Sunday, January 4, 2009

939 - A New Year and a New Perspective

Historically, a new year brings resolutions, new ambitions and the usual "fresh start."  However, in a longer time horizon view like the Retirement Countdown, the new perspectives are simply constantly evolving versions.

For example, family.

With the loss of an uncle recently (actually a cousin once removed, but more like an uncle than a cousin), it gave me cause to consider that our time here is finite.  At the risk of getting too focused on our own mortality, it is important to remember that our world won't stay the same forever.  As fast-paced as that world around us operates, it's easy to lose sight of that fact.  Don't squander time with family.  Enjoy that time like it won't last forever - because it won't.

This is true for work as well.  Now, I'd be the first to admit that at this point of my career (hey, after all, I'm writing a blog about counting down to retirement!), I am not going to frantically try to climb the corporate ladder.  But what I will admit is a realization that although in previous posts, I've landed my dream job, this is a great reminder that I can work smarter (and maybe just a bit harder!)

The next position may or may not ever materialize.  However, the passing of a dear family member has reminded me that time, too, passes.  I intend to use it wisely - with family and to capture any possible professional opportunities that may exist for me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Shower Transformation

Last, but not least.  In fact, in spite of the shower having the least of the structural transformation, it has garnered most of the photos.  Here are five that capture the essence of the change.

The shower seemed to have the most discreet steps.  Not in the sense of dragging down the rest of the project, but rather, the complexity of what needed to be accomplished.  Recall the significant effort to build the shower pan.  Many steps were involved from here:

To here:
Then, the tile.  Cutting, fitting, placing the spacers, realigning, grouting... It seemed as if it wouldn't end.
But end it did - and in a glorious way!  The shower door was like icing on the cake.

The Bathroom Remodel has been a great project.  Made possible by significant planning (with proper adjustments), careful decision making, a persnickety contractor, and a TON OF LUCK!

Thank you for following along.  Check back often for new topics and more focus on existing ones.  Who knows, maybe another remodeling project might be in our future!  

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Vanity Transformation

While new tile and granite are an exciting aspect of this project, it is the vanity that actually incurred the most change.  Recall that the previous owner had the original second sink removed in favor of this drop-top vanity area.  Bad news: we needed to change that.  Good news, the plumbing was already in the wall!
 Of course, demolition played a significant part of the change - as it did for the rest of the room.  Here, the old sink was removed along with the entire countertop to make room for the additional cabinet and sink. 
Once the new cabinet and base for the countertop were added, the overall structure was ready for the true transformation.

Granite countertop and backslash!  Notice the pre-cut areas.  Not much room for error.  Everything had to be exact (or at least damn close!) for it all to come together.

Note the power outlet on the backsplash.  In the original photo, it appears lower and more to the right.  Through a clever bit of engineering, Tom moved it to the left and up to gain adequate clearance from the sink.  Clever, you ask?  How it that clever?

Well, there was a triple-thickness set of 2x4 studs in the way and not much slack in the electrical wire with which to work.  He cut a shallow channel through the studs, keeping their structural integrity, allowing the outlet to be mounted on the other side.  Then, to prevent any sheetrock nails from becoming rude with the wire, he attached a steel plate across the channel to protect them.  No expensive wiring changes, no damage, no danger, no hits, no runs, no errors.  Sorry. Couldn't resist.