed website recently that's had a huge affect on my garden plan. I strongly recommend a visit to if you're planning an edible food production garden.

Next up on the list is to determine what vegetable varieties to grow next year and to place a seed order. For Northwest gardeners, I strongly recommend Territorial Seed Company, which selects varieties compatible with our cool climate. I've been ordering from Territorial for 4+ years now, and have had an excellent experience. I'll be keeping my order small this year, since we've got a large number of house projects planned for 2010, so we'll have our hands plenty full.

Are you planning your gardening for the upcoming year? Post a comments, and share your spring time dreams.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello, my name is Rosetta

Hi All,

My name is Rosetta, but I go by Rosa. I recently moved into my new home here in Tacoma Washington, and aside from all the loud remodeling, I think I'm liking it. They've got this other cat, and I'm not sure how I feel about him just yet. He really wants me to like him, but I'm trying hard to ignore him.

About me -- well, I'm approximately 4 years old and have been living in Sammamish. A couple months ago my keeper moved out and left me with the apartment, which I was liking just fine until I got an eviction notice. Once the landlord found out I was still living on the property, he took pity and moved me into his home. I lived with him for awhile, but he wasn't home to pet me very much, which really just wasn't working out for me. Anyhow, I decided to ditch him and move to Tacoma, which is the City of Destiny after all.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Right now I'm just settling into my new digs. I'm kinda shy and like to hide under the furniture (and my god, they've got great furniture), but I'm coming out more and more to be petted and enjoy the scenery.

Well, that's all for now, I think I need a snack and a nap.


Kitchen ceiling drywall

So, what's up you ask? A new kitchen ceiling! Over the weekend, we drywalled the kitchen ceiling. The existing plaster ceiling was in bad shape from years of remodeling efforts. Now that the ceiling is complete, the upper cabinets can be installed, followed by window and door trim, etc. It's very nice to be one step closer to completing the kitchen.

Here are some photos:

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Using a drywall lift makes this job a whole lot easier.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Salvaged workshop doors

Last year sometime, we picked up these doors at Second Use in Seattle. They were salvaged from Garfield High School - one of the older High Schools in Seattle that recently underwent a massive renovation.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Now, I wouldn't want to put these doors just anywhere as they're not the most attractive doors in the world, but they're perfect for separating our wood workshop and studio space. I'm contemplating taking the center panel out of the doors and replacing them with glass so that there is some visibility between the two spaces. Perhaps I'll get around to that eventually. In the coming months, I'll begin dry walling the wall to the left and right of the doors to finish the room separation project.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bringing the projects back indoors

After a very productive season of outdoor projects, it's time to bring the projects back indoors. Having the right indoor space to work on projects is important to us. Last year I started the sizable project of dividing our 24x30 garage into two separate work areas: the wood workshop and a studio space.

The wood workshop portion of the project is moving along quite nicely. Last year I completed a design on paper that includes the basic layout of the equipment. Our layout consists of two zones; one for ripping and sizing lumber and the other for finishing and shaping. Last year, I completed a wood rack for wood storage and storage shelving, which are major components of the design.

Dust is a huge problem in the workshop and we discovered this the hard way. Within no time, everything was coated with lots of micro fine dust. To help alleviate this, I installed a dust collector that I purchased from Harbor Freight in a shed that's attached to the garage. I also installed an air filter to help cleanse the air and remove micro-fine dust particles which are particularly harmful to your health. Together, the two collectors have greatly reduced the problem. In addition, we installed a Reznor furnace to heat the space.

This winter, I'll be focusing on building a multi-purpose workbench that will be adjustable height, and will function as an in/out table feed surface. For this project, I've acquired a hard-maple counter top (think butcher block) from the local Second Use reusable building material store.

We've got big plans for the wood workshop this year. We'll be building a new mantle surround for our living room, refinishing recycled fir clap board for building box beams, and building kitchen cabinet faces. Should be a very productive year.

