My kitchen cupboards fell off

aliska12000May 26, 2006

Three out of a set of four, the latter is still up but I don't use it.. It was several years ago, lost almost a complete double set of china and if I had been standing at the stove like I so often do where they came crashing down, I might not be writing about this.

I was at my computer in a back room, and my daughter and granddaughter were in the living room. My cat, now departed, was so scared she hid under the couch, and she didn't spook easily.

I got a partial insurance settlement but got sick and couldn't deal with it, so my kitchen cupboards have been in the dining room for several years now. Amazing what one can get used to.

I've had so many while being either alone or a single mom that it has caused much distress, but after I saw the pictures of the Katrina disaster, it made my problems seem pale by comparison.

In order to repair them now, the whole wall will have to be ripped out, bottom kitchen cupboards taken out, sink, countertop, and the outside wall of the house needs fixed because it wasn't done right when I had it done several years ago. I honestly don't know if I'm going to be able to deal with it, but dealing with moving would probably be worse.

No matter how you choose to live, whether in condo, regular house, apartment, trailer, manufactured housing, whatever, there are always some problems you have to deal with.

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Sorry to hear about all of your troubles. I was painting my upstairs bathroom recently. I started losing my balance on the ladder and lightly landed/tapped a a large wall cabinet. It started falling out of the wall (tilting) as it was going down. I was on a ladder, trying to hold it up so it wouldn't fall completely down and bust the new pedestal sink, new tile, etc. Was home alone - was trapped! I cried, laughed, screamed ... you name it. Was finally able to hold it enough to prevent damaging the entire bathroom while getting off the ladder. WHAT A MESS!

Good grief.... even I know that anchors are required when installing something as heavy as a large cabinet. I finally learned what my ex-boyfriend meant when he would say, "Work smart, not hard". He took the easiest quickest way out 10 times out of 10. I'm still cleaning up his messes UGH :(*

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 4:53PM
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I'm glad you got out of your mess ok and saved your sink and yourself (you could have hit your head or broken an arm or something really bad). That would be scary for sure.

One thing I have learned, and I will never learn it all, is that even if you don't do the work yourself, don't put blind trust in those who do, even if they are professionals. I try to inform myself as best I can about options, requirements and how the job should be done right. A small example. The plastic molding around the kitchen. It should have been shimmed out or filled in with wood pieces so it would adhere better. It wasn't, so half of that has pulled away. I could probably fix that myself.

He (back to your bf) probably missed the studs. The guy who put mine up missed some, not all, and that is why the insurance company gave me a settlement. What I didn't figure out until later is that the end of the wall has the first three or more studs rotted out from water leakage over the years (don't think my ins covers that). I knew there was a small leak, but didn't know it was that expansive. Now the wall needs to be ripped out and redone which is why I've procrastinated so about putting the cupboards back up because of my nerves and the whole countertop, which includes the sink and garbage disposal, and bottom cupboards taken out, wall redone from scratch and new drywall, then put everything back in. I can't handle something major torn up any more, used to do it, no more unless there is no way around it. I've got some tub enclosure sheets cut and duct taped to the huge hole in the wall that was rotting out behind that section of cupboards.

By the time I had the second new roof since I have lived here put on, I nagged the roofer about that spot and insisted that they get the valley done right. Now there is an exterior wall just under that spot I paid some workers I got through the local employment office to fix the side of the house, $300. They didn't do it right, and it needs to be redone. I was having a prob with my anxiety over the pounding and stress of it and ended up in the emergency room, so I wasn't able to pay very close attention to that. Sometimes you don't save, and you have to watch the pros, too. Water sometimes gets in there, too. So it seems I just can't win.

Well, I think we both should consider ourselves fortunate that it didn't turn out worse. Maybe I'm lucky I didn't have a boyfriend do work for me. The one I did, I paid him for the work, it seemed ok, but he set a closet door crooked! It was so obvious. I unscrewed it, drilled new holes and straightened it myself. But I never could have hinged all those shutter doors together because I just don't have the skills. They didn't hold up very long either. I put a lot of effort into painting them.

Get a smarter boyfriend next time :-). Some guys really do know their stuff and take great pride in doing things right.

I suppose I'm the kind of person who should not try to own a house with all the maintenance, but I just love my green space and nice neighborhood, so it's kind of a tradeoff. I am not the condo type and just hated it when we lived in rentals. Getting older, eventually I'll probably be forced to make a change.

