Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hey Presto!  A New Kitchen!

My fairy godmother's on vacation whenever I need her; especially now.

Repairs and renovations have me without a operating kitchen, forcing me to spend more time at the computer to the background music of hammering, drilling and occasional treasured bouts of silence.
It seemed like summer would be a good time for this project as we don't cook much in the hot weather and it does feel okay to have all doors and windows open and workmen traipsing through the house.
A new kitchen...isn't that every cook's dream?  A kitchen where one can design everything perfectly.
Enough said.
Once the bids start coming in one quickly bids the dreams goodbye...dream kitchens are too expensive.
New cabinetry costs the earth and we finally found a contractor who said he would re-use our old cabinets in our new design!  A man after HD's heart!
As soon as design started being implemented, we ran into building problems:
"Of course you can't have the stove THERE...the hood has to go over it and there are pipes above where you want it!"
So the stove is moved.  It is only the first of many major concessions,
"Of course you can't have as many cabinets as you want back in the new kitchen...there's no room for them."
I sigh and nod consent, wondering where I will put all the treasures now piled all over the living room and dining room.
As we get into Day 14, I wonder who's kitchen is this anyway?  The contractor's who seems to delight in saying, "Of course we can't put that THERE!"  The electrician's who has changed my light design and replace it with his own.  I can't wait for the plumber and painter to get here with THEIR ideas.
Is it HD's who keeps saying things have to be done RIGHT and keeps reminding everybody about city permits and codes and generally telling the contractor whatever he's doing is wrong and will not be approved by the city!
I think nostalgically of my old kitchen.  It really wasn't that bad...I could have lived with it just making minor changes not one from ground up.  But then I tell myself not to get so easily discouraged.  Change is a good thing, but the process takes tremendous patience.
Whatever estimate one gets has to be multiplied by thrice the amount of time and one and a half times the cost.  Most important is the people who give us bids transform into those who all the pressures of their job to carry out.
I wish we could have just left the house and come back when he e-mailed us the job was done!
Is this contractor the same one who said he would be done before we knew it?  He now has turned into this shifty eyed person who won't meet our eyes when we ask for an end date mumbling about how fast he's going and people don't know how hard his work is.  He's working with teams who are all related to him and have so many excuses for not showing up that his mood gets darker as the days go by!
He's stopped talking to me after he saw the slide in range arrive...he thought it was a cooktop!
Where did he think my oven would go once it was removed from the wall?
I can no longer envision my kitchen and till it's done, I sit in my living room surrounded by appliances in boxes, all the stuff hoarded in my kitchen for umpteen years in wobbly piles around me, my microwave and toaster on my dining table and I pray the workmen will soon be gone, the city will approve all the changes, HD and the contractor will become friends again and I will new kitchen.
In the meantime I feel better just for having written this...

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