Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Kitchen Improvements

The long-awaited kitchen remodel is finally ready to almost be underway (did I hedge enough there?). We tend to plan things like this a bit much, so it takes a lot longer than it does for normal people to get going on a remodel effort. Of course, normal people hire someone to do it for them. Or at least to supplement the work that they want to do themselves with work done by professionals. But no, not us.

See, my husband is pretty competent with mechanical things. He basically has a PhD in them, and his dad did woodworking as his career for most of his life. So, he's more than competent -- he's quite good, and this makes the work done by most professionals seem shoddy to him. True, he's only doing something once, and has a lot of motivation to do it the right way, but he's also not getting paid by the number of jobs he completes. It all comes back to that old adage -- you can pick two of the three: quality, speed, cheap. Since most people are concerned with "cheap", either quality or speed have to be compromised. And most contractors need the speed for their businesses to succeed. Now, I'm not saying that contractors do a poor job, just that my husband is such a perfectionist that he notices every little gap or nick or thing that just wasn't done the way he would have done them.

As an example, a couple of months ago we had French doors put in to replace the ailing back sliding glass door that had been there forever. We looked at lots of doors, and settled on an unfinished wooden set. We really wanted them to open outward into the back yard, which required fancy security hinges which were backordered and delayed multiple times, but finally arrived, and were installed as agreed. However, one side of the door hole wasn't completely plumb, so they lined everything up, and put the jamb over it. This completely hid the fact that there was a gap, but he wanted it to be shimmed, and he complained about it for weeks, even deciding to boycott the establishment where we got the doors. I've never worried the door wasn't solid, but I do think my husband wants to be sure it's hard for someone to bulldoze our house one day.

As a result, it's actually easier to let him do these things himself. It just means things take forever. So, when he decided he wants to build his own kitchen cabinets, I expressed the concern that we would be without a functional kitchen for a year or more. He agreed that was a valid concern. However, for his mental health, and for preservation of my ears from having to listen to the complaints about someone else's work, I have resigned myself to a long remodel effort. At the end, though, it should be seriously nice.

At this point, we have floor plans, and lots of drawings of various stages of cabinet design. We have new appliances ordered, and they are arriving this week. That will really force us to start making some serious progress.

Pictures may follow, if can remember to pull out the camera for various parts of the process.

This weekend, we went out and ordered a new dishwasher

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