This past week I received some disappointing news regarding an unexpected renovation delay. I want to state right off the bat, this post is not a ‘blame-game’ post. What this post is about is letting you know about this entire scenario, what options were given, and what my advice to my clients was. You just never know when you might stumble upon your own unexpected renovation delay!
An Unexpected Renovation Delay
I am currently working on a renovation project that I named ‘Rustic Dreams‘. I’ve named it Rustic Dreams as it is a home that is located in the country and everything that has been chosen is very rustic. I know I’ve been documenting this project on my Facebook Page and was so excited when the fireplace and mantle were installed!
The cabinets and flooring have a really nice warm, brown tone and the counter top is a gorgeous, rich quartz! Can you see how this home would be coming together!
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, this is not a post where there is blame directed at anyone or any store. What you should know (just for background information purposes only) is that this project just happens to be using a big box store (who shall remain anonymous) for cabinets and prior to delivery of the cabinets this past week, there were already delays.
When Mr. Rustic called me the day he took possession of the cabinets, I sensed in his voice right away that something was not right. My initial gut said that they weren’t all delivered and cabinet install would have to be delayed again. I only wish that some were delayed. Mr. Rustic told me the cabinets were the wrong colour. Insert massive swear word here!
I rearranged my day to drive out to see with my own eyes, the situation. When I arrived there were many people helping unload the cabinets and Mrs. Rustic was outside helping out too (she came from work to see the cabinets). Mrs. Rustic said to me, “I think I have Mr. Rustic convinced that they’ll be ok.” Time to insert another massive swear word here (and you’ll know why further down).
When I saw the cabinets, my heart sank as they were clearly the wrong stain. They were so orange! There were some cabinets in place in the kitchen and we took the sample flooring, along with the sample cabinet door, and walked around and compared. The big box store ‘rep’ was onsite (who also happens to be a family member) and was trying to say the colour wasn’t that far off. For those of you who know me well, I’m sure you have already guessed that my blood was starting to get warmer (almost to the boiling point). We discussed options and what could be done. Here were the options presented:
Cabinet Front Changes
One option that the big box store rep was going to look at was to keep the boxes and just change out the cabinet fronts. While that may seem like a good idea, and one that would solve the problem, there was one huge problem that I saw. What about all the crown moulding, all the gable ends and the toe kicks? They would have to stay the orange colour.
While this option was never mentioned while I was onsite, in my head it certainly was an option.
My Phone Conversation with Mr. Rustic
While I believe the big box store rep was trying to convince my clients to accept the delivery and start with cabinet install, I let both Mr. and Mrs. Client know that I needed to go but that they could call me (and trust me, I had more than 2 cents to say on this matter). Mr. Rustic called me after everyone but himself and the cabinet installer (his friend) had left. I let Mr. Client know that I was going to be honest (and probably through out a curse word here or there).
Cabinet Front Change Option: Why that’s a bad idea
While the cabinet fronts could be re-stained with the correct stain, all of the boxes would still be wrong. What I told Mr. Rustic was that I really worried that their kitchen would look piece-meal. Warm, brown cabinet fronts with orange boxes, orange toe kicks, orange crown moulding and orange gables. Would you want that?
Re Order: Why It’s The ONLY Choice
During my walk-about the cabinets I heard the big box store rep say to Mr. Client something to the effect of, “….she has a really trained eye so she sees the difference. These cabinets really are a close match.” Those were not his exact words but that is what started my blood to boil. No shit – my eye is trained. But guess what – Mr. Rustic does not have a trained eye and he saw right off the bat the cabinets were wrong. And yes – insert another swear word here!
An Unexpected Renovation Delay: My Advice
- Never, never, never let anyone talk you into accepting if you know it is not right. I have a feeling that if I wasn’t there for my clients, they would have been talked into accepting the cabinets.
- Think of the BIG picture. I broke things down for Mr. Client when I was talking to him. I let him know that yes, a 4-6 week delay sucks! Yes, I’d put all the trades that follow cabinet install on hold. Yes, they’d have no kitchen for 4-6 more weeks. But BIG picture: they are going to have this kitchen for (I bet) 2o years. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, and 52 X 20 years = 1040 weeks. What is 4-6 weeks out of 1040 weeks? Nothing.
- Ask yourself: what can you live with? Could I live with a brand new kitchen (and entire home renovation) knowing that my cabinet boxes do not match my cabinet fronts? I could not. Every day that I would come down to the kitchen I would probably swear knowing that something is off. Something is not right (and I’d damn well know what was not right). I would second guess my decision and kick myself knowing that I should have done what I thought was right in the first place. I would find myself saying, “Why didn’t we insist it be done right?”
I recently wrote a blog titled, “2 Words You Should Never Say in a Renovation“. Those 2 words: ‘I can live with it’ and ‘It’s good enough’.
No, no, and no!
Mr. Rustic called me back later that afternoon to say that he indeed was having the cabinets re-ordered. He mentioned that as soon as he made that call that he felt at ease. Yes, they would have to live in their travel trailer for 4-6 more weeks (and I’m crossing my fingers, toes, arms, legs – you name it – that there are no delays on the new cabinets), they would be out of their home for longer than they wished for, but they would be getting exactly what they ordered and exactly what was planned for the entire design of their home. When they look back 10, 15, 20 years from now, I’m almost positive they will have forgotten the 4-6 week delay because they’ll still be loving their home!