Our first 'disaster'. DH royally screwed up. Poor guy.

pirulaJanuary 6, 2006

Well, it has happened. They say that every remodel has at least one big disaster right? One HUGE mistake? Well, we had our first one today. Not bad really, considering we've been planning for two years and building for three and a half months. But it's a loo loo, although not fatal.

I keep telling myself what my father always says: "If it can be fixed with money, it's not worth worrying about."

Okay so here's what has happened. As soon as our beautiful new Marvin windows arrived, I knew something was up with the kitchen windows. They looked so small to me. Particularly compared to the lovely large windows that came for every other room. I mean these things were TINY. I mentioned it to Joel but we both figured it must just be because these windows have to end much higher due to the fact that there will be a sink counter underneath. Fast forward to last night, when I start to prep these windows for paint. I stood at the window opening with one of them and realized that I was going to have a big slab of wood right at eye level. NOT HAPPY!!! God I was mad!! Again I thought, something is not right, I KNOW we measured and remeasured so that this exact thing wouldn't happen. DH has no memory of that conversation. I decide that I guess I'll have to live with it and either tippy toe or bend down in order to see my backyard when I'm doing dishes (siiiiiigh).

So today we think "hey! We'll just move the window up an inch or two and see if that fixes it. So DH is upstairs measuring for that. He comes down the the basement (temporary dwelling) and says "you can divorce me if you want." Uh oh......

Turns out, he screwed up the window order. Not the drawings, not the measurements, the ORDER. The window is seven, count em, SEVEN inches too short. Well, that explains alot doesn't it.

Well, needless to say, this is completely unacceptable. This is a 3K window because it is four double hungs. OUCH. This really sucks financially, and is happening just as we're running really low on our HELOC. Luckily just about everything is paid for now, but still. Anyway, in a sick way I'm relieved. Only my TKO friends will understand that this window must be redone even if it means paying for a new window. Seven inches to narrow I could live with. But height, coupled with wood in my eyes, no way. We redid the exercise of "wood at eye level" and sure enough, there should be no wood at eye level with the proper size window.

So there it is. Disaster numero uno. Ouch ouch ouch. Well, at least Habitat will get a nice donation, I'll get a write off, and some lucky dog out there is getting a very nice, brand new, all wood, double insulated glass window.

Deep breaths,


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You are doing so well with this news!!! Keep breathing...


    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 5:16PM
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Oh Ivette! I'm so sorry. I can understand how you feel coz I'm a windows person down to the cockles of my heart. Ouch! is right and while in any other situation, I would try to modify the plan to accept the boo-boo, a too-small window coupled with window-in-eye syndrome, I can understand that you'll want to reorder. Ouch, ouch ouch, but oh well. If this is the only problem you've had, consider yourself ahead of the game and call this your penance for remodeling.

But, I just wanted to say that your DH's comment was adorable. I love my DH but he's as unabashed and as unrepentant as ever a person could be. Give your DH my best. Your donation idea is a very good and very noble one but steeped in rebuilding debt you could try to craigslist or even ebay your windows. You could easily get very close to your actual price for 'em because the buyer will be happy not to have to deal with the long lead time. On the other hand, donating brand new Marvins is a tremendously generous gesture. Good luck and I do so hope that you have an easy resolution to the problem; sounds like it'll be a little extra money but your decision seems to be quite clear.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 5:30PM
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Sorry to hear of your booboo! Is it possible to use the window and put a 7" transom above?? Or does that put the wood at eye level? Grasping at straws here!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 5:50PM
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Yes, I was going to suggest the transom idea as well. When life gives you lemons, drink it with a twist...

Maybe the window company will have pity on you and give you a good deal on the transoms.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 7:00PM
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Thanks everyone. No, we toyed with the transom idea as well. But it won't work because it doesn't fix the wood in my face problem. And the transom would look very odd because it would be awfully small. We only have eight foot ceilings, AND have to deal with a ranch house with very low eaves. No dice.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 7:14PM
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I'll leave you with two cliches--

If you want something done right.....

