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Old 03-04-2011, 11:46 PM   #46
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On to the kitchen


I like the cabinets very much and those wrought iron handles are really nice. Keep the progress and pictures coming.

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Old 03-09-2011, 09:10 PM   #47
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On to the kitchen


Ok here is my most recent experience in the kitchen project. Recall that the Shenandoah Cabinets ordered through Lowes arrived superfast, in good condition and accurately. Even the delivery drivers working for the third party trucking outfit they contract with were professionals.

Here is where I am with the countertops- stalled indefinately! The countertop fabricator company sent their templater today. He took his measurements and made his templates. When I asked him when I could expect the countertops he said that if they did not give me a delivery date when they made the template appointment, that probably meant the material was on back order.

When I called the fabricator customer service representative, I was told the material was on back order and they could not even give me an estimated date of availability. I replied that was not a good answer. She told me that they were only the fabricator and it was out of their hands. I then asked her who is at fault so I will know who to blame in my next online review. So she told me the story.

Apparently, the solid surface manufacturer known as LG HIGH-MACS is not able to keep up with the demand of any of the promotional colors they had partnered with Lowes to sell in this promotion. I don't know who is more responsible between LG, described by some as the GE of the East, or Lowes. As an end user however, I can tell you who is going to bear the brunt of my wife's dissatisfaction-LOWES! In the meantime, I will be fabricating temporary countertops out of plywood so we can finally use our kitchen.

On a lighter note, Here are a few more progress pics of the outside. There really hasn't been much progress. The contractor and his helper did get the microwave installed and a fair amount of the wood trim done today. They are having no luck so far finding a match to the siding installed on the addition in 1990. The wood trim pics will follow soon. Looking pretty good so far.

Here is an article with some info on solid surface materials.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corian
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Last edited by Jim F; 03-09-2011 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:21 AM   #48
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On to the kitchen


Awesome job!
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:57 AM   #49
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On to the kitchen


The door looks great and I love that big porch. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

Barb
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:39 AM   #50
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On to the kitchen


Is there any other material on the house that can be also used for the back wall instead of siding. Maybe a grey cedar or even a stone to accent the siding? Multiple siding styles is getting popular these days in my area.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:34 AM   #51
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On to the kitchen


Progress is being made. I've started filling that hole I created for the new refrigerator outlet with durabond 90. My first coat was so thick that it took way more that 90 munutes to set. I also decided to upgrade that outlet to 20amp. I've got the sink to the refrigerator cabinet covered with plywood and got rid of that old piece of laminate the sink was sitting in. I will have to cover the rest tomorrow since today is a work day.

The Lowes rep called the fabricator and got a 2 week estimate on the countertop material so those will be at least 3-4 weeks out. The rest of the family is working on moving back in to the kitchen today so we can have our living room back and a little more normalcy. We have been eating dinner at my in-laws since this started.

We are leaning toward pergo for the kitchen floor and will most likely extend it into the living room. HD has an oak pattern for 1.77 per sq ft that my wife likes. The alternative is to do the kitchen and dining room area in a tile pattern but they are all at 3.97 per sq. ft. so it doesn't make as much sense from a financial point of view.

I know many have said we should refinish the oak, but it is very distressed in places and will take a lot more patching to make it look nice. Along the old wet wall, It would have to be completely replaced. And for all that effort it will get a lot of hard wear between the kids and the pets. I would like to just float a floor over the top of the oak and leave the option for restoring the oak at a future date, maybe after some of the kids have moved out.

Any thought's on Pergo? Or is there a laminate that is better?
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Last edited by Jim F; 03-12-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:38 PM   #52
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On to the kitchen


Here are some of the temporary countertops I made while I wait for the LG Hi macs. The latest is that they should be in to the fabricator within about a week and a half but we'll see.

The dishwasher just drains into the sink for now. There is a tailpiece adapter for that drain but just want to make one measurement and one cut when the permanent sink comes in with the countertops.
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Last edited by Jim F; 03-15-2011 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:40 PM   #53
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On to the kitchen


You know, had I had the foresight you have, I would have saved a lot of headaches from my wife had I thought of temporary countertops!
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:58 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviDIY View Post
You know, had I had the foresight you have, I would have saved a lot of headaches from my wife had I thought of temporary countertops!
There is actually some degree of hindsight involved with the countertops. I was originally just planning on saving the piece of laminate that the sink sat in. Decided to replace that. I have a couple of small pieces left to cover the other side by the stove. It keeps dust and whatnot out of the cabinets and gives a working surface.

Advice I have for anybody renovating a kitchen- plan on temporary countertops and restore it to normal functionality as soon as possible. The kitchen represents a large part of living. When your kitchen is a mess, your life is a mess. Other things like flooring, back splashes, and paint will fall into place.

