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Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Posted by 10KDiamond (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 14, 11 at 14:46

Did your kitchen design start with a 30" Maytag and wind up with a 48" BlueStar? Did a faux marble ceramic backspash turn into a Calacatta marble island? Did your plans for a Costco sink & faucet become a Kohler Stages 45 & Karbon?

I confess I've fallen victim to "slippery slope syndrome" (easy to do spending time on GW), upgrading like above and more. Is this "syndrome" contagious? Please tell me I am not alone! And for you veterans, are you happy with your modified choices?? Reassure me!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Decided that granite was cheap enough to look at, then combing the slabyards and getting bids for exotic granites in the $9000.00 range.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Our big splurge was getting glass windows for our screened in porch so that it will stay clean in the winter and cut down on wind on the back of our house (kitchen & den) in the cold weather. They are bigger than expected and will have to be stored elsewhere, so not something you can just open and close or even just pop in and out.
Haven't decided if they are a mistake yet, but at $1,400, I sure hope they aren't!
Other than that, I think most of our decisions ended up costing less than we expected, but the bill for the electrical change order was a shock. My idea of what was standard did not match up so well with our contract.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Oh boy, you are not alone! I knew I wanted some of the "fancier" things already before I got here--double wall ovens, prep sink, painted (and therefore more expensive) white cabs, 36" of cooking space. Now I'm planning a $3K Capital Culinarian rangetop. And I've had dreams of marble, soapstone, paneled 42" fridge, pot filler, tap master.....the list goes on. Yes, this place can be dangerous!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Kitchen remodel (cabinets, floor, counter top, appliances, one window and one exterior door) has turned into all that plus two more windows, another exterior door, a new dining room set, new living room set and central air conditioning. I suspect that its not over yet. I think it was her plan all along. Top that.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

New cabinets for the galley kitchen and new flooring for the kitchen/DR area turned into totally moving the kitchen to the bigger dining room. New windows, framing, plumbing, electrical, gas, more cabinetry, 2 sinks, an island and double ovens followed. It really will be much better but sheesh, it's become a big project..


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Thinking Ikea but pricing semi-custom cabinets just to check.

Learning from semi-custom people about plywood and MDF boxes and so forth; wanting to avoid chemical emissions because of DH's cancer history and DD's bad cancer genes.

Learning that formaldehyde-free plywood is a luxury item in semi-custom.

Ending up doing custom cabs because we could ask the guy to do formaldehyde-free wood without big upcharges!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Waterdamage - I thought IKEA had some of the highest emissions standards around?


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

My refrigerator and its custom enclosure cost more than my entire first kitchen.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Oh gosh, where to start:

Deciding on a blue and white kitchen --> deciding on a blue island countertop --> learning blue bahia is the only blue granite and that it costs $$$$ --> buying blue bahia ---> needing a blue farmhouse sink to match ---> only one I can find in the right color costs $3000 FOR A SINK (I haven't caved in yet!)

Wanting to add baskets, and a pull out recycling bin, and a microwave to our island --> island grows to 11 feet--> two slabs of blue bahia now required. Plus, remainder of kitchen must grow to accommodate island.

Wanting to use paint grade bookcases to save money --> deciding they had to be white---> searching for white fireplace --> finding french marble white fireplace from castle on first page of google image search --> having marble fireplace custom made (would have been a LOT cheaper to just not get the paint grade in the first place!)

I think those are the worst examples I've got so far, but this seems to happen at each individual stage of this project. I think we will be a record for most over budget ever on a new home build! And 90 percent of that is thanks to this site!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

LOL Beagle. Seeing a google image of a fireplace in a castle and deciding that is the fireplace for you!! LOL.
I budgeted for IKEA kitchen cabinets, husband didnt like the customer service and we instead went to the big orange store. Since I now had a choice other than white or different but still white cabinets, I decided to get my dream kitchen of creamy glazed cabinets. The glazing alone was half my ikea budget. My $2k cabinet plan turned into $6k pretty quickly.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Mine was just the windows, and I was able to resist all the beautiful GW ones (there's no view), but every contractor and cabinetmaker who came to look at my kitchen said they looked like a mistake. So I asked my reasonable friends here, and they agreed. Give up cabinet space? Give up my friendly sunbeam that used to shine all the way across the kitchen and into the dining room?

Well, I trusted the opinions of my GW advisers, and I actually did trust that the men who were saying it were talking about something real, not just trying to boost up the job. BUT, if I was going to by new windows and move them and all of that I was going to get great windows, a la GW. That meant counter height on both (BIG issue with all of the various calculations that had to go into the construction, that then got bollixed because we ended up needing to level the floor. Still, they came out great, and were worth all the trouble. I now have counter height windows, a garden window behind the sink, and a double opening slider with a serving counter on the patio side.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Haha, yup, they really should put the cheaper stuff higher up on google image search, lol :)


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RE: Describe your 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

The actual interior kitchen space has remained pretty much the same with the exception of my mini-slope* ... please see below. lol

What took me to the edge of my major slippery slope and over....I decided to open up the two entryways off the kitchen. I wanted to remove the doors and frames and remove the furdown to the ceiling. That part was easy.

But this relatively inexpensive change has led to having to repaint the LR/DR...which I'm really okay with. Which is making other items look a bit shabby in comparison. So I'm now looking to convert two carpeted bedrooms to hardwood floors, turn the small bedroom into a walk-in closet/sitting room (of which I've already partially started), repaint all the interior space, new window treatments for all the rooms, and then eventually update the master bath/dressing area and the guest bathroom.

