. . . No, make that "Kitchen From Hell." More specifically, "Kitchen Renovation
Rant Warning: This is long and boring and has nothing to do with my usual posts about reading, writing, rural living, etc. (And, in accordance with FTC rules about goods and services mentioned on blogs, I disclose that have received no remuneration from any company or its products that I will complain about mention in this post, and what you are about to read are my own experiences as I have, uh, experienced them and are unrelated to any other person's experiences—either real or imaginary—with any companies or products herein mentioned, etc., etc.)
For couple of years—OK, since 2001
—I've planned to replace the 1978 harvest gold sink and the white-with-gold-flecks counters in my kitchen. The original harvest gold stove was replaced in 2001, and the original harvest gold dishwasher has been replaced twice, in 1999 and again a few months ago.
The kitchen, with cabinet drawers removed, so installation could proceed.
Note 1978 harvest gold sink.
A few years ago, I'd even bought a stainless steel sink in anticipation of a kitchen redo:
Note sink is NOT harvest gold!
Last summer Lowe's had installed a new roof, and my roof experience had been nothing but positive. I was delighted with the professionalism and promptness of the roof installers. I figured the kitchen renovation experience would be equally positive. So, on July 14, 2009, I entered into a contract with Lowe's to have installed new laminate countertops in a color that I call basic beige and they call "pampas." I wrote Lowes a check for approximately 2/3 of what my first new car cost back in the 1960s.
The installation should be done in a few weeks, the woman at Lowe's said. First the counters had to be measured.
A few days later, the installer arrived to measure, but he wasn't quite sure what to do with the hump in the corner, so (several days later) Lowe's sent out (at extra expense) another guy to laser measure the counters, so we could get it right. He spent about an hour shooting the laser all over my kitchen and making a detailed diagram. That guy figured that the installation would be a lot easier if the corner hump were eliminated, and I agreed.
So far, so good. (This was now the first week in August, if anyone is keeping track of time.) The order was sent for the cutting of the countertops. I cleared my schedule around the week of the anticipated installation—about three weeks away.
A few weeks later, the countertops were delivered (they had to use a bigger truck than the regular countertop delivery truck, so that cost extra, too). After the two delivery guys wrestled around a refrigerator and some other major appliances, they unloaded the countertops I noticed a chip in one and what looked like a crack in the backsplash and mentioned it to the delivery guys, but that wasn't their problem. They said to call Lowe's.
See chip at bottom.
I called the lady at Lowe's and voiced my concerns. Fortunately the installer was coming out in a few days and he'd take a look. Meanwhile, I had to remove all the cabinet drawers and all the stuff on the countertops. I did that the night before. It took over an hour to make all the preparations, including moving Olivia and the kittens out of the garage and into the downstairs bathroom, moving vehicles from the garage, etc.
When the installer arrived I pointed out the chip, but he said it would be covered. No problem there. However, what I thought was a crack in the backsplash turned out to be a seam (that would be midway between the window and the den wall and hence VERY VISIBLE) and the backsplash wasn't even tall enough. Arrgghh! The installer got on the phone and explained the problem to Lowe's Lady. He explained in great detail. Then he told her he would be stopping by Lowes with his notes.
Lowe's agreed to get the backsplash fixed, which meant contacting the laminate people and setting everything in motion. Again. Another couple of weeks delay. Arrgghhh! (Meanwhile, I had toe surgery.)
Finally, I received word that the stuff had been delivered to Lowe's, and the installer could pick it up on his way out as soon as we arranged a workday. He called and we arranged the next available day—October 7—the day that Pen Women were to meet. Even though I was supposed to introduce the guest speaker, I emailed my regrets, cleared the kitchen, ignored my aching toes, removed drawers, moved vehicles and cats, etc. I was ready for the installer when he arrived at 9:00 AM.
Except he didn't. At 9:30, I called Lowe's. Lowe's Lady said she'd call him. Shortly I received a call from the installer. His truck was being repaired. He'd called Lowe's the day before. They were supposed to call me last night. Except they didn't. He'd call me as soon as he knew which day, etc.
I put on socks and sandals (not being able to get shoes on yet) and dashed off to Roanoke for Pen Women. That evening, I put the kitchen stuff back and waited for a call.
The installer called me last Sunday night to let me know he'd be out today. First, he'd stop by Lowe's, pick up the correct laminate, and be at my house by 9. The next day, Lowe's Lady called to verify.
Ah, finally the work will get done
, I thought. Last night, I moved stuff out of the kitchen (see photos below) and into the adjoining den for —what was it now?
—the third *#^!* time.
I moved a litter box into the downstairs bathroom. I arose early, fed the outside critters, and moved felines. I knew the drill.
At 9:15 the installer called. He'd been at Lowe's for an hour, the backsplash that the company had cut was exactly the same as the first one—despite his instructions!—and he said Lowe's Lady would call me sometime today. If he could get the correct laminate in time, he could maybe do the job tomorrow or Friday. If. . . .
Meanwhile, I went to liberate cats from the bathroom.
It's amazing how destructive two very small kittens can be. When I opened the door, Jim-Bob emerged from a little basket on the floor, a basket that earlier had held the guest washcloths on the counter. Washcloths were tossed all over the floor. Guest soaps, no doubt mistaken for fragrant kitty toys, were scattered about. Chloe had somehow climbed onto the counter and rearranged a pile of towels into a suitable nest where she was napping. Only Olivia was in the cardboard box that I'd provided as a cat bed. To their credit, the felines had at least used the litter box properly. (They were glad to get back outside, though.)
A couple of hours later, Lowe's Lady called and apologized and said that the laminate folks would be in touch to re-measure (Huh?
). I told her they didn't need to do that. If they'd just give the installer a roll of laminate that was the correct height, he could take care of it. As soon as she hung up, a guy from the laminate company called to make an appointment to come out and measure. I told him what I'd told Lowes Lady. He said something about getting back in touch with her. . . . AAARRGGHH!
So, here I am—stuck in kitchen renovation limbo. Will the installer call tomorrow? Will the counters be replaced within the next few days? within the next week? within the next couple of months? this year?
Stay tuned to this blog for updates. You know the drill.
Edited to add update: This afternoon Lowes Lady called me to apologize again and report that suitable material was available and installer could come tomorrow and begin. However, he couldn't stay all day, so he'd have to finish Friday. I said that he should come tomorrow because I still have everything out of the kitchen.
Now I'm wondering, what if something comes up on Friday?