As promised, all photos! I may or may not do a final wrap up on video, with interviews. We’ll see.

Got pretty lucky with our backsplash surfaces, here. They could have been crumbling or grease soaked, but weren't. They were nice and smooth and I only had to repair the hole around the electrical fitting on this side and a giant uneven hole around the sockets and switches on the long counter. Messy to reinforce the drywall segment I added, but it is now quite solid. I ran Hardiback over the whole backsplash on the sink side so that was nice and even.

The visit from BR Electric Monday lasted all day. They hooked up all the wires, put 4 LED lights in the celing and 2 halogens over the sink, and updated all the connections. You can see the giant hole in the backsplash by the mudroom door. Beautiful work on that elecrical fixture with an adjustable box that screwed in and out to match the tile depth. Two issues though: the socket in the corner right of the sink was crappily mounted and I had to remount. It is not perfect yet, but is safe and the cover plate is in place. The other thing was the next night, I shoved the oven back into its hole and it hit the overhead light switch guts and blew a fuse. Brian came out the next day and healed that up, no problem since. Over all, great job, good price.

You can see the repair job around the outlet, here. It wasn't perfect, but came out fine--nice and flat-- and the outlet was in one of those adjustable boxes so I just screwed it out for the tiling, the backed it in to lay flush when done.

Chris the tile guy. Liked to look around at our stuff when he came in. Worked like an SOB, though, and had a good payday. I paid him $400 for 4-5 hours work, including his Home Depot run for needed supplies, so he came out around $75-$80 and hour, after deducting maybe $30 for supplies. There was a ton of thinset still left in the bucket.

The very last tile. A watershed moment, as that ended external participation and marked the finish of the final major piece. Nothing left but the trim and clean up.

Ignoring the washing machine, which was essentially a work bench throughout the job, this shows a bit of both counters with tile in.

First real look at what it would look finished. No grout, yet, but pretty dang blue!

After grouting. Missing only the switchplate cover.Beautiful.

Here you see the window frame. Nice big hunk of redwood. Took the screws well. Alexandra did a superlative job cleaning the aluminum windows. We were so close to having the whole window exposed, thus easy (er) to replace, we considered putting in a new window -- for about 4 seconds, then got back to plan.

Last big piece, I had to make the sill. More high school woodshop skills at work. But 30 years experience with drilling blind holes seems to have paid off, all the screws went right into the middle of the valance and those that fastened it to the window frame all bit, too, so success.

Fun making this! Alexandra has gently requested a mantelpiece as there is none above our fireplace--just a layer of smooth cement on the top layer of bricks. This is a nice prototype as construction of the mantel piece will be similar.

Fitting the unpainted sill. This part went pretty well. Two pieces of poplar, I think I used 6 #8 woodscrews to fasten the two pieces together. I ran a dcorative groove along the valence piece that I kinda wanted to do in white, but I decided enough was enough.

The sill, under-cabinet and hood trim pieces. Seemed to go pretty well. One tool I lack, though, is a good miter box. Mine is one of those yellow plastic ones and the 45s rarely fit. Note the kiddies in the background.

The sill, installed and in use just the way I

The final product. So nice. It's really warm at night. I just love cutting a little slab of cheese, grabbing the Triscuit box, a fresh stein of Diet Pepsi (using the icemaker--a revolution in my ice-heavy life) and standing there, admiring the glow of the tile, the dark of the slate-colored counters and between them the transition of the stainless steel appliances, those portals to delicious food. Great job, Alexandra!

The cooking corner. Look so nice with all the fresh fruit. Got a fancy new paper towel holder, too. Really puttin' on the Ritz, here.

Alexandra's kitchen collection from Germany and California flea markets. The thing on the bottom (see enlarged photo) is a German shopping list fixture. So cool. The dark green thing on the right is a match box holder--perfectly made to fit a Diamond stick match box such that the matches deploy into the little tray. Ingenious. We never use it, of course as we don

Useful. We don't use it.


Read the whole story in order, if you want:
1. The whole story started with the hood installation in mid-June

2. Things really got cooking before we left for vacation

3. Sanding and Send-Offs, a Busy Summer approaching

4. More Pre-Work Work, John Proves a Stand Up Guy

5. Kitchen Mission Day One: Bye Bye Home-Cooked Meals

6. Tile goes in: a preview

7. Kitchen Mission Day Three: Airless Sprayer, an Epic Struggle

8. Kitchen Mission: I Bond with the Journeymen and the Resurrection goes on

9. Day 6 Saturday July 16 In Which I Take the Appendix out of the Cooktop

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