* My mini-slope... I wound up spending way more money on my granite than what I had originally intended but considering I don't plan to ever to this again, the amortized cost makes it more palatable. That's the danger of having a vision and visiting too many granite yards.

Lots to do, not enough money. : )

Pepper
~ Almost decided on cab pulls.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

We decided that we needed to replace our 1972 brown shag carpets that were throughout the house. Cost for that to go to hardwood was $20,000 for 3000 sq.ft. of new flooring.
A year later we wound up moving out of the house for 6 months and doing a whole house reno. We went down to wall studs and plywood floors and then rebuilt. Won't tell you what that cost. Talk about slippery slope and what we like to call "While we're doing this why don't we do that". Not that this is a competition - but do I win?


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Gee, I started off thinking I would just do a bit of "spiffing" up of my inherited vintage (read "ancient") kitchen. Called in Kitchen Magic for a quote of cab refacing. Instead, I received a quote of $6k for the installation of all new cabs and corian countertops with an integrated sink. My response to that could have come straight from the lips of a "The Price is Right" contestant -- "Nah, that's too much!"

However, now inflamed with the possibility of getting all new cabs, as opposed to mere refacing, I toddle over to Ikea, opt for their design service, and end up buying a whole new kitchen full of cabs. I then hired Ikea installers, along with some unlicensed handymen who came recommended by a neighbor and began the remodel. Woo hoo! Unfortunately,though, Murphy wasn't having it. I ran into major problems when my antique range - a 54" wide beautiful behemoth that was originally intended to be the focus of the remodel-- upped and died at the hands of a murderous, witless plumber.

Now with the loss of my main focal point, a redesign was in order. And, because I am now shell-shocked by the previous assault of cheap-but-questionable "helpers," I turn to another neighbor -- a professional interior designer -- for more help. She ends up charging me $600 to redesign a very basic layout for a galley kitchen of only 150 sf and with cabinetry already purchased. Keep in mind she had never before worked with such a "lowly" product as Ikea (my sarcasm, not her words) and kept fretting on the limitations of my purchases. I made the decision to keep the friendship but to jettison the professional relationship in the early stages.

By now, however, I have found my way over to the KF on the GW and I'm getting addicted. All kinds of ideas are filling my head as to what is possible! In response, I rip out the Ikea cabs and reinstall them in what will one day become a future rental unit in my house. (IOW, with TKO addiction having firmly taken root, I initiated a 2nd kitchen reno project in the same house!)

At this point, I have hired a well-known, licensed GC and retained the consulting services of another ID.( BTW, I am now totally immersed in GW and, as time goes by, I seem to know more about the world of kitchens than either of my hired experts. Sigh). The antique range is replaced with an Aga; other kitchen appliance decisions suddenly take on a decidedly Euro flavor. The Ikeas are replaced with Plain and Fancy shaker insets and I'm now talking stone countertops and backsplashes. Never mind that the entire kitchen has been entirely rewired and replumbed and there is now a never-before vent hood installed, along with brand new windows,a new heating unit, and whole host of other infrastructure upgrades.

Some 3 years+ later, don't ask me how my slippery slope sent me from a simple cabinet refacing project to an entirely gutted and remodeled kitchen on one floor of the house and a lovely future rental kitchen on another. Just keep reading the GW KF and you'll get your answer!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Mine got cheaper and less extravagant as I went for practicality. Yeah I could expand out the front but turns out I like my adequately sized galley. Yeah that integrated fridge really is nice but I'm too short to reach anything higher up. Bluestar or Aga? Maybe I actually DO like this 80s induction cooktop. OOh that side opening Miele would be very sensible in my space, but that recently installed super cheapO GE bakes cookies so perfectly even and it'd be a shame to replace it when it's good enough and I put an expensive oven in my last kitchen and it sucked...

Shoot. I tried to spend money but I'm just naturally cheap I guess.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

tracie.erin: Ikea does meet a voluntary German standard on low formaldehyde emissions, as I understand it. As I've been researching anti-cancer efforts, I've decided wherever possible not to accept even "low" levels of chemicals especially when we're talking about long-term exposure such as our family will get in our kitchen. Feel free to e-mail me through GW if you want to know more.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Beware! Here are some very familiar words around our house lately: "It's just another thousand...."


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

My "slippery slope" started when I learned about induction cooking. Original plans included using my 6 year old range.

Couldn't find an induction range I liked (two years ago) so then it meant I needed to consider a separate oven. Meant a redesign of the cabinet layout - and if one oven, why not a double?

And then I couldn't can on that, so I needed a different solution and bought a coil cooktop and installed it in a shed, and bought a large hot plate for in the house.

So - original plan was 0$ spent on range, end plan was $5000 for ovens and cooktop, second 40 amp circuit to kitchen and different cabinet plans (don't know what that cost as we never figured the cost of the first design.

And the next slippery slope started as cheap wood countertops ($400 and they were purchased) and ended up with a new sink and faucet ($600) and soapstone ($1800).

Oh- and I forgot about how the patio door turned into two windows and a ceramic floor in the kitchen and dining room (door was 4 years old and flooring was 3 years old).

My DH calls me the change order queen - but we are DIYing so it's not that bad.

And then there is the time we headed to town to buy a $2 wax toilet ring and ended up with a $12,000 fishing boat. . .