The studio portion of the workshop project is slowly starting to come together. This is a much more finished area that's to be designed as a multi-purpose fine-arts studio space. It is divided from the wood workshop by a wall I erected last year. I'm only just beginning to gather my thoughts on this space -- but know that it's a very versatile space with few built-in components. The studio is located in what was the front of the garage, so removing the 16 foot garage door and installing a wall is a big part of the project. Our long term vision is to add on an additional 8x16 space to the front of the space, and finish it with wall-to-wall windows, but that may not happen in the immediate future.

Together, these two separate spaces will allow for a lot of creative freedom. Stay tuned for more info on the projects coming through our own little micro Kelmscott Manor.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Front Fence

Sometime during the month of October we mostly finished the craftsman style fence along the front of our property. This fence has been in the plans for awhile, and we actually nailed the panels together for the project last winter. Since then, the panels had been sitting in the wood shop taking up valuable space so we decided it was time to put it all together.

The fence is complimentary to the fence we built last year that runs alongside our property line. We decided to go with a vertical panel arranged in a wide-skinny-skinny fashion to compliment the siding on our house. We went with a shorter four feet front fence since we wanted it to add structural value, but not be overbearing. In other words, we're trying to avoid the compound effect.

So why the fence? In our area, it is normal to let your dogs run wild. Most of the dogs end up in our yard (since we don't have a large dog to chase them off) and leave behind not-so-nice prizes. So, we decided to build a privacy fence to keep out the dogs, and to add some architectural appeal to the front of our property. As you can see from the pictures, the front of our property is lined with two grand evergreen trees which hide the house and it's detail from the street. The fence adds some needed architectural detail, and exudes our craftsman home theme.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

The fence features an opening for a walk through gate, and a gate across the driveway. I have yet to build them, but hopefully I'll have time to get to that project this winter. Eventually, the plan is to build a brick sidewalk that runs across the front yard and connects the front door with the walk-through gate. Will be a nice addition when it's all done.

We left the posts tall, and are trying to determine if we want to add a horizontal trellis across the front, or other structural details. I have all winter to stare out the window and contemplate the direction to take this project.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pushing the limits...

Fall is known for one thing in the Pacific Northwest: rain. Thankfully, this year we've been blessed with day after day of excellent weather. I know one thing for sure - it won't last forever. Come November 1st, the rain/flood season bears down.

Given my poor blog posting performance, I thought I'd take the time to put together a compiled list (mostly pictures) of the past months activities.

Let there be red - Chinese Red!

When we first picked the house colors, we went with a moss green, bramble wood brown, and terra cotta orange. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't force myself to like the orange. It just wasn't working for me. So... I went to the paint store and found the most striking color I could find -- Chinese Red. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Scraping, scraping, scraping, and then more scraping.

I'll say one thing -- this paint doesn't fall off the house by itself.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home


Remember that 15 cubic yard truck load of dirt? Welcome to the new vegetable garden. Hard to believe that just 3 short months ago this was the driveway. Now that's what I call progress of the green type. Next year, I'll be planting lettuce, beets, squash, onions, leeks -- and more. Stay tuned.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home


Just two years ago our property was completely flat and the water had nowhere to go. Now, there's barely a flat spot remaining -- plus, there are two wetland water retention pools and a drainage creek that directs water over to the stream that runs alongside our property. In addition, I'm installing new gutter downspouts that carry the water away from the foundation. All of this will either work really well, or fail miserably and we'll float away. Hard to say when you live on a former wetland.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

More Trees

At one time, we had two trees in the backyard. Now we've got so many trees that each time we count them -- we come up with a different number. There is somewhere between 20 and 24 trees in the backyard of varying sizes. Recently, I planted an Oregon Ash and several Quaking Aspens. Both of these trees are native to the Northwest. The Oregon Ash loves water and can put up with wet feet. I planted it on the edge of the wetland water retention pool. The Quaking Aspens also love water, and are found in valleys along rivers in the Northwest.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

There is light at the end of the tunnel -- between dusk and dawn that is

In our spare time, we installed a set of low-voltage craftsman style lights. I really dislike outdoor solar lights since the batteries fail after about the first year, and then they aren't very bright. Therefore, I hardwired a set of low voltage lights.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

What's next?

