I am SO close to being done with the build phase of these cabinets. There is only one more that I have to put together (I already have all the pieces cut), one that is already built that I need to modify to add a center divider and some shelves (that would be the 1/2), and I have 4 drawers to build (which I didn’t add to my count) and these are essentially built.
Of course, I still have doors to work on, but those are going to be a breeze in comparison to the cabinets themselves. There are also the “faces” I have to add to the sides of the cabinets that will show to the room, but I’ve been keeping those parts in the door grouping because they are pretty much the same thing.
I was working on my second to last cabinet when I goofed on my measurement of the back panel and cut it too short. Of course, I had exactly the right amount of that panel material left to finish these cabinets and that goof means I now have to run out and pick up one more sheet. It also meant I couldn’t get that last one finished today.
Even with the goof, I feel really good about what I got accomplished today.
There are only a couple of days left in this week that I’m going to have uninterrupted to work and next week won’t see much getting done at all because it is recital week and I have so many things I have to do to help BG get ready for that. As soon as recital is over, though, it should be smooth sailing for a while as I have no more commitments until MCG and her family come in June.
I’m down to 4 cabinets and 1 modification on a finished cabinet and the cabinets will be built.
That is if I don’t change anything. Again. For the 100th time.
Two of those final 4 cabinets are just like the one on the left and all of those are a major change. That area was just supposed to have a narrow, tall cabinet that left most of that wall space open, but the shorter counter there made me not love that idea. I changed it up to 3 normal sized hanging cabinets instead.
The cabinet to the left and the one in the corner to the right will all get hung and line up with the top of that tall, central cabinet. All the remaining cabinets I have to build will also be hung.
The other two I have left to build go on either side of the tall cabinet on the back wall. I’m still waffling on those two because they will be smaller than I’d originally planned. Either that or they won’t be the same, which they were supposed to be. They were originally supposed to be open shelves without doors, then I changed it to doors, but with glass to mimic the white cabinet I reworked. But if they are going to be a different size from each other or on the really small side, then I may need to do something different. I think those will be my last ones to build, so I have a little bit more time to figure it out.
The beast above has gone through so many changes and shifts from the beginning of this project that I’ve lost count. This was supposed to be the cabinet that forced me to move my switches. After a lot of thought and deciding that I really liked how open this is feeling so far, I sort of cut this one in half and changed the interior design.
Sadly, this removes some drawer space, but it made so many other things easier. Not that this sucker was easy, but it was not quite the nightmare that it was going to be. Having built this, I’m so glad I made the changes I did because I don’t think I could have actually moved the thing if I’d built it as designed. This is already insanely heavy, I can’t imagine how bad it would have been if it had been up to the height of the hanging cabinets on the rest of the walls.
One cool thing about this change is it gives me an additional counter space that will get stained. The top isn’t attached yet because I can’t do that until after it’s stained and the cabinet is painted. It will also have the decorative side added on the side that faces the room, but again, that is at the paint/door stage.
There are two more dividers that are needed to finish off my drawing pad/canvas storage section on the right, but those should just take a minute to add, but I didn’t have any more of that material.
The modification is to the other lower cabinet under my jewelry bench. I’m adding a center wall and some shelves to one side, similar to the beast. I figured if I had to give up some space from that cabinet, I needed to make better use of the space I had. That most likely will have to wait until I’m ready to pull everything out right before painting since I need it out from underneath the countertop.
I think I’m starting to see a slight glow on the horizon of this project.
Over the weekend, I got all the last of the plywood I had on hand cut, which had me with about half of the pieces for all my remaining cabinets ready to go. That made room for what should be my final round of materials. At least for cabinets. Those all got bought yesterday.
Of course, knowing me, I forgot something or slightly miscalculated so that will probably be another small run here and there, but this should have been the last big purchase. Which is a relief. I won’t lie, this hasn’t been a cheap project, even with me doing all the building myself. It has been made even more expensive because the cost of any kind of lumber is through the roof right now.
Normally a decent grade piece of plywood like I’m using, is about half of what it currently costs. Between supply chain issues and spikes in the lumber industry because of fires, everything has gone up exponentially over the last year or so. Just from the start of this project to now, heck, from my previous run a little over a week ago until yesterday’s run, that same piece of plywood has gone up by about 5$ a sheet.
