Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fresh Paint and Counter Depth Appliances

Every once and again, you'll see a house that needs a bit of work. It's not a ramshackle, but it needs some care, maybe a bit of landscaping or a bit trim paint. If you don't own a house, you probably wonder why doesn't the owner take a few minutes and do the repairs. A few minutes - Ha! House maintenance is complex and interwoven especially if you own an old house as I do. I adore my 1920's casita except when something needs to be fixed, because there isn't a stock item in the hardware store that's going to fit.

I wanted to get my house painted. I'll do a lot of jobs on my own, but I do not paint. Before the painters could start, I needed to get some extra cabinets hung in the bathroom. Ran to Lowe's, picked out a selection of cabinets and called the handy man to have them hung. We sorted through the cabinet options and made some compromises. Then I needed to do a little wood putty fill on the cabinet seams, sand, drill holes for the handles, and paint on the primer coat. That meant digging in the garage for 40 minutes trying to find my wood putty, power sander, drill, paint rollers and the extra primer. Dear Heavens, I need to get that garage in some sort of order.

While the painter was putting the test colors on the wall, the plumbing peeps were still trying to fix my blocked drain lines. My favorite moment might have been asking the drain guy, "Hey, should that drain snake be coming out of my roof? Because it is." Of course, this drain stuff must be done before the painters start the kitchen. You don't want a flood on the fresh paint.

In other pre-paint prep, I wanted to get my new refrigerator into the house before the painters started. My house is old; my doorways are narrow. You know damn well when they remove the old fridge and put in the new one they're going to smack into any freshly painted wall. Nothing is easy in an old house. When I took the measurements, I found out that I currently have a counter depth fridge and a full size won't fit. I spent 3 hours and Lowe's measuring every single fridge to find one that the doors could open without smacking the counter. It was supposed to be delivered on Monday before the painters started. Unfortunately, it arrived from the warehouse with a big dent in the door. Now they are going to have to deliver it after the painting is complete.

Add to the bathroom cabinets, the fridge and the drain issues, the general taking down of pictures and putting away stuff so that the painters can work. In other words, it took me roughly 4 days of work and heaps of money before I could pay someone else heaps of money to paint. That's home ownership. You've got gobs to do before you start doing what you want to get done.

It was all summed up for me at Lowe's. There was a young woman there looking for a 21 inch deep dishwasher for her 1920's home. Modern counters are a standard 24 inches. That's why there's something called counter depth, because it's the standard. But her house was built back when houses were built by renegades who wouldn't be contained by standards. Poor thing, she still thought that she'd be able to put stock items in a new home and she was refusing to have her hopes crushed. She was insistent that she's find that 21 inch dishwasher.

Ah, newbies.


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Alas, I am about to remodel the kitchen of my 1940's home and am also seeking that elusive 21" deep dishwasher to fit my 21" deep counters . . . It's nice to hear I am not alone in my dreams of the impossible!

  3. Hi Anonymous. Every week my google stats have someone searching for the 21 inch dishwasher. If someone finds one, please leave a comment and help everyone else.