Archive for January 29th, 2010

Kate and Aaron v. The Kitchen

As you may remember, the last time we talked, Aaron and I were in the midst of a kitchen remodel.  Well, not much has changed.  Except it has.  I’ve been sorta dreading writing about this because there’s a lot to say and it’s all hopelessly boring.  But write I must, as the blog must go on!

Where to begin…Well, Reader, when last we spoke, I was raving about my new top light.  It continues to astound me how non-annoying I find it.  The light went into the empty kitchen on Thursday the 21st.  All hell broke lose on Friday the 22nd. 

Friday morning, the installation folks came.  One of whom looks just like Bruno Kirby.  Bruno Kirby is clearly the head honcho and really the only one who speaks to me.  They have at it.  Cardboard is flying, saws are spinning and hammers are hammering.  Aaron and I hide out with a confused and sometimes frightened Grace in the bedroom.  From time to time I check on the goings on in the kitchen, but mostly I stay put.  The cute eletrician calls and asks to speak to Bruno because he needs to know if he can come later in the day to do the final electrical work (not really clear on what this is).  Bruno gives the ok, and goes back to work.  Time marches on.  The electricians enter the house and I discover that the kitchen is almost done.   I mean, the cabinets are pretty much all up and the crew is just hanging doors and putting in shelves.  What?  When did this happen?  Pretty soon they’re just asking me how I want the hardware put on.  And I answer, “Um, what do you think?”  And then the hardware goes on and pretty much…Poof!  There’s a new kitchen in my kitchen.   And I love it.  The electricians are going up and down the stairs and then, before I know it, the microwave is in place.  Wow.  Things happen fast if you hide out with your dog and have five strangers in your house and a lot of cabinets and appliances. 

But there is an issue.  Of course there is.  Well, a couple.  One is that I had noticed that one of the doors wasn’t looking so good — the thermofoil treatment on the doors, which makes them look all sleek and chic, was peeling off.  Bruno had said to me, “No problem.  We can get you a new door.”  So, everything appears to be in place except this one door (and a couple of shelves).  Ok.  I can live with that.  But in looking at the glorious new kitchen, I notice that the cabinets are not flush against the side wall.  To prevent them from looking weird, I guess, they put a piece of white wood in between the wall and the cabinet.   I can’t express how dumb this looks.  I should have taken a picture.  So, I said, “What’s the deal here?”  And Bruno explained it to me.  I said, “But they don’t have pieces that match the maple color of the cabinets?”  Bruno said, “Well, they do, but they didn’t send any.”  Um, hmm.  I just keep staring at it and saying, “But that looks really bad.  It looks so distracting and cheap.”  It is at this point that The Bearded Guy Who Looks Like He May Have Escaped From the Big House says, not to me but to Bruno, “We could just use the damaged door, cut it up and put it on there.”  Genius!  And so it happens.  And now it looks great.  Thanks Bearded Guy!

Ok, so we’re feeling pretty good at this point.  Except that we realize that we have a beautiful new refrigerator in our garage and need to find a way to get it into the house.  Hmm.  Now remember, please, that the Maytag folks would not deliver it to the house because that was an additional fee that we did not pay for.  Silly us.  When we were told that it was $30 for delivery, but an extra $39 for installation, we passed on the installation since we didn’t need it.  The plumber installs the dishwasher and the electricians install the microwave and the refrigerator and the stove just plug in, so why would we pay an extra $39?  Seemed silly.  Well, again, silly us.  That $39 gets you those appliances in your house.  And the $30 gets them in the garage, which is probably 30 yards and seven steps away.  In hindsight, the $39 was a bargain for what turned out to be a long, painful and expensive process.

  • Alternate side parking ticket that Aaron got because we had to park on the street because the appliances were housed in the garage? $20.
  • Dolly rental from U-Haul?  $10.55 [Weirdly, if you are renting a dolly, they do not insist on a credit card deposit, but instead call your friend — in this case, me — to make sure that the person renting has a friend that U-Haul can call in case the person does not return the dolly.]
  • Appliance sticker cost to put old refrigerator on the street for the city to pick up?  $35

So, as you can see, even the most rudimentary math skills tell you that the $39 would have been a steal.  And that’s not getting into the labor that was used or the years that were taken off of our life in getting the enormous refridgerator into the house.  Getting the thing on the dolly in the first place was a chore, but it was nothing compared to the stairs.  Oy, the stairs.  It took both Aaron and me using all of our weight and strength and courage and prayers to get that thing up those stairs.  On every stair, I felt like it was us versus the refrigerator and gravity and that the latter had just as much a chance as winning the battle as we did.  I think we prevailed only because, ultimately, we wanted the fridge in the house more than it wanted to be left outside.  Though, at one point, Aaron suggested we just become one of those hourseholds that have an outdoor fridge.  Anyway, when we got it to the top of the stairs, the real fun began.  Would it fit through the doorway?  Aaron measured.  Doorway 33 inches, fridge 31 inches.  Hmm.  So, why wasn’t it fitting?  Doh!  Because he didn’t measure the handles — it was going in sideways.  Electrician #1 to the rescue!  He says, brilliantly, “Usually those handles just come off with an Allen wrench.”  Well, Aaron has Allen wrenches!  This is no problem.  Off go the handles!  Hmm.  It still won’t go in.  The fridge is on a wooden pallet that is sticking out on both sides and is causing even more problems than the handles.  Electrician #2 to the rescue!  He says, in a stroke of geniosity (yes, geniosity), “Why don’t I get my saw and we’ll just saw them off?”  Hooray!  Yes, why don’t we.   Off goes the troublesome part of the pallet!  Electrician #1 returns (he had been in the garage unpacking our stove so he could put a cord on it) and, along with Aaron and Electrician #2, gets the fridge into the house.  Super hooray!  I am not doing anything at this point except singing the electrians’ praises to myself.  And smiling.  $65+ and a bundle of bruises, the refrigerator is home.  And then the electricians discover that the pallet is screwed into the fridge.  Weird, I thought, but true.  So off they go to get some super duper socket wrench or something and they take over and take the damn thing off.   Hooray for electricians!  We would not have that thing in the house were it not for them.  Aaron takes the old fridge out, moves the new one into place, and moves the stove into the house as well.  All on his own because at this point I am trying to win the battle against the cardboard.  There is a pile of cardboard in our living room that is so big, I wonder if we should just move.  After approximately 15 trips back and forth from the house to the garage, I declare myself the (exhausted) winner!  I should have taken a picture of the garage, though.  The car fit in nicely, but it was nearly impossible to get into the thing and if you managed that, you dreaded coming back home because you weren’t sure you’d be able to get out.  Yesterday was recycling day so some of our problems in that regard have been solved.  It’ll probably take one or two more such days before our garage is back to its normal, uncrowded, cardboard-free self. 

So, pictures.  They’re coming. 

 

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