Countertops nothing like rooftops

W. Curt Vincent GM/editor

It took two leaks over a year’s time and a major hurricane to convince myself that I needed a metal roof on my house. That was back in October, and ever since then I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every storm that has blown past — though there is still pain when I write out the monthly check.

But shortly after that metal roof was installed, I was told by my girlfriend-turned-fiance’ that I also needed new kitchen counter tops.

And here I thought the only expense for talking someone into marrying you was an engagement ring. Wrong. In my case, it’s a ring and counter tops — granite at that.

The counter tops, not the ring.

OK, so I chewed on the thought of having new counter tops replace the admittedly ugly, worn and old laminate. The first challenge was convincing myself that this was a “need” and not just a “want.”

It took several months, but … check.

The next challenge was to be sure this, on the heels of blanketing my house with black metal, could be paid for.

This took several more months, but, thanks to tax refunds … check.

Then I pulled a “guy thing” … attempting to forget about counter tops. That lasted all of about 527 minutes before I was gently reminded. No, not by the new ring-wearer, but by the fact that my jeans caught on a tiny, loose piece of laminate and ripped a strip completely off the island counter top.

That was the opening the lady of the house needed, and off to Lowe’s we went, where we wandered the 257 options before a nice young lady named Candice or Cynthia or Crystal — I can never recall — sat us down and went through our “needs.” Before I knew it, we had whittled our choices down to two and were promising to decide within five days.


Sure enough, my new spouse-to-be was now on an official mission, and she kept me focused. Within the promised time, we chose a granite pattern called “snowfall” and paid the $75 needed to schedule a visit by someone with a ruler to measure how much of the stone we would need.

Turns out it was just under 50 square feet. I won’t give you the other part of this equation, but will just tell you the end number was enough to make me gasp … silently, of course.

With a huge smile, my adoring other half signed her name with flowing letters and slid the paper to me. I shut my eyes, hesitated and … signed my right arm away.

So here’s where it gets interesting.

I assumed having counter tops installed meant the installers would take care of everything — outside of removing items from the counter tops — necessary to getting them installed. After all, when the roofers put the new roof on, I wasn’t asked to remove the old shingles. I just watched.

Well, imagine my shock when I was told that, before the counter tops could be installed, we would have to remove the old counter tops, turn off the electricity at the breaker, remove the stove completely, have heavy-duty braces put on the island area, unhook all plumbing and put plastic up to cover any doorways into the kitchen.

Wow, I wanted to ask whether I would also have to cut the holes in the granite for the sink and stove areas … but I didn’t, afraid they’d say yes.

And they weren’t finished yet. We would also have to reconnect all the plumbing and put the stove back in when they were finished.

Could I do all that? Sure … but there is no guarantee that when you turned on the garbage disposal, the toilet wouldn’t flush. Just as likely would be the possibility of someone being electrocuted … probably me.

So, to avoid anything catastrophic like that, we paid more dollars to have someone more qualified stop by before and after the counter tops were put in.

Thankfully, I don’t have to write monthly checks for this project — instead, it was done with one, painful payment that was gone as quickly as it had arrived. And despite it’s short visit with me, I really miss it.

But the counter tops really do look good and are certainly more “Fixer Upper” worthy.

I thought the checkbook would be able to relax after those two major items, but … not a chance. I have less than a month to finish an incredibly ridiculous huge deck and, something to look forward to with bated breath (pffffffffft!) is a new kitchen floor.

Brick tile, I’m told.

You know, I’ve always been taught that the man of the house should ALWAYS have the last word in any discussion or decision. That word?

Yes, ma’am.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or

W. Curt Vincent GM/editor Curt Vincent GM/editor