My wife wasn't planning on moving stuff back into the kitchen until the countertops arrived. I told her that's a long time to have our lives upside down with kitchen stuff stacked in the living room and bedroom. She finally agreed to start moving stuff back in. We are also replacing the dining room table but thankfully have one of those folding table and chair sets that my mother-in-law gave us.
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:12 PM   #55
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Just picture of the patch for the new refrigerator outlet and the refrigerator in place. I have the outlet functional with the fridge plugged in as well as the water supply hooked up. Unfortunately, I still have to slide the fridge out to finish the patch.

And now, as fate would have it, My wife want's to order doors for that shelf area above the fridge so I have to just finish framing that in and order some matching doors. I have discovered that I can by hickory by the board-foot at a local mill for a lot cheaper than the cabinet company sells fillers. They just need a coat of clear urethane finish.
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Last edited by Jim F; 03-15-2011 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:20 PM   #56
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On to the kitchen


Here are a couple of the post and beam wrap the contractor did. They matched it as well as they knew how. It doesn't look bad.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:50 PM   #57
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Today my GC stopped by and installed the siding on the exterior. Looks nice pictures will follow. He has some detail work to finish up and can't completely finish his part until the countertops get installed due to the fact that he is hooking up the sink. The countertops are on back order but we were told last Saturday that they expect them at the fabricators in 2 weeks so presently, within a week and a half then an install appt to be made once they arrive at the fabricators.

Here is my problem: Today as he was finishing up the siding, he hit me up for $400.00 which represents the bulk of the final 10% that I owe him on completion. In other words, I owe him another 510 of the 5100 of his contract. The reason he gives for wanting this money is that he did not anticipate the counters taking as long as they are. He figures he has about another 100 dollars worth of labor that he owes me so I should pay him the rest of it now.

Personally, I am very surprised that he asked for this. In my opinion, 10% on completion means just that. As it is I've been thinking that I should not have agreed to may as much as I have. It seems to me that a contractor could easily walk away from 510 dollars without completing a job and have his accountant file it as a non-payment loss.

This contract hasn't been without problems. They did extra electrical work which I did discuss with them for which I was charged an additional $730. I don't object to paying that but I do object to the fact that a dollar sum had not been specified before the work was done. He even suggested that he might just take that labor off the difference of the cabinet install but that did not happen. On top of that, he isn't even licensed to do electrical work and that was the reason we didn't even discuss electrical work at the beginning of the contract negotiation.

The cabinet install is another point of contention. He had budgeted $1200.00 for 24 man-hours to install 15 cabinets. Shouldn't that be enough? Now says that he has already gone over his labor budget by 3-5 hours and has more to finish. And, some of the cabinets are slightly off level. On the first day of the install, he had 3 and sometimes all four of his contractors working on the cabinets. Why should it take more than 2 with the occasional help of a 3rd to install cabinets? That's where his labor budget went IMO. He also told me that he has gone slightly over his materials budget. These are points he made to get me to pay him 400 up front before the job is completed.

In my contractor's defense, he has gone above and beyond in some areas. He is doing a good job of making it all look like a nice finished job. Going against him though are the messes he has left behind every day for me to clean up and the fact that he made no effort from the beginning at dust mitigation. I taped plastic up between the work area and the rest of the house as work was commencing and as a result, did not have a very good dust barrier on the first day. I did improve it for the rest of the work days. Not only that but he was, at times unprepared and borrowed some of my tools, cordless drill, impact driver, air hose, shovel etc. And sent me for materials such as 5 gallons of blue lid, drywall etc.

The biggest problem is he is primarily a new home builder, not a remodler. So there is a lesson learned. Hire a remodling contractor for remodling.

So, given the circumstances as I have laid them out, should I hold him to the letter of his contract? Or am I just being an anal homeowner who should give this guy a break and make the partial payment.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:14 PM   #58
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We had a good friend build our deck 10 years ago. He did a great job. But before he was finished, I paid him in full. I shouldn't have. It took him from the day I paid him that summer until the next spring, after I called him a couple times, to come back.

I think you should wait and give him the 10% upon completion. He may get busy with other jobs and not find time for your house if you pay him the $400 now. JMO
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:49 PM   #59
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So I relented and agreed to pay 300 of the remaining 519 that I owe on this job. The GC has been pretty accommodating. He explained that the final 10 percent check is essentially his profit on the job after all his contractors are paid and materials bought. I would have hoped he could make more than that on a job like this considering all that went into it. I suppose he could be snowing me on that. He really doesn't have that much left to do after the counter tops are installed. He just has to hook up the sink and dishwasher and finish trimming out the door where it meets the cabinet and counter on the left side. If I can't get him back once the conter tops come in, I'll just do it myself and pocket the remaining 219. All in all I don't think he had enough experience with kitchen remodels and underestimated his job and kind of sold himself short. I hope he learns from the experience.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:11 AM   #60
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I'm not sure, but isn't there something he's supposed to give you saying all of his contractors have been paid? So that they can't come back to you and say he didn't pay them?

I had to go back and look at the before pictures Jim. Wow, I really like the way the kitchen is so much bigger. Everything looks great and the cupboards are very nice. Your wife must be very happy with the way it's turning out. She's going to have a beautiful kitchen when it's all done.

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