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Outdoor Progress

July 14, 2011
In true “Housetory” fashion we spent our 6th wedding anniversary working on a house project.  Would you have expected anything less?
Ever since we very first saw the outdoor kitchen, we knew it had potential.  Potential to be ANYTHING other than what it currently existed as was a positive. And I was kind of dreaming of slate…ever since we moved in a year and a half ago, its what I have imagined.  Here’s what we were working with:
Of course, we’ve encountered problems along the way.  Problem #1 Chris fixed.  Problem #2 Chris (might have) contributed to.  Sorry.  I’m honest.  Plus, he rarely reads this, and when he next does, he’ll have to chuckle a little because he knows that I AM RIGHT!  Problem #1, Chris Fixed:  When we had the ginormous water eruption in the front yard, somehow the plumbing to the backyard didn’t get hooked back up properly.  That meant the outdoor sink was useless because there was no water to it.  Chris spent a ton of time out front playing plumber (quite successfully I might add), and when it was (almost) done it looked like this:
It’s now painted to match the house, but I can’t find the picture anywhere, and I’m too busy…I mean lazy to go take another one. And we now have water back in the kitchen sink for our outdoor kitchen!  Yup.  He’s SUPER handy!
Problem #2, Chris (might have) contributed to:  Okay, before you get all “I can’t believe she said that” on me, we had a Huge (yes, with a capital H) discussion about the electricity that was going to the outdoor kitchen.  The former owners had done it in a ghetto (okay, and I admit, not “up to code”) manner.  Chris hated it.  I didn’t see a way around it.  Enter Chris’ boredom one day.  I don’t remember the day, mostly because I wasn’t there for it, and I didn’t know that day ever happened until I noticed the result some time later.  Yup.  He cut it out.  It was an “above ground” electrical rigging of sorts, and he just plain cut it out, put putty over it, and never said a word.  Until I saw it.  Then, well, then he grinned at me sheepishly and said, “Yeah.  I thought it was better to get rid of it.”  Seriously?  How the heck am I going to run a margarita station at my outdoor kitchen without electricity?  Or what about that fridge we wanted to stick out there?  Alas, we have come to no solution yet.  Or, at least not a solution that doesn’t involve having  a hole cut in my house by a professional electrician.
But, now we are ready to tackle the kitchen out there to make it look amazing.  And by “ready” I actually mean “holy-crap-we-better-get-this-done-ASAP-because-we-are-having-a-huge-party!”  That kind of ready.
So, on his “summer Friday” Chris set to work demo’ing the tile.
He had made huge progress by the time I got home on Friday evening, so on Saturday, we were ready to fix the problem that he had discovered underneath: it wasn’t level.
We were hoping we wouldn’t have to replace the hardie backer underneath, but not only will we end up replacing it, but we also ended up leveling out the existing plywood, and getting rid of the “fish cleaning” station. Yup.  Like I said, we bought a special kind of house.   You may also notice (in the picture above) that there are two special features in addition to the afore mentioned hole where the fish cleaning station was: 1) The diamond pointy thing (right side of photo).  Really?  Really?  Really?  2) The “countertop” is entirely flush with the edges.  Think about a normal counter top.  Remember how it has that little overhang of the counter top “jutting” out over the cabinets?  Yep.  We thought that would make it look more normal, so as a part of the plywood leveling process, we added some wood around the edges to create that depth:
When it was all prepped and ready for hardie backer, it looked like this:
Anyway, it was a great day, and we really enjoy working on these projects together.  Even if, no, especially if, it is on our anniversary.
We were done early enough to get cleaned up and make our 7:00 pm reservations in Laguna at Ti Amo.
Can’t wait to show you the rest of the progress!  In the meantime, what about you?  Are you the type to tackle a big project like this on a special day to commemorate the occasion?  Or are we just nuts? 😉
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