What do you wish you had done differently? [Part 2]

buehlFebruary 5, 2008

Now that the previous thread of the same name has reached the limit of maximum posts (150), I thought I'd start a new one.

My two big "wishes" right now are:

(1) I wish I had insisted the contractor or at least a second party measure my kitchen as a "double-check" to my KD's measurements

(2) I wish we had opened up the ceiling and walls somewhat to determine if we could vent our cooktop in the layout's proposed location...before we finalized the layout! We knew the ceiling was going to be completely removed w/the renovation, we should have gone ahead and removed some of it ahead of time.

BTW...if you want to keep the previous thread, save it now before it falls off!

Here is a link that might be useful: Previous Thread: What do you wish you had done differently?

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I wish my husband would just finish the little things that need to be done... we got everything just right....there are things I would have liked but we didn't have the space so I can't really include that in a wish list.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 8:57PM
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This is a lesson I learned a long time ago - just because you can afford all the bells and whistles, doesn't mean that you'll use them or enjoy them. Think carefully about what your needs are.

You don't have to follow your kitchen designer blindly - break rules if they make your kitchen work better for your lifestyle. You know best how you use your kitchen, invest time in dry runs to test the concepts that are put down on paper.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 9:03PM
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right now - wish I had a spice pullout or something like that instead of the 15'' drawers to the right of the cooktop. Size of drawers inside (never thought to check those) is just shy of 10''. All other drawers are great size.

I wish we were DONE!!!! (but that isn't something to have done differently . . . lol)

Buehl, I'm going searching to see if you have posted in response to many queries on your vent dilemma. Good to see you anyway.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 9:06PM
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We are almost done with our kitchen and here are a few things

1)we had told our cabinet maker our appliance dimensions and he said he would take care of it but some of the space he left made it too tight for the appianlce to fit. Example the range was supposed to 30 inch with actual width of 29" 7/8 he made the gap to be exact 29 7/8 and we had a very tough time sliding in the cabinet. It would have been much better if he left 30 1/8 instead. Similar thing for the regrigarator.

2) For my back splash tile I got to influenced by the designer at the tile store. I was debating between 2 tiles and she strongly pushed towards one. We decided to go with what she suggested as she was the "expert". Though the balck splash is good , I now think that the other tile would have been a much better mach with the granite.

3) Never pay some one 100% before the work is 100 % done. We pad the elctrician 100% when he was about 80% done. He said he only had a about an hour's work left an if I could pay him.I foolishly paid everything. He never showed up to complete the rest. My GC had to do the remainng work.

There are a few more small things but these are the top 3.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:07AM
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We are about 80% done, here is my list so far.
1. I wish my DH was into knocking down walls for a more open look. I think it would have given us so many more layout possibilities and even room for an island. But he won that battle.
2. Should have shopped around more for prices on cabinets.
3. I feel it wasn't necessary to pay for full plywood boxes, from reading here I think MDF is just as good.
4. I should have done one or two smaller wall cabs for spices and things.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:03PM
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I'm not remotely close to being done but I wish that DH had just built the cabinets himself instead of me buying crappy,POS, RTA cabinets. The doors from Scherrs's would have been grat.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:42PM
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Probably the BIGGEST thing I wish I had done differently was to find this forum earlier in my planning process. It would have helped me sort out some things to prevent issues that cropped up along the way.

I should have done what Buehl advises and thought out exactly where I was going to store every single thing in my cabinets and drawers. I have been able to adjust to the spaces I got pretty well so far, but I have one bank of drawers I would have planned differently if I had gone through that process more carefully. I have one shallow drawer on top and then two deep drawers, but I now wish I had three shallow drawers with one deep one on the bottom. I have a solution worked out, I think, but it would have been simpler to plan it right from the beginning.

The only other thing I would have done differently is to actually go and see the finished projects my contractor offered to show me. What I have discovered is that his rough in work is just fine, but his finish work leaves a lot to be desired. They have done some truly bizarre things with molding and just thoughtless things in other places, with little attention to detail. They have been pleasant enough about redoing things to suit my wishes, and they do eventually get it right, but it would have been much simpler to do it right in the first place. Maybe seeing some jobs they considered finished would have clued me in ahead of time.

