Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Price of Stubborn-ness
I now know the actual cost in American dollars of my own stubborn-ness, at least in this latest round of declaring, "I can do it by myself." The backsplash is done. Each one of those faux-copper panels costs about $20, tax and all. And as my friend Milah pointed out, there's a "right" way to install them. You just can't, no matter how much you might want to, use pieces and parts of leftover panels. Nope, they have to be laid out left to right. And you'd better measure twice and cut once. There's no second chance with these things. In my case, you'd better measure twice, then look real hard at the panel, and where you're putting it on the wall, then measure again just to be safe. Cut only after careful consideration and a complete understanding of the panel's position on the wall. Oh, that section in the first photo was easy enough. Straight cuts on every panel til I got to the window sill, and then just a little corner cut. Easy peasy. But that section in the second photo....that was a different animal altogether. You can't really see it in the photo (because I was, as usual, in a tearing hurry when I took these pics) but there's a small gap on either side of the range hood. On the left side, it's not so much of a problem. The backsplash panel butts up to the wall and goes straight across to the range hood. Not bad. But the other side—the side above the cutting board countertop that Mare finally came over and put in!—is a big problem. That panel butts up against the panel to the left, runs under the range hood, hiccups up into a space just a tad over 5½" wide between the range hood and the side of the cabinet, then drops back down to run under the lower edge of the cabinet. That necessitates cutting both an inside corner and an outside corner. And some pretty exact measurements. I was cutting a panel and talking to my sister about how wonderful Bleu is (Bleu being a pseudonym for my new guy) when I popped the panel into place and realized I'd cut it a half-inch too short. My sister, because she loves me, bit her bottom lip and said nothing. One panel (and $20) gone. So I dragged out a second panel, measured again, and started scoring it, just about the time that Bleu called me and I fileted the edge of my left thumb off with the utility knife. As he sat there listening to my unladylike language, he drawled, "Whyn't ya just let me cut that for ya?" Good question, since the man owns a remodeling business. But no—I can do it myself, remember?! So I scored the panel, and cut it, and when that panel went into place somehow the hiccup-y part was about an inch too narrow. I tore it off the wall and flung it into the dining room. Second panel (and another $20) gone. My sister grabbed the phone and told Bleu politely, "Sissa's gonna have to call you back." He laughed. "I'd come over and cut the next panel for her, but, well, you know." Third panel up, and my sister handed me a big piece of paper. "Pattern, sissa, pattern," she said. "He tell you that?" I said. She grinned, "Yep, he sure did." So I took that sweet man's advice, made a pattern, fitted it into the space, marked the panel, cut it, and....And it fit perfectly. The price of stubborn-ness? About sixty bucks and some change.