Let's face it -- the good weather is about the end. My guesstimate is that the rain will start in the next couple of weeks. From here on out, it's all about the inside of the house.

Monday, September 14, 2009

From concrete to green strip

Building a green strip down the south-side of our house in place of the existing driveway has been a huge project in the making. First step was to remove approximately 1500 sq. feet of concrete (32 tons total), followed by weeks of raking up rocks and broken concrete bits. I knew going into this project that it would be a huge job, but I think we still under estimated the effort involved. As with all large projects, this one is paying off big in personal satisfaction.

This weekend was one of the final steps in the transformation: hauling in fresh top soil that will eventually become the substrate for the vegetable garden and orchard. There is still a lot of preparation before the project is complete, but it's coming together nicely. We're racing against mother nature to try and finish this project before the rains start falling and the fall/winter season begins pouring on us. I'm looking forward to the calm months ahead.

The goal is to have a small scale edible garden in place by spring 2010. We're closing in quickly on successfully reaching our goal.

From 2009 Landscape

Monday, August 31, 2009

Another action packed weekend painting the house

More house painting. Will we ever get done? We're beginning to question our decision to start so late in the year. Anyhow... we're 'rounding the corner'. Soon, we'll be on the south side of the house where it's most damaged from the elements.

This week, we're trying a product by MinMax that claims to harden wood so that you can fill it, and then paint over it. We've got some rain/water damage on our window sills in desperate need of repair.

Looks like the blog is going to be pretty boring this summer unless you enjoy endless updates on house painting :-(

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Sunday, August 2, 2009

An arbor in an afternoon

I woke up today and had no idea which project to work on. So, I decided to start a new one that I could finish in a day.

I built this arbor over the main pathway into the backyard that will eventually support vines. Not sure exactly what I'm going to plant, but I'm thinking kiwi and/or hops.

Project supplies:

11 1"x1"x8' for the top grid
2 2"x4"x8' for the side horizontal sections
4 4"x4"x8' vertical posts

I used all pressure treated lumber, but not the stuff with the visible perforations on the surface. I just think that lumber looks bad, but it would probably last longer.

First, I used post-hole diggers to set the poles, and then I attached the horizontal 2x4 members. I cut the ends at an 11 degree angle to give it a craftsman look. Then, I placed the grid members on top. All said and told, it took about 4 hours to complete. Not a bad days work, and it looks great. Can't wait to see if with vines growing on it!

From 2009 Landscape

From 2009 Landscape

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy Summer

Just because we haven't blogged in two months doesn't mean we haven't accomplished anything this year! Here are a few of the projects we've been working on in June/July...

Repaint the house. Step 1: remove 100 years worth of paint. Not fun.

From 2009 Landscape

From 2009 Landscape

Build a waterfall. We decided to take a day off from working on the house and put together a waterfall for our pond. Turned out okay. It's not done, but here are some pictures in its current state.

From 2009 Landscape

From 2009 Landscape

We mostly finished the Central Park landscaping. I dug the wetland areas, laid culvert pipe, and installed plants. 95% of the plants in Central Park are Washington natives. Some of the plants are: Dogwood, Nootka Rose, Evergreen Huckleberry, Oregon Grape, Vine Maple, Western White Pine, Salal, Redtwig Dogwood, Oceanspray, Indian Plum, and Goats Beard. Non natives include, Contorted Willow and Gunnera. It looks anemic in the pictures, but once this grows in it'll be a forest. In a few years, I'll also layer in more shade tolerant plants such as deer and sword ferns. Once one winter passes and I get a chance to track how the wetlands flood, I'll also be planting cattail.

From 2009 Landscape

In this picture, you're looking at the primary wetland pool, which runs under the bridge and fills the secondary pool. From this pool the water will run into a culvert and out the stream that runs alongside our property.

