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Our plumber arrived on Monday, week 11 of our kitchen remodel, to install the sink, stove and dishwasher. We are finally finished and are moved back in! My kitchen looks and feels so different, I think I am in a new house. Was it worth it? You bet! The project cost a few thousand dollars more than when we began, but there was no question we needed replace the floor and our city required that a certified plumber bring the water and gas lines up to code. Total cost was around $21,000.00 (2012.) The cabinets including install cost about $18,000.00, the floor and trim $2000.00, and the plumber $1000.00. The design team at Home Depot spent over 10 hours providing expert advice and guidance. They were our face-of-the-company go-to for questions and went above and beyond to ensure our satisfaction from beginning to end. (Thanks Anne and team!) We did the demolition, electric work, painting, bought the hardware, arranged for the dumpster and hired our own plumber. We did not replace any appliances, lighting or the window blinds. Home Depot and Crew 2 installed the floor, trim-work and InnerMost cabinets.
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I was able to move my entire pantry, which consisted of eight Rubbermaid and Sterilite bins stored in the basement, into the upper shelves and extra space in the new office center. I love the deep drawers and full extension of the silverware drawers!
The counter tops arrived on Wednesday, week 10 of our kitchen remodel. They look stunning! The crew did a great job inching these heavy sheets into place. The back-splash is 4 inches tall and fits right up to the window. Now we can start filling up our drawers and move the fridge and counter top appliances back to the kitchen. On Friday the carpenters came back for the final installation of the cabinet towers and shelf. We notice that the granite is way harder than the old counter - I will have to remember to set china or glass down carefully or they may chip. We also notice the new counter is a bit taller than the old one from 1961 and there is about one inch more room between the uppers and lowers. This is all standard to todays kitchen designs. It looks grand!
The carpenters arrived and installed the replacement InnerMost cabinet for the one that was dropped. They did a nice job leveling and the drawers look great. They also installed factory trim around the base cabinets and brought me the shelf pins that were missing.
Here is the nifty tilt-out tray installed into the sink base.
The trim turned out nicely. We used oak with cherry stain for both the window trim and the baseboard. Now I can put the coat closet back together! The kids back-packs are buried in those storage boxes and we will need them soon.
They added counter cleats to support the granite counter top. We are scheduled for install next Wednesday, week 10 of our kitchen remodel. We will then move the fridge back and I hope to schedule the plumber to connect the sink, dishwasher and stove by the end of the week. Our kitchen is almost done!
The countertop was measured at the end of week five of our remodel. I had an appointment to view the slabs on Monday of week six. The slabs were like giant carpets standing on wheeled carts. I put my name on a slab of the pattern we had picked out and went home with a sample. When I got home I noticed the sample didn't match the small piece I had been given at the store. I immediately called the stone works back and set up an appointment for the next day. While both patterns look very similar, the one I wanted had more gold and black while the one I had viewed was more pink and grey. They made the change order and the best part is the one I wanted costs less so I got a refund on my credit card for around three hundred dollars! They said the counters would be ready in three - five weeks. We are now in week seven and expect a couple more weeks of waiting. We are getting bored with our limited meal choices. I would love to cook up a big gluten free pasta salad!
Following protocol, I sent a note to the Crew2 project manager asking to have a 5/8-inch gap behind the valance fixed. There was a dropped ceiling built to cover pipes in the ceiling as per the original plan. The carpenters built a box but the drywall doesn't meet the valance. We didn't notice until we put up the blind on the window. This area is open to the attic and we are concerned about heat and cooling loss as well as insects. I cc'd the kitchen designer and her boss to ensure a response.
7/23/12 The project manager e-mailed me and said the carpenters will fix this when they come back to do the floor trim. Perfect!
I had written to our project manager at Crew2 on Saturday asking for the damaged cabinet to be replaced and expected to hear from him on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. Wednesday afternoon I wrote again, cc-ing the lead kitchen designer and her boss at Home Depot, saying I was still awaiting a response. Within an hour I finally got a call, after an e-mail was sent from Home Depot to Crew2 saying a customer was waiting. The project manager repeatedly told me there was nothing he could do about the broken cabinet and that his construction workers denied taking the shelf pins. I pushed that we paid almost $500.00 for this cabinet, his people dropped it, and the drawers didn't shut properly because it was out of plumb and square. Finally, when I said my kids could cut their hand on the exposed nails he relented. I told him we could re-use the drawers if needed but I wanted a new cabinet. He also asked exactly how many shelf pins were missing instead of accepting "three packets = 36", and said he would get them for me. I frantically counted the extra shelves left to install and came up with 28. Minutes later I was cc'd on an email saying Home Depot would re-order the cabinet and charge Crew2 for it. They are also asked to remove the one beside it and re-set it so they are both square as per the thoughtful suggestion of Anne, our kitchen designer. On Friday I received a call that the new cabinet is on order and expected in about 3 weeks and shouldn't interfere with the estimated counter-top delivery date. I am completely satisfied with my Home Depot experience but not with this guy! Communication is imperative when working with contractors and he sided with his subcontractors; telling me how everyone raves about them instead of listening to me, the customer, when I had legitimate complaints. If I had his job, I would have written on Monday morning that I received the customers note, am looking into it and offered to replace the installer damaged cabinet without making the customer have to argue their case. This is from Crew2 webpage: "Quality is assured. Our goal is to do the job right the first time - or we remedy the situation immediately." What do you think? Are we being too picky?
Kitchen Remodel - Trouble with Subcontractors
The Allure Ultra Resilient Plank floor was installed by Home Depot's Crew2 on Monday, week six of our kitchen remodel. Our installer Leon did a terrific job. He was here from about 10:00 to 3:00 for 220 square feet. He had professional tools that snapped the planks together and clamps that braced the corners. I loved his tee-shirt that stated "Expect a 10" with the 10 crossed out and an 11 brush stroked beside it. Leon, you get an 11 from me and I will let your people know! Look at this beautiful floor. This product feels soft under our feet, blends beautifully with our red hardwood floors and has a pleasing non-slip texture. He told us if we ever needed to replace the floor it is easy to pop it out and add new planks. We have a box and 1/4 left, he recommended we keep it so the dye lot is the same. We picked Red Cherry (the picture is more yellow than the actual floor.) Our cost in July of 2012 cost $770.00 for the flooring and $1340.00 for the install due to the need for wooden floor under-layment over the 1961 Congoleum and two layers of Armstrong stick on tiles. This cost did not include the baseboard and shoe trim, which is under contract with the cabinet installers.
Kitchen Remodel - Allure Ultra Resilient Plank Flooring
Kitchen Remodel - Floor Underlayment
We finally get to start the finishing details on week five of our kitchen remodel. We installed the range hood fan after receiving a partial approval of the final electrical inspection. The inspector said we called too early - the dishwasher and rangehood needed to be in place. We won't call again until the entire project is done.
Next, we put up the mini-blinds. We looked at new ones, but the cost of replacement convinced me to spend the time cleaning the old ones. We bought a 24-inch-by-8-foot piece of laminate shelving to make additional shelves for the corner units. I was able to purchase extra shelves for the standard cabinets but the Innermost company didn't offer corner shelves. We still need those extra pins to install them though!
What a joyous feeling to begin putting our dishes back into the kitchen. The storage bins in the porch held the glasses and plates. Our thoughts are very fluid at this time and my original placement ideas are changing as I ponder the spaces. I love-love-love the extra shelves so that things don't have to be stack on top of other bowls. And see that empty space on top? That is what I gained by getting rid of the soffit! Yea!
Here is my favorite - the corner base cabinet with the easy access door. Wow! This replaces a blind corner cabinet where I had to get down on my hands and knees to access these pots. I still have the entire lower shelf for roasters and such. I love it and can see how the lazy Susan would have been a waste of space.
The day after the install was a holiday, which gave us time to look over the new cupboards. We found a few problems. I had ordered extra shelves for the tall upper cabinets. We discovered the workers had ripped open three of the cartons and removed the shelf support pins. Three packets equaling 36 pins are missing! There was no reason for them to take them as the cabinets are shipped standard with two shelves inside. We don't have enough pins to finish our project, but used the pins available to add some extra shelves.
The counter top measurer came on Thursday. He put black and white 3-inch dots on the walls and used an imaging camera to measure the counters. I have an appointment to view the slab on Monday afternoon and were told it would be ready in 3-5 weeks. Before he left, he said the carpenters should cut the hole in the sink base and install the 2x4 supports in the corner as his team doesn't have finishing tools. This confused me as we don't have the sink or know where to cut into the support in the top of the sink base. When I spoke with the project manager on Friday, he said that was ridiculous and the counter installers always cut the hole and add supports. Can you believe the communications problems between departments?
We don't like how the toe kick edges look. The project manager said "welcome to the world of box cabinets." Apparently, the toe kick is a composite material and doesn't take stain well. We think we will try to find a furniture marker and see what we can do about coloring it.
We discovered some of the drawers are misaligned, the worst case with the large drawers where the middle ones touched. The project manager said they cannot do anything about drawers. Huh?!? I suggested perhaps I could live with it if they could be switched around. He told me how to work the drawer release mechanism so we could try that.
This conversation with the project manager happened on Friday. That evening, Chuck and I pulled out the drawers to re-arrange them. This is what we found.
I remembered seeing one of the workers drop this cabinet and a chunk of wood flew off. At the time I checked the antique cabinet next to where he dropped it for damage, found none and then cleared the work area to stay out of their way. So now this cabinet is out of square and they nailed the piece back on with protruding nails. The particle board flakes off onto the drawer glides. After some angry steam-rising-off-our-heads thoughts about the workers who deliberately hide this error (and took our shelf support pins), we came to the conclusion we wanted this $500.00 cabinet replaced and should cancel the floor install on Monday.
We went to Home Depot on Saturday morning. The floor department said there was no way to contact the crew2 installers and we should call them at 5:00 am on Monday morning. Yea, right. Like I'm not losing enough sleep about this already? Next, we went to the kitchen department and the designer asked how our project was going. We said "you don't want to know our troubles" but she said she wants to know everything. After telling our story, she went to find her manager and the two of them assured us this is not a typical install experience. They asked us to cc them on further e-mail communication and to contact them directly if the crew2 project manager doesn't resolve the cabinet replacement to our satisfaction within a few days. They said the floor install could go ahead as long as footprint of the cabinets doesn't change, and that the counter people always do the supports and sink base cutting. They also informed us that a homeowner repair kit with a color pen and a tube of nail filler is shipped with cabinets - another thing to retrieve from the workers! It was very reassuring to talk to people face to face and I sincerely believe our local Home Depot kitchen designers care.
On Monday morning of remodel-week-five, Crew2 arrived to install the cabinets. They got right to work and we left home to stay out of their way. When we returned for lunch I realized I couldn't get to the porch temporary kitchen so we went out to eat at Perkins. This is the first time since we started that we ate out. The moldings and hardware were installed on Tuesday and the kitchen looks absolutely beautiful! They finished up on Tuesday afternoon. Our house feels much more spacious now that the cabinets are out of the hall, dining room and porch.
Enjoys life as a dog walker/petsitter, professional naturalist, author, landscape designer, teacher, and artist.