!*!%$^*&(!! kitchen remodel (clearly a very long VENT/RANT)

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    ARGGGGGGG!!!! [​IMG]
    Okay, I got the bright idea back in the fall to remodel the kitchen. It's a long story, but I blew up the dishwasher and decided after a couple of weeks that I clearly was not intended for a dishwasher-free lifestyle. I have an 80 year old farmhouse, so I should have known that the remodel would not be a piece of cake. Nothing in the house is square or plumb or straight. But who knew that it would be such a [email protected]$%^$# load of trouble?!!! The people that owned the house before me installed the dishwasher by dropping an extension cord behind the countertops and wiring that sucker up with some electrical tape and wire nuts. To use the dishwasher you had to plug it into the wall outlet. Obviously that wasn't up to code. Sooooo... to get a new dishwasher I was going to have to have a new outlet installed behind it, and if you have a new outlet installed you might as well have new countertops and if you have new countertops you need a new sink and faucet and if you have a new sink and faucet you might as well get new floors. My life has turned into a giant kitchen "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" episode.

    Anyway, I foolishly thought that I would jaunt off to Home Depot and Lowe's, get some quotes, pick the lowest and then efficiently schedule the install. I did my research homework for a few weeks (meaning trips to all the places in town that might have countertops, sinks, faucets and vinyl flooring), got a list of quotes and picked Lowe's as having the lowest prices. I scheduled measurements for the floor and sink and thought, "Yay for me! We'll get the kitchen done by Christmas!" NO, NO, NO! I have angered the kitchen remodel gods and they have frowned upon me. Sigh. [​IMG]

    Lowe's was quick to come measure, but when I went back to schedule the install, they jacked their rates up by an additional $300-400. What?!!! (And I had given them exact measurements, etc. the first visit.) Home Depot did the same thing, saying that they now were estimating prices using a new system. I said my kitchen was still operating under the old system from two weeks ago. Didn't matter.

    I finally found a counter installer at a small local company. He quoted more or less the same price I expected AND threw in a bunch of extras (like anchoring the dishwasher, installing the sink, etc). What he did tell me was that the formica sample I had agonized over and finally chosen was discontinued. After a bit of wailing from me, he allowed as how he could get it, but it would take 6-8 weeks. Fine. That I can deal with. The kitchen won't be done for Christmas, but hey, we will all just deal with it and have countertops and a sink in January. 'Tis the season of love and spiked eggnog. No one will notice I'm sure.

    The floor install was to happen on the Thursday before my annual Christmas cookie party. Herds of women come to my house this one time of year. We've been doing it for almost a decade now and it is a huge deal. For some, it is the only time of year that they make it out here. Yes, yes, I'm a fool for scheduling the install so close to the party, but it was the only free day I had to babysit the installer. The floor man said he would be here between 7am and 9am so I drug my sleepy tookus out of bed before the crack of dawn to have the kitchen emptied. At 11am he called and said he would be here at noon. At 1pm he called and said he would be here at 2pm. At 3pm I called the installer company and asked what time he was really coming. They called back at 4pm and said that they were sending a new guy and that he would be here shortly. He arrived at 7pm. The floor was finished at 11pm. I had elected to do the quarter round myself so it was done except for that. My mom showed up on Friday and decorated and cleaned my house while I nailed down quarter round and put everything back in the kitchen. We beat the party deadline, but only by about 2 minutes. But at least the dang floor was in. Still no counter or sink.

    The sink I actually had. I splurged and ordered a porcelain covered cast iron sink. That sucker weighs 80+ pounds and is huge. It's been sitting in my bedroom for about a month now waiting for the new countertops to get here. I foolishly did not open the box to inspect, other than a quick peek. I didn't want to run the risk of messing it up. [​IMG]

    So the countertop man arrives today with the sparkling new countertop. It is a thing of beauty, I tell you. He fights the non-square house and gets the old counter out. He hauls the sink outside to measure the new hole and then bops back in to inform me that the sink is cracked. Yes, cracked. The porcelain has a huge gouge in it and about a 4 inch long, very sharp crack. [​IMG]:he:he:he:he:he:he

    I am not sure what I need to sacrifice to the kitchen remodel gods. Clearly I haven't shown the right respect or humility. This remodel is destined to NEVER END. Years from now I will still be trying to get all the parts done and then the dishwasher will break and I will have to start all over again.

    The sink is in the back of my car and I will haul off to the sink store on Monday and throw a tiny fit. In the meantime, I have a lovely new countertop with a huge hole in the top and no running water in the kitchen. In addition, the dishwasher won't work because the water is disconnected. Eight weeks and a zillion dollars later, I am right back where I started at the cookie, as it were. ARRGGGGGG!!!! [​IMG]

    If ever you hear me musing over building a house, please come hit me on the head with a chicken and lock me up....
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oh what a nightmare......................................

