Chris and I have had a multiple number of “funds” over the last few years. The new car fund, the big screen TV fund, and the entertainment center fund to name a few. In theory, any extra dough we can squirrel away is transferred to this fund and untouched until we reach the goal… however, that hasn’t stopped Chris from dipping into the fund a few times (yes, Chris, I noticed).
Our latest fund has been the “oven fund.” New ovens weren’t high on our priority list for a couple of reasons, one being that they worked fine and got the job done. The biggest reason, however, rested on the fact that both of us will do anything possible to get out of cooking. That said, we couldn’t really justify springing for a new set. Another obstacle was the fact that we have such an oddly-sized oven, 24″ wide, and no possibility of expanding (without a lot of trouble) since they’re built-in to the brick wall. Weird sized oven = hard to find and expensive.
Behold said oven.
So, not exactly the prettiest of ovens (especially since the degrees on the temperature knob had been worn off over time making the task of setting the oven correctly quite the feat), but definitely not the worst. Thus, we started a fund and promised ourselves if we ever found a fantastic deal on one and we had enough in the fund, then, sure, why not.
Well, nearly a year after starting the fund, we stumbled upon too good of a deal to pass up. Cashing in our moo-lah, we couldn’t wait for it to be delivered. And that’s when then the 8 hours of fun ensued…
This doesn’t surprise too many people, but we don’t cook- like, at all- so I never really thought much about our oven. It was old, but it worked well and was fairly easy to use, which was all one can really ask for in an oven, right?
Wrong. After we got settled from the move, Julie announced that the ovens were “ugly” and demanded that they be replaced. Now, keeping in mind that neither one of us ever gets much use out of an oven, she at least agreed to put it pretty low on the priority list… but, of course, it was only a matter of time before she’d finally snap and demand a new oven.
Well, that day came just a few short weeks ago. After about two years of searching, we finally came across the right oven at the right price (apparently there’s no demand for 24″ ovens). We scheduled a delivery and they even agreed to haul off our old oven to be donated, and it was probably obvious to everyone involved that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And they were right.
First things first: remove the old oven. I had no clue how this thing was attached, but I knew of at least one way to find out… and that was to just start unscrewing things.
Not surprisingly, I ended up removing components that didn’t need to be/shouldn’t have been removed, and I stumbled across an unopened set of wiring diagrams… shouldn’t those have been read by now???
I knew this thing was going to be heavy, but I had no idea how heavy. I brought some extra tools just in case it weighed 3.5 tons. Hint: this turned out to be an unnecessary step. The thing didn’t budge.
As luck would have it, oven doors are removable. And removing them makes removing an oven easier. It also exposes just how nasty ovens can get.
At this point, I had no idea what to do next, so I just grabbed the oven and started trying to move it around, and it actually worked- the oven began to slide out, but definitely required some “coaxing.”
This thing didn’t budge easily, and I knew it would be a toe breaker. It also had sharp edges that looked like a really efficient way to get tetanus, so I put on my work gloves and grabbed a cart to get some leverage.
Once the oven was removed, I could see what I was working with.
My favorite part of electrical work? Sorting out someone else’s sketchy electrical work.
A few quick measurements later, we realized our microwave would have to be moved up. Doh!
And on the first installation attempt, we discovered we’d have to remove the trim.
On the second installation attempt, we realized there were some trim screws that made it too wide.
My solution? Notch the wood. With a drill.
Microwave test fit #1.
Removal #3 in preparation for microwave test fit #2.
A little more notching…
At this point, Julie decided to become paranoid about the weight of the microwave, so I had to build a more robust shelf.
Sometimes these projects get me into some really tight spaces.
Can you guess what project I had leftover shelving from? Hint: this one.
Julie decided we should leave our mark on the house (my signature drill-notches were unacceptable, apparently) before the final, permanent installation:
By this point I was pretty much praying we had resolved all the fitment issues, because I was getting really tired of moving ovens. I should also mention that Julie had already given up by now and was watching TV. Impatiently.
We still have to finish all the trim, but you get the idea. With all stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a huge brick wall surrounding the oven and stove, we have a pretty impressive kitchen, especially for two people that barely know what cooking means.
Just don’t look at the floor.
And thus begins the start of the floor fund…