It figures that I’d pick probably the most expensive time in history to build a cabinet heavy room in my house. So, even though I’ve tried to take advantage of sales or discount coupons or even cash back rewards from our credit cards to save on this, it hasn’t been fun to see those big receipts at the end of each trip.
It is a relief to know that I’m on the less expensive side of this project finally. I’m also thrilled to know that I’m so close to having the cabinets done. Even more thrilled to know that I won’t have to sit down and redesign or rework layouts or anything like that ever again, because of course I’ve changed those plans yet again.
I realized the other day that I’m grateful I didn’t opt to have someone build all those cabinets for me because I’d have either ended up with something I really wasn’t happy about, or would have been paying out the nose for all the changes and modifications I’ve gone through. Or, I would have frustrated my contractor enough to quit mid-job. I know I frustrate myself enough that I want to quit sometimes.
This time, I decided that my existing cabinet layout wasn’t quite what I was liking, so I made an adjustment. The final cabinet on what I’m calling my sewing wall is now smaller than planed so I could put my table closer and not completely block the opening into the rest of the basement. In the photo below, you can see the final location of the table. Before, it was almost entirely in front of that opening. That would be fine for temporary, but I really didn’t like blocking that much all the time because it just looked too crowded.
I considered removing that cabinet entirely, but it put my table too close to my jewelry bench counter for comfort. I sort of split the difference and just went narrower instead. It still works for what I had planned for it’s primary purpose, which is to hold my sewing machine when not in use.
This change does mean that I’m going to have to cut down one of my counters, which I don’t love, but know won’t be a huge issue as I’ve gotten the hang of using my saw.
Finishing that smaller cabinet was a milestone of this project, though. I’m now done with all my base cabinets!
The one really large cabinet I had planned is also under consideration. Again because I think it might just make that space feel too claustrophobic. I haven’t settled on what exactly I want to do there, but I have some ideas that might allow me to use the piece of counter I have to cut off. I have to see exactly how far I have to cut that down before I know for sure. That is also one of the last cabinets I’d planned to build, so it isn’t a priority at the moment.
I want to lay out the counters just to make sure everything still looks the way I expect it to before I move on to the next phase, but I should be able to start on building the upper cabinets.
Another materials run is done along with a major cleaning and rearranging of space.
I was forced to rearrange my space so that BG can get access to her dance floor again. With recital only a few weeks away, she is going to need it for practice. The shift causes me to lose close to half my space that I’d been working in. Most of that was for storing materials, but a portion was where I had my miter saw set up.
The new arrangement is a lot more crowded, which may start to get interesting as I work on the remaining base cabinets. But, it should only need to stay this way for a few weeks and I should be able to reclaim the dance floor area after recital again.
After looking at what I have left on the cabinets, I think I have a total of 4 phases for building and one for doors and drawer faces. The first phase is done. This second phase I’m starting now should finish up the rest of the base cabinets.
Based on materials, I’m going to say the remaining upper cabinets and shelves will be a phase and the final full cabinet will be the last. Looking at sizes and numbers, I don’t see how I can do the materials for both that cabinet and all the upper cabinets at once, so I’m going to have to split those.
The materials for the doors and drawer faces won’t be nearly as large as I already have the bulk of those.
If I look at how long it took me to do the first phase, about a week, and apply it to the other phases, I may be looking at another 3 or 4 weeks of cabinet building. That said, there are a whole lot of things on my calendar over those next 3 or 4 weeks, so that may be an ambitious estimate.
I am trying to set a goal of having the majority of this entire project done by mid June as MCG and her family will be in town towards the end of June. Ideally, I would have the cabinets all done, painted and installed, the counters stained and installed and the floor in. The closet layout isn’t important and neither is expanding the dance floor to fill that room, but I do want the worst of the mess done and gone and the space ready to use by the time they get here.
Again, that may be a really ambitious goal, but I’m going to work my ass of to try and hit it.
The last several days have been really productive. And things are starting to take shape.
All of the lower cabinets on the back wall are mostly done. I still have to build the drawers for that section. The shelves also need to get installed, but that part doesn’t happen until they get mounted on the wall at the very end.
There are some gaps that will get taken care of at install with some trim, but they are all fitting really nicely. The one place I’m struggling with is the slightly raised area on the floor. It may be that the underlayment will help to level that out a bit, but I won’t know until I get to that part.