Cathy


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Mine wasn't technically a slippery slope. I had decided to replace the built in 1950 cupboards - from necessity! I had this peninsula and an almost new vinyl floor so the footprint had to stay. THEN my friend came to see what all he'd have to do to remodel this 1950 kitchen. His third sentence was, Plan it how you'd like it to be. I'll make it happen. And he did! Peninsula is GONE;-) Vinyl is patched so well I would have to show you where it is. I have my round oak table front and center. All the walls have new sheet rock. My ceiling is beadboard wallpaper with 1x3 "beams". So yes, it ended up costing more than twice the $3000 I had planned but boy! Was it worth it!! I LOVE my kitchen! After I started thinking about how I wish it could be, I rethought the budget and came up with $12,000. By that time I'd found GW kitchens so now you know the rest of the story. With my left over budgeted money I remodeled my bathroom. Same carpenter made me a walk in shower with a thermobalance faucet! Flip flopped my north and south walls to make everything fit better. Built a sink stand for $50 just like the $599 one I showed him in the catalog. Life is good.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

fori - I think you got it right - practical. My major kitchen extravagance when we built our house was very high end cabinets (I'd had them before - I love great cabinet work). With appliances - well 15 years ago - where I live - I was living dangerously buying KA in terms of service people knowing how to deal with them. Probably still am today ordering a new KA oven.

Anyway - I don't think of a kitchen as a status symbol - but as a functional area that should work like you want it to work. You don't get the best double convection ovens in the world if - like me - you bake cookies once a year at Christmas. And if you're the true blue baking type - then you want one of those Martha Stewart type marble counter inserts that's cool to the touch where you deal with your dough. I always find it amusing to see these nifty NYC kitchens where the owners eat out 6 nights a week and order in Chinese on the 7th day, I say buy what suits your cooking style and your lifestyle - not someone else's idea of these things. I'm an organization freak - which is why I spent so much money on cabinets :).

I also think that someone doing a major construction job - whether building a house or a total kitchen remodel - should have a budget. Always expect to go over budget 15-25% - just on account of screwups - not changes in purchasing decisions. Robyn


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You all have no idea...

After being disabled by a back injury, I decided to replace my upper cabinets which stopped a foot short of the ceiling with ones that went all the way up, to gain extra storage space that didn't require bending.
--While contemplating this relatively minor change, I realized that a large part of my pain in the kitchen was caused by countertops that were too low for a tall person with a back problem.
--I now needed custom-made upper and lower cabinets to meet my specific height requirements.
--Since I was getting custom cabinets, I decided to get some really cool drawers and pullouts that I'd seen on GW and in ''1001 Ideas for Kitchen Organization.''
--Custom cabinets also meant replacing my old (Formica) countertops, and I decided on something bulletproof (granite).
--New counters meant a new faucet and sink.
--Since new cabinets meant a new island, I decided to lengthen it enough for a trash pullout.
--A longer island required more pendants, and some UC and recessed ceiling lights seemed appropriate too.
--All these new cabinets needed new hardware, and Cushy Cupboards.
--I was already thinking about a backsplash since I was tired of scrubbing white paint, so this seemed like a good time (Catamarca marble).
--Since the tile guys were coming for the backsplash, I decided to tile the wall in the pet area too (subway).
--Why leave a 15 year old stove in a new kitchen? So a new induction range seemed like a good idea. (I'd replaced a non-functional hood and DW last year.)
--Some of my old pots and pans wouldn't work on my new induction range, so....

If I'd had more space, I would probably have done more (dreaming about wall ovens here). And if I'd had more money, I'd have the Vermont green slate counters that I saw in the stone place and nearly fainted when I heard the price. But every choice I made turned out to be very useful and functional for me, and I'm really glad I slid down this slope instead of limiting my reno to something that would have been inadequate.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I am in the middle of one right now. I been wandering around lighting stores trying to find some mini-pendants. Well, after being underwhelmed by what I saw I found one that was kind of neat. It turned out to be a pendant by Tech Lighting. $399 for one and I need 3!!! Plus, a dining room light, an entry room light and a kitchen light. So after being totally appalled at the price, I find myself on the internet searching for lighting, Tech, Besa, WAC, etc. The slippery slope indeed.

I've already gone from thinking vinyl for the laundry room to a travertine lookalike porcelain tile that matches the bathrooms. And, gone from putting carpet back in the living room to laying hardwood to match the dining room and new kitchen. I am so far down the slippery slope that there is no turning back.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

It all started with needing to replace the igniter on an old Caloric oven.. Let me explain:

You see, the ignitor died every year or so. We decided to look into replacing the oven. Nobody made a self cleaning oven which fit that cabinet. So we looked into replacing the cabinet. Except that would have required ripping up the counter or expanding the cabinet run into a door that we would have to close. We figured, if we're doing that, might as well do the kitchen. Except in that house, we wanted to expand the kitchen into the DR and then expand the house. But we didn't love that house or neighborhood, so we might as well move... So we did. And the "new" house needed a new bathroom and a finished basement. And, BTW, the oven and DW in this house are dying (the fridge already did), so it's time for a new kitchen. And while we're at it, we may as well expand the kitchen... And here we are.

My slope is slippery enough to luge on.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

We were just going to take down two walls to open our kitchen up to the livinng room and dining room. The full remodel could wait until daughter number one graduated college.

We'd just take the wall cabinets from the wall we took out, put them up on a platform back-to-back with the base cabinets, slap a counter (we were thinking butcher block) on top to make an island and we'd be happy until we could do a complete remodel.

Well... that new counter would make our 1992 Formica in the rest of the kitchen look pretty crummy so... for a few hundred dollars, I'd just make my own tops and tile them with granite tile (we even purchased and later returned the tile).

