Defying ‘Murphy’s Law’ in Kitchen Makeovers, Part 2
By this point you should be feeling some sense of confidence in the plan you have set in motion and with the professionals you’ve engaged to execute your vision. Nevertheless, now would be a good time to quickly review, on logistical, tactical and emotional levels, as to your own level of comfort. If there’s anything, even the most minute detail, that seems a little unsettling or quirky to you, now is the time to make it known to those who can offer the best course of remediation—as these ‘little, insignificant’ issues tend to swell toward greater proportions as the project ensues.
The Trials of Acquisition
Your contractor, as well as your major material supplier(s)—cabinets, countertops, appliances—will have provided you all the pertinent information with regards to the availability and accessibility of the significant components of your kitchen makeover; and, given this information, a work schedule and execution schedule is drafted. However, as any contractor or retailer will affirm, there are any number of variables that may complicate the simple task of ordering and acquiring these items in the time frame that was previously declared. This is not the fault of the contractor, the retailer, or you—it’s just, well, ‘Murphy’s Law’, right? Complicating events like labor strikes at manufacturers, container delays at the import docks, or material shortages due to unforeseen demand may interrupt the schedule of the best made plans of execution. Being prudent and ordering these items early can usually alleviate any significant delays as the job progresses.
It’s also not uncommon to face that dreaded reply of, “this item is discontinued and no longer in stock”. As heartbreaking as this news is—especially when it involves such an important fixture or feature to your dream kitchen—it’s not the end of the world by any means. Here are a few suggestions that you can employ if faced with this situation:
• Although a manufacturer or distributor may not have inventory of a particular item, these folks have the knowledge of who may have inventory of the item. Have your contractor or retailer conduct a search, nationwide, if this item seems critical to your plan. Be prepared that, if found, there might be commensurate shipping charges associated with the acquisition; and weigh these costs against choosing an available alternative.
• Contact the retailer and request an alternative recommendation—one with the fewest compromises. If you’re not satisfied, contact the customer service department of the original manufacturer and have them make a suggestion in their product line, citing clearly that you had chosen a product of theirs’ that was recently discontinued. You’ll find that the manufacturer will be quite motivated to retain your interest in their product line.
Never Fail to Communicate
Your ultimate happiness and contentment with the entire process and evolution of your new kitchen hinges largely upon your willingness and efficacy of communication. The best contractors will be adept at following a solid plan and course of action but this services only a few dimensions towards a homeowners’ overall satisfaction. One of the more significant ‘issues’ in domestic remodeling in association with hired contractors is one that is seldom discussed; and this has to do with the relinquishing or assignment of ‘territory’. As Neanderthal as this may sound, it’s quite a reality in the home remodeling field. It’s quite common for a homeowner to feel ‘violated’ by the presence and actions of a contractor even though, logistically and tactically, they were well apprised of the schedule and course of action. The contractor tends to ‘claim’ the space as his own; and the final product, along with the financial reward of the job, is largely contingent upon his free and unencumbered movement in this space. In these situations, both the contractor and homeowner have equal rights to this space for this period of time that the makeover is occurring. Mutual sharing of needs and concerns on a regular basis will accomplish the satisfaction of both and surely dismiss many of the occurrences of ‘Murphy’s Law’.