Because Something Must Always Go Wrong When You Are Remodeling

There were several "oops"-es discovered this weekend, as well as an "oops" discovered last week. It started with the electrical. Upon attempting to move the microwave from the living room to the dining room area, we discovered that the entire dining room wall of outlets are dead. They have gone "tits up." Clearly, this is the doing of our marginally wacky contractor. How all these outlets are dead when they aren't connected to the kitchen, I have no idea. They were working before. Also, it seems that when we turn on the bathroom light, it causes a little jolt along the rest of the circuit (or maybe adjacent circuit?) that sometimes momentarily shuts off the stereo receiver and/or makes the computer sub-woofer in the office emit a feed-back sound. Not so good. Yeah. I managed to get a recommendation for an electrician from one of my "students" in my yoga class. Hope the dude calls me back 'cuz it's jacked up.

The second "oops" was discovered Saturday. The counter seating area where there are no cabinets, just framing to support the cabinet is 36" high. This is after he first made it 40" high and then we had a separate discussion how that was too high, we need it kitchen counter height and better to err on the side of shorter as we can always build it up to meet the cabinets. We agreed 34" and he WROTE IT DOWN. We measured it at one point during the project (before drywall and before it was bolted down to the slabe) and it was 34" but somehow the finished product is now 36". How PISSED was I. I mean, it was the anger that turns into tears, I was that pissed off. Because at this point, I can't tear it apart without throwing everything off schedule by several weeks. Angry, people, I was ANGRY. That was the last straw for said contractor. You get what you pay for.

One of IKEA's saving graces is that the legs under the cabinets are adjustable in height. So we were able to raise the cabinets up to meet the framing, so crises sort of averted, although when you're short, the different between a counter-height of 35.5" and 37" is significant. If I were tall, I wouldn't care as much, but I'm 5 feet tall. I don't have inches to spare. We also chose not to raise up the other side of the kitchen - so there will be a height difference of about 1.5" on one side of the kitchen versus the other. We could have raised it all up but for me, I need some counter area where I don't feel like my elbows are up by my ears while I'm working. May not be ideal for resale, but we are in this house for the long haul. We are 60K "under water" so we ain't goin' nowhere.

The final "oops" (minor, compared to the counter-height debacle) was totally my fault. I will take the blame for it - I am not a kitchen designer so this is what happens when you design with a ruler, pencil, and some graph paper. That's why they make software to do this crap for you. So we have that farm-house sink from IKEA; it's behemoth in size. It has a depth of 27" (just noticed that Saturday) , so it sticks out 3" from the cabinet frame (about 2" from the finished door). That meant the 15" cabinet kitty-corner from it could not OPEN if we kept the current design. All the cabinets except the sink wall were installed at that point (great.), so we figured out that if we moved the sink over about 4 inches, wedged an open, door-less cabinet in there, and put a swing-door instead of a pull-out door on the other cabinet, all would be right in the universe. Luckily, I had three different 15" cabinets in the plan -- one swing door, one with drawers, and one pull-out -- so we swapped them. The final problem for the weeknd was that the San Diego IKEA had SOLD OUT of the discontinued 9" shelf that we needed. Yeah. So did Costa Mesa, our next closest option. We ended up driving all the way to LA yesterday to the Carson IKEA which had 10 of them left. Just for this one ding dang cabinet. Thank God we have five IKEA stores in Southern California. Or else I might have launched into outer space.


  1. You have got to be kinder to yourself. How many kitchen remodels have you done? None? And this one is looking how fabulous? Very fabulous you say?

    Even the most experienced contractors don't pay the attention to detail you do. Case in point...your dining room lights and casual seating.

    So cut yourself some slack on the sink area! You're doing a great job!

  2. Oddly enough, or not oddly enough since I am a DIY fiend, this is my second kitchen remodel :o)

    First one was in 2003 with my condo in LA. But that one didn't involve gutting and relocating stuff. Just replacing cabinets, countertops, and flooring.

  3. Gheesh, your doing soooo much better than I would... And,an opps that has to do with electrical isntttttt really an opps as much as a EAKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK! I'd be alll over that, it's a doosie!! Well wooo hoo that you found the cabinets you needed, once it's all over you'll be so proud! & Oh tag, your it!! ;) LA

  4. Oooh yeah, a wall of dead outlets would make me pull out hair in clumps. From the contractor's head. :)


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