I’m also seeing a couple of places where the wall isn’t completely straight. That may force me to do a small piece of trim around my counter after it is installed, but I’d figured that might be an issue so it was in the “might need” side of my plans.
I have all the pieces for the first upper cabinet cut, but I realized when I went to get started building it that I was no where near confident enough to attempt to do all the holes for the shelf pins freehand. I did some research and found a tool that allows you do to those with a hard to screw up guide, but now I’m waiting for it to show up before I can finish that one.
Really, once that cabinet is built, I’ll be ready to start the next section. My current plan is to see what materials I have that will work on any lower cabinets on other walls and see if I can use some of that extra up before I do a materials list for the next phase. I’m also probably going to work on building the drawers, so that piece can get done. Most likely, I won’t work on the faces until I’m working on all the doors, but this will get that section mostly completed.
Pretty much every day after I’m done for the day, I’ll just stand there looking at it all in shock that I’ve actually built all of this all on my own.
Today was productive and I’m really pleased with these so far.
I have 2 cabinets as done as they can get before they are painted and mounted to the walls. Both have pieces that don’t get attached until they are on the wall, so those have to wait. I have the pieces cut for, them, though.
I’m just a little bit floored. These are all straight. They sit level. All the edges are within a light sanding tolerance and even that is only in a couple of places. I half expected these to be slightly off kilter as I had some issues with the drawers for the recessed space, but that isn’t the case with these. Possibly because I’m working with larger pieces and those not completely straight boards can be pulled into square a little easier than you could on the smaller drawers.
Whatever it is, seeing these go together so nicely is making me absolutely giddy.
Another trip to get the pieces for the cabinet I forgot to plan for is in order before I can start the next piece. The plan is to run out either tonight or tomorrow morning, so hopefully it doesn’t delay me too much.
Do you see how utterly nasty my walls are at the moment? Everything in my basement is covered in sawdust. I have a feeling I’ll be cleaning sawdust off of everything for years to come. I’m not even going to show you how horrible the recessed area looks right now.
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t change things up, yet again. I don’t think I can get through this project without at least another dozen changes.
This time, it’s really just changing my order/process going forward. The first plan when I was getting ready to start the cabinets was to paint all the pieces first. I decided that there was too much material that would end up in the scrap pile for me to do that, so I shifted my plans to cut first, then paint.
Today I decided I still didn’t like that idea, so I’m changing it again. A big reason for that is I really wasn’t thrilled with the fact that I thought I was ready to paint, cleaned up all the dust, only to realize I’d forgotten to cut a piece. Then it was that I realized I still needed to sand everything, after cleaning up a second time.
So I said forget it. The cutting, sanding and building process will be a non-stop mess and I really don’t want to screw up the paint on the finished cabinets. That and the cabinets have to be set on the underlayment that covers the entire floor before I can mount them and I really don’t want a paint mess on that.
Instead, I plan to get everything built and ready to install before I do any painting. That way I can just paint all the cabinets at once. It will be a little harder because it means doing some edging, but I think it will be the better option overall.
There is a very real possibility as well that my messier parts will have to move to the garage soon as some of these get built because I’m going to run out of space to work.
Between the changes, a few mistakes I had to fix (I’m frustrating the hell out of myself with my scatter brain that makes me forget things I really shouldn’t), all I managed to get accomplished today was the base corner cabinet. Even that isn’t completely done as I still have the wall side to build, but I have to work that around the access opening and I ran out of time today.
For a really simple start to the cabinets, this turned out pretty decent so far. The fact that it sits square has me giddy. I’ll have to make a supply run before I can get started tomorrow because I somehow forgot even more than I thought I had yesterday.
Really, it would be more accurate to say it has been several days of “one of those days.”
I think I mentioned before that we’d had water come in one of the bedrooms from the roof. I finally got around to calling insurance about that and set that ball into motion. That was prompted because I needed to call them about ANOTHER issue.
That issue is thanks to the landscaper/mower that our neighbor hired to mow his lawn. Guy somehow managed to mow over the access for the water shut off, something that is covered by what looks like a mini manhole cover. A nice solid chunk of metal. Instead of it damaging the mower, the mower apparently managed to shattered that sucker.
The result was pieces went flying and one managed to slam into our garage door, leaving about a 3 1/2 inch gouge behind.