From 2009 Landscape

And now, the mother of all projects. You may remember the driveway removal project. Well, after two days with a bobcat and a dump truck, most of the concrete is gone. HURRAY!

From 2009 Landscape

This was definitely a project I thought would never end. Now, we've opened 1400 square feet of ground where we'll install a vegetable garden and an orchard. As you can see, I've got a serious amount of gravel to pick up, and then I've got to start building soil. Here comes the sheet mulch!

As you can see it's been a productive summer! Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sometimes a garden requires heavy equipment

Our garden and orchard, both of which we had planned out before we closed on this house, have been languishing under a huge swath of concrete. Today I finally got the bobcat rented and bounced around smash smash smashing it all up.

Let me just say this is possibly the best $400 I've ever spent. Last year I spent most of the summer breaking out two sections of the driveway "Medieval Style" with a big lever and a big hammer. Last fall we got a quote of $3600 to remove the other 60ft and then waffled when the economy tanked. This machine did the work in 5ish hours. Not only was it easy and quick, this thing is like being on a rollercoaster with a 50cal wrecker bar on the front. Completely awesome! I was a little sad when I ran out of driveway.

On the other pile though, we now have a metric buttload of concrete chunks to get rid of. The craigslist ad is up, but I think it could take all summer to get people to take it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Landscape April 2009 Progress


If February 2009, we had this pile of dirt delivered. You may recall that the truck got stuck.
From 2009 Landscape

... and, we got some rock delivered.
From 2009 Landscape


Well, a lot can happen in three months, and it's not because the weather has cooperated.

The rock pile now looks a bit smaller.
From 2009 Landscape

The dirt pile isn't so much a pile anymore. The idea for this bridge came to me as I was building out the landscape stage.
From 2009 Landscape

As you can see here, I'm using a lot of the rock to build up retaining walls. Pretty nice considering just two years ago you couldn't iron this space any flatter.
From 2009 Landscape

And for a top down view. This is a picture of the landscape taken from the upstairs window.
From 2009 Landscape

... and a lot more to come! Happy spring.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Workshop Shelves

This is a small side project and involves recycled materials. You may recall that a month ago I built a wood rack which was the beginning of a larger wood workshop re-org project. The wood rack is complete, loaded up, and has proven to be a tremendous tool to help organize the space. Next up, shelving.

The shelving is 12' long, and approximately 22 inches deep. The bottom two rows of shelves we designed to fit storage crates, so they're a bit taller. The upper three shelves will be slightly shorter, and will be designed as "project cubbyholes" to store all the bits and bobs associated with different projects, or that's the idea anyhow.

The framing is made up of 2x4 & 2x3 stick lumber, some of which was salvaged from other projects. For the shelf surfaces, I'm using remnant pieces of oak flooring. Because the flooring is tung and groove, I'm able to use a lot of shorter pieces to stitch the shelves together and build a strong surface

Having a well organized shop is critical. We often have three or more projects going simultaneously, and things can quickly become disheveled. The new shelving should help to keep the work surfaces clear of stuff

Next up after this project, I'll be completing the wall that separates the wood workshop from the clean studio space. I'll be installing a pair of salvaged french-doors as windows to allow some transparency between the two spaces and cross ventilation. Stay tuned!

From House Project Photos

Shelves aren't quite complete in this photo. Still have to install two more upper shelf surfaces.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Building Central Park

When I put the landscape plan on paper in late 07, I assigned each area of focus a name, and the area right in the center of the backyard is "Central Park". Central Park is one of the main focuses over the next few months as we lay the bones.

Inspiration and resources are critical to putting together a plan. One of my favorite resources is the Sukiya Living: The Journal of Japanese Gardening. This magazine is published once every three months and is filled with traditional Japanese truisms.

The Central Park area is "loosely" based on this garden staging concept:

From 2009 Landscape

...and when I say loosely, I mean loosely. This is the particular image I used to get the creative ideas rolling. I particularly like the way the layout conveys the idea of a hill/mountainside. Also, I'm going for a deconstructed rock wall border, because it feels more natural. Nature doesn't tend to stack rocks in perfect walls.

