Friday, February 4, 2011

Doing What They Said They Would Do

Over the last few weeks I've been a part-time General Contractor of sorts. In truth, just half of a part-time GC (or does that make me a quarter of a GC?) I'll introduce you to my other part-time GC in a bit. But I digress. It all started with the decision to do a bit of a re-fresh on the kitchen. Let's just re-do the cabinets, I thought. And maybe adding a new cabinet here or there also seemed to make sense. There was quite a bit of unused space in the kitchen, hmmm.

Insightful and clever as you are, gentle reader-doubtless you know where this is going. Yes, the little kitchen refresh turned into a tad bit more. A decision to replace the cabinets was followed by some new appliances. It also seemed logical to re-purpose some of that other unused space into a  butler's pantry. Can you believe that we didn't have a pantry for our butler?  Seems like a crime, I know. So we built one.
Shortly thereafter there was the hideous realization that the new appliances we ordered were larger than the opening of our front gate. So the courtyard would need re-doing. Then of course there was an electrician, plumber, dry-wall work, carpentry, tile work etc. I think you get the full picture by now. None of this was ever planned and suddenly I found myself in the role as a mini-General Contractor, coordinating all these projects, craftsmen and such. Fortunately I can tell the difference between a wrench and a ratchet, and was able to pull it off. I also studied at the Pretend-General Contractor Academy of Lollypopland so I am most definitely qualified.

There were a hideous amount of details and decisions to be made. Who knew that sink faucets came in options of cold water only? Whoops. Well anyway I'm finally coming to the point of this post. Much to my delight, every craftsman and company who has had a part in this production have fulfilled their word and did what they said they would do. 
Let me pause to introduce you to my co-General Contractor for the job. Meet Mr Sheldon Gryffindor, contractor extraordinaire. Here he is, in what would soon become the butler's pantry, looking out the window. All the construction debris didn't bother him in the least. He kept everything running like clock-work, helping to ensure everyone did their jobs.

Let me back up a bit on the project and start with Lowe's. Working with the Lowe's kitchen design team was a detailed process. Two designers in the Palm Springs store Bruce and Gail were knowledgeable and helpful. Kraftmaid cabinets (made in the USA I am pleased to report) built and delivered high quality cabinets on-time and exactly as ordered. I was amazed with the service by both Lowe's and Kraftmaid. Lowe's told me what to expect from Kraftmaid in terms of phone calls, verifications and delivery details. And by golly that was exactly what they did. Considering the cabinets were designed here in Palm Springs, built in Ohio, shipped by railroad, then delivered to my house by truck, on-time and in perfect condition was amazing. Kraftmaid called me the day before to estimate delivery time window and then called again the morning of delivery to provide a half hour delivery window time. It sure made things easy.

The cabinet installer from Lowe's was a professional carpenter named Javier who did an impressive job with great attention to detail. Needless to say I am delighted with the new cabinets.

The courtyard was demo'd to provide free access to the appliances, which have been installed on-time. The electrician has performed more work ever initially scoped; cutting some 60+ holes in the drywall to position all the outlets, light switches and such. As you might imagine the dry-wall guy will get a nice paycheck with all the patchwork. It is all coming together nicely, and without any major glitches. 
Mr Sheldon helped me select the granite for the counter tops, which in and of itself was surprisingly difficult to decide on the right look. I finally found an interesting pattern called Rainforest Green (see left). I purchased this granite from VIP Floors in Palm Springs, who I also might add, were terrific. My co-GC Sheldon Gryffindor sniffed out the granite and gave the final approval, and with that we were on our way toward the final phase of the kitchen re-do.

With so many horror stories out there about home improvement projects, I felt compelled to share my story of good experiences. On reflection of this project, it occurred to me that everyone did what they said they would do. Isn't that refreshing?


kenju said...

But where are the photos of the finished product!!??

Kanani said...

Years ago, I did the same thing. Acted as my own general contractor --and honestly, after having worked with "professionals" before, found things went off without the stress of having to second guess whether or not things would get done. I guess that's my main complaint about working with a General Contractor --whether or not they'll hit the agreed upon completion date.
Anyway, sounds like it was all meant to be! So happy you've gotten the work done.

KathyA said...

Yes, that is refreshing!!!

When you began, it sounded like a scene out of the movie, THE MONEY PIT!! Glad, however, it didn't turn out that way.

So where are the photos????

snowelf said...

Oh. Too. Cute. I am now picturing GC Gryffindor with a pencil behind his ear!!

Glad everything went well,



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