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How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Posted by threeapples (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 13:31

Our fabricator put a rounded corner on a unit in our laundry room that is supposed to look like a freestanding piece of furniture. One edge is attached to the wall and the other they rounded. Once the top unit of the hutch goes on it will look odd that the two sides are not the same. I'm pretty irritated. Will removing a counter ruin the cabinet? Is there another way to solve this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

You've asked this same question several times for different materials/rooms! It doesn't matter if removing the counter will ruin the cabinet ... that is their problem. If the GC has to order a new cabinet that is what he has to do to deliver the product YOU paid for.

Either demand to get what you paid for or accept it and live with it. Sadly, this seems to be a common theme with your GC and this build.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

What's the point of asking? Just to torture yourself with what might have been?

You haven't held the builder accountable for finishing your floors correctly, or building your showers correctly, or installing the brick correctly or any one of a dozen other issues. What would be different on this issue?


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

holysprings you took the words right out of my mouth.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

The point of asking is that I would like to know if this is a difficult job. No reason to be rude. Either answer or move on.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Perhaps if you followed up with the resolution to all of the other problems that you've had people wouldn't feel like answering all of your questions is a waste of our time. Has any of the previous problems you've posted about ever been corrected? Any of them? Even one? It would be the courteous thing to follow up on all of those posts and post the outcome.

This post was edited by hollysprings on Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 18:18


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Honestly it seems like GW is sick of my house project ( understandably) so I've not posted resolutions because I'm tired if hearing all the rude comments.

Our brick walls with poorly spaced areas were ripped down and redone last Fall. The cracked and poorly made Marvin windows were replaced (many times), the hardwood floors still look bad, but my builder has offered to bring the president of the company out to look at them and not pay them in full until 6 months from now if I am still not happy. The subway tile shower was redone (thought I posted about that in the bathrooms forum), we have not yet resolved the master shower floor issues and I could not get ahold of the granite fabricator to express my disappointment in the finish of our laundry room. I will demand that be rectified. I don't know if they can polish the leathered surface smooth, but they're going to have to try. I also need them to remove one counter and cut a square edge to have the unit match on both sides.

This post was edited by threeapples on Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 20:13


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

One thing to think about with your counter is safety/comfort in the laundry room. My mom has a countertop like that at the beach where one side dies into the wall and the other is a point. She has bumped against it several times and bruised herself. At this point, she would much rather it be rounded to save herself the irritation. It may not be an issue with yours due to location and my mom is super thin (size 0 or 00) so there is almost no padding to protect her from the point but something to think about.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

P.S. People replace countertops on existing cabinets all the time so I cannot imagine it is a problem to take it out. It may require a new piece of soapstone though because not sure how you go from rounded corner to square . . .


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Threeapples, a good GC/sub could probably remove a counter without any damage, but it really doesn't matter. They need to deliver the contracted product even if they have to start over with a new cabinet. Their problem, not yours.

With your floors, you kept saying that your DH didn't want the subfloors ruined. Again, not your problem. The GC will have to take that on as part of the hardwood floor repair. That is his cost of business when he or his subs do not do the job correctly the first time.

I guess we are frustrated that you have these problems and the GC seems to be able to bully you and your DH into accepting less than what you agreed to and paid for.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Thanks, Athens. My husband came up with the idea of having the fabricator remove the counter and then rotate it so the curved corner is in the corner of the wall. This is a counter that will have a unit on top of it so that curved area, if rotated, won't be visible. I'm not sure this is possible, but maybe they can try that since there is not enough stone left for a new cut.

Chispa, I agree with you completely about the ruined subfloors not being our problem. I can't get my dh on board with this though. We let them fully finish one room (the dining room) to see if we were satisfied with the completed product. I am not. I will call my builder about it on Monday and have him bring the owner of the flooring company out. Honestly, if my husband isn't in agreement and is willing to settle for average instead of great there isn't anything I can do.

Yes, I am unbelievably frustrated with this house. I never dreamed it'd be so stressful. At this point my husband just wants to be done. It's been almost 21 months and we were told 12-15. With two small kids and all kinds of other life challenges this has been quite the rollercoaster. There are some issues with the builder that might explain a few things here, but I don't feel comfortable posting them on the internet. Let's just say that we have had to find alternative ways to get things done just to get things done if we ever want to live there.

In case you're interested, here is the plan for the laundry room. The counter that has a rounded corner is the one on the "hutch" to the left. The cabinet maker is installing a strip of wood between that unit and the lower run of cabinets a few inches back from the front edge so that there won't be an awkward gap for things to get stuck into.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

counter tops are changed every day in existing homes
with little to no damage to the cabinets.

whether or not it can be done easily on your
new build..remains to be seen.
as apparently there are issues & drama ongoing.

had to edit after doing site search.
apparently there are lots of 'issues'
but little resolution to any of them that was
posted.

so instead of offering any more advice,
I'll just say...
best of luck.