The next step is to turn this...

From 2009 Landscape

...into a picturesque landscape. Now, if I could just get the weather to cooperate!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dirt Delivery FAIL!

Two steps forward, three steps back.

In an attempt to stay on target with our 2009 landscaping plan, we had the first delivery of 15 cubic yards of soil dropped. The good news is that the soil is here. The bad news is that the truck that delivered the soil was also still here. For a bit, we thought it might be a permanent fixture in the yard.

If you've read about past projects on this blog, you're aware that our house is built on a wetland. Things tend to get wet and stay extremely wet throughout the entire winter and spring. Our property is primarily clay and combined with a high water table, it makes for a real challenge. That combined with a really heavy truck led to the front-end of the truck sinking in the yard. Looks like I've got a bit more work cut out for me to fix this mess. Enjoy the photos.

From 2009 Landscape

From 2009 Landscape

From 2009 Landscape

Stay tuned for the rock delivery next week. No, we will not be having this truck drop in the backyard!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The perfect faucet

Like any kitchen remodel you pour over pictures from magazines, planning books and your lists of priorities. Doing a "Craftsman" kitchen is no different. This kitchen is not historically accurate for many reasons, for one, its been stripped of the original kitchen cabinets. The first farm sink and it's built in wall mount faucet is only memorialized by the squirrely plumbing that goes up the wall turns around and comes back down again. This leaves me free to build it again with all the mod cons I want in a gourmet kitchen as long as I tie the style back into the rest of the house.

When you see a kitchen on the cover of Style 1900 or This Old House and it has THE most gorgeous faucet your heart skips a beat and you think "I'm going to have on of those". Then you shop around for awhile online and realize that there is no way your going to get a second mortgage in this economy and that faucet pretty much requires that type of investment.

The next best thing, or possibly the better choice, is rebuilding an old faucet that works for the craftsman aesthetic. Since I plan to add a second "prep" sink to my kitchen I need a pair. Knowing that Chicago brand faucets, having been manufactured for the last 100 yrs, are not only very well made but appropriate for a 1924 house, and every part is still available.

I found this great arching goosneck cutie first. And decided it would be perfect.

Then I found it's mate for the prep sink.

After long deliberation Boe and I then chose to go with no chrome in the kitchen at all. All my cabinet hardware is antique solid brass, the vent hood is copper, and most of my cookware is copper. So I started searching for the right faucets in brass. Not just any brass either old brass with a patina to match the cabinet hardware.
Eventually I found them.

I have the deck mount faucet disassembled for rebuilding

Rebuilding one of these is pretty simple compared to rebuilding a carburetor for a late 70's two stroke motorcycle you need to get to work on Monday. However it can still be a bit confusing if your not confident and organized. The two main valves are for sale at most major plumbing supply stores. I doubt Lowe's or Home Depot employees would know what one was if you asked, however Lowe's is officially capable of ordering the parts. It will likely be easier to find a real plumbing supply store. Chicago brand is often used in commercial ie. restaurant or hospital settings so they are probably readily available.

Simply unscrew the handles and escutcheons and replace the whole deal. Unfortunately at $35 each valve it was double what I paid for the faucet. Finding and replacing the rest of the washers and O rings in the faucet took me a bit of hunting through various hardware stores but ran me a whopping 69¢ for the lot at Tacoma Screw.

If you do go this route just be careful to get a faucet that is complete, finding parts other than washers may be impossible. Other brands are rebuildable as well such as American Standard. I have no idea where to locate new valves for them though.

Sign of the Crab sells many fixtures that are cast from the original Chicago faucet molds. I have heard at least one plumber tell me their valves are not as good as the real Chicago ones. They can probably be swapped out fot the real ones though.

Good luck and remember to take deep breaths and count to 10 before smashing anything.

p.s. It is usually best to turn off the water supply before disassembling any part of the faucet.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2009 Landscape Plan...

