Sunday, June 3, 2012

The great building moratorium of 2010-12 is now over...

Hi there!! It’s been a while! The great building moratorium of 2010-12 is now over. After the railing project, and multiple situations occurring at work, a building moratorium was put into effect for muah. We just needed to chill a bit. But in 2012 I’m now back at it and here’s what we are doing now…


After we finished the kitchen, painted the walls, and got some more up-to-date furniture – our kitchen/family room (great room) had a big ‘ol elephant in it. It was a 90’s country brick fireplace that just didn’t fit the d├ęcor. That thing just looked just awful in the current design – but what do you do? At first we were thinking about painting it white – but that would just look like a white out-of-place fireplace. Then we thought about doing fireplace in the kitchen backsplash – WRONG - that would just make it look like the bridge of the starship enterprise. Then we both agreed (after some convincing on my part) that a stone facing would be best.


Well, Cherie didn’t quite get it so I had to come up with a Photoshop rendering that would put the concept on paper for her. This is what I came up with…







… she bought it. Now how do we get from this rendering to the end product? At first, I said I would do it all – and for a couple of months I thought I could. Then things got tricky at work and I was put into a new job that required a little more than 8 hrs a day, and I no longer had free cycles. There goes that idea! Next, where can we get a contractor who can build my idea? The first thing we did was check Angie’s list and, by happenstance, found a place called Artistic Designs located here in Laurel/Savage. Worth a look…


Artistic designs is located in Savage Mills (just a ½ mile down the road) so one Saturday we took Ziggy on a walk and decided to stop by (had a printout of the rendering in my pocket just in case). We looked around and then after seeing some of their floor models and final pics we figured this was the place for us to contract to. I showed Jay the rendering and he said “sure- no problem”. Now Angie’s list recommended them, so I was willing to take a gamble, and we got a $200 discount (pays the subscription for a couple more years!).


Well that was early March, then April blew through, then the beginning of May came around. We were on the schedule for mid-May and that kind of worked for everyone. Then the call. The stone we wanted was on backorder and wouldn’t be in for the install and Jay wanted to meet to show us an alternate (first thought, here’s where everything starts to slip downhill). Well since the stone we ordered was a little different than the original concept drawing, we said “what the hell, let’s see what he’s got”. Jay pulled out a stone that had a very similar texture to the rendering with a close coloration and we said “let’s roll w/it”.


Well something I failed to mention so far was that the comments on Angie’s wasn’t so much a complement the sales staff, bur really had kudos for the installers. I’m feeling pretty good now about things. Well initial day comes and the installers come. Two very nice and knowledgeable guys who I felt comfortable with. I explained the design, the challenges, and what I wanted to see. I showed them the original (in front of them) and described what needed to be done…









… then I showed them the rendering…








And I said that they need to take it from there. They asked a couple of questions, but they pretty much took it from there. There were a couple of issues, but they brought them up promptly and we quickly worked a solution. All, in all, these two guys knew what they were doing and I was going to let them. Here's what it looked like after day 1...







It took a day longer than expected, but the end result was fantastic… In hindsight… these guys did a better job than I could have in the time that they did it. I could have saved a thousand or so dollars by doing it myself, but I just don’t have the time anymore. Angie’s list was right! These guys were top notch professionals!


Well I finished the side painting today and here’s the new fireplace….








… it’s no longer the elephant in the room, but is now the “wow” in the room! Hint: Join Angie’s list and get someone who knows what they are doing. Artistic Designs in Laurel really knows what they are doing! The two installers are real professionals and Jay found an alternate stone that looks even better than the original!!!