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ORC Week 4: Mishaps and Time Management

Something is always bound to go wrong in any project, isn’t it? Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Luckily, it was something easily fixable this time, so here we go into week four! Filled with mishaps, mistakes, and the little things as we stall and begin the waiting game.

So in between binge-watching SKAM (a Norwegian TV show) and the Great British Bake Off, and being gone for work, I did manage to get some things done this week.

Firstly, as I may have mentioned in a previous post, the actual cabinet length is only 4′ which isn’t very long considering my laundry room is something like 10’x12′ (it’s a big room. It could seriously double as a bedroom/office/whatever you wanted if you were pressed for space). So I decided to build out an extra 2′ to make the counter space 6′. I can’t go further or it will run into the water heater. I’ve seen people build closets around their water heaters, but as mine is gas, I just don’t want to have to deal with figuring out building codes and such. Instead, I have a curtain up around it, which allows air flow and hides it essentially.

Back to the build-out (as I go off on a tangent about gas water heaters and building codes), I went a relatively simple way, using square dowels for legs and attaching everything using brackets.

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Unfortunately, something had to go wrong. Yep, I did a thing, a mistake thing. I cracked a board.

I know! How could I be so dumb. I pushed the screw in too far and cracked it. I thought for about half a second about figuring out how to fix it, but everything online told me to use epoxy, so I figured it was easier just to replace it. Luckily, it was the last board, and so the easiest to replace. I cut a new board from some leftover wood in my garage and put it up.

Of course, it wasn’t primed or painted, so I had to do that too. That had to wait until I got back from my work trip.

Now that that’s done, the next step must be taken.

That’s right, a counter.

So in case you don’t know anything about me, I live in a small town, about 2 hours from everything in any direction. We do have a Lowes and Home Depot (thank God), but it means my options are also limited when it comes to things like tile, counters, etc. I do order stuff online, but not everything comes with free shipping, you know, and if I go to Lubbock for things, they tend to charge extra fees to come over to New Mexico. The closest IKEA is 6 hours from me in Dallas or Austin so I can’t just pop over there and get cheap stuff (though I have made the trip in weekend before).

That is to say, finding inexpensive but nice-looking counters is a bit of a challenge. Sure, I could go for laminate. Home Depot has some in stock that are decent, but I don’t like the forced backsplash and they’re not exactly the color I want. My town has 2 other places that sell countertops, aside from the big box stores. Of course, I wouldn’t call them cheap because it is a small town and they don’t have to be cheap. Still, I went to both and looked around, and in the end, I decided to go with a granite remnant from the stone retailer.

I (stupidly) didn’t take a picture of the slab I chose, but I’ve found one pretty close online, so here is what it will look like:

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It’s white with grey/black-ish swirls. I think it’ll look nice.

Otherwise, this week is prepping since I can’t really do anything else until the counter goes in, and I’m not sure how long it’s going to take to get it in. I may not make the deadline of 6 weeks, but oh well.

The last time I was at IKEA (6+ months ago in Denver, a 10 hour drive in case you’re counting), I picked up two pairs of Ekby shelf brackets (yes, I’ve been planning this project for months now). I already have a few in my living room, and I thought they’d be perfect for open shelving above the cabinets.

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Ignore my mess of a counter. My ‘faux’ island is the largest counter space in my house. Bonus peek of the ugliest tile known to man in my kitchen!

So I went to Lowes and bought some stair treads, which are the right size, 1″, for the brackets, though I had to cut them to the right length of 7 1/2″. Then I put 3 coats of polyacrylic on them. Originally, I was only going to do 2 shelves, but as I thought about it, I realized it might be a little uneven, so I went online and ordered another set of brackets from Amazon. They’re slightly more expensive to do it that way, but they need to match, and it’s not as if I can just run over to IKEA and get some more.

So now there will be 3 shelves.

Here’s my to-do list so far:

  • install cabinets
  • sand & prime cabinets
  • paint cabinets
  • install counter (choose a counter)
  • install tile backsplash
  • install shelves

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In the meantime, we wait for the counter and hopefully it will be installed in time for the 6 week deadline. I have no idea.

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