Our split level had two stairways from the living/dining/kitchen level down to the ground floor. By closing off one, we realized we could gain another 3 feet of wall space in the kitchen and gain more storage space. I figured I could paint a RTA pantry from Lowe's to match what we already had.

Wait... while we're at that, why not reface the old cabinets with some painted/glazed doors?

Might as well get some more of those RTA cabinets and make a more proper island.

My wife found an article in Fine Home Building showing how the cut one quarter out of turned columns to dress up the corners of the island. I could do that no sweat.

You know... as long as so many base cabinets have to come up, lets get hardwood installed into the kitchen and have everything refinished to unify the space.

OK - if we're getting new floors, do we really want to put nearly 20 year old cabinets back in, new doors or not? Kraftmaid is running a nice promotion on painted/glazed cabinets.

Fine, lets do that but there's no way I'm putting granite tiles on top of fancy new cabinets. Of course we fell for the top tier granite when we visited the granite yard.

Now with the kitchen looking all pretty and open to the living space, there's no way we can put anything less than a pro-style range in there, is there? Capital has a fancy new open burner range you say? Perfect.

We'll finally move back into our kitchen this weekend. I'm typing at my laptop on the new island now. Its one slippery slope I'm glad we stepped on.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

My story started when my husband got super glue on our laminate counter. They were 12 years old and boring white. So we go looking at our options. Decide we would really like granite, but we could just get the cheapest granite, right? Until we go to the slab yard looking for a "Catagory A" granite and leave after reserving a "catagory L" granite (extra $2000) So, new counter tops mean new sink, new faucet, new hardware, new lights and having the walls painted. Oh, new valances on the windows. But that's not all - my old electric coil range looks horrible with that beautiful granite! So now we're shopping for a new induction range (already bought my new cookware:))

so that super glue mishap has already cost 10K with at least 2K more to go (for the range)

Wouldn't do anything different. It has made me take a new interest in the entire house, and renewing my interest in cooking too :) which kind of fell by the wayside since the kids moved out. And whether I want to or not, I will have to do more than open a can of Progresso once I get the new range LOL!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

These stories are hilarious. I'm so glad we weren't/aren't alone in this. I'm a responsible, independent, bright adult who should have known better and understood what I was doing. But.....if I can paraphrase NYSteve this wasn't a slope, this was a luge run. Thanks for sharing everyone.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

My slope got a whole lot slippier when I started reading the posts here -- not sure I could even pick it all out at this point.... but I definitely had never heard of a semi-pro faucet before coming here or KWC for that matter (cha-ching!) and the island looked more like a floatie before GW. Oh, and prep sink? Gotta have one of those (change order worthy for sure!). Slippier, yeah, but in all the right ways, I've made peace with it.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

We slipped here and there but nothing like these stories. I think fori & I will show this thread to our respective dhs. Mine has no idea how much more trouble I could have started! ;)
Of course, once I post this, I have to return to shopping for the new den's leather couch set. With a new den and open floor plan, you can't put the old stuff in the new room! I also need to try again to find a cute retro fabric to make valances with... and then.....ok... guess I can't show him this thread after all, lol... fori - you are on your own.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Did I mention that I'm now thinking about rearranging the furniture in the living room...and well, maybe that should be NEW furniture? And the den could use some new stuff too?


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Kitchen remodel (cabinets, appliances, paint, flooring, windows) turned into a complete, to the studs gutting. Bathroom was the same way. New subfloor, new drywall, insulation (we had none in our 1900 house), electrical, plumbing. You name it. We have the ever expanding project. We never want to have to do this again. We plan to die in this house. Plus, we don't have kids and it gives us something to do I guess. :)

Rene


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I was just talking to a co-worker about his kitchen, and he did a $30,000 remodel (with him doing most of the work, so it would have cost way more than that if he had paid someone to do it)... and it started out as only a paint job.

He wanted to paint the walls and noticed that the previous owners had slopped paint on the stained wood trim. So he took off the wood trim to clean the paint off, and the wife said, hey while you have the baseboard trim off, we might as well get new floors. But in order to get new floors, they had to remove the cabinets because he doesn't like the look of the floors stopping at the base of the cabinet, he wanted the floors to go underneath. And since they were removing the cabinets, they decided to get new ones, and a new granite countertop as well.

So they ended up with an entirely new kitchen, including every cabinet organization feature possible, all because he wanted to paint the wall.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

paths to slippery slopes include..

--the GW Kitchens forum
--Parade of Homes houses and other open houses
--a friend with a new kitchen or a part of one (in my case, it was a single, well-to-do friend who'd replaced lower cabs with wide drawers)
--those darn shelter mags (six large boxes of old issues of House Beautiful and Architectural Digest for $6 at garage sale)
--a refrig that died before we had a definite plan, so we had to buy a sensible replacement one instead of the bigger one we thought we'd buy some day; after that we said, "Well, when will the next thing go wrong and when are we going to have a real plan? and so we started spinning ideas about how to ascend the slope. Two long-distance road trips gave us lots of time to discuss bigger and bigger plans
--visiting showrooms
--visiting a particularly well designed kitchen in a real house
--listening to buyer criticisms of the kitchens in the two houses we sold for our parents (1999 and 2005, both before Downturn)
--the Internet
--Craig's List
--eBay
--the Twin Cities Hardware showroom
--Rubble Tile showroom in Burnsville, Minn.
--a modest am't of money given by a "gifting" elderly parent

All of these are direct routes to trouble.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

My 2+ year kitchen remodel planning started when I wanted to replace my blue formica counter tops with granite. That's all I wanted - new counters and a backsplash. DH said, "You better be sure you like those cabinets before you go putting an expensive counter top on." Well of course I don't love my cabinets! And when I think about it, I hate my stove in the island but no where else to move it - unless we bump out the kitchen wall 4 ft. :)


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Florantha--100% agree that this forum can start a slippery slope!