This post was edited by energy_rater_la on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 19:53


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Threeapples,
Why is your DH willing to accept less than perfect new floors? If you were our friends and we came over to visit your new house, I would see your floors and quickly say "Hey threeapples and Mr. threeapples did you notice this problem with your floors. They are cupping. You have a humidity/water problem. Call your builder right away."

Let's say in 2 years time Mr. threeapples gets an amazing, can't turn down, job offer in another state. You place your house for sale. As a buyer I would notice the floors and my first assumption would be a major water intrusion problem. If I decided to investigate further and found it was an install issue, I would be making an offer with a substantial discount to replace all the floors.

Don't settle on the floors. Do you have your husband read these threads?


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Chispa, Yes, I make my husband read these threads. Today he suggested that we take his laser level mechanism and run it across the floors in one room, marking the laser spot on the wall to illustrate that there are, indeed, unlevel planks, or at least I feel that they are not flat enough. I thought this was a step in the right direction for him so maybe he is coming around to the idea that something needs to be done. While I was there today I took a piece of metal I found and put it on one of the boards. It's incredibly difficult to discern from my photo, but it does illustrate that the boards are higher on the sides than in the middle.

Energy-rater--you are correct. Most of our issues remain unresolved. :(

In all photos the white "line" beneath the metal scrap is light coming through from between the floor and the metal.

 photo 4FD30AD0_zpsff234d44.jpg

 photo 2ECE4816_zps67105e00.jpg

 photo 48F5991B_zps438ce29b.jpg


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

I just wanted to say, your laundry room is going to be fantastic. I agree that you should ask the builder to reinstall another piece of counter of the correct shape.

Also, my build has been riddled with many problems and we are in the process of nagging several subs to come back and fix and or finish their job. I have had to post many times on GW about many issues and thankfully the good advice I have received on these boards has helped me arrive at many solutions (in other words thanks GW). I hope things get resolved so your don't have to make so many compromises.

Good luck,

Carol


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Thank you, OntarioMom--I appreciate your kind words and am glad to know you also have received good advice from GW. :)


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Hang in there, threeapples. Even with the most wonderful workers, building is stressful. The people on GW really do want to help and they really are the best!! Take a deep breath and don't give in to anything not up to your expectations.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

you should make a list of all the issues you have
with your build.

even just listing all the items you've started new
threads about, would give you quite the list.

then after you & DH agree, go to builder
with this list.
decide what is important..what is cosmetic,
what has to be fixed and what is good to go.

maybe this will give you some perspective also.

nit picking gives the builder good reason to
not put much validity in your complaints.
not saying it is right..but it is true in the real world.
builder will bypass you to deal with the more rational
homeowner, causing tension between you & DH.
this is one of the reasons building is so stressful on
relationships.

I counted at least a dozen things you've complained
about..but don't see that any were resolved.
I guess that is why there are so many threads...instead
of keeping all the issues in one thread.

focus on what matters, & let things like this go.
putting the rounded side of the counter top to
the wall is just crazy. either replace the countertop
at your cost, or leave it as is and move on.

best of luck.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Just wanted to thank you for updating some of the posts -- you have had quite the challenge with your build, and I know it helps those who have taken the time to post their thoughts and ideas for solutions to see how some of it worked out (AND that you stuck to your guns on some of getting some of the more major issues addressed!) The house is beautiful and in a few years (assuming none of the build issues rear their heads again), much of what seem major issues now will seem inconsequential. We had a lot of panic attacks during our major kitchen remodel but we had a skilled architect who concurred with us on issues he felt were critical that the contractor address properly, but who also calmed us on the things that he (correctly, as it turned out) felt would prove unimportant in the long run. My husband had a fit when the range hood was installed an inch and a half off the center point between two large beams after he had carefully measured it out and we had specified it be EXACTLY centered. He wanted the contractor to pull it off and redo it. The architect said "you know guys, you are the absolutely the ONLY ones who will ever notice that inch and a half!" and seven years later, I can say he was absolutely right. Even when we point it out to guests, they can't see it! So I hope you, too, will find that many of the issues that loomed so large during construction will fade in importance as you settle into your new home!

As for the soapstone, frankly, I would leave it. If it's an even remotely soft variety, that square corner will end up nicked and "rounded" at some point anyway. I would personally prefer to have it rounded to begin with, but if it is going to bug you ever time you see it, then get it changed out. Just beware that as another poster said, that squared off corner will have some practical drawbacks that a rounded one won't.

However, for all the reasons Chispa mentioned, I would hold firm on the floors if there is any measurable curvature to the boards. That will only be trouble down the road. It sounds as if they broke every rule in the book installing those floors, and that is on your builder's dime: it was his responsibility to schedule the floor installation for the appropriate stage of the project.

Good luck and thanks again for updating some of your issues -- I know it is appreciated by all who have followed your build.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

3Apples:
I just want you to know that I appreciate the updates. We are so glad you have had some resolution on some of your issues. There have been times where I've scrolled down the pages looking for your name and been quite relieved that I didn't see your name. "Yeah, she's had a great week!"

