Monday, November 12, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: Measure Twice, Cut Once...But Not Really

So last Tuesday, we were doing our Snoopy dance of joy because we received our range hood, sink, and a bunch of other stuff from Amazon, PLUS we had received an estimated delivery date from our cabinet contractor. Oh happy day!

Well, things started going south on Friday afternoon. We received a call from the contractor's partner to let us know there was little problem with the island. Let me throw some design specs at ya', so you can follow along with the fun.

See the far right side where the vertical and horizontal dividers are? That's the spot where we intend to store cutting boards and baking pans. Because these items are used a lot, we specifically said multitudinous times that we did not want a door on this section.

Well, it seems the crew built all the dividers, glued and nailed them into place and then realized the space was to be open. How would they paint the inside of this area? How would they finish the outside edges so it wouldn't be raw plywood? Hmmm, seems we have a problem. 

One might think that finishing the plywood edges would just take a strip of veneer or moulding. Unfortunately, we don't have veneer in these parts. And as for moulding, it's not like Home Depot where you can just walk in, pick out the type that you want, and be on your merry way. Here moulding has to be milled to spec. On the high side, the assistant let us know they had built a door for this section if we wanted it. Thaaawaaack! That was the sound of our heads hitting the nearest concrete wall.

But, the fun was just getting started! It was also during that phone call when David asked for confirmation of the center point of the counter run that will have our new sink. He was told the center was 70 inches. Well that seemed a bit out of whack. Here's what I mean:

The base of the sink counter is supposed to be 9'-4" and have a two-inch, bullnose overhang around the perimeter. 

On Saturday, David decided to take a ride over to the shop to see first-hand what the heck was going on. He also took our new sink so the crew could accurately measure the opening that needed to be cut.

It turns out, for some unknown reason, they added the two-inch overhang on either end to the length of the cabinet base. That means the base is now four inches longer than it's supposed to be. That also means that it won't fit in our kitchen.

As you can see from the above diagram, we have our back door on the left side and the range at the other end of the cabinet run that has the sink. Not a lot of room to work with. And oh by the way, the short counter on the other side of the range is also too long.

When David returned from the shop and shared the news, I was momentarily at a loss for words. How in the world could this have happened? More importantly, how in the world would we figure out a solution to make it work?

We then spent the next few hours coming up with possible alternatives to the original design. The only solution that came close to a possibility was to eliminate the two-inch bullnose, plus eliminate the bit of wiggle room in the original design, which provided a bit of space around the range to make it easier to slide it out, should the need arise. However, even removing all of that, the counter would still be 5/8" too long. Unless we didn't want to use the back door, we are SOL.

At that point, David emailed all the options we came up with, along with updated designs, to the contractor, and tossed the ball in his court to figure out if there are any other possibilities and/or ways to shave off 5/8".  

As far as the island goes, it was agreed that the crew would mill moulding to cover the plywood edges and hand paint the dividers the best they can. Due to the dividers close proximity to one another, it's highly doubtful they'll be able to get the paint all the way to the back of the cabinet area. 

And to truly put the "fun" in dysfunctional, we have no idea what, if any, impact all of this will have on our estimated delivery date of November 21. 

In the meantime, I think I'll offer up some good thoughts to San Lorenzo, the patron saint of cooks, to see if he can help get things back on track. 


  1. I feel your pain. Prayers to Saint Joseph, patron saint of woodworkers, might help. Or, if the frustration gets to be too much, an offering to Loki, Norse god of mischief, just might be your ticket. I've found that drawings, especially detailed ones, become just an approximation of what you think you'd like to end up with. Of course, the wood workers really know better.

  2. Actually, I'm quite enjoying your story of your kitchen remodel and I have been following your site. My suggestion, if you permit me to share, is take a deep breath (both of you) and be thankfull for all that you do have. Situations not only happen like that in Belize, but to most people that have to hire contractors to do work for them. Many years ago I build a house and acted as the contractor, hiring all the people required to build this house, never again. I though I would loose my mind. Or perhaps I did. Good luck, it will get done, perhaps not when you expect, but it will be done, and you will post the lovely photos. I like your new kitty. I am partial to those that like animals, I am a dog groomer. Looking forward to your next post.

  3. Dave and Dianna:
    Would tossing back a few Belikins or Panty Rippers suffice as a sacrifice to the gods?

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with contractors. While this is our third kitchen remodel, it's the first that we haven't done 100% ourselves. And you're right -- somehow it will all come together. In the meantime, we take your advice to heart and will do our best to go into Zen mode. Glad you like our blog (and our new kitten).

    Kind regards,