Surviving a Kitchen Makeover: Tip # 5

Tip # 5: Don’t be afraid to suggest ideas or ask questions

It is imperative to remember that you are the customer and it is Contractor’s duty to work with you and treat you with respect. You have the right to ask questions and suggest ideas, even if they seem silly or irrelevant.

For example, the refrigerator was delivered and after the appliance company left, I looked at it more closely.

Façade stainless, sides black

Façade stainless, sides black

I had wanted a stainless steel finish, but only the façade had that attribute. The side panels were a black formica. I looked up the model online, but even that described it as stainless steel, so I was very confused. I waited until a moment when Contractor was not busy and I asked him why the sides were black when I wanted stainless steel? He politely explained this is how all the models come and that he had special panels which would cover the sides. So that was a simple question with a simple answer. Done.

Refrigerator space  with corrective  pipe and supporting wall added

Refrigerator space with corrective pipe and supporting wall added


However, not all dilemmas are handled quite so smoothly and actually require some thinking outside the box.

I return to the saga of the rogue supporting beam. Because of the beam’s location, the hood vent can not be directed straight out of the kitchen. When Contractor called me over to point this out, he told me he saw no way around it and the inevitable plan would be to vent the stove directly into the kitchen.

Bay where vent was supposed to go, but blocked by supporting beam

Bay where vent was supposed to go, but blocked by supporting beam

Not good news; but I conceded the point and texted my husband with the update. He immediately called on the phone and told Contractor a very creative idea. We didn’t know if it was plausible,  but a few minutes later I was upstairs in my son’s closet while one of the guys was tapping on the kitchen ceiling, trying to locate where to put the vent. By a stroke of luck, they found an empty bay where it would not interfere with wiring; so, we will be able to vent the stove outside after all!

Son's closet saves the day

Son’s closet saves the day

Sometimes it takes a homeowner who knows the house well to solve the problem. Now my husband is very pleased because, in order to save time and money, he has volunteered to take charge of the upstairs vent, including building a box around it in the closet. He should be proud of his contribution to this project and that he didn’t give up on solving a problem that was important to him.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Looking Out The Window
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 15:31:56

    I am glad you asked your question because so often folks don’t and just settle. It is always better when a homeowner shares the quirky knowledge with the contractor. On the other hand folks forget when they agree to put the pantry on the left side of the refrigerator and then change their minds when the see it boxed in and ask for it to be changed that is a get out your wallet moment. Some times that get out your wallet moment is worth it and other times it isn’t worth it to change your mind. I am so looking forward to see your finished kitchen.



  2. themiddlegeneration
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 19:19:58

    I am getting excited too. They put in appliances today! And, yes, another point to raise. The refrigerator space was inaccurate and didn’t allow foor to open fully. They were able to correct it within an hour.



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