Friday, May 18, 2007

5th week update and the SHOCKER

Since the remodeling started in the middle of a week back on April 26th, the 4 week mark was hit on May 16th.

I came back from my trip on Monday night to find the kitchen completely transformed. Even though the dust and boxes were everywhere, and the walls that are to be covered with the granite were still painted mango, it was a WOW moment when I saw it live. The microwave cabinet was installed, and that nearly completed the kitchen. Only 5 minor cabinets remained plus all the trim and molding.

Tuesday proved to be a hellish day. Wall cabinet next to range went in, no issues. I scheduled the templating with the granite people - June 1st. Later than I hoped to be, but it proved just about right only a few hours later.

After the 3 cabinets next to the microwave cabinet were installed, all the wiring was done (one of the uppers next to microwave cabinet will have an electrical outlet for my cell phone charging and a phone jack for the land line phone), the microwave was installed - only to reveal a design flow - a missing filler between the microwave and the fridge - which prevented the freezer from being completely open. It got only better when the final cabinet was taken out of the box - at least a 6" long crack was running from the top. What a day, hah??? Of course, I called the KD right away to request a replacement and the missing filler.

I have to say we were very lucky, because we had just enough room on the affected wall for the filler. Anything wider and we would have major issues.

So, since we needed a new cabinet and a piece of molding, all the work basically came to a screeching halt. The kitchen was nearly there!!! Nothing else could've been really done until all the missing items would arrive - hopefully before templating. Guys installed the filler above the vent, cleaned up the garage, installed the old counter top on the sink section of the kitchen and basically called it a day. The agreement is that Bryan will be periodically popping in and out as the replacement doors, molding, etc will be arriving. He will also have to come in to connect the old sink since new pipes are needed.

After the latest "shocker" we were majorly ticked off, because this time it would actually cost us money to fix this mess. To install the filler between the microwave and the fridge, 4 cabinets would have to be moved and electrical outlets would have to be moved. Bryan has been really patient with working around some of the KD or cabinet-related issues, but this issue would cost him a day. I was also ticked off with some of the cabinet-related issues - since we ordered the cabinets when Decora was raising prices, a lot of folks did the same thing, so the output increased but the QA/QC suffered a lot as well. We have 5 doors to replace, some corner supports were not attached properly, of course the 2 wrong size fillers, and the one cabinet that was slightly bowed in - nothing major or anything that would impact the structural quality but it shouldn't be like that with the cabinetry that prizes itself on their workmanship and quality.

So, I compiled a list of all my cabinet complaints, printed out all the evidence and Brian and I went to meet the KD. I wanted some kind of compensation for the cabinets and some kind of compensation for the $300 an extra day of work that we had to pay up due to what seemed to us was a KD negligence (he had all the appliance specs!!!!). At the end, I got all the molding I wanted to order free of charge (from Decora) as well as the grape embellishment that we wanted to order to go on the valance above the hood. KD kicked in half of what I wanted, but I was satisfied anyways. Because of his mistakes we got the fridge filler, the panels for the wall cabinets flanking the vent on the house, as well as the valance above the hood (we were going to pay for it since it was a last minute addition but we ordered it at the same time as we found out the missing finished panels for the wall cabinets mentioned above, and he gave the valance free of charge). So considering these freebies, I don't feel too bad about getting only the $150 back. If I had to pay for molding, trim, the grape onlay and other stuff, it would be at least $800, if not more.

Photos to be posted later. Have a great weekend everyone.

end of the 4th week photos

The peninsula went in (the buffet and the double waste bin cabinets), as did the pendant lights. Fridge was framed as well (no photo). Yes, Brian is smiling J

The dust is everywhere and so are the boxes. Old stuff from the kitchen can’t go into the garage since it’s full of boxes and other remodeling-related stuff. So the hallways are housing the baker’s rack, and other cabinets we used to have in the old kitchen.

4th week photos (mid week update)

Before the peninsula cabinets went in and the fridge was framed (mid-week photos):

Another couple of views of the range :)

More end of the week photos are coming soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

photos from 4th week

are coming soon.

i finally figured out what is going on. I tried to upload them from several PCs and had issues. The photos were taken by Jean, who emailed them to me as pictures w/n the email, not as separate attachments. For some strange reason, the site here did not take the photos. When I tried to upload a photo that was sent as an attachment (not kitchen-related) it got published w/o any problems. So, as soon as I get the photos as attachments, they will be up, plus this week's progress and the customary "shocker" entry.

Cheers, Yana

Sunday, May 13, 2007

4th week shocker

Well, I wouldn't even call it a full shocker, but keeping with the tradition of earlier weeks, I am documenting all the excitement of our remodeling.

First, I got a call from KD that the side panels for the cabinets that flank the vent were ordered in the wrong thickness, and whatever we are getting on Friday is not usable (but the filler/valance above the vent and the grape embellishment is very much usable though). The replacement will be shipped out on Monday. Ok, we can deal with that - no big deal!