Sorry I went on so long about it. It's my own doing but is a good example of why you should nip a problem in the bud or it will just get worse. I now realize that former owners going how far back I don't know had the same problem because of water stains. I thought just paint over them and everything will be ok. No.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 8:56AM
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Owning a home can be a pain sometimes. Seems like something is always going wrong. Wish I could afford (and had the energy) to buy a new house and move every 5 years. Even that won't fix everything. I'm hearing now that you should have inspectors inspect new homes because they are put up so quick and shoddy.

I've learned a lot about construction/maintenance lately since I put my house up for sale. My older sister is absolutely incredible when it comes to stuff like that. She replaced doors, moved light fixtures around, replaced bad siding, etc. etc. We even rented a lift to paint my high walls in my house. She's awesome. Don't know what I would have done without her :) Several weeks ago, she and her husband installed a new pool heater for me. Had to reroute water lines too. Some people just have a talent for figuring things out and doing it the right way. Others just want to get it done - the quickest and cheapest fix out there. You are right though - even if we pay good money for their work believing them to be pros, it doesn't mean it is quality. You never know now a days.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 10:09PM
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What an amazing sister and brother-in-law you have! There is that neat gal on "This Old House", I think it is. Women can do lots of things as well as men I'm starting to see, but it didn't used to be that way so much. I couldn't begin to do as much as your sister has.

Thanks for sharing. I just like owning my own home imperfect though it is. No matter what you get into these days, you run into problems. It is a fact that some people just simply cannot afford to keep up the repairs on their homes which is sad.

Good luck selling your house, and I hope you find something really nice. You never know what you are going to run into down the line which is, I think, why I have dug in my heels all these years. It's a block from a beautiful park on a quiet street, major cross town artery one block south.

Just a stupid thing like battling snow can be really difficult. I don't park in the garage or have a driveway to worry about snowblowing, but I just backed my car up it so I wouldn't have to carry some glass blocks so far to the garage and did something to the exhaust system, I think. It's partly because the guy next door excavated to build a whopping garage and left my driveway which isn't paved all humpy and concrete lumps. I don't want to get into a fight with him about it, but think I will check with my ins co, even though I did it. It'll cost more to fix than those blocks were worth :-). That'll teach me. I always wanted some but have no clue what I'll do with them. They will probably just sit in my garage. Only $3.04 apiece at Lowe's, and I have 36 that need adhesive chipped off. I was trying to think of some way to use them for landscaping without looking gaudy. I did read that people with decks use them to elevate their plants so the finish won't be ruined. I don't have a deck but a couple of spots I might be able to do something creative with. People used to use them for improvised bookcases.

Today I tackled some old shelving in a basement storage room that fell in (due to dampness in summer for years) and destroyed at least half a set of Haviland china I had stored there years ago now. Made me sick and didn't want to deal with it. Time to clean it up. So I got my hammer and wrecking bar, and after a real struggle, I have the boards out and ready to put out for the trash. Now I have to clean all the broken glass up and debris that has built up over the years. I'll get there.

My I can't just write something short. I will have to work on that.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 10:34PM
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I can't write short either - no prob! So sorry to hear about your china - GASP! That would make be absolutely sick. I just packed up my mom's china that I've been hauling around for over 25 years. Think I'll leave it packed this time. My kids are too young to appreciate it at this point but maybe they will when they inherit it. Scaling down is no fun. I stay confused and change my mind frequently on what I think I want to get rid of. Just hopefully I won't make any huge mistakes. Keep telling myself they are just material possessions and that memories are in the heart. Maybe I'll believe it eventually :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 11:21PM
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I've got the same prob with family heirlooms. I guess they only mean something to me. It is like getting rid of a piece of yourself. I'm not so materialistic about everything (maybe I am, I had to wait long enough to get some of the things I enjoy), but somebody before me lovingly made a lot of effort to haul the stuff around and keep it safe and nice so it would stay in the family. I did give my one daughter my set of Noritake china which was mostly wedding gifts. She has two boys, and I'm sure they will want it. Not.