Before I got here I didn't know about soapstone, or big farmhouse sinks made of soapstone (here's to you sabjimata), or integrated drainboards/runnels, or Waterstone gantry faucets (thanks littlesmokie for that one), or that good lighting was so important (and so expensive), or epoxy grout, or induction cooktops.

My kitchen would look a lot different if I hadn't landed here!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Our slippery slope went the opposite direction from yours,10KDiamond. We hired the wrong contractor, who talked us out of much of what we wanted to do. This being our first "from scratch" house, we didn't know enough to counter what he said couldn't or shouldn't be done, so we ended up with a much more conservative and traditional house than we wanted. We've done a few things since building it 3 1/2 years ago to make it nearer what we wanted (an example: tearing out the LR windows and making them larger to accommodate the view), but wish we had done more research than we did. We thought, of course,that we were doing a huge amount of research and that it was adequate. So we have what we have, and it's a nice house, but we didn't know what we didn't know and that was the beginning of the slippery slope for us! Money was a factor too; we didn't know that it costs so much to add a corner or an angle.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

i feel so much better knowing i am not the only one slip sliding away...it started with the concept of a modest kitchen remodel. very modest....

my first mistake? looking at and touching a wolf gas range... my wolf all gas beauty sits in the garage awaiting her moment in the sun....construction has not yet begun. i tried to not fall in love, but the GE cafe just didn't do it for me.

then i discovered i needed to replace the hot water heater to eliminate a flue going up the back of a kitchen cabinet. due to low clearance, i needed to install a tankless water heater (saving grace was the rebates we had last year). while finalizing the contract with GC to install the tankless the GC raises the issue that it really does not make sense to install the tankless on 70yr old galvanized plumbing....really, i was not considering new plumbing..... but while we are at it...in goes the copper plumbing from the connection at the street all through the house...

and by the way, you have knob and tube throughout your house, that is not a good idea. so we update the contract to include an electrical upgrade throughout the house, not just the kitchen.

then i receive the semi-custom white inset cabinet door samples and discover i do not like either of the whites. one was too bright and one was too dingy. by this time i had discovered this forum so i became really dangerous. i read on GW that going custom a local cabinetmaker could be a good alternative to get what you want and then you can paint them the exact color you want....you know where this is going, right??? am in the middle of finalizing my custom cabinet order now...(will be posting layout for your feedback shortly). i will be painting them myself to save money...

then while designing cabinetry discover we have very little room along the wall where the dishwasher will be. need to go with the european model due to inset cabs and shortage of space in the design - in goes the miele dishwasher into the "budget".... do i need the one with the water softener? that is what i am debating now...

i was not sure what kind of sink to get but upon setting my view on a shaw the search was over....

started debating if i should replace my existing fridge... thankfully some sense returned to me, have decided to stick with what i have, mostly because it really works for the kitchen in terms of size. my guess is i would have skied down that slope if i had found something better.

and so it goes.....GC contract pretty much finalized, cabinet design about 3/4 of the way there, most products have been selected, construction should begin in a few months....

then comes the bathroom...


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Our kitchen reno actually started, believe it or not, with a basement bathroom--7 years ago! When we moved in, there was just a toilet, and we wanted to make it an actual bathroom with walls and such, since it is a bit off-putting to use a potty just sitting out in the open. LOL.

So our slide begins when we have to dig out all the old pipes and replace them all the way to the street, as our pipes are crumbling and only held together with the tree roots that have invaded. With a 10-foot hole in our front yard, I get the idea that a simple stand-up pre-fabbed shower unit was just not going to cut it, and I really was lusting after a large, deep soaking tubs. I convinced DH that as long as we were putting in a new bathroom, we should make it a magnificent dream bathroom (or as dreamy as you can get in a basement-LOL.) Somehow, he agrees.

Well, since we have the walls and ceilings exposed, this would probably be a good time to add a bath on the upper level, and then the boys could have their bedrooms up there. Perfect!

Well maybe since we have finished the upstairs bath, perhaps the main floor bath could use some updating, so let's just rip out that vanity, toilet, and floor, and resurface the old tub.

Yes, that looks fabulous, but did you notice how loud it is when someone is upstairs? I think that *we* should have our master bedroom up there, and the kids can stay down here, but let's move them into the former master and make their room an office. OOh, yes, let's!

Ewww, did you notice how positively grungy the living room seems since all the other rooms look so fresh and bright? It really does. Let's go look at carpeting!

You know, now that the living room has a facelift, this might be a good time to take the wall down between the kitchen and dining room. It only makes sense. We'll just head over to Home Depot and pick up some stock unfinished cabs and finish them to match our other cabs.

Wait, now that the wall is down, and we will have to replace the flooring, this might be a good time to actually make changes to the kitchen. And, honey lover sweetie pie, I reallllly would love to have creamy white cabinets, and I have been doing some research...(this is BEFORE I had even discovered GW--can you even imagine what MIGHT have happened? *DH shudders*)

Someday, we will finish that "dream" basement bathroom and come full circle on our home project, but once we are on this ride, it is hard to get off!

