Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Floor Plan

Being that this project has been simmering in my mind for the last two years, we went through many floor plans.

While I feel that nothing ever really changed in these plans, but an inch here, an inch there, and things did change. I then got cold feet and wanted to hire a kitchen designer. I paid this woman $180 and I didn't end up taking any of her suggestions, and she then turned out to be a flake anyway. (This is apparently a serious problem with home renovations...)

Thankfully, my cabinet maker, as well as my contractor, talked some sense into me, and I signed off on the plans.

The cabinets went into production 1 week ago. We demolish in 3 weeks. Woohoo.

I am going to upload the final plan and show you. Soon, I promise.

Friday, October 4, 2013

How My Mother Bought Cabinets

This is a short post.

I didn't think twice about this when my mother remodeled her kitchen. Now that I have spent about 8 hours with my cabinet makers, and another 8 talking to my contractor about the cabinets, and probably about 20 hours looking at drawings and reading about cabinets, this is really incredible.

My mother went out one morning, went to Home Depot, and came home with a receipt for all her kitchen cabinets two hours later. The cabinets showed up about 1 week later.

The end.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I have lived through two remodels previously.  The first belonged to my parents.  Seriously, I think my mother woke up one morning, decided this 60's kitchen needed to go, (the year was actually 1992.) She hired a contractor, who turned out to be a disaster, and started down the road to perdition.

The problems with her remodel:
1. They didn't really think things through. They didn't have time! They were raising 3 kids, my dad was in graduate school part-time, and they were raising 3 kids. I also think it is my parents' pattern that they tend to rush through any issue related to real estate. They are people minded, not stuff minded, and remodeling a house is about stuff, and that is just not their thing.

2. Because they are people minded, they hired a 'contractor' who really needed work. The reason he needed work was because his work was shit. Really, it was.

3. Because the contractor was incompetent, the sink, skylight, and window, did not line up. None of these three items lined up. It was really ridiculous.

4. Because my mom is not into stuff, she was not into micromanaging stuff. Therefore, she didn't catch #3.

5. They ended up firing that 'contractor.' I actually should just say that they fired the guy. The guy was actually not a contractor. They had to find a new contractor.

6. The whole thing took FOREVER. FOREVER.

Thankfully, because my parents had decided to obtain permits for all the work, the house has not collapsed. The house also got sold a few years ago, so that the misaligned kitchen now belongs to someone else. When I drove by last year, the skylight and the window were still misaligned.

Dreadful. DREADFUL!

This is the only picture I could fine on the web of its exterior, see how the skylight is just so slightly off?

My second experience with a remodel was at the townhouse we owned prior to buying this abode.

My mistakes of that remodel.
1. The 'contractors' were really just a bunch of guys pretending. Do you see a theme here? You would think I would have learned. To my defense, I didn't pick the contractors. (The short version is that my father-in-law was going to remodel his rental property and sell it, and we enthusiastically said that we wanted to buy it, so we went with the contractor he was referred to by the realtor.)

2. I didn't know anything about remodeling. For instance, these guys put down laminate flooring and lined up all the seams. Seriously, it was ALL lined up, so that you have this glaring line down the middle of the room. The problem wasn't aesthetics, but that hello! Laminate flooring, when lined up like soldiers, will buckle. Oh, and did the floor buckle. About 3 years after the work, we had to replace it all. These guys' work was really just shit.

3. Because we didn't know anything, all the problems were found AFTER we moved in. And we had to hire Mr. L to fix just about everything. He fixed the leaky shower, he fixed the plumbing.

Do you see why my sweet husband thinks this is all just a great hassle?

Although, that kitchen did turn out quite cute. And after we fixed the floor, see how smooth and flat it is?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Can I revise the contract?

I sent a text to my contractor's lovely wife, Erin, yesterday. After I signed off on the plans and wrote a check to the cabinet maker. The text said, "I bought cabinets!"

Or so I thought.

When my dear husband came home, I told him the 'good' news. Now, you have to remember, that nothing about this remodel is good news to his ears. It isn't that he is withholding all my joys, it isn't that he doesn't want me to have a beautiful space to cook and supervise homework, aka yell at the kids. He just doesn't want the hassle. He doesn't want his eating area to be demolished for 2 months. He doesn't want to wash dishes in the bathtub for 2 months. To my "good news," he said, "Really? I haven't really looked at the plans." To my credit, I showed it to him last week, after my fourth meeting with the cabinet guys. To his credit, I only showed it to him once. As he said, "We go back and forth at work at least 3-4 times about decisions at work."

Oh my goodness.

You have to know that he manages details for a living. The man builds software, and that, my dear readers, includes a whole lot of details that are constantly changing. He is also very rational and logical, and therefore, he does not like to rush.

That, is the opposite of me. I want to think about an issue, think about the pros and cons, make a decision, and just move on. This trait works for me at work. At my job, I just have to think things through, within 20 minutes or so, make some decisions, and go. Because humans are not robots, and I work with humans.

Getting cabinets made, though, is more like working with robots. You gotta make the best decision. There is no going back.

I sat there, and went through the plans with him, while he ate dinner. It felt a little like getting my homework checked by my mom. Although, actually, she never checked my homework. I am guessing that is what it would feel like. He had a few good suggestions, and some that made me think of words that would not be appropriate for me to use in public.

I e mailed the cabinet guys, and called them this morning. They pulled the cabinets off production. THEY WERE ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING TO MAKE THEM!

I am sure I am not the first person to have done this, nor will I be the last person to do this.

I will tell you tomorrow the actual issues with these cabinets.