And from Bill Cosby--

We are dumb, but we are not so dumb! LMAO

Seriously Ivette-- sorry to hear about this. It's not a total loss, though. You'll still lose SOME money, but if they won't take them back (which is very likely), you might be able to sell them to a contractor in your area to be used on another project. I don't know about down where you are, but up here, we have a weekly magazine that's all 100% classifieds, and you can sell just about anything you have. One of the sections in there is building materials, and you can find anything in there from used patio blocks to brand new furnaces. If you have anything like that down where you are, you should be able to unload them relatively easy. :-)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 7:36PM
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If it's any solace, we had a "window dilemma", too. Except ours were too narrow. We have two 8' windows on either side of our kitchen. The middle section is 4' wide "picture type" and is flanked by two 2' double hungs. When we first put our order in, DH told them we wanted two 6' wide windows, which included the 4' middle one and two 1' wide double hungs on either side. One foot???? I should have checked his stats before he called the company, but he said to "trust me, I'm not an idiot. I've got the measurements right".....ooops! Thank goodness we could salvage the middle sections and only had to have the two side windows on each one replaced. Hey! It's only money, and there was no way we were living with those weenie windows ;o)
So, yeah, I feel your pain. But it will be resolved. And after all, those DH's are so darn cute.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 8:08AM
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Hi Guys!

Thanks so much for making me feel better. DH is such a treasure, he really is. I felt SO bad for him, he just felt like such an idiot. He just can't understand how (and frankly neither can I) he could have quadruple checked everything and still have gotten it wrong. And what kind of number is SEVEN inches??? I mean what the hell?? hee hee.

I tell you, how can I be mad at him? He's doing practically EVERYTHING except electrical and plumbing. He's the GC, I think he's saved us more than $3K there wouldn't you say? Besides, he's just so darned cute. And he's doing such a great job on everything. I'm hoping to upload photos of before and during soon, so you can see for yourselves.

Can I just admit that I am relieved I don't have to live with this window that I hated from day one??

I did make him rerererererererecheck his cabinet layout upstairs though. They arrive next week and oh man, THAT would be catastrophic! They're okay though.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 10:04AM
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Well, if that's the only major screw up in what sounds like a huge project it sounds good to me - since we have no skills in our household to do anything ourselves. If I had a DH who could do any of these things I sure wouldn't be too upset if he only screwed up one thing - even if it is a $3000 mistake.

I don't think it has to cost you $3000 though. I agree with the others who said you could certainly sell this window and recoup some of your expenses - it's a brand new Marvin window. Man, they're expensive, aren't they.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 11:37AM
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Aw, Ivette, that's too bad, but you've got the right attitude. And besides, now you can make your own blooper or burnt dinner (it's bound to happen, at some time or another, if you're human), and after you've been so understanding and forgiving of HIM, what can he say? It's like having money up your sleeve! :-)


    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 2:49PM
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Ivette, I wish I could have the positive attitude you always have about everything!

Good luck with working through it, and yes, him doing all the work is saving you more than the 3k. If it wasn't for my DH doing all the work, we wouldn't have been able to afford it.

Sounds like you two make a good team.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 3:21PM
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Ivette, I know it's no consolation, but you're not alone. My DH and I have an "Unforgettable List" of mistakes to never make again. Right off the top of my head was a 'window' mistake. We have transom windows over our cabinets on one wall. They installed them about 4" too low because there was a huge header that could not be avoided, so now part of my crown molding on the cabinets cover the windows. Not a big deal, but irritating none the less. To me, it looks like they're too low! To other people, it makes them wonder why we have any windows above the cabinets. We have these windows on that side of the kitchen because we knew with large porches on the front and back of the house, our house would just be too dark. We need the natural light.

Second big financial mistake from DH was when he just got too overwhelmed and busy the last week he was to handle the house building project and I was to take over, the electrician asked for another draw. A few short weeks after that, the electrician asked me for another draw. I told him I would check the books and get back with him. He said, "Well, DH always writes me the check the same day." I replied, "I'm not DH and I am going over the books. I'll get back to you tomorrow." Well, it hit the fan the next day. DH had overpaid the electrician by $4,000 in draws and double paid for a transfer switch for our house generator, which the electrician has yet to supply. To date, we do not have this resolved. To top this off, when I proved we owed them nothing, the owners of the company split partnership and never paid a supply house bill; which the supply house filed a lien on our property that we paid to clear. This was so irritating. I intend to deal with the electricians through the state, since they did not pay off the lien, now that I'm done with the cabinet lawsuit.

The cabinet fiasco just settled in court. Bottom-line, I'm out literally over double my money in cabinet costs and they're still not done. The judge just dissolved the lien that CabFiascoGuy put on our property. That's another thread!

Did we save anything building our own home? Yes, I'm sure. However, we learned many lessons we never cared to learn along the way.

I'm sorry for your loss, truly, I am. Just know that it's a small 'seminar price' to pay. We took the more expensive route, which I would never recommend.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 6:44PM
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Ivette, if you don't want to spend that $3k right *now*, could you push that off a year or two by doing some sort of "temporary" or easily removed installatio of the ones you've got? W/ a wood panel or something in the extra space at the top or bottom, just to cover the gap?