Overall, I love how things have turned out, and the things I wish I had done differently are really minimal, so I can't complain too much. I was extraordinarily lucky to find two truly fabulous craftsmen: Joshua for my soapstone and Gene for my cabinets. Unlike my GC's crew, their attention to detail has been impeccable, and their work has been outstanding.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:55PM
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I'm with Holligator- I wish I found this website BEFORE I started!
I wish I did my island in a different color than the perimeter cabs, I wanted a warm look, but now I think its just too much wood. I finally got the go ahead from DH to paint it though- he actually agreed.
I wish I got a soapstone that was a little harder, my young children are really rough on it.
All in all, I'm happy with how it is turning out, pleasantly surprised that we were able to pull it off without a KD or any contractors. The only contractors used were for the lam beams, and soapstone installation.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 2:32PM
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We are finally finished with the first phase of addition/renovation.

1) Wish I had thoroughly checked out the GC instead of listening to others, I should have known from the beginning when I asked him for pictures of cabinet doors he had made and he said he did not have any. Of course he didn't, he did not want me to see the crap that he built, nor would he give me names of people who had used him. wrong,wrong,wrong. H and I now refer to him and his helper as "dumb and dumber".

2) We added an office/laundry room/storage closet ensuite, in the office I had 4 built in filing cabs....the file frames will not fit, they are too tall, I have looked around and cannot find any to fit. H can do something to them to make them shorter I am sure, but then the files will be too tall ;(. I asked this GC idiot if he knew the correct demensions or did I have to get them for him...."Oh no, don't worry about, I got it".....no he didn't 'got it'. Now, I have no place to put filing cabs...I could just scream!

3. I would not put flouresent lighting fixture above my sink, definitely, not enough light, barely any light!

4. The porcelain tile I have in my whole house is beautiful, but it is making my legs and back hurt very much. So much,that I try to stay out of my beautiful kitchen!

I am very thankful for what I have though!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 3:46PM
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I am lucky in that I had a perfect cabinet maker, who took perfect measurements, made perfect cabinets and moldings and did a perfect installation. What wasn't perfect was the granite...

Had I read this forum first I would have...

Seen an example of his finished work in an actual kitchen before hiring him. Then I would have seen that his seams were mediocre.

Known to ask about things like "gorilla clamps".

Known to request that I be present when they fabricated, so I could have directed them to put my least favorite part of the slab on the other side of the kitchen, instead of the most prominent place it is now.

Oh well, nothing is perfect, but only I know the imperfections in my kitchen. I'll bet we can all say the same!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 3:57PM
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I wish I had shopped around for cabinets instead of just going with the custom cabinet shop my GC uses. I think I sacrificed quality for speed to some extent.

I wish I had blumotion on my drawers or that I had at least insisted on blum glides. I hate the glides I have and I'm not sure how easy it will be to change them out since they are the side mount type.

I wish I had taken more time and had a clear vision of what my new kitchen would look like. We had only 10 weeks from conception to completion and a lot of decisions had to be made as we went along. I'm happy with the overall look but I still think I would have made different choices if time allowed.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:11PM
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After a year I wish the following:
Done more undercab lights-- more bulbs, bigger transformers and three more locations. Would have doubled the cost, I bet.
Got the external 1200 cfm blower instead of the internal 1000cfm for the Thermador hood, 'cuz I have a grill on the range and it's smoky.
These are the things I could have foreseen and changed-- there are other regrets that weren't gonna happen in any case, like making the kitchen bigger.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:55PM
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hapyfrustrated, I know whatyou mean about the hard floors but I've found a solution. I know people hate them but Crocs instead of slippers are so good for the back if you're forced to be on hard floors. I used to forego my nice shoes or boots when we went somewhere with a hard floor and wear y sneakers. Now I leave the sneakers behind ad wear my crocs.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 6:26PM
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Wish I had my slide-in range IN PLACE and not in the living room when the template was made for the granite and when it was installed. I thought I was protecting the glass top by having it out of the way. I now have a gap between the cooktop and granite 1/2 a mile deep. The range is dropped as low as it will go -we even took the legs off and it is still taller than the counter. I am so disappointed.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 7:24PM
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    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 1:59AM
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    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 5:57PM
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Read the labels on the stain cans more carefully.