Second, as I am gearing to leave work for the airport, I get a call from Bryan, the contractor, informing me that 2 of the very much needed fillers (connecting the 24" deep wall with a 12" deep wall) were missing. Apparently, 2 different ones were included with the order instead. We had no other choice but to cut out the fillers from the large filler/valance piece that goes above the fridge (and Bryan had to kill some time to cut the pieces out). The fridge valance replacement will come in with the correct thickness panels sometime next week. Obviously, the large wood piece is a lot more expensive than the 2 small filler pieces and I am sure the cabinet making people were not very pleased with that, but tough - they should've filled the order correctly! The fridge valance can be installed anytime.

We also have a few doors that need to be replaced due to some scratches and too much knots on one of them, but I am told this happens with everybody.

Considering that the guys were working a full day for the entire week and a lot of opportunities were there for bad news, the "surprises" are indeed very minor and fixable.

4th week progress

This is supposed to be the most "productive" week in terms of cabinetry installation, and what do I do? I go out of town. But thanks to Brian and Jean, I was still getting the updates.

Most of the cabints on the 2 new walls got installed this week, including the peninsula and the pendant lights above it. The fridge got framed on one side (but no picture is yet available) and the water line got connected.

The two replacement cabinets arrived and were installed right next to the fridge.

Remaining cabinets include the tall oven cabinet, the corner wall cabinet above the peninsula and the corner base and wall next to the oven cabinet.

Remaining "punch list" items include the molding, the panels, decorative embellishments and the filler/valance pieces above the vent and the fridge.

The hope is that the granite will be templated by the end of next week.

For some strange reason I am having difficulties uploading the photos, but they will be added soon (I promise!).

Friday, May 4, 2007

3rd week's shocker

Of course, there had to be one!

As Bryan was getting ready to install the wall cabinets that flank the hood, it was discovered that our KD did not specify a finished panel on sides that are adjacent to the hood (they are partially exposed).

I guess the good thing is that everything else can be installed and the panels can be slided in and secured later on. Also, since the panels are for two regular 30" high, 12" deep cabinets, these can be shipped out right away. Since the KD covered the cost of the wood panel above the hood, we decided to splurge and also added a decorative onlay (the grapes) to the order to match similar look on the panel above the fridge.

Grumpy Grimonde lost his cash
He wanted to spend it on a drinking bash
His wife said kitchen
He went off bitchin'
The look on his face says she won the dash

copyright Agent Smyth aka Smithers aka David Smith
(note: the range did not get a cleaning yet, so ignore the fingerprints)

3rd week update

Monday and Tuesday were rough on Bryan and his crew because of the vent hood. The soffit was too narrow for the hood to go straight in (the exhaust pipe make a 90 degree angle to the outside wall) and he tried a number of different attachments to make it work. Short of re-building the soffit, the only other way was to get the vent installed 6" below the soffit. This means that a 48" long (the length of the vent hood) filler would have to be installed. Height-wise it's not a problem - there is still plenty of space under the hood. But nearly two days got wasted.

The hood got installed in Tuesday night and on Wednesday the range was finally brought into the house. When we got home the stainless steel beauty was so beautiful that I did not even see the new cabinets next to it.

Also, the hallway, the soffits and a bit of space that won't be covered by either the cabinets or the granite were painted in Benjamin Moore's Tyler Taupe color. It came out a lot better than I thought it would, with more green tint in it. Paint choice was the most difficult decision we had to make.

Guys worked late on Tuesday and Wednesday and went off to the other projects for the remainder of the week. Bryan came in to do more electrical work in the basement (in preparation for the 2 walls that haven't been worked on yet) and to do a 2nd coat of paint.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

2nd week shocker

The range and the vent (as well as the disposal) were supposed to be delivered on Friday and of course, I was hoping to see my "baby" in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, the range and the vent were being brought in from outside of the area and the crew never bothered to check the weight of the cargo. As a result they were not in a position to bring it inside the house, so when we got home the appliances were sitting in a garage. Bummer. Regular crew was scheduled to arrive the following Wednesday to bring the range in (all 750 lbs of it!).

Other minor annoyance (a very minor one) - the range required a 4-prong electrical outlet, and the old range used 3. Apparently the old wire would not support the more powerful electrical requirements and new wire had to be installed (translation - some extra $$).

Follow-up on the cabinet replacement - they are supposed to get here on May 11th.

2nd week progress

More electrical work followed with partial demolition throughout the week.
The oven was disconnected so at this point we were at the mercy of left-overs that I cooked over the weekends, take-outs, and smooching off of friends. Under the oven we discovered NASTY old linoleum floor which was covered up with a plywood to level this area with the floor.

But at least we still have the sink!

Bryan installed one wall cabinet early in the week so we could see some progress - but on the wall which is most likely going to be done last due to the cabinet replacements we are still waiting for. This cabinet is a thing of beauty and is away from the rest of the action.

At the end of the week we also had the super susan base cabinet installed.

First week's shocker

2 of the cabinets which were supposed to go in first turned out to be 1.5" too long. Our KD based the original design on room measurements supplied by us, which were off in most cases by an inch or so. When he took the measurements, he adjusted the cabinet sizes on the affected walls accordingly, but this one slipped by. At least we are lucky that the design allows to replace these two 18" cabinets (wall and base) with a set of 15" and keep the door clearances, etc.

The replacement cabinets were ordered by the KD and should get in in about 2.5 weeks or so.

Lucky for us, our contractor Bryan can work on other walls and tasks so we are not holding him up.