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Don’t Cut The Granite

Marketeers and salespeople often use the phrase “think outside the box”.  And when the phrase is used in that way, I usually think of clever, creative marketing and promotional stuff.

People involved in the day to day operation of rental properties, tend to think in more practical and pragmatic terms.  Heaters need to be fixed, sewer drains need to be unclogged.  Drain augers exist in a world that is somehow outside of any box/unbox metaphor.

However, one of the finest real world examples of thinking outside the box I have ever experienced, came from a low budget contractor during a kitchen renovation.

The tenants had left the property, a single family home, in sorrowful condition.  The kitchen had to be gutted.

Our low budget contractor had managed to salvage a rather nice granite countertop from somewhere else.  No, I didn’t ask where.  I’m not sure I wanted to know the details.

One little problem though, the countertop was just about three inches too long to fit in our subject property’s kitchen.  And the contractor did not have any tool that could be trusted to safely and cleanly make a straight cut in the granite to lob off those excess inches.

The solution?  The kitchen wall at the side, abutting the short side of the countertop — He cut a slot slotinwallhere1.jpgin the drywall, to allow those extra three inches of countertop to just simply slide into the wall.  Then he patched up the slot, sealed the wall and caulked it.  Done!

My marketing friends will probably find a slogan here “Don’t Cut The Granite, When You Can Cut The Wall!”  And that’s great, take from it what you will. 

I personally learned a subtle little lesson about making things work.  A true moment of epiphany, if you will.  And if I could create a new topic category here on BHB, I would create one titled:  “Epiphany”.

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  • 5 comments

    5 Comments so far

    1. Brian Brady February 27th, 2008 8:33 pm

      Oh, CJ, you know I won’t be able to resist.

    2. Elizabeth Weintraub February 27th, 2008 9:05 pm

      As long as the contractor ended it with backsplash at the wall, it should be fine. Otherwise, water takes the path of least resistance. I’d hate to be those new home owners and find the wall buckling later on.

    3. Spencer Barron February 28th, 2008 2:27 am

      I can’t help but wonder about the 2 1/2″ deep notch cut out of at least 1 wood stud. They usually put more wood in a house than they really need. All’s well that ends well. :-)

    4. Westboro MA Realtor February 28th, 2008 7:41 pm

      That really was a creative way of making this work out. Granite is one of those hot buttons that always make a kitchen stand out.

    5. Doug Quance March 1st, 2008 5:10 pm

      Creative? Yes.

      But I wouldn’t have done it. The contractor could have had a stone cutter take care of it… without the drama of cutting into the adjacent wall.

      Just my two cents.