We have custom doors because our builder screwed up when framing the foundation and made the opening on one of them too small and a standard door wouldn’t fit. This is already a problem for replacement or fixing, but it turns out that these doors aren’t made any more so we can’t even get a replacement panel. These are metal with a foam core, so it isn’t like you can just patch that. We have to replace the entire door.
The custom design adds a massive cost (something we only paid a small difference for originally because the initial problem was the builder’s fault) and we are looking at a couple thousand dollar repair. All because some jackwad ran a riding mower over a metal manhole cover instead of going around it.
While there is a chance our insurance can get either the mower’s or the neighbor’s insurance to pay for this, I’m not optimistic. I doubt the mower has any kind of insurance (doesn’t look like he was from a company) and the neighbor is apparently having financial problems and is why he is finally bothering to fix up a property he has been renting out for the last 10 or so years. It’s probably going to come down to everyone putting the blame on someone else and no one taking responsibility. And that’s why our insurance company is involved.
I’m immensely grateful that neither of my kids were heading out to the car at the time or that no little kids were outside playing at the time because someone could have been killed. That isn’t an exaggeration. That chunk of metal is really heavy and could have done so much more than damaging our garage door. I’m shocked that the mower had the power to throw it as hard as it did.
I’m pretty sure it narrowly missed slamming into the back window of the kid’s car. Granted, that probably would have been a cheaper fix.
I have to talk to the adjuster and see what they are willing to cover or not on this. Considering we still have the issue with the roof to deal with and the cost for the rest of my materials for my basement, this is going to be a VERY costly year. Seems par for the course for us as our air conditioner went out just a few weeks after we had our windows replaced a couple of years ago.
Joys of home ownership.
On the craft room front. I have my stain color down. FINALLY!! The color in the photo is WAY off. This is a much cooler gray than what it looks like here.
The larger piece in the above photo is a floor piece. The smaller piece is my sample. I still have to do a top coat, but I’ll work that one out later. I think I’m going with a clear poly, so it shouldn’t change it much. Even if it does a little, it should still work.
Today, I started cutting the pieces for the lower, back wall cabinets.
Trying to get these much larger pieces cut has been a bit of a pain, but I pulled it off with a little help on the biggest pieces. So far, I have the pieces cut for the corner cabinet and the first shelving section.
I realized when cutting the pieces for the shelf that I somehow missed adding the pieces for the second section to my layout, so I goofed that one. Thankfully, they are all smaller pieces, so I’m just going to get a smaller sheet or two of plywood for those instead of dealing with another huge one.
For now, I’m going to work on painting what I have cut and getting those put together before I move on to the next segment.
This last week has been one long, drawn out headache.
I have had to make so many tweaks and adjustments to my plans to make everything work and then have to turn around and do something different again, because I realize I either did it wrong or that I was doing my damnedest to make something that should be easy, excruciatingly hard. All just to get the designs on paper so I could work up a materials list.
After several more days of putting together the impossible puzzle of each single piece of cabinet into a layout that could tell me how much of each type of material I needed, I managed to put together a materials list. It was MASSIVE.
I was so stressed and discouraged because I had zero clue how I was going to get all of it home. After talking with Hubby and doing even more shifting of plans and measuring vehicles, researching delivery options or renting another truck, we finally had a plan that would work.
We head out to get the first round (because of course there was no way all I needed was at a single store or was able to get in a single trip), and the very first item on my list crumbled all my plans to dust.
This is an example of plans on paper vs. reality are very different. The idea of a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of 3/4 inch plywood isn’t all that daunting. Reality is that it is massive and heavy and unwieldy in the extreme. Especially if you aren’t a body builder. Even with plans to have the store do some initial cuts to make it possible for me to get it all home didn’t seem very realistic and I immediately dreaded the thought of having to work with it all on my own or even with a little help from Hubby was too much.
We got a handful of other things on my list, but abandoned those pieces so I could go home and try and rework my plans. Again.
We’d seen some smaller “project panel” sheets of the same material and thought I’d be able to go that route. By the time I finished replanning all the pieces, I realized that was yet another impossible option. I’d need more than what was available in the entire city and it would cost more than double what I’d spend if I’d just gotten the bigger sheets. Considering this is already expensive, I really wasn’t willing to go there.