Then, get the real windows later, take the old ones out, and put in the new?

That is frustrating, isn't it? But I agree w/ you--I bet you feel really, really relieved that you don't *have* to live w/ those windows.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 7:30PM
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Well, if there was ANY remaining doubt that the window in question has to be replaced, it was removed today when DH installed it as a stop gap measure until we order the proper window and await delivery. It's AWFUL. It's so incredibly smaller than what the space allows for. To top it all off, we had these wood trims put in between the windows (thinking they'd be nice for sconces or something and they just take up SO much room. So they're going too. In other words, the window isn't just a mistake from top to bottom, but side to side as well. It's very painful that we had to actually make the mistake in order to recognize it. But sometimes these things happen. It actually makes us feel better about it knowing that the window is even less workable than we originally thought. The new window will no longer be four double hungs either. We're going to do two double hungs and one large picture window (Spacific, you were RIGHT! Go ahead, say "I told you so." :)

Anyway, it's in place for now. Beats plywood as far as keeping our heating costs down. May I also just say that DH did an AMAZING job of re bricking that wall on the outside? So many hidden talents. I will include a pic of this tonight when I upload all the other pics I've been promising.

Lesson learned: It's okay, deep breath. Mistakes happen. Thank you EVERYONE for seeing me through this entire remodel.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 5:16PM
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Ivette, I just looked at your albums and wondered what you meant about the 'bad' windows, because I thought "WE' (the Gang of Experts!) had agreed on a big picture and double hungs. LOL... I'm really sorry that you had to take sand as dh says on this but wood in the face...oh noooo, that's would be a day in day out pita.

You're doing good kiddo. Maureen

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 9:54PM
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Hi Maureen!!

Thanks! Did you see the like NINE inches of wood that are in there as a stop gap until the new window arrives? Oy. Poor Joel. He was like "HOW could I have screwed up this badly???" Oh well. The new window is on order and is going to be JUST beautiful. And everything else is going to well for me to even be upset about this anymore.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 10:55PM
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I only have a second but I HAVE to share:

The new window to replace the "BAD" one is in! And OMG what a difference!!!!!

I just cannot tell you how happy I am that I listened to you guys and just sucked it up and spent the BIG bucks on a replacement window. I just feel like I can see the whole world from what will one day be the sink. I'm sooooo happy!

I will try to upload progress pics this weekend. But the new window JUST went in and I ran down here so I could tell all my pals!!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 6:02PM
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It takes a big man to admit a mistake; not all are mature as your DH. What a gem. I understand from my window contractor that a large lumberyard in my area routinely screws up window orders. . . .

I'm glad it turned out even better than originally planned and wasn't a $30K mistake!!! (Think of the cost of a divorce!) Have a great weekend.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 6:48PM
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This reply is a little late, but I just came across it! Pirula, if you're still out there, first of all, I love your kitchen. It embodies the kind of simple English essence I like. After I saw it on the FKB I searched for it here and saw this post.

Your window situation got my attention because a similar thing happened to us. When we put a 2nd floor addition on about 7 years ago, I had a lot of windows to order. I made the best decisions I could, but some ended up being better than others. The kitchen windows were much smaller than I'd envisioned, and coupled with the fact that the ceiling in the new part of the kitchen was 8" taller than in the rest of the room, the windows looked ridiculously tiny. We didn't get around to working on the kitchen until this year, but I've considered replacing them many times. We love big windows. In the end I just didn't want to spend the money. But I was also able to justify keeping them after I noticed that in lots of old English kitchens the windows ARE small. I've managed to come up with a design around them that I think I'll like. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'm also happy I came across your kitchen because I found out about the Fine Paints of Europe ECO satin. I'm planning to hand paint our cabinets with a low VOC paint, and was happy to see it used in your kitchen and look so beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 11:51PM
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Hey egganddart49!

I don't get to spend much time here on gardenweb anymore, but I do try to check in as I can. How lovely to see this post today! Thank you for the kind words about our kitchen. I'm still crazy about it after over two years and you'll be happy to know that the ECO paint is holding up beautifully, good as new.

Good luck! I will look for pics!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 3:35PM
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Thank you! I'm taking a very long time on the cabinets (I'm building them myself), so the kitchen won't be posted for a while!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 11:09AM
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HEY STRANGER!! How ya been? Everything going all right for the two of you?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:35PM
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Hey Ivette!
I haven't stopped over here in forever... until today. Hope all is well with you!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 10:54PM
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Hi Bill!!

How are you??? All is well here, thank you. Do your ears ring much? We talk about you alot as we still drool over our existing showers and plan the last one!