Over the past several weeks, I've begun putting together a landscape plan for the 2009 season. Last year was a productive year, but this year it gets a little more complicated. In 2009, I need to install the framing so that in 2010 and beyond, I can layer on the finishing touches.

In 2007 when we purchased the house, I put together a rough landscape plan, and that effort has paid off. Working from the plan, I've been able to keep track of what's done, what needs to be done, and how everything ties together as a whole. The big project last year was the pond and pathing, which is now mostly complete.

This year we'll be installing the remaining irrigation water lines, hauling in approximately 30 cubic yards of dirt, bringing in additional basalt rock to begin forming the main landscaping areas, clearing the existing driveway of brick piles etc., removing approximately 1300 square feet of the existing driveway to make room for an orchard, and then installing the brick patio areas for the outdoor kitchen and dining areas. According to my project plan, we should be able to get all that done between February and June.

Knowing the appropriate order to bring in materials to frame in the structure is very important. Example: last weekend I finished installing the water lines for the drip irrigation system and had to tear out the paths I built in a couple of locations. Had I installed all the irrigation lines earlier in the plan, I would have simplified the process. That's okay, because as a first time homeowner, this is all relatively new.

I'm pretty excited to see the 2009 year unfold. I'm excited to finally get to lay the bones for Central Park, which is the largest landscaping area directly in the middle of our back yard. I have finalized a rough design for this area, which includes Japanese gardening principles, with a twist of Northwest design, focusing primarily on Pacific Northwest Washington native plants. To top it off, I'll be throwing in a small rain-garden/wetland, which will act as a water collector and land-based filtration system. I'll elaborate on that more in a subsequent blog entry. I'm also excited about ripping out 1300 square feet of our driveway, and unveiling the soil underneath. With this area, I'll be building a vegetable garden, a kitchen dining room, and a small berry/fruit orchard.

We've got our work cut out for us, but I'm confident it'll be a productive Spring and Summer. What's not complete by the end of June will have to wait till 2010, and that's just fine. July through August of this year is reserved for painting the house, and doing other major house projects, such as pulling the popcorn ceiling out of the living room.

Until next time, happy dreaming!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kitchen 142

Since the initial burst of activity on the kitchen remodel there have been several weeks of puttering around doing odds and ends. Time has a way of sliding past when you work regular hours and try to accomplish things in the extra time you can squeeze out of the day. I decided that I needed to take some vacation to get the rest of the kitchen squared away. Luckily my work is somewhat flexible enough that I can ask for a week off on short notice and they can work it out for me. (Thanks Calyn)

I roughly put together an island so I would have the cabinet space to move all my plates, and 22 boxes of tea, and the myriad other ingredients that reside on the sink side of the kitchen. Once it was cleaned out I could get to the meat of tearing it apart.

Little one offered to help initially but quickly got bored with the task.

We started by removing the pantry, and upper cabinets.

Then came the removal of the stone countertops.

This can be tricky. Stone is extremely brittle and you have to gently pry it away from the copious amounts off goop that the installer smeared atop the cabinet bodies. Using a wedge I lift the front, bit by bit, while running a razor and a 5 in 1 and anything else I can jab in there to cut through the caulk as much as possible.

The solid square chunks came off easily but the sink surround didn't fare so well. There is still enough to do a smaller kitchen with, or in this case I will likely use the stone tops for my outdoor BBQ set up which is planned for "sometime next year"

I made an effort to save all the cabinets I could instead of just breaking them up. RE-USE is the mantra of the salvage jihad. That being said, I had a hard time bringing these cabinets to Second Use. Because they are SOOOOOO dam ugly that they should be destroyed. However since I work there I have access to some employee benefits like the "get rid of your EXTREMELY ugly cabinets" clause in the employee handbook. I did break up the blind corners, and the big pantry did not survive extraction.

Total hauled to the landfill so far: 1700lbs :(

Stay Tuned for: