When it came time to buy the microwave for the remodeled kitchen, Amazon had it available for $130 with free shipping, but Wal-Mart online had it for $100. If I had the microwave shipped to me it would have cost $15 and then I would have to worry about the UPS man leaving the package on the doorstep at home or having it come to work and then toting it home. I could save that shipping cost by having it delivered to the Wal-Mart just down the street and get it at my convenience.
When the microwave got to the store I received an email letting me know I could pick it up. So after dinner one night Donna and I made the short trip. When I walked in I was unsure exactly where to go to pick it up, so I started at the Service Desk. Of course I was first in line, but both CSRs were helping people. They were already helping them when I walked up and they were still helping them after 3 or 4 minutes. Finally the one closest to me has to page a supervisor, so when she puts down the phone to wait for a response, I butt in, “Excuse me. I’m here to pick up an internet order. Is this where I should be?” “No,” she says, “It is in the back of the store.”
As we walk to the back of the store we see the giant lettering on the back wall “e-Store” or something like that. There is a big alcove back there that looks like it used to be used for Layaway. Unfortunately it also looks like it used to be used for the “e-Store” as well, as it is vacant. Attached to one of the cash registers is an 8–1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper with the phrase “Pick Up Internet Orders In Electronics” hand lettered on it.
When we get to Electronics there is no one manning the desk, so we hover for a minute or so when we notice a lady just standing there. Eye contact is made and she offers up, “He’s in the back checking on something for me.” After a minute or so the store employee shows back up and when his short conversation with the women is over, turns to us and asks how can he help. We’re here to pick up an internet order.
“What’s the order number?” I hand him the email. “I don’t see the order number on here. What’s your phone number?” I give him our home phone number. “I still don’t see anything.” I volunteer my work phone, still nothing. “What’s your last name?” I spell it for him. “Email address?” I’m not sure if he found anything or not, because he asks what size box is he looking for. I say, “Small microwave,” and off he goes.
We wait for his return. We wait. And we wait. Finally after about 5 minutes (which seems like 15) he comes back with our box.
The day after the tardy, sans writing utensil, carpet estimator showed up to measure the room, I received a call from Lowe’s, my estimate was ready. $445 and change.
Huh? Mentally doing some math in my head, carpet 144 sq/ft at $1.28 per plus 52 cents a sq/ft to install is around $250. With tax I should still be under $300. So I asked the girl on the other end could she break it down for me. There was 156 sq/ft of carpet (I asked for this so we could cover a little step going into the kitchen) so that is and additional twenty bucks. There was an additional $47 for the extra labor of covering said step. That seems a little high for amount of work, but that still leaves us in the middle $300 range. Then there was an additional 35 dollars for floor leveling compound and $45 for adhesive. I told her that my floor didn’t need leveling and she said she would have a Mr. Howard from the installation company call me.
So Donna and I started whittling away at some of the costs to get the price down to a manageable level. Forget the extra foot of carpet, I’ll just paint the step. No leveling and a favorably installation date & time and we would go for it. And WTF, the installation cost didn’t already include the glue? For the 52 cents a sq/ft they were basically trimming 5” off two sides and laying it down in the room? I’m betting the installation cost you see advertised in the store for wall to wall carpet doesn’t include the tack strips either.
Mr. Howard never called me, but the Lowe’s girl left a message on my work phone the next day to the effect that she had spoken to him and he said if the floor wasn’t leveled we ran the risk of seeing or feeling the joints in between the flag stones of the existing floor through the carpet.
Because I never got to speak to Mr. Howard I never got to explain to him that it is not real flagstone, it is some sort of hard vinyl outdoor flooring from the fifties that is a fairly convincing simulation. There is a difference in height between the “stone” and the “grout”, but it is measured in thousandths of an inch and in no way would be felt through even the thinnest carpet applied over it. And had the mental midget who measured, looked down at something besides his tape measure, he would have noticed the swirly glue residue left behind from when we had pulled up the previous carpet and maybe realized that the floor didn’t need leveling.
So what now? We are into Lowe’s for $51 for the measurement visit, but thirty-five of which we would get off the install charge if they did it. The other $16 was for an asbestos check that was spent on our estimation guy using his Jedi mind powers to look for this problematic material. Either that or he can smell it because we didn’t see him do anything except unfurl his tape measure twice.
So we did the smart thing, cut our loses with Lowe’s, found some commercial carpet we liked at Home Depot for 85¢ a sq/ft, bought a tub of glue and some fresh blades for my box cutter. Total cost, is under $200 because my labor is free and that even includes the $51 we threw away.
(coming soon: Home Depot carpet buying experience & Lowe’s Ship to Store fun)
We decided that it was time to update the carpet in the “computer room.” It was put down at the same time that the carpet in the kitchen was, probably 15 years ago. It had two circular spots matted down in two of the four corners from the computer chair sitting on it for long periods of time. A couple years back we broke down and bought a chair mat, not so much to protect the carpet, it was too late for that, but to hide the most worn spot.
At first I was going to do it, then we thought maybe kitchen contractor guy would do it, but in the end a Lowe’s sub contractor will be doing it. They want just 50¢ a square foot, which in our case amounts to less than $75. Cheap enough.
They charge $35 to come out measure the room or in our case $50 because our house was built before 1978 and they need to check for asbestos. That cost will come off the installation charge as long as you do get them to install the carpet. We hope this guy is better at measuring than the last guy.
We scheduled an appointment for measurement today and was given a time range of 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. We went into work a half hour early for three days, so we could make up the 1–1/2 hour off we left the plant today to make it home in time for our appointment. Three o’clock. 3:15, 3:30, quarter to four, 4:00 PM, nobody shows. Ten after four Donna starts calling numbers to find out where the measuring guy is. At 4:13 a red pickup pulls in our driveway.
He comes in and apologizes profusely for being late. Two quick measurements and he’s done. Pulls out his pad and starts patting his pockets. “Could I borrow a pen?” he asks. Sure you can, Donna hands him a pencil and I roll my eyes.
At least he didn’t leave a mess…
From February 2nd:
Here is our soon to be remodeled kitchen. The cabinets are original to the house. As is the yellow tile counter top and back splash. The floor is currently covered in dark blue commercial grade carpet and there is at least 2 layers of vinyl under that, who knows what is further down. Currently the dishwasher is the old fashioned manual kind.
If all goes according to plan in about a dozen days this will be an empty room, maybe even just a skeleton. D-Day is February 11th.
Here is our newly remodeled kitchen. The cabinets are Shenandoah Breckenridge in Maple Spice. The counter top is Caledonia granite and the back splash is 3 x 6 white tile in a subway pattern. The floor is 12 x 12 light gray tile laid in a staggered pattern. The dishwasher is a GE Top Control Dishwasher with Steam Cleaning.
If all goes according to plan we will never remodel another kitchen.
This morning I washed off the Miata car cover to get it clean in the hopes I can sell it for a few bucks. I placed it on top of the Emperor to spray it off then left it on to dry. This afternoon I removed the cover and washed the car underneath. Then I
washed rinsed off the Sonata too.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1219
Earlier this week we agreed, after some bantering back and forth, to a figure for the contractor’s overages. He was to come over this evening to settle up and take some pictures for his business’s facebook page. On Wednesday he emailed to ask if he could do it on Thursday which was fine by us because Wednesday night while emptying the dishwasher, it tried to escape from under the counter top. We wanted it re-restrained.
Contractor guy decided that instead of using the screwed in bracket the counter top installers had mounted to the cabinets it would be nicer to attach a piece of the cabinet trim with construction adhesive to the counter top and screw the dishwasher mounting tabs to it. We agreed because it would look nicer. The adhesive held for 2 weeks.
Contractor guy arrived on Thursday carrying a small tool bag and an idea on how to fix the problem. He would drill at angle through the wood trim piece into the cabinet and use a couple of long wood screws to hold it in place. He drilled one hole and then realized he needed an extension for the drill to get a screwdriver bit in there to tighten the screw. He asked if I had one one and could he borrow it. I went out in the garage and brought it back to him.
Halfway thru screwing in the first screw the battery in his screw driver wound down. “Do you have a driver I could borrow?” Back to the garage for that too. He drills the second hole and then starts rooting around in his bag. “Do you have a longer wood screw than this?” I turn to head to the garage for a third time when he says, “Never mind, found one.” He tests the sturdiness of his work and hands me back my stuff.
Contractor guy takes several pictures with his phone, asks if we are happy with the kitchen (yes we are) and we settle up. He drives off and I go get the vacuum cleaner to suck up all the wood shavings from his drilling. If you just look at the dishwasher standing in the kitchen it looks fine. But if you open the dishwasher door and look up at the workmanship just finished, it looks kind of sloppy.
And that is pretty much a microcosm of the entire kitchen remodel project. No real planning of the project beforehand, borrow the homeowner’s tools, do some satisfactory work, get paid and leave the clean up to someone else.
Last night the ceiling and tonight the door/window trim got one coat of white paint. For the ceiling that might be all it takes, but the trim is going to need at least one more coat, probably two.
The transition from yellow wall to white ceiling looks dirty, cabinet crown molding to ceiling it looks fine. I’m pretty sure it is just shadow, but Donna is not happy, so we are exploring options. First thought is to paint a 1″ section of the ceiling with the same yellow as the wall. If that looks weird we will go with an idea from cabinet guy, paint the ceiling a lighter shade of the wall color.
We have a busy day tomorrow, but I hope to finish the painting on Sunday, even if it means one coat in the morning and a second coat that night.
For the first time in 61 days the Emperor could park in his Throne Room. It was supposed to be gone last Friday, then it was supposed to be yesterday, so quite frankly we were surprised to find it actually gone when we pulled into the driveway after work today. Even though pine pollen season isn’t exactly over, the Miata got a washing before being driven into the garage.
We have been driving the Miata for the last couple weeks, so the Sonata has been just parked under the awning gathering a layer of pine pollen. To keep both siblings happy, I was going to wash the Purple Whale too, but dinner was nearly ready, so Donna insisted that I put the wash bucket away and after eating we’d run the Sonata through Lu Lu’s, a local car wash. It felt like cheating and it cost $10, but man that was easy.
Started up, went down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1215