Stayed home when the made the template / laid the plywood for our counter tops so I wouldn't have wound up with a useless too short overhang.

Planned things out better.

Stuck to my guns more on the choices I made.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 6:04PM
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i thought of this the other day...
we would have gotten unfinished floors so that after all of the construction was done we could have easily cleaned up the dings and then finished them

but....even if we had done that i would still have dings from my sil heels she wore on christmas day; they are everywhere!!!

so i guess the heel patina will merge with the construction patina and the refridge repair pulling out and pulling in dents (and yes it is on rollers, soon to roll right out the door whence it came in November) will all be one....

i've kinda gotten accustomed to seeing the marks, probably will have to do a refinish some time down the road, not now that is for sure since the reno is still not complete (thank you cabinet supplier guy) but the end may be in sight, so i am told

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 6:10PM
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We've been in our new kitchen now for three months and there's hardly anything I'd do differently . . . thanks to you all here on GW. The advice I got was fantastic and so very useful. Thanks to Igloochic today, though ;~P I wish I would of added a light in my super susan and, perhaps, had my GC rework the broom closet so that it was more organized for what I need.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 7:31PM
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hmmm, let's see - so far I would change:

- the hybrid radiant/induction cooktop to full induction. There really is a difference. I'm afraid I'm going to weare out the induction part since I try so hard to use them over the radiant ones.

- the kitchen layout. It wasn't until AFTER the granite was in, did I realize that it would not have been that difficult.

- kept the sink order with Galaxy to get the sink I wanted. I was done to the midnight hour and would have had to pay an extra $90 for overnight shipping. I used the sink that my fabricator found - builder grade. It's OK, but it scratches a lot. It replaced a then top-of-the-line Elkay that didn't scratch nearly uas much. I like what I have, but think the extra $$ would have been worth it.

- planned!! I didn't plan on doing this - just replace one appliance. That turned into having to add this, that or the other as I moved along the way.

- different faucet. I have Kohler (don't remember model), and don't like it at all. It's too expensive to just switch out, but if I can find a taker, I'll make the change.

All-in-all, I'm very happy/satisfied. I ended up with some very good new toys, but I just know if I had planned, I would have done some things very differently.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 7:57PM
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hapyfrustrated, Have you looked into getting the gel-pro mats for the floor at the prep area, or near the sink, or wherever you find yourself doing a lot of standing?

One of the things worrying me is the hardness of porcelain tiles I'm planning to use, but reading the rave reviews about these mats has made me feel better about the tiles. I've put in a link, but I understand that they're also available at BB&B online, and in some of their stores.

Susan4664: What are Gorilla Clamps, and what should I know to ask about them?

Here is a link that might be useful: gel pro mat

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:26PM
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As my DH says" only we know where the bodies are buried" ! So I see the faults and everyone that comes to the house "oohs and aahs". That is OK as only cosmetic things are "AAAKKK" to me. The guts of the kitchen are for us the appliances. That is what makes the kitchen work. We love every one of them. The Miele and Bosch technology and the Caldera cooktop are second to none, at least as far as we are concerned.

I wish I had planned the area for storing cleaning stuff better , but I fixed it today, mostly. Cookbook storage , but I fixed it mostly 2 weeks ago. So as DH said tonight,over Beck's on the front porch, "give it another year or so and you will have it like you want". Truer words....c

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Too soon in the process to have any regrets, save one (see below). "We'll see" decisions include no island prep sink, relocating the wall ovens, flush (or not) custom-panel warming drawer, cabinet inserts, eliminating the desk, retaining the eating bar, going with the 240V Advantium rather than a standard microwave, countertop materials, and elminating the wet bar refrigerator.

Here is a link that might be useful: I wish we'd have been able to tell our landlord our true move-out date

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 12:32PM
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    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 11:26PM
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bump - great thread but for newcomers, refer to the first one mentioned in buehl's thread for a lot of good information

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 7:19PM
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