Wheeeeeeeeeee!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Interesting site. Dianalo is my wife and she did send me this link through email. I think she was trying to show me how she saved us money... Only thing is our half a mil house seemed to need a kitchen table to eat at to complete it. Now $120,000 dollars have been put into a renovation to give her a kitchen table, extended bedroom, and a TV room plus a huge screened in back porch... This $120,000 doesn't include furniture, PAINTED rooms, appliances, refinished hardwood floors, IKEA cabinets or counter tops plus installation. Go figure and the only thing I actually asked for was a hot tub to go in her screened in porch which actually got cut out of the project. We have gone over and beyond slipping on any slopes. This reno was a complete free fall bungee jump. I just hope that her rope is strong enough to get her to bounce back in this economy that won't for many years... Let's pray for a low refinance rate in a month that will help ease the pain of her GW jones.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I. Love. This. Thread.

I think everyone should be made to post to it in conjunction with their Finished Kitchen submission. I think buehl should link to it in her ReadMe post (which, BTW buehl, I love the new version of: thank you!)


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Some of these made me laugh quite a bit. NYSteve - yours was so funny that I read it aloud to my husband! :o)


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

This whole thread reminds me of the If You Give a Pig a Pancake or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books.

Now when my kids complain during the remodel I'll just hand them the books and explain it can happen to grownups too.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

slateberry51, I thought EXACTLY the same thing when I read this LOL!

I joined GW 2/08. We had just closed on this current house and I knew that the kitchen was the first to go. We had a modest bit of money, ~ $10K to work with, so I was looking for more-bang-for-your-buck ideas. The "plan" changed soooo many times, as did our budget as we lost that previously mentioned sum during a stock market downturn. The tile floor was brand new when we moved in, so the idea was to keep it and work within the confines of the room. We were going to swap out a wall oven/cooktop combo for a range & OTRW, turn the former oven cabinet into a tall pantry, replace a single 12" upper with a wider, more useful sized cabinet, paint the cabinets & laminate countertops, and open up the former pantry to make a pass through.

I was moving forward with "the plan", I had even bought the MW. While trolling craigslist for used cabinets that matched mine (90's basic builder oak), I stumbled on an ad for former display kitchens at an out of business kitchen franchise. The price was $1500 for the kitchen, all the cabinets, plus granite. The catch, we had to take it down ourselves. I was down there, money in hand in a heartbeat. There were 5 displays total, one had already sold, so I was lucky to have a few choices. It took DH and I two days to take everything apart and bring it home. Now I had a whole kitchen's worth of cabs and granite, so the cosmetic facelift plan morphed into a full renovation. What would have taken maybe a month of work has now stretched into 8 months and counting. There's more to the story, but I'll leave it there.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

There's a way to avoid the slippery slope.

Buy a pit.

When I'm looking to buy a house I ask to see the ugliest, brokenest, fugliest house on the block. Having taken the slope before I like to try and get in on the ground floor instead.

When you contractor friends look scared you know you have a gem.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Oh my, we slippery-sloped with a whole house, so that should make everyone else feel less guilty!

We bought a home for its lovely view, grounds and location. The interior was also very very nice, but designed for two bachelors.

The galley kitchen was floor to celling wood, like a boat. It had a 19' long island with black granite, stainless sink, and glass cooktop (three things I dont care for). Originally, I was opening one wall to create a breakfast room, and replacing the island.

THEN, DH said that he really thought we should open up the wall of the kitchen that adjoined the family room by putting 5' openings on either side of the family room fpl into the kitchen.

He was/is right. But those five foot holes took out my subzero and double ovens and a half bath ....

So then we were down to studs. Total gut.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Guess I should not have sent dh this thread after all..lol. The kitchen table he refers to, could not fit in the old kitchen (not even half of it nor chairs). The kitchen was a real dog, so it is not like we did the reno/extension just for the table's sake at all.
I tried to cut the extension for the bedroom off the plan when we downsized it (after the initial plan was more than double our budget, ouch) but dh wanted it to be kept in or "why bother?", same for the den. We could have just redone our master as the same size, but then it would not have lived up to the rest of the house and I can see how much those extra 4 feet are giving us. It also would have cost way more to be done at a separate time.
The hot tub we were inheriting turned out to be a clunker and the new one was to cost us approx $8k plus an additional $3k in electrical (had to upgrade service to do). The budget being what it is/was, it got deferred for now. We are moving the washer and dryer upstairs (dh's idea) so will have a wide open blank slate of a room with plumbing next to the downstairs bathroom that would be ideal for a large jacquzzi room someday... maybe even with a tv for sports, and that will be climate controlled ;)
All told, I think we are getting bang for the bucks, despite there being many bucks spent, as our neighborhood supports it and more. We got the smallest, fugliest house in our area, so the only way is up! BTW - even without sheetrock yet, the house is looking so much better... and dh is digging it (if not the forced confinement to the bsmt until we can move back up).


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Shades of the 'Diderot Effect'

I think that's what we're talking about here.

This is how one guy on the web describes it:

"I like our funky old kitchen linoleum. My girlfriend wants to replace it, though it's not her highest priority. But new linoleum scares me--I'm afraid of "The Diderot Effect."

"Diderot was a French writer who penned a piece called "Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown." He had been given a fancy new gown, so he tossed his old one. His well-worn furnishings didn't fit with the new gown, however, and soon he was replacing tapestries, chairs, desks, and bookshelves. Finally, he found himself financially depleted, uncomfortable amidst his new possessions, and resenting the "'scarlet robe that forced everything else to conform with its own elegant tone.'"

