Remodeling Update as of March 2

We’re still talking!!!

Lu looking for something else to do

Lu looking for something else to do

My bride and I have very different personalities. I’m one who reads most of the directions and must carefully think about whatever it is I’m about to do.

Lu, on the other hand, must be doing something – anything – that keeps her hands and body moving.

The construction of our two level, one thousand square foot deck was a true test of our relationship. The deck was built based on my planning. However, as we began the actual building, I soon discovered the many flaws in my plan. Whenever the flaws were encountered, I had to carefully plan out my next course of action. That was made more difficult by my bride continuously asking, “What should I do next?”

Fortunately, the deck helped us recognize our differences. Thus, this past Saturday was made less stressful by Lu’s acceptance of my molasses type approach to putting the microwave oven back above the stove.

I asked Lu to take parchment paper, lay it over the top of the microwave, and trace where we would have to make holes in the bottom of the cabinet hung over the stove. We needed to cut a large area for the vent, a hole for the electrical cord, and two holes for bolts.

In the meantime, I took the metal plate that needed to be attached to the wall and tried to line it up. This plate would provide the main support for the microwave, but could not be put back exactly as it was because the new cabinets were not lined up exactly as the old ones were.

To complicate matters, there was only one stud behind the wall. That meant I had to use toggle bolts to secure one side of that plate… which meant I had to get it right the first time. Failure to properly align that plate would mean yet another trip to Home Depot.

When Lu showed me her completed template, I decided it was too flimsy to be useful. I then asked her to draw it on cardboard. She began by cutting along the lines she had drawn and I pointed out the holes that had to be enlarged based on the vent and bolts.

At this point, I was so worried about getting everything exactly right that I decided to go to my old standby. Google. I quickly found a web site giving step-by-step instructions on how to install a microwave over the stove. Step one was to refer to the owner’s manual of the microwave. DUH!

Guess what I found stuck in the middle of the owner’s manual? Two templates. One for cutting the holes in the bottom of the overhanging cabinet, and one for the plate to hang on the wall.

The templates helped immensely and the instructions suggested we use blocks of wood as fillers to reduce the space between the top of the microwave and the recessed base of the cabinet. I never would’ve thought of that. Aren’t printed instructions wonderful?

I hung the back plate using three toggle bolts in the spaces with no studs, and three two and a half inch screws into the one and only stud. We then lifted the oven into place… only to discover that the holes I drilled in the bottom of the cabinet for the bolts were off by about a half inch.

After the holes were re-drilled, the oven went in and fit as perfectly as can be.

“OK. What’s next?” asked my loving bride.

“A beer and some time to think.” was my answer.

But then I remembered the other major item on our weekend agenda… we needed to secure the island and wire the electrical outlet on the island. The beer would have to wait.

First, we agreed on the exact placement of the cabinet. After marking its location with blue painter’s tape, we turned it on its back and I secured two by fours to the floor and drilled holes for the electrical wire.

After threading the wire through the holes, we set the cabinet back up and put in screws to secure the cabinet to the lumber we had earlier secured to the floor. The island is no longer in danger of floating away.

Finally, I cut the hole in the back of the island and installed the electrical outlet. The circuit breaker was turned back on and we now have power restored to all of our kitchen outlets.

A plug for the crock pot

A plug for the crock pot

“OK. What’s next?” asked my loving bride.

“A beer.”

Lu doesn’t care for beer. I had to drink alone, while she began to drill holes and install handles on all the drawers and doors.

Believe it or not, we’re still talking!


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