The Haviland china is past history, belonged to my great aunt. She had 18 nieces and nephews so left in her will everything had to be sold, so my parents bought at the auction some of those beautiful things so they would stay in the family. My sister packed up the pieces that didn't break and took it, don't know what she did with it, don't care. Funny it took me until now to face the mess. It made me kind of sad picking through that debris (realized how soon things get broken, disappear and decay, all my computer books were rotten, I was sweeping up "compost" mixed with glass and rusty clamps, etc. heh), but time to move on. I lost most of a double set of Homer Laughlin "Georgia" I think is the pattern when those cupboards came down. I was so happy to get them out of storage, FINALLY, washed up and put away neatly in my new cupboards, like NORMAL people have their things, after years of cheap melmac with scratches. They aren't worth all that much, but I loved the delicate pattern.

Whatever you do, store your dishes in a dry place. I still have shelves of antique dishes in the other storage cupboard adjacent to the one where the shelves gave way. I should pack them up and get a good dehumidifier. Really I should just pick a few and sell the rest, but it would take a LOT of effort to get close to FMV for them. The kids won't want them or have room for them. If I don't downscale by choice, the choice will eventually be made for me in one way or another.

I guess it's a "thing" with me as I didn't want those beautiful (to me) pieces ending up in the homes of strangers. For example, my father's or his siblings' little oak high chair that needs to be recaned (which I will have done when I can work that in), his Jenny Lind baby crib, the windup clock, blah blah. Couldn't get on ebay what they and other things are worth to me in sentimental value.

When I see family treasures being sold off that belonged to other families, it makes me sad, knowing how much they once meant to somebody and how some sacrificed to acquire them. But that is life and we have to deal with it.

Lives are more important than things. Compared to Katrina, my losses were as nothing, just frustrating. I made a lot of effort myself to haul them with the help of my son from Waukegan after my aunt died and save them. Couldn't save it all. Unbelievable how we loaded, secured and hauled all that stuff 200 miles on a rented trailer. The things I let slip away I could kick myself now.

Now I've done it again. Long post.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 9:45AM
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I once heard a guy on the radio talking about people who packrat collectibles, etc. He said something like... think about it, what good are these things going to do for you? They are too precious in your eyes to sell so you do what? You hang on to them. You don't use them - they just sit - mostly behind the scenes. You have grand ideas of passing them down to your children. But what are they going to do with the stuff? Probably nothing. It might not be as sentimental to them. Will probably stayed packed away in a box in the garage or attic - not appreciated. They are probably too afraid to sell that family heirloom or might even toss it carelessly because it isn't their style. It's never ending hanging onto that stuff. It always comes with a stigma attached. He said if you don't use it frequently in your life or display it where it can be truly enjoyed daily, why keep it? He said SELL THAT STUFF and enjoy the money while you are alive. Memories are in the heart.

It sure made me feel better when I lost so much in that nasty mold claim. Just possessions - most of which I did not use or properly display. Just stuff.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 12:58PM
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I do use or display just a fraction of what I have because it belongs in one of those large Victorian-type houses or in a decor where people cherish antiques.

Time to start letting go of some of it. Look what I got from "hoarding" it all. It is not feasible at my age to dream of living in one of those houses, nor am I sure I would want to now, bad enough trying to keep my older bungalow minimally repaired.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 6:36PM
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I mentioned earlier that I'm getting ready to sell my house and downscale. I'm pulling out so much stuff that I haven't used in years. Just going to get rid of it - make my life simple. Will offer it to my family and then will have a final moving sale. Anything left over will be donated to the ministry. You know the old saying... 'KISS'? Keep it Simple Silly (or as some say *stupid*.

It sounds like you have some awesome stuff. Too bad you can't win the lotto and get yourself that large Victorian home :)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 11:12PM
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"It sounds like you have some awesome stuff. Too bad you can't win the lotto and get yourself that large Victorian home :)"

Yes, well I could have done more with what I had. I could kick myself for stripping my beautiful old Victorian secretary/bookcase desk and not just leaving the original finish, had the bevelled mirror resilvered and then accidentally broke it one day. A lot of my things need to be fixed. Some I will have done and some I will have to get rid of.

What I've really been dragging my feet about is I have two beautiful old pianos, one a mahogany baby grand with the finish gone crackled (one leg braced up because it is buckling), and the other an upright walnut one with the beautiful carving on the front. It is just too expensive to completely restore them. Both need a little cosmetic exterior surgery in the wood repair department, nothing that major. Most people want new and I'll end up practically giving these away. It tears me apart just to think about it.

I did sell my pedal organ with three huge speakers on ebay, so that was a big step for me in the right direction.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 8:38AM
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