Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Heidi's Christmas Present (Nearly Done)

For Christmas this year I figured out a way to get a dishwasher into our small kitchen. We have lived in the house for about 9 years now. Our kitchen is pretty small so a dishwasher was not possible....that is until I saw these dishdrawer things. I did some measurements and was pretty sure I could fit it in. The following is my long journey to getting the thing in. As a warning this is a long post. A long project calls for a long post with lots of photos.

First up a video of the dishwashers maiden voyage and yes it did work and there were no leaks!
First of all I am proud that I found the dishdrawer for half off at the Sears outlet. (Thank you Sears.)
Now for the pictures.
Demolition! I had to go through two walls. One was a newly framed wall and the other was an original 1895 wall. 

You may have noticed that the opening goes into the stairwell to the basement. In a few pictures you will see how I had to build a structure that is literally hanging out into the stairwell.  

While cutting through everything I found an old skeleton key. I just fell out of the middle of the wall while I was cutting. 

One of my new favorite tools. Thank you to my Brother-in-law Lance Mock for letting me borrow it.  Notice the drop? I had to balance over that for several weeks working on things. I fell only once. 

Maren my assistant through much of the project. Checking for sizing on the new Dishdrawer. 

Some of the initial framing

I had to suspend the dishdrawer up higher partly because this is how they are designed and more importantly so the structure supporting it would not be down so low that you would hit your head going do the spiral stairwell below. 

I had to rearrange exiting wiring. The last person to do the wiring had an interesting set up that took me a few days to figure out. 

At first I made only one hole.

Then Heidi said she would like to have a little more space and to have it look a little bigger so I opened a second hole. 

The exposed old wiring

Thanks to the smarts of my father-in-law Rob Mock we were able to figure out how to rerun wiring to add two more outlets, a new light and several new switches. 

Pulling wires. 

New light hanging down. 

Heidi hanging out by the new light. She was getting really excited. It would still be over a month before it would be finished. 

Wiring done and sheetrock in. 

Filling in the holes

Getting ready for the counter-top substructure. 

One of many trips to Home Depot. Luckily I own a great construction vehicle that made getting supplies a breeze. 

Normally I drive more than 25 mph from Home Depot to our home. Not this trip. I got several looks and laughs. The guy in the blue truck in the back ground was really concerned. He even offered to haul my stuff for me. 

Preparing the counter-tops. 

Solid 3/4 inch on top of multiple 2X4's

My friends...Mr. Drill and Mr. Tap Measure

Getting the sink counter-top ready. I removed the old sink, and plumbing. 

Hardiboard added to countertops. 

One afternoon on a trip to Home Depot the granite tile was cut to by more than half price so I bought it on the spot. $2 a square foot! Thanks Home Depot. 

The granite tiles took about 10 hours to get in. I am not sure I am the best at this. I leveled, shimmed and pushed but I still found a number of errors when it was all dry and hard. 

We added a new faucet courtesy of Ikea. Again it was a one day sale $30!  Thank You Ikea!

The buckets for grouting. Don't tell Heidi I used one of her baking measuring cup things. It cleaned up nicely afterwards. 

Grouting begins. At first we loved the color but then it dried to a lighter color than we were hoping. Oh well it still looks good. 

More grout

The hole waiting for the sink

Thanks to my brother in law Brant Mock the plumbing part of the project went pretty quick. ( Few hours)

We added a disposal...again on sale at Ikea. Thanks Ikea!

I had to do some fancy water hook ups because the ones that came from Ikea were to short to get to the main lines. 

Getting the dishdrawer ready for first run. Trying to figure out the Rinse Agent filler

Still working on the rinse agent

The drawer is pretty deep. It is about 2/3rds the size of a normal dishwasher.  

Here is the final plumbing just before turning everything one. Yes there is a pot there and no I haven't gotten all the leaks fixed yet. There is a stuborn seal that wont seal. I have gone through three seals and still no luck. :(

The new faucet works. 

Cascade dish soap. Who knows if it is any good. We have never had a dishwasher. 

I pulled the protective plastic covering off the front of the dish drawer. 

Dish soap going in. 

Dish soap still going in.
And that is it. It works. It took me several months and I still have some taping/mudding and painting to do.

I love you Heid's I hope you like your new dishwasher!


  1. Man, you just made that house 10x more livable! Congrats.

    1. Thanks. I don't know if I ever want you and Mike to see it though. I think Mike actually knows what he is doing and he would laugh at my hack job. :)

  2. Beautiful. What a good hubby you are. I really especially love the construction vehicle. I think you should have gone into construction. hahaa

    1. Can't buy anything better! The Miata is a versatile vehicle. The only problem was the rope that happened to be right in my eyes when I finally got in the car to drive it.

    2. And he did that all for me, so I could go up to my parents for a restful day. I am very blessed in so many ways!

  3. All day I have just looked for dishes to put in the dishwasher. I am so grateful for all of Barett's hard work. Not only do I have a dishwasher, my counter space has doubled. {this is a big deal} xoxox

    1. I think we should put a sign out front letting the neighbors know we would be willing to wash their dishes just so we can see it work some more.


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