Here is a link that might be useful: Diderot effect


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

It all started with a pennisula. "Can't we just chop this thing off?" I asked my husband. I couldn't get into the drawer or cabinet when the diswasher was open. Well, sure, we could, and maybe just need a new counter. Counter guy comes out to bid, and tells us, "you don't want to put a nice granite counter on THESE cabinets, do you?" Plus, we would have had to patch the floor.

SO we waited, until we could afford to replace the cabinets, and of course the floor had to be replaced,but we have a transitional floor plan, so of course the entire downstairs had to be replaced, and all this had to be done at the same time!

Love my new kitchen and floors, but it was that stupid poorly laid out penninsula that started it!!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

slateberry51- I'm glad you caught the reference... I was thinking of that book when I wrote the post. My only hope is that I dont have to update my story too much as this job progresses. I am smart enough to know at we're not done yet, of course, but I hope it doesn't get too much worse.

I decided we have to laugh about this; otherwise we'd cry!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I've been thinking this thread should be renamed "If you give a TKOer a new sink..."

I knew when I bought this house it needed a new kitchen. But the interior dining room was so dark, that if I was going to get a new kitchen, I might as well open it to the dining room to get some more light in (and suit my single mom entertaining/living style), which meant removing the back staircase, which gave me room to expand the master bathroom to have a walk-in closet and a laundry area. Opening up the kitchen also meant that I had to squeeze in a 1st floor powder room, which meant an 80 sq. ft addition.
Opening it up to the dining room meant I really HAD to make the kitchen compatible with the 100-year old oak trim and style of the front of the house which meant quarter sawn oak cabinets and Motawi arts and crafts tile (at least a few) and soapstone counters. And that meant I could low-budget the lighting fixtures, so I HAD to have rejuvenation fixtures and RH hardware, and on and on it goes...

If you give an TKO, a sink...she is gonna want a counter to put it in. Then she's going to want new cabinets to put it on. Then she'll need a new floor to put them on and new storage to put in the cabinets. then, she'll need an island to put it on...and so on and so on....


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Since August......

Total kitchen gut & remodel - check
1/2 bath gut & remodel - check
Tear out and replace concrete driveway - check
All new wood baseboard trim throughout house - check
All new heat registers throughout house - check
All new interior 6 panel doors installed - check
New exteriors doors - check
Paint Kitchen,LR,DR,hallways,bedrooms & closets - check
New architectual roof - in progress
New vinyl siding - in progress
3 add'l bathrooms to gut - March target date to start
New flooring LR, DR, hallways & bedrooms - next on list
Replace deck - when warm weather returns to the midwest
Landscaping front lawn - ditto warm weather

Guess I need to QUIT rolling my eyes when DH refers to our project as a "whole house remodel." And it all started with a new fridge & stove.....started the slippery slope!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I learned about drawers here instead of doors with pull outs, best money I could have spent!!

we went from 'vinyl' flooring to 'marmoleum', so happy we did that, too.

Ikea had a sale on quartz counters when you bought a kitchen so it went from wilsonart HD to that for an extra $450

then my DH preferred a more expensive backsplash so we went from $2/sq ft to almost $8 subway b/c he liked the color and finished edges better. If I could have decided on a color, he had no problems with the $35/sq ft glass subway.
Considering this renovation came as a surprise after we found mold, these were all unnecessary really.

Funny though b/c my Grohe faucet was less than the Delta touch I wanted and budgeted for.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I'm actually considering our slippery slope a good thing. It changed our "let's give our kitchen a face-lift" into a complete remodel. Why is that a good thing? Because when we sat down and considered our kitchen's less than ideal function, we realized it was silly to spend good money giving our kitchen a pretty face without addressing its shortcomings. That would would have been akin to putting a new paint job on a car while ignoring its mechanical problems. Yes, it's going to cost more but considering what we'll gain and how long we plan to stay in this house, we feel it will be money well spent.

The slippery slope scenario always makes me think of the movie "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Love it!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Our remodel is costing about double what we thought it would when starting out but that is probably more to do with our unrealistic expectations as to what things cost. Our appliances are standard stainless, cabinets are a mid-level with very few upgrades. Our slippery slope was two small things. Pulls cost about double what they we could have spent. We liked the Schaub French Farm cause they felt so good to the touch. Double is about an extra $150. A small amount for what we thought was a luxury. The other slope is the backsplash. Nothing fancy as we have a small area...less than 30 Sq ft. We found a 3x6 subway that went perfectly with the cabs, paint and granite. Trouble was they are handmade. Probably double what we would have paid but then again, double is about $400 to $500. Another small anount paid for the look achieved. This is how I rationalized this to the DW. She had no problem writing out a much bigger check for the granite and cabs but felt guilty about paying more for these small touches that in the big scheme are really pittances.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Well, my "Top that" challenge has resulted in me not feeling so bad. I have been thoroughly trounced. But I knew it wasn't over. Now we need the hardwood floors refinished and new sheet rock on the living room ceiling.(It seems the old ceiling was wallpapered over and then painted with textured paint. The new header resulted in smooth areas that can't be matched just right so why not just slap new rock over the old?) And a new widescreen HDTV to go with the new living room set. It has to be REALLY big so it can be viewed from the new kitchen. Oh, and new dining room ceiling light to replace the perfectly-fine existing ceiling fan/light. After all, who needs a ceiling fan when you have new central air? Besides, the new one will match the new pendants better. I just know that new pots and pans will be next. Then stemware. Then silverware. I think I'm safe on the plates because they were her mother's.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I love this thread also! Makes me feel happy to know there are others out there.. :-)

My biggest slippery slope (there were many) was deciding that since 1) we were doing custom cabinetry anyway and 2) once you have a fridge enclosure built, there is NO GOING BACK (which isn't really even true but added to the drama)... WHY just get a standard paneled fridge when we could get a built-in paneled fridge that disappears into the surrounding cabinetry?? It's now or never, right?