Hi Ann!!

How are you???? I think of you almost everytime I look out the middle window, so that's alot. How's your boy doing?

Lovely to hear from you both.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 4:05PM
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Doing pretty well! Bought a 100 y.o. home that needs alot of work, so now it's MY turn!! LMAO

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 9:14PM
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Wow Bill that' s great! Joel will be so envious! If you need any advice on remodeling, especially anything involving carpentry, feel free to get in touch with us/him. He's really great at that kind of thing... Would be nice to help you for a change.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 12:08AM
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Hmmmmm-- lets see-- I've got three hip roofs (one of which is a wrap-around) to replace (thank God the main roof just got replaced 2 years ago), two porches that need to be straightened out, two bathrooms and kitchen to get gutted and renovated, all the horsehair plaster and lath is coming down, and all the studs will most likely have to be shimmed so the sheetrock lays flat afterward, before the sheetrock goes on, all exterior walls all need to be insulated, I'm swapping work with an electrician in town to change over the electrical service from 100 amp to 200 amp, I've got to jack up the center of the house to straighten out the floors, the exterior needs new clap boards and paint--

Where would you like to start?


    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 6:36PM
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Wow Bill that is really gorgeous. I'll be sure that Joel sees this.....


    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 4:56PM
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Cool house Bill! If anyone can make it gorgeous, you can.

Hey Ivette! I will send an email. Time for an update. It's been too long. When are you coming to California?


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 1:59AM
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Great Ann!

Look forward to hearing from you. Our close friends in Manhattan Beach just moved out here to Virginia!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 3:37PM
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If we are sharing window mishaps... We are in year six of our two year remodel. Don't ask - it has nearly destroyed our marriage, my kids say divorce would have been easier than this remodel!

So I order the windows, I am the money and design person. Windows come in, hubby puts them in our two story addition. I play with the ones on ground level and marvel at how easy the tilt-ins are to clean, compared to my old ones. Here it is now five years later and I realize all the windows on the second level are NOT tilt-ins. Don't know why but they are not. What the H_ll do I do now? Can't go back to the lumber yard. Can't go back to the manufacturer. My hubby will never know 'cause he doesn't do windows, unless he sees me topple from the ladder when I am cleaning them.

I wish I could start this whole project over again. I have made so many "mistakes (things I would have done different if I knew better)", not huge ones, but ones that would have made the rooms better in my eyes. Anybody else feel that way?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:14AM
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All the time! ... and not just with windows....

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:25AM
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Reading your story makes me laugh out loud. My husband, bless his heart is not very mechanical. He installed a ceiling fan above our brand new cherry table. Looked great but he didn't attach it to the beam. Needless to say we bought a new table.

I do alot of gardening. So I buy mushroom compost by the ton. Hubby set the trailer up for me and said "your all set to go". Went to go pick up the compost (which is about half horse poop), went to leave the parking lot and felt a huge tug on the back of the truck. The trailer was BOUNCING up and down the very busy highway. I thought I blew a tire. NOOOOOOOOOOOO- hubby didn't have a pin for the trailer so he secured it with a STRING. I am not kidding. I ended up spreading 70 feet of horse poop-no wait- stinking horse poop down the one lane of a very busy highway. Cars were sliding in, honking at me, some guy gave me the finger?!?!?!

Fines + tickets+new trailer+cost of cleanup = $3500.00

Needless to say I bought a new trailer and it came with a pin on a chain. I laugh now, but I could have killed him.

Your father is right. I say if it's not cancer, then it's not worth the worry.

Remember, he will rope the moon for you.

He could be trying to please someone else instead of you.

Don't beat him up over it, he is already doing that to himself. They really do want to be the knight on that white horse. I read "the proper care and feeding of husbands" CHANGED MY LIFE, MY ATTITUDE, MY MARRIAGE. I fully and whole heartly recommend to any married woman who wants to improve their marriage. Get it on cd and listen to it over and over. Be sure to shut off your own internal dialogue, so you can really absorb. I am NO ONE to give advice, but I try to remember this stuff when I want to "verbally smack" him with all of his mistakes. Forgetting to remind him of how absolutly wonderful he is to me. Again, I am no one to give advice.

Women think they know everything and WELL WE DO. Men are far less complicated than us. However, they are deeper than we realize. Make him feel like your hero or someone else will. Why risk it?? Your going to spend $$$$ on a kitchen remodel. Spend the $15 on this cd. You will recover 2,000% of your investment on the cd. Maybe 85% on the kitchen.

I wish i would have had this book BEFORE i got married. So put on something sexy, make his favorite meal and let him how much he is appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 6:50AM
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