One thing I want to try and do is document more closely the home projects that Kelly and I have been taking on. And of course when I say Kelly and I, I mean, Kelly doesn’t yell at me for taking twice to three times as long as it would if we hired someone (a “professional” if you will).
The latest was the sink. We both agreed that the sink we had was disgusting. Old, leaky and I think a little moldy. So the task was this, replace sink and faucet. Well, when you write it out like that it doesn’t really seem that hard at all. And my thought process was this, just rip up the old one and plop the new one right back down. I mean, all of the YouTube posts and DIY chatrooms seemed to think it was the easiest thing in the world.
So I went to Lowe’s to pick up the sink and faucet and necessary things to install a sink (of which I knew not). Now, here’s the theory: I believe a projects success to be measured on how many trips BACK to the hardware store it takes to finish the job. The first trip is a pass because obviously you need to go and buy the new things or else what would you be doing? However, any follow up trips begins your tally for success (or non-success…un-success…not success……oh right, that’s called failure). I’m going to say that anywhere past 5 and you should probably pay someone to finish the job and pray that you didn’t burn your house down.
Things started smoothly. I disconnected all the things under the sink (tubes and pipes and what not). Of course, don’t forget to turn off your water. My hope is that if I read enough blogs about other people screwing up major then maybe I won’t be doomed to repeat them.
Next is removing the sink physically. Sinks are installed with a pretty heavy amount of silicon around the lip between the sink and the counter. Removing that is the first challenge. There is in fact a point of no return on most projects and this one was no different. After bending back most of the lip of the sink and not really getting anywhere with removing it, I had already broken past this point. It’s always frustrating when this point is crossed this early in the process. But, you move on.
After much agony and cursing and fear of having to hire someone already. The sink was removed.
If you ever have to replace your sink and you decide for some reason that you’re going to do it yourself, then you will be able to relate that the next part is the most stressful. When replacing a sink in a granite countertop that has already been pre-cut to fit the previous sink, you start to get nervous that maybe the sink you bought won’t fit. It can go one of two ways, either slightly too large of an opening (See: put back old crappy sink and wait until you have enough money to replace the counters too) or it’s slightly too small of an opening (See: next paragraph)
If your sink opening is only very slightly too small for your new fantastic sink the get ready because you are about to tally a big fat 1 on your scoreboard for success (or failure, depending on how optimistic you are). That is of course in less you already own a diamond tipped saw blade…….yea, I didn’t think so. See, in order to cut granite you will need such a blade so you don’t completely ruin your saw.
Add to that list…silicon (to replace the old stuff you painstakingly removed), new PVC pipes (because the old ones don’t work, DUH), and because hopefully you have as wonderfully insightful a fiancé as mine you wont forget a pair of safety glasses and filter mask.
If you ever have to cut granite while it’s inside your home, be prepared to have granite dust cover everything in the region (the Sacramento region that is) at least that’s what it feels like. Also, wear ear plugs (a comment for which I will receive a swift “I told you so” from a certain someone).
After about an hour of frustratingly cutting and checking, cutting and checking, cutting and checking. Does it fit now? How about now? Now? N..? You will finally be one step closer to success.
Next is hooking back up the garbage disposal. No proble…. wait, you mean to tell me that the sink that I bought doesn’t come with a (now it’s about to get pretty technical here so for those novices please feel free to skip ahead) thing in the sink hole that allows you to attach the disposal or the plumber goop that you have to install it with. And also, my pipes look like an erector set gone wrong and I’m going to need some more fittings…….Crap! Back to the hardware store. 2.
So I get the insert and the plumbers putty and some more PVC. By now it’s been about 5 hours on a job that I would assume would take a plumber about a half an hour. It’s past our bedtime (bootcamp in the morning, 430am!) and Kelly has locked the front door informing me that was my last trip to the store. Crunch time. However it works I have to make the things that I have inside the house resemble a sink closely enough so that we don’t have to call a plumber.
I get to work and it’s coming together. Mostly done except the plumbing which I’m afraid a 12 year old could have figured out in less time than me. I would bet that a plumber would look at the mess of ups and downs and right angles under our sink and laugh. Laugh all you want plumber man (or woman) because the sink is finished. All that remains is a thick layer of granite dust on everything in the house (ok, just kitchen and dinning room) to be cleaned.
Home construction is stressful. Don’t be fooled by all the fancy DIY TV shows. I think they try and make things look easier than they are, but I’m not totally sure.
So the sink replace project goes down in history as a 2 trip job. I’m ok with that. I’m sure other projects will be more successful and others will be much much less.