Give & Take: 2 unrelated rants


Rhymes with 'henn'
11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
South Puget Sound
Give: Rant 1

DBF and I installed a vanity in the bathroom and are trying to find a solid surface top that won't cost a bajillion dollars. A granite top is looking like it'll cost around $400 and Corian was looking around $300. We liked the Corian, so went to Home Depot and Lowe's this morning, ready to purchase.

We couldn't give our money away! The inflexible rules ($1500 minimum purchase, minimum 25 square feet purchase, no vanity tops without sinks, etc.) make it unreasonable to get the countertop from a big box store.

Lesson learned? Go to the small stores. They want the business and will serve our needs.

Take: Rant 2

My grandmother is 91 and her .25 acre yard is showing her age. I organized a work party of family members to go weed, trim plants, and do work that she directed. We all brought our own tools, gloves, and soemthing to share for lunch. She fussed and complained the entire time. I kept telling myself and others that she's frustrated that she can't be doing it herself. She is getting not only frail, but rather senile.

As my dad was leaving, his BIL (Grandma's cherished son, aka He Who Can Do No Wrong) approached my dad and said, "That's our rake. Give it back." This was after Grandma had accused my dad of trying to take another garden tool. My brother intervened in that situation and showed her that her own tool was still in the garage.

My father is offended that:
a) He spent a Saturday working in her yard and she never thanked him.
b) Instead of thanking him, she accused him of stealing her garden tools.
c) Most importantly, her braying donkey of a son didn't even bother to investigate whether it was possible that she was mistaken and that perhaps, just PERHAPS, a small red rake might be fairly common and actually belonged to my father.

Now he's refusing to go anywhere near her house, for fear that he be accused of stealing something.

My uncle, on the other hand, took a chair that my mother wanted (and had permission from my Grandmother to claim when it comes time to divide up the estate). Grandma refuses to confront him. Nor will she let anyone else do it.

I'm so sick of family politics. Next time I organize a work party at my Grandma's house, DBF and I are going alone.
what rules about purchases? i work for lowes, we can usually special order something from mars if you can't find it in stock. usually depot is the same...
i hope someone gave you the right info and you find what you are looking for.
We have a vanity top that we want made and they are so restrictive on the minimum purchase ($900-1500) that it's just not feasible for us to get what we want from a big box store. We're taking our business elsewhere. I know that they could special order it - in fact, someone is looking into it for us tomorrow & going to get back to us - but at some point it's not worth the time trying to spend our money at Lowe's or Home Depot when a single stop at a smaller kitchen surface or granite store will get us exactly what we want without the hassle.

We got lots of shrugs & "I'm sorry but..." responses. The employees were trying to be helpful but the rules on the minimum purchase for installed solid surface countertops mean that our $400 top would suddenly cost at least $900.
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I had the same response from Lowes when I remodeled my kitchen a few years ago. I went back a couple months later to add on 2 cabinets and needed about 12 inches of counter. It was a couple hundred dollars for the counter when I asked why it was so much they said it was a minimum. That I had to pay for a minimum amount. So I said send me the rest. So now I have an extra 6 feet of counter.

Imp- It'll probably end up in the laundry room.
I priced at both Lowes and Home Depot when I got ready to remodel my kitchen. I needed 15 linear feet of laminent countertop and 15x12' of vinyl flooring. I got bids from both places on both items. I was VERY specific when I got the bids. Theoretically the bids shouldn't have even been estimates. I was that specific. I used those bids to work up my budget. The budget was very tight, of course.

Lowes came in lower on the bids, so I signed up with them to go for it. They came out and measured and then gave me the real estimate. The floor came in $400 over what they had previously estimated. Were my initial measurements wrong? Nope. They were dead on. Was there random weird floor damage that needed repair? Nope. It was a very straightforward job. No anomalies in the countertop either. Just a 15' straight run counter with one sink hole. That one was about $300 over what they told me initially. Home Depot was just as bad about the countertops. When I questioned them (well... threw a fit actually) they spouted off stuff about installation fees and extra hoohoo that they needed to install it all. I said "Why didn't you tell me about this when I came in the first time and asked for a real total on how much it would cost to install X?" Lots of mumbling and excuses.

I ended up getting the countertops from a local dealer. He did a great job. Even came back again to install the sink when it turned out to be cracked. For that fabulous service I paid $300 less than the initial bids. Lesson to me about buying big box, I guess.

(I did end up buying the floor from Home Depot. They adjusted the price and ageed to get it in within my time schedule. After some initial trauma with getting the installation guy here, they eventually did a great job.)

I feel your remodeling pain. Grrrrrr!

(And I'm sorry that your family was being hateful. It stinks when you do something nice and it backfires on you.)
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maybe its because it's corian, some of the vendors have funky requirements for orders. i thought about ordering some of the granite myself, but it is very expensive. i don't work in cab. so i'm not 100% on the cab, but the restrictions do come from the vendors both lowes and depot order from, not the stores. ask if the store has something on their sos resale list, it's where customers order special non stock items then return them for one reason or another. you might find something you like or could use and they will usually discount it to get rid of it. good luck, i built a house a few years ago and doing remodeling is a nightmare.
Here in the Myrtle Beach area there is a small company that makes custom countertops that are similar to Corian. The are much less than Corian and they will do any size job! I have had lavatory tops custom made for a house that I was plumbing for the customer and they are thrilled! You cannot tell it from Corian and was about 1/3 of the cost! I will have to find the business card in my stockpile and contact them to see what the trade name is for the material. I will send it to you and you can check in the phonebook in your area and make some calls regarding them. It comes in many colors and the workmanship of the company here is first rate!

The name of the company here is "Advanced Surfaces." It is supposed to be a national franchise, so there may be one of them in your area or at least something similar. (This surface is a manmade surface. It isn't like cultured marble or manmade granite. Hope that this helps. I will try to get the trade name for the material for you in the morning.
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Hmmmm, never knew you had to order certain amounts of the countertops. That is nice to know though.

Sorry to hear about the rake and family problems.... Crazy, can't we all just get along?
Have you tried your local Habitat for Humanity? If you need something extremely specific it can be difficult, but sometimes you can luck out there if your remodeling plans are somewhat flexible.

Family can be rough, that's for sure. Good for you for helping your grandmother out, even though thank you's were lacking.

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