Sunday, April 17, 2005

I've got that sink-in feeling

The following is an epic tale of escalating costs, a thousand trips to the home depot, and the Most Fabulous Laundry Room Sink In the History of Man. Why am I writing it? Dunno. Venting? Bragging? Bit of both?

Prologue: A quick re-do in the kitchen

Two years ago, we were looking for a way to spruce up the kitchen. My wife didn't like the countertop, and suggested a new one. I knew pulling off and replacing the entire countertop would be a huge job. However, re-laminating it seemed like it would be easy enough and cheap to boot. As an added bonus, it would be an excuse to buy a router.

So, off we go, $50 on laminate at HD (Home Depot), and we're off and running.

Pull out in-counter stove, pull out sink, etc.

"Hmm... ya know..." my darling wife starts, "Since we've got that sink out, and it's all scratched up, maybe it's a good time to look at new sink."

Okey dokey.

Off to HD and various other places, all of which had some nice sinks. Then we went to a specialty place and saw... The Sink.

Ceramic, made in france, very nice. $300.

Okey dokey. A little much, but how often do you buy a sink like this? (note subtle attempt at foreshadowing).

Ceramic sinks are nice because (a), they look spectacular, (b) they hold their finish well, and (c) they are heavy-ass sinks, and so don't vibrate much (disposal is suddenly uberquiet).

I get my hole cut for the sink, since it's bigger than the old sink. My friend comes over to help put it in, and to help me cut the last piece of laminate on the table saw. I need help with the sink because it's heavy, the laminate because it's huge (6'x7') and akward.

When cutting the laminate, we break it. Crap. Have to go buy more. And I can't put the sink in becaues the laminate isn't on. Well, we put the sink in the hole just to see if it's cut the right size (it is) and call it a day.

Next day I get my laminate, and now want to put it on, but need to remove the sink. I'm alone. I decide I'll do this by getting underneath it, bench-pressing it up out of the hole (it weighs about a hundred pounds, so pulling it out while leaning over the counter is not an option), and shimmying it over to sit on the counter.

I'm lifting it up, have it up about a half-inch and shift slightly to adjust my hands. When I do, I drop it that half-inch, on one corner only, and hear a cracking noise.

As they say in my native Quebec, Tabarnaque!

I busted a corner off the lip of the sink. About a 3" piece. I could glue it, and there'd only be a small hairline crack visible, but it'll bug be forever.

So, back to the specialty store:

"Remember me? You sold me the $300 sink 2 days ago."
"May I have another one?"
"you didn't!"
"Yeah, just give me another sink"

Long story short, the $50 job turned out to be a $900 job, and we now had a sink sitting in the basement, too damaged to use, to nice to throw out.

So I thought, hey, I could replace our ugly plastic laundry room utility sink with this one. Good idea, and so the sink went into storage until I found the time.

Chapter 1: It's time.

So, now I'm on sabbatical and have time. Rip out the old sink:

Time to pop in the damaged sink. Pop it into what? There's no counter in there! The utility sink was a plastic and metal stand-alone sink, this one requires a counter to be there.

Three options:

  • build cabinets from scratch
  • buy a built unit that I just drop the sink into
  • a compromise of the above two, buy modular kits for cabinetry, a separate countertop, and assemble myself.

I opted for option 3. Option 1 was going to take too long, option 2 didn't work because of the particular size I needed.

So I go to HD, get a piece of countertop, two cabinets (36" & 24" for a total length of 60"), and a bunch of other do-hickeys I need to put it together.

Putting together the cabinets is easy enough, but bolting them to the wall is another story. Turns out the floor is warped (shim it up) and the wall is also buckled (shim it up, router our the countertop backsplash).

MANY hours later, I have the countertop in, the sink installed.

Chapter 2: This gem of a story has many faucets

So when we did the kitchen reno, We'd spent too much, so dropping another >$100 for a new faucet seemed out of the question. So I kept the old one. However, now that we were needing one for the basement, it made sense to buy a new one, remove the old one from the kitchen, put the new one in the kitchen, put the old one in the laundry room.

The fact that there was only 3" of clearance between the sink and the wall made removal and installation a real bitch. It got done, but only after much knuckle bashing and profanity.

Epilog: Oof! The bills!

Well, it's all done now, but the quick kitchen reno, as noted previously, was $900. The quick laundry room redo to use the previously paid-for sink was an additional $450 worth of counter/cabinet/plumbing bits/etc.

On to the next project!

1 comment:

Mark said...

Wow! That reminds me of some game projects I've heard about. :)