I'm sure you have a large cheering section on this boards. You will have a lovely home. Can't wait to see the final results!


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Three apples,

Your house seems to be a very involved build with many wonderful features. No wonder it has taken so long and has required so much of your thought and energy. Like you, our build has involved much micro designing that we have had to puzzle out ourselves, seek advice repeatedly from GW and pay for many appointments with our interior designer. It just takes so much time to add the special details and features your house includes.

We also have a long list of incomplete work and mistakes that need correcting. Instead of chasing down one GC, we need to round up many sub-contractors. I hope you will continue to visit these boards when you are done and share your wisdom as I am sure you have had to learn more about building that your ever dreamed. Those of us further from completiion than you would benefit from learning from you. If it makes you feel any better we broke ground 17 months ago and had to stop building for 5 months to re-design and then tear down what turned out to be a very unattractive garage roof that looked fine in the architect's 2D elevation pics, but not good in real life. Live and learn!

Hang in there. It looks like you are nearing completing. Don't give up on getting those floors fixed.

Carol


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Hi Carol,

"Live and learn" seems to be our motto for this house building project, however we don't plan to ever do it again despite all of the knowledge we gained. We went into this wanting to be hands-on, but didn't know we'd need to be this involved.

Your build also sounds complicated and stressful. I can relate to the difficulty of doing this with small children underfoot!!!!

Thank you for the kind advice and encouragement. I'll be watching your "front step" thread carefully as we'll be at that point in a month or two as well.

Still waters--you are so kind! We've had many great weeks while building this house. My husband, the kids, and I, spent most of the afternoon there today cleaning up the yard and moving our furniture into the garage and basement (we need to be out of our current house by 1 May) and I took a step back, looked at the house, and really loved what I saw. It's nowhere near perfect, but it's more than wonderful in many, many ways and we all felt really natural and comfortable there. It was so amazing to see our kids taking ownership of the yard and exploring--that will be the best part of having built this as it really was for them anyway.

But, yes, the hardwood floors are a fiasco. I have been in touch with an independent flooring consultant. My biggest gripe is the hideous cracked filler between all the boards and the pathetic patching they did of the damaged boards. I am looking forward to conversation with the inspector and will certainly post back the results of that as things unfold. Thanks to all of you for reminding me I really need to stand up for what we paid for, for proper service, and for best practices with our build. I'm glad I put my foot down with the staircase (keep forgetting to take a photo), the shower, the windows, and the brick as they were all resolved exactly to our liking and we are so glad we piped up about it all.


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How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Hi Carol,

"Live and learn" seems to be our motto for this house building project, however we don't plan to ever do it again despite all of the knowledge we gained. We went into this wanting to be hands-on, but didn't know we'd need to be this involved.

Your build also sounds complicated and stressful. I can relate to the difficulty of doing this with small children underfoot!!!!

Thank you for the kind advice and encouragement. I'll be watching your "front step" thread carefully as we'll be at that point in a month or two as well.

Still waters--you are so kind! We've had many great weeks while building this house. My husband, the kids, and I, spent most of the afternoon there today cleaning up the yard and moving our furniture into the garage and basement (we need to be out of our current house by 1 May) and I took a step back, looked at the house, and really loved what I saw. It's nowhere near perfect, but it's more than wonderful in many, many ways and we all felt really natural and comfortable there. It was so amazing to see our kids taking ownership of the yard and exploring--that will be the best part of having built this as it really was for them anyway.

But, yes, the hardwood floors are a fiasco. I have been in touch with an independent flooring consultant. My biggest gripe is the hideous cracked filler between all the boards and the pathetic patching they did of the damaged boards. I am looking forward to conversation with the inspector and will certainly post back the results of that as things unfold. Thanks to all of you for reminding me I really need to stand up for what we paid for, for proper service, and for best practices with our build. I'm glad I put my foot down with the staircase (keep forgetting to take a photo), the shower, the windows, and the brick as they were all resolved exactly to our liking and we are so glad we piped up about it all.


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Just wanted to update everyone. The soapstone fabricator offered to cut the edge down for me if I didn't like the rounded part with the upper cabinet on top. I told the cabinet guy not to install the upper until I saw it resting on top. I got there and they had installed it, but I am completely fine with the edge and love the whole look. Here is a photo:


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

I love it too! :)


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

"I feel that they are not flat enough."

You do understand that wood changes shape and size constantly based on its moisture content.

It never stops.

No finish can stop it.

No amount of nails or glue can stop it.

You can sand it perfectly flat one day, and come back the next and have it no longer be perfectly flat.

It all depends on the moisture content of the wood at any particular moment

Figure 3-3 in Chapter 3 of the 'Wood Handbook' is an excellent diagram of how wood shapes change depending on their original location in the log.

The gaps between strips are going to open ad close between heating and cooling seasons also. and wider strips make for larger gaps.

Here is a link that might be useful: 'Wood Hadbook'


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RE: How hard is it to remove an installed soapstone counter?

Thanks to both of you!


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