About 3 years ago the light bulb above the stove burnt out and I of course went to change it. Like with most jobs it should have been an easy quick switch but it didn't turn out that way. The glass of the bulb broke off and the metal part was left inside the socket (what I didn't know is that they glue the bulb so when the microwave/vent is in transport the bulb doesn't loosen up). It took some serious force using pliers and some swearing but eventually it came out. After the new bulb was installed I decided to change the other light as well since the bulb pack was a two pack and I now knew there was glue on it so lets just get it over with. So I went to change out the other bulb and it popped as I unscrewed it. I thought the light was off and I thought... hmm I must have blown a fuse since the lights didn't come on after that. I couldn't find a fuse and the lights didn't work anymore. Everything else was fine, just no lights. Come to find out, there is no fuse on the lights, there is just the circuit board and if you blow the board it costs about $160 to order a replacement. I didn't find out this last bit of information until just recently. So I felt pretty bad breaking the stove lights. You don't realize how handy lights are there until you don't have them. Recently we took a trip to Traverse City and Michele cooked and made a comment about the light above the stove and I knew I really needed to get ours fixed. I felt bad breaking it so I decided to figure it out.
After some serious research, I decided that it wasn't cost effective for me to buy a replacement part that would cost almost as much as a new microwave/vent system. A few years back I had set up a lighting system using under the counter lights for a cool desk system we used in our apartment for my computer that closed into a large hutch. I checked into prices and I could fix our stove lighting for about $40 using these same lights and they would have 3 different brightnesses as well. The trick would be rewiring the venting system for these lights. I went to good old Home Depot and found the lighting system needed and went to work. I took apart the light system and wiring under the microwave and began to run the wiring for the new lights. The hard part was running the wiring from the plug above the microwave down into the underside of the appliance. There was just enough give between the microwave and the cupboard to drop a line. I applied a new switch next to the cupboard and the microwave on the right hand side. It is a touch sensitive metal disk. The puck lights were place in the spot where the original lights were (I had to do some cutting of the metal light cover inside to fit the round light casing but it fits like a glove now). After the wiring below was done I set up the dimmer control in the cupboard and hooked up all the wiring. Plugged it in and we now officially have lighting above the stove again. It works great!
Repair time: 3 1/2 hours (or 3 years 3 1/2 hours but who is counting)
Two years ago we finished our basement so that Michele's sisters could live here while they went to GVSU. With that being said, we were in a hurry. I spent the entire summer (with huge help from Luke) putting walls up, wiring, carpeting, plumbing, HVAC, and dealing with inspectors (blog to come soon hopefully). The night I put on the last coat of paint was the evening before Lillian was born and the girls moved in right after that. So there were some loose ends down there that needed to be finished. The girls moved in and two years later have moved out and those loose ends are still down there so we are chipping away at them.
The fusebox door was a custom cabinet door I ordered and it took about 4 months to actually get it in. Once it was in I painted it white and brought it downstairs to mount and discovered that I didn't pick up the right kind of hinges. I tried to use cabinet hinges and because of the small amount of space on the left side next to the wall it wasn't going to be possible. I leaned the door against the wall and the Jess decorated around it and there it has sat for 2 years. So today I picked up a hinge and mounted the door.
Cost: $60 custom cupboard door, $5 parts
Time: 15 minutes (plus a drive to the hardware store)
So, I can't take credit for this one. My list is always open to anyone willing to finish a project. This one goes to Michele! She put the shadowbox together a couple days ago and hung it up. It's really cute. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Michele put together a shadowbox for Avery a couple years ago while she was pregnant with Lil. The box contains the outfit Avery wore home from the hospital when she was born as well as some pictures and other miscellaneous things like a birth announcement. It's really unique and I look at it every time I go into the laundry and smile. We had hung a box for Lillian and stuck an ultrasound picture in there to tide it over until she was born with plans to do the same thing after she came home. Lil is now two and the box has been empty (to my mother-in-laws dismay). So Michele kicked it into high gear and put it together this past week. I like it. Here are some pictures. Task #1 is in the books.