I’m now back to the original plan, but still not sure how I’m going to be able to pull it all off. Those sheets are crazy heavy and I need 15 of those suckers.
The current plan is to go back on Monday when it isn’t crazy busy so I don’t feel bad about monopolizing an employee’s time to cut all those sheets down and either rent a truck or arrange to have them delivered. I haven’t a clue where I’m going to put it all when it gets here or how exactly I’m going to manage to get them all cut down to the sizes and pieces I need.
I’m so frustrated that all of this has taken so long and that I’m STILL not starting on these cabinets. Especially because the bulk of this will still have to be painted before I can do anything.
I never realized how incredibly difficult it would be to design cabinet interiors when you are starting at square one and can do anything you want within the confines of the space you have to work with, so that whole process is going a bit slower than I’d like.
I did have a realization, though. The very first piece that needs to be done is the recessed area that is going to go above my jewelry bench. There will be no way to work on that if I have other cabinets in place, at least not easily because the cabinets would be in the way.
One of the problems with that space is that the final measurements didn’t actually come out as I’d planned and the pieces I’d planned to put there wouldn’t work because they were too deep and would hang out of the space, so the entire design had to be reworked. I spent days looking at all kinds of things, storage boxes and organizers along with all the stuff I needed to find homes for, trying to give me an idea of what direction I wanted to take it.
I think I have finally settled on a plan. It isn’t anything at all like the original, which was just open shelves that would hold existing storage boxes and bins. Now, it is going to end up looking more like an apothecary cabinet instead, something I’ve always really loved the idea of.
This plan works in a few of my existing, but smaller, storage boxes (ones that were supposed to go into a shelf space that has since been removed from the plans), some of my newer fabric sided bins, and a couple of different sized new drawer areas that will be used as a combination of storage for existing stuff and as working “project boxes” where I can keep the various different pieces of current projects contained and stored when I’m not actively working.
The design also leaves the upper section open as a shelf. I haven’t decided exactly how I want to use that space, but it has to be for things I don’t need often.
There were a couple of issues with this space that made it a challenge to design. One is that it is above my jewelry bench, which is one of the deeper countertops, making my ability to reach this space interesting. I could most likely grab the drawers while standing on the ground easily enough, but anything above that is going to need a step ladder (so much fun being short!) That makes accessing some of these places inconvenient.
The other issue is how messy this area is going to get. Anytime I work on a piece of jewelry that requires polishing or grinding, a ton of really nasty black dust gets kicked out everywhere, so all of those places really need to be enclosed as best as I can to keep the dust out. That is the biggest reasons why the drawers work best in that space. I might even have to seriously considering doing something like adding a large roller blind or something similar that I can drop over the area when I’m doing those kinds of projects to help cut down on that and the open space at the top would give me the room to go that route.
There are still a couple of details I need to work out, like what kind of pulls I’m going to need for the drawers and some of the finer measurement details to make it all fit exactly the way it should, but I’m pretty sure this is the final design.
I was all ready to at least prep the room for the floor today. I found out last night that the flooring itself needs to really be in the space for 48 hours before it can be installed to acclimate to the room, so I knew I probably wouldn’t get to any actual installing today, but I still needed to get some prep-work done.
I start scraping up the chunks of drywall mud and I’m realizing that the floor really probably isn’t as level as it should be. I go to research whether or not I need to level it before I can start installing the new floor, but that lead to a rabbit hole of a whole other problem that I had no clue about. Apparently, you really aren’t supposed to install cabinets on top of laminate flooring because it prevents it from expanding and contracting as needed.
So, I now have to swap my plans around and start working on the cabinets first, which I really wasn’t quite ready for. I knew I was going to most likely need to make adjustments to my original plans, but I hadn’t started really working on those things. Now I no longer have a choice because the cabinets need to come first.
Now that I realize they can’t be installed on the floor, I have to figure out what I do need to install them on concrete, so that is going to be fun.
This is what happens when you have plans but they aren’t completely fleshed out and you try to fly by the seat of your pants for parts of it. It comes back to bite you in said seat of your pants. Apparently it is now time for a deeper research phase of this project and for my panic about my ability to actually pull of the cabinet builds to settle in.
In the mean time, I have a couple of filters that showed up and need installing, so the craft room is temporarily on hold. I guess I really did need a break.