Remodel day… 4? I think?

I think this counts as day 4 (the “catastrophe” post having covered day 3). Things are going smoothly. In particular, some stuff finally arrived and things are moving floor-ward! I mean, forward.

Early this morning, my flooring arrived! So the contractors started installing the floor, after they finished painting.


Also another thing I’d been wanting to do on this house was to get a couple more “buddy” joists installed under the kitchen, to support a couple of aging/not-great ones. This has been on my list for a while… and Oliver decided to just go ahead and do it for his own peace of mind. Works for me. As a side effect of this, they also removed some more of the vestigial ducting that was in the way of the new joists (although the potato chip crate and coffee can are still there).


Later in the day, the backsplash tile arrived as well! I went to Home Depot to pick it up myself, partially to help save some time but mostly because I needed to get away from the constant noise of a chop saw running. Folks at Home Depot were really confused about the order, but it got to me eventually (and all fit in my Leaf just fine).


Annoyingly enough, the boxes had just been individually shipped to Home Depot via UPS. It could have just been shipped directly to me and saved me some time and effort. For that matter, I’m guessing that I could have possibly ordered it directly from the manufacturer and saved some money as well (and had more color options to boot, although I think I’d have still gone with the color I bought anyway) nope turns out Home Depot actually discounted the price a bit over the direct-purchase price, okay so that worked out in my favor overall.

I’m still waiting for the cabinet lighting system to arrive, but that’ll supposedly get here on Friday. Which is fine, as they’re not going to start installing the cabinets until Saturday anyway (they’re taking tomorrow off, and then Friday they’ll be finishing up the floor).

Oh, and Gil (the general contractor) bought the countertop slabs as well. Oliver’s plan is to fabricate the counters on-site, rather than taking them to a countertop specialist. This is the first time I’ve ever had countertops done this way and it seems a bit strange to me, but Oliver says he does this all the time and so far he’s done really good work, so I trust him on this.


Anyway, this process is going a lot quicker than any previous one. I’m not sure how much time is left on the kitchen but it sure seems like it’s moving quickly! I feel like there’s probably one more day of flooring, two days of cabinets, one or two days of countertops, and then final installation. Then we move on to the laundry room, which is probably one day of demolition, one day of flooring, then one day of cabinet and appliance installation.

There’s one little bit of fit-and-finish that I want to take care of but I’m not sure the best way to do it, and that’s the range hood. Or specifically, the cover:


This cover is in really good shape! It’s gotten a couple of scuffs and there’s a bit of paint on it now, but that isn’t a big deal. And it’s definitely got the midcentury/vintage look going for it.

But! Nutone used to make at least two versions of this cover: the matte stamped-aluminum one that I have, and a rather nice chrome-plated (or at least polished aluminum) version with a black inlay. I’ve found plenty of photos of those online, but nobody seems to have one for sale at present (although I’ve found plenty of stale/defunct references to old/sold listings on eBay, Etsy, and a few other places). I did find one complete new-old-stock unit for sale, but it costs $1800, which is rather a lot for a slight cosmetic upgrade (and I have no interest in replacing the fan itself, as it’s running great ever since I performed some long-overdue maintenance on it a month ago).

Nutone did still make compatible covers not too long ago which are still fairly easy to find online from various suppliers, but they’re all ugly plastic. No thanks!

Spud had the idea of maybe painting it with chrome gloss spraypaint and then making the black emblem myself; I have a few folks I could ask about borrowing their laser cutters/engravers for that bit, at least, and then I could also customize the emblem so that it says something other than “NuTone.” Also, it might be possible to just polish the aluminum one that I have to a shine, although that feels risky and I suspect that it would just end up tarnishing pretty quickly. But maybe it just needs to be polished and clearcoated? I’m a complete dummy about this stuff, and the Internet isn’t being helpful. And I’d be afraid of doing something that ruins the aluminum such that I have to replace it anyway (and then I’d be stuck either paying $1800 or getting ugly plastic).

This seems like the sort of thing where I could be entirely Extra and find a local machine shop that can mill steel using a CNC or something, but… man that’s overboard.

Maybe I should just keep an eye out on eBay and Etsy for replacement covers.

On the plus side, at least the filter meshes are still being made by a number of manufacturers. I should probably buy a few since their availability is starting to seem tenuous these days (since most of the round filters I’m finding are 9" rather than the 11.5" that this fan needs).

Oh, and another issue with the fan is that the fan controller’s wall plate is very specific, and there’s nothing of modern manufacture I’m finding for it. I’d like to be able to update the outlet there to be a GFI, and having its finish actually match the other outlet plates would be nice too. Maybe I can replace the fan controller with something more modern though. Electrically it should be equivalent to any other modern fan switch, I think; I don’t know whether it’s a variac or a triac but either way it’s just controlling a big 120VAC motor.


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