- Have a Plan B in place. When choosing items, always have a back-up appliance, tile, color, style, etc. picked out. You never know if something you decide upon online or beforehand is going to be on back-order or discontinued or unavailable until 6 months from now. When you have a Plan B, you don't need to stress about it (unless your Plan B is on back-order, discontinued, or unavailable).
- Give yourself enough time for delivery delays. Regardless of whether or not you have a firm date from the installer, be sure you leave enough time for mistakes. Don't NEED to have your kitchen done by April 30 because you're having a party May 1. You will be sorry. In case the wrong item shows up at your door and has to go back, you may need to wait another week before the correct item is available and delivered.
- It pays to know an electrician or plumber. I like to leave the major stuff (cabinets, counters and floors) to the professionals. But if you're getting new appliances, it's well worth it to have someone you know install the appliances for you. To have a dishwasher installed from Lowe's, a plumber must be contracted out through the store and you will be charged $179 for him to install it. The stove costs $56 to have hooked up and installed. All these extra costs eat away at your bottom line - and you somehow manage to go over your bottom line anyway no matter how hard you try.
- You get what you pay for. I realize I just said above that it pays to know someone to help out with the renovation, but it can also be a hindrance in trying to actually get the job done. When you're having a friend or family member "help" with some of the work, they'll show up when they want and finish when they want. And most of the time there's nothing you can do about it, especially if they're doing the work for free. You need to weigh the cost of saving with the cost of timeliness.
- Don't be afraid to request a discount. When I ordered my dishwasher, the salesperson keyed in the incorrect model number so instead of delivering a stainless steel dishwasher, a black one arrived. I contacted the store immediately and was initially told the stainless steel model would cost me $90 more. I requested an "inconvenience discount" and wound up not having to pay a penny more for the one I wanted and should have received to begin with. Use your voice and assert yourself, and never pay for someone else's mistake.
- Always double-check your order. Check the model numbers, the delivery arrangements, the install agreement. Check everything. I've said before and I'll say it again. People make mistakes. There might be typos. Incompetence is everywhere. Take the time read and re-read the paperwork.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Kitchen Renovation Lessons
Now that my kitchen reno is done, well almost done, there are some lessons I learned in the process that I thought I'd share with you.