Quick question - do I complain to my contractor?

amandasplitJanuary 31, 2013

Hi! We are in the home stretch of our kitchen reno and I just noticed that our kitchen island is slightly askew. From cabinet to cabinet between on the front (between island and base cabintets on wall), it's about 1/8" closer on one end than the other. But on the other side from cabinet to the wall there's about a half inch difference (apparently our room is not square). Is it worth it for me to ask that he fix that or am I being too OCD for my own good? And if he does fix it, does he split the difference? If I had to choose a side I'd rather it be in line perfectly with the wall side, not the aisle between the stove/sink just because that other side is much more visible. But again, it's not really in line on either side. Advice appreciated. Thank you!

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The question is, how OCD are you? That is, will it bug you every single day for the rest of your life? Then you kinda have to. If it's a fun party game to notice and scrutinize the problem right now, but you suspect you will soon enough lose interest, then you should probably spare the poor guy.

Others may have a different opinion, but I think you should discuss it with the GC as to how a fix should be charged. He might, for example, have a cheap easy fix to offer. He might flip out and decide you're too OCD for him to keep working with -- I dunno, but you might. But it seems to me there is probably not a right answer to this that anyone can offer from here because it's hard to know how OCD this is, and how important it is to anyone. You never know, your GC may be more OCD than you and be so appalled he will beg you to allow him to fix the problem?!

Sorry if this sounds snarky, I've been reading GW too long tonight. But I am finding, fwiw, that things which outraged me a year ago in my kitchen, kinda sorta don't really matter anymore. In some cases they are still, definitely a problem, really on a level that would engender _outrage_ from some here. But in terms of life's battles, it just goes on the huge heap of ones that got away.

Good luck! I hope you work this out in a way that brings you peace....

BTW - don't forget you may yet have a countertop to place on the island? Perhaps that could be cut to mask the problem you describe? If the problem is the relative distance to an edge, it could be that even a massively OCD person would never notice 1/8" skewness underneath a stone that was cut and set perfectly?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 4:28AM
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Talk to your GC..."Is there anyway this can be fixed so it's visually centered ? or is my room too off square ?" I am definately a visual person-not OCD fortunately as I do leave appliances on my counters and I use a kitchen sponge(gasp) I do notice when something is not centered visually or just looks just a little off(This is a hangover from years in publishing business).
aliris-I like your attitude: "But I am finding, fwiw, that things which outraged me a year ago in my kitchen, kinda sorta don't really matter anymore. In some cases they are still, definitely a problem, really on a level that would engender _outrage_ from some here. But in terms of life's battles, it just goes on the huge heap of ones that got away." Excellent.

I think for a lot of us as the bank account goes down(fast)the anxiety level goes up. I know it did for me. Many have saved for 20+ years to finally do their kitchen renovation, and of course some people are more OCD regardless of how many renovations they have done. LOL
It takes 3 renovations to get it right. The first one is for learning, the second you fix the mistakes from #1 by the third you know what you are doing. If you don't have to many complaints after the first reno you are doing well--I have few regrets so I consider myself fortunate.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Sophie Wheeler

With wonky walls, will anyone every notice that the island isn't square? Would you prefer it not square to both walls? Square to only one? If it's already fastened to the floor with the electrical running to it, then moving it now may mean a huge production. If the electrical is run but not hooked up (the wires are free) or the island is just set in place over the floor cleat it should be attached to and isn't attached yet, then moving it might not be so hard. But, weigh your options here. It will be out of square to something, so pick your battles.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:31AM
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I have a friend who is terribly OCD. When designing her kitchen (I am a KD), I called and asked her...."if your sink was 1/2" off center, would that bother you? It will get you a better layout" Of course, she said "no way" could she live with that. We hung up and I went back to the drawing board. She called me back 3 minutes later laughing hysterically. She said she walked in to her kitchen and for the first time in the 10 years since she's lived at this house, she noticed that her sink was off center already...WAY off center. We had a good laugh over it. If it's something that you're unaware of, it won't bother you.

That was many years ago and just last summer I did her kitchen. She ended up doing Plain & Fancy custom, so we centered her window perfectly.

I don't think your situation would bother me...I love old homes and deal with their wonkyness. If you make your carpenter move the island, I would expect to pay for that. He lined it up with your perimeter which is the norm.


Below is the picture of her BEFORE kitchen with the off center sink!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Fori is not pleased

Well, you DID notice it. Just ask (don't complain) how hard would it be to move it a bit.

And whatever the result, do keep this in mind for countertop templating. If you're going to want the counter to mask things, you'll need a plan.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:55PM
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Remember, if he moves the island so it's square to the wall side, it's going to be 5/8" off square on the other side, which is more than you have on either side now. I'm assuming the idea would be to move the island, not change it's shape.

I second the idea of thinking about how much this is really going to bug you once you've stopped just staring at the island and have moved on to living with the kitchen.

In my LR, the fireplace isn't centered in the wall it's on. It's about 2" off center. It's how the house was built, not something a contractor of mine screwed up. Anyway, after we'd been in the house a while I noticed that it looked off center, measured and saw that I was right. The vast majority of the time, I don't see or think about it. Every once in a while I really see it and it bugs me and then I go on about my day. Our upcoming kitchen renovation will also include a lot of work in the LR. When I'm deciding what will go on the fireplace wall, I'll be sure to make the designer aware of the problem so that's it's taken into account, but even if it were possible to change it (well, I suppose for enough money I can change anything) there are serious limits to how much time and angst I'd put into it.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 4:29PM
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I just realized that a highly-symmetrically planned room (a library) in my house is anything but. I'd been kinda vaguely aware that it probably all didn't quite line up right, but I hadn't thought it would be 2" (from about 130" total) off.

I'm trying to be a big girl about it and recognize that it didn't bug me before and life is just too busy to care about it now. It is fine.

I know I can pick out quite minute asymmetricalities, but I'm trying to train myself to keep a bigger perspective. There's an awful lot of stuff that doesn't come out just so.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Whoa, I forgot to check the box so I could get notified with responses. Thanks for all the feedback! I DID mention it to the GC (well, I had my husband do it) and it was no big deal and he fixed it and it is much better. Thank you so much!

Btw, aliris I didn't get snark from that at all. :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:44PM
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