  3. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    At this point, DH and I simply gave up and decided to do as much we could ourselves as possible. We don't do serious structural work (nothing involving jacks, although stud wall construction and masonry repairs are no problem), plumbing, or electrical. Everything else, including cosmetic remodels, we do ourselves. I did my laundry room in about three weeks, just on my days off. It's really not that hard, the price of materials doesn't fluctuate much from week to week, and for all the work and stress that I would have to do just to cope with half my house being torn up, I might as well do it myself. At least I know when it's going to get done.

    I've never managed to screw anything up so bad it couldn't be fixed. Plus, now I know how to lay tile, rough plaster, sand, paint, lay hardwood flooring and Pergo, refinish antique wood, install cabinets, and build windows from scratch.
  4. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Okay... I've calmed down now. I had a Coke (which I gave up for New Years) so all is well now. [​IMG]

    Rosalind (do people ever call you The Fair Rosalind? It's in Romeo & Juliet, I believe...)- I have done a lot of stuff on the house myself. I have adequate carpentry skills as long as it is just adapting stuff. Basic electrical I''m pretty good at as well. And I likely could have installed the countertop myself too, it's just that the countertop was 15' long and weighed a ton. It's just me (no DH or DB or whatever) so if it's going to get done, it has to be something I can wrangle alone. There was no way I was going to be able to do that! Plus the sink was just as heavy and a multi-person job to sit down in the hole if you wanted to keep all your fingers intact. So I decided the wiser choice was to hire it done. Same deal on the floor. I couldn't haul the linoleum in by myself.

    I did last summer lay about 3000 bricks into walkways and flower bed edging. I learned that it is a whole lot harder to mortar bricks than it looks! [​IMG] Thankfully the petunias grow over the edge so no one can tell.

    Oh, well... at least I have really lovely countertops now, even if there is no sink at the moment!
  5. ratlummountain

    ratlummountain Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    barkhamsted, CT
    pshh, that ain't nothin!

    i'm well over 2 years now with a kitchen gutted down to the studs and one little tiny countertop and sink and 1 cabinet.
    we have 3 plates, 3 coffee cups and handful of silverware - everything else is packed away because there are no cabinets.
    i've eaten more pizza that i care to think about ... and i've gained 20 pounds to prove it.

    but the plans for the kitchen are beautiful, i look at them all the time and dream about the day the kitchen will finally be finished.

    we've been derailed by other HUGE projects that keep depleting the 'new kitchen fund'. new roof, town required the apron for the driveway be repaved, 2 new chimney's ...
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Okay. You win. I bow at your feet in honor of you still being sane at this point! Holy Chickens, Woman!!!! You have the patience of Job.
    If I had a working sink and actually was any good at cooking, I would bring you over a casserole! (beef, not chicken) [​IMG]

    I just keep going in and petting the new countertops. They are some kind of pretty. And the best part? Neither the floor or the countertops show any dirt AT ALL!!! I let the dogs and cat run all over the samples for weeks and picked the ones that looked the cleanest at the end. I may never mop again!!! Whoohoo!

    (Good luck on your kitchen. In my own limited way, I feel your pain...)
  7. Where are you at? Shoot me some plumbing/kitchen remodel questions. I am a plumber by trade, maybe I can help. If not, go to www.doityourself.com great forum. Good luck!
  8. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    This is true--I limit what my decorating style is going to be to what we can do without help, or with the help of a friend who can be relied on to work for beer. Since I can lay tile, hardwood flooring and Pergo by myself, that's what is in our house. Linoleum comes in stick-on tile form, but it's a real pain in the behind to get them all square and even.

    When I was thinking about building a house, years ago, I figured it would be either a log cabin or earth-plastered straw bales. I read one of Scott and Helen Nearing's books about homesteading, and their technique of masonry also apparently could be done by one not-too-muscular person. I was thinking of a poured concrete countertop with tile cutting-board cemented right into the concrete, myself, but the house I ended up buying already had granite countertops. [​IMG]
  9. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    CityGirl I would love to see pictures of your floor, we live in a 100 year old farmhouse that we are re doing and the current floor in the kitchen is white...ugh...white floors with big dogs in the Oregon rainy season is just a pain in the bum, I mop the floor at least six times a day. I plan on replacing the floors next month but need some ideas.... [​IMG]
  10. Cheryl

    Cheryl Songster

    Well, at least you seem to be tackling one job at a time...however long it is, that is the sensible thing to do!
    I have a almost completed kitchen, and bathroom, a living/family room floor that needs replacing (pulled carpet up in November) and a not close to completed son's room, that he continues to live in. Good luck with you kitchen, I'm sure you will be happy when it is done!

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