So 8 minutes and 8 thousand dollars later, the damage was done.. It was my highest cost/per minute of decision-making in our whole house remodel. oof. (I do totally love it though, and would do again - that is the sick part)


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I have really enjoyed this thread!

A woman I have casual contact with from my work told me this afternoon that she is buying a house today. It's a short sale and needs a little work but the price is very good... (can you see this coming?) I asked the basic questions about DIY experience i.e. does she have any and got the basic answers to the same i.e. none.

I asked, in my bothersome way, what the immediate issues are. She listed the top three: New paint in the entire interior (1200 square feet), refinish the wood floors throughout and a leaking roof....

I asked her what she had budgeted for those. THe wood floor will be refinished by "a friend" who is only going to charge 2.00 a square foot so she's getting a great deal, she has 350 dollars budgeted for painting the entire enterior of the house and owns no supplies, and there is no plan for the roof though she imagines she'll have to "get all that moss off it".

I just smiled, wished her well, and smiled as I thought of her on ski's at the top of the hill.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

We're not even close to starting our reno, but we've already started sliding down the slippery slope. It started with me wanting to replace my crappy cabinets (new cabs up to ceiling), get rid of my island, put in a small penninsula, and replace our wood floor (currently in kitchen, hall/entry, and study) and extend it into the family rom. DH said okay, figure out what you want and let me know when you have specifics and cost estimate.

Then, out of the blue, he says we should take down the wall between kitchen and DR and put new wood throughout the main floor (meaning adding DR and LR to wood floor). I'm in shock because DH never gets involved in this stuff--he just sends me off to do the research and decide what is best. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled he's showing an interest, but if I lose the wall, I'll only have 2 walls to put cabs and one of those (the longer wall) is all window so no uppers on that one. I will be able to put an island in, but it won't come close to making up for the storage I'll lose. I find myself standing in my kitchen in a sort of trance trying to picture various layouts and where I'll fit everything.

Does anyone else ever feel like their head is going to explode when they're still just in the planning phase?

Oh, and I should mention all of our bathrooms need to be updated (master needs to be gutted & redone), and our basement needs to be done. Does anyone have seeds for a money tree?


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

We started out wanting to do kitchen and master bath but changed to kitchen and family room--that is until we got the bids from the GC and bids for the cabinets. Did I mention that we hired an architect as well? Our home is a very modest one, so hiring an architect was somewhat extravagant. But since our house has so many constraints--an L shaped layout, a galley kitchen next to a laundry room and a master bath, I wasn't sure what was the best approach--adding on, just updating, etc. The architect came up with a very nice design for enlarging the kitchen and opening it up to the rest of the house but not moving any plumbing. Of course as we were going through the design process, our wish list became longer. When we got bids for the contract work, I was shocked because we were going to spend about one third of the home's value just for moving walls and changing the ceilings (we have some false beams I don't care for). Anyway, we've are getting back to the original idea of only remodeling the kitchen and moving the laundry room slightly. This will allow us to work on paying off the mortgage fairly soon...and then we can get back to the rest of the items on the wish list.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

It's funny but I just posted on another thread about not hiring an architect until you get a ballpark from several gcs about what you have planned. We wasted a ton of money and wasted time and energy for plans that we could not afford to build. I forgot to mention the several thousand we spent on paying an architect for an extension on our first house that we decided would cost too much once the bids came in. Both times, the architect drew our wish list rather than our budget. Both times we expressed being concerned about costs, but guess we did not learn our lesson enough the first time (different architect though same mistake, only bigger the second time, lol).
Hopefully, I will save at least someone from going down the same wrong road we did, twice!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Dianalo, we did the thing. We spend so much time with this guy and he was more focused on a cool roof line (back of the house!) and window placement than anything inside the house. When we did get bids they were outrageous. Like 400K more than we were going to spend! We ended up deciding what we wanted to do and then hiring another "budget" architect. She didn't use anything fancier than 11x17 paper and her 20 year old autocad program, but she knew all the people in the building department and went and got our permits for us.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

We're on the home stretch of a 12 x 25 addition on front of house. We jumped off the slippery slope at one point--very glad.

We were trying so very hard to be disciplined financially. The big money was to go into infrastructure, energy conservation, etc. We had bought ala carte services from a local construction company. They don't have an architect but the in-house designer was essential for some calculations about weight-bearing trusses, ideas about roof lines and integrating old and new construction, etc. He had three brilliant insights that cleared away roadblocks in our kitchen designs--worth gold! And the company is a known entity for the city, so they could expedite the permits and connect us to good subcontractors so that definitely made the designer's services worthwhile. But...

Modified Craftsman style is all the rage here and he's in the throes of it. Every iteration of the plans came with exterior elevations featuring angular exterior trim, variations in directions of siding boards, bigger and better exterior decor ideas, etc. etc. etc. Our original little house has painted wide board 1950s redwood siding, which we intended to replace with narrow steel. He had some opinions about the narrow board steel siding we used on a previous two-story addition; he wanted us to use Hardy siding on the addition, which would not match the narrow steel--how would you resolve that without extra bucks and residing the spliced areas? He specc'd out a big wood double garage door "to replace your other one when you redo the garage facade." Whoah! I said "think Swedish Farmhouse for a style. Red and white paint and narrow clapