Goodbye, Thanksgiving

In just one quick moment while sitting at a desk in the College Park Home Depot kitchen department, our grand plan to move in and cook Thanksgiving for family in our new house hit an immediate brick wall.

All of our planning and drawing and sketching and coordinating a million moving pieces — not to mention our naive optimism, as you experienced folks are probably saying under your breath right now — flew out the window in that one glorious second when John the Home Depot kitchen designer uttered the phrase, “about four weeks.”

The good news is that we bought our cabinets, they’re going to be better than we thought they would, and we won’t have to compromise too much due to the limitations imposed on us by the kitchen space (see, pipes, wall, etc.)

The bad news is that they cost more money, they’re more expensive, they’re more costly and won’t get here until November 29th at the earliest, we think. Thus, the end of the plan to have our kitchen done when Rachel’s family gets here on the 20th.

After just a week of renovating an old house, surprises like this appear to be par for the course; normal. And that when things happen as you plan with no surprises and on budget, you should embrace them as extraordinary circumstances; something to be cherished.

After our first trip to Home Depot a few weeks ago to price out cabinets, we left a little bit discouraged about how expensive they were and went to IKEA. We were thrilled when we found cabinets there we liked just as much as HD and then discovered we could get them for nearly $2,000 less there. Of course, that was before we discovered that the protruding channel holding the pipes in kitchen wall was actually 32 inches long rather than 18. (Because it has a brick column in the end at the old back of the house that holds up a lintel for the opening connecting to the pantry.)

Because of that channel, we needed to decrease the depth of the cabinets in front of it so they don’t lurch out 5 more inches than the ones on either side. (Which would make a tight squeeze in the back of the kitchen even smaller.) We discovered at IKEA today that they don’t sell their base cabinets in reduced depths. Our contractor told us he can cut the cabinets for us to reduce the depth himself, but our problem is that we wanted large drawers (no doors) on our base cabinets. And because the metal slides for the drawers can’t be cut, IKEA cabinets with drawers can’t be reduced in depth.

So we went back to Home Depot to price out cabinets with them again and to run down a wild idea Rachel had to get our reduced depth cabinets from them, match them with the IKEA ones for the rest and put IKEA fronts on the HD ones. The first kitchen designer several weeks ago didn’t use the cheaper ones we wanted, so we knew we could save some money by getting those.

An hour and a half later, we had a full kitchen planned with a better layout and some possibilities we hadn’t considered beforehand. There were more cabinets and more space, though most importantly they didn’t compromise what we wanted to deal with the design limitations, and the extra cost was only around $1,000 more than the IKEA kitchen laden with compromises.

It was at that point that we found out they usually take 2 weeks to deliver, but this factory closes the week of Thanksgiving “so everybody can go out huntin’,” according to John the Kitchen Designer, adding an extra week onto the delivery time.

So I had to call Rudy, our contractor, to let him know that we’ll have to do everything else we can but release him off to his planned Nov. 17th job and then come back in 12 days to install the cabinets and wrap everything up in the kitchen.

I keep thinking that we could’ve avoided this by acting sooner, but there’s no way we could’ve ordered any cabinets until we demo’ed the old kitchen and broke open the wall to really figure out our limitations. Which means we really did it as soon as we can.

Looks like it’ll be 6 people in the Kilbourne Place basement yet one more time. Should make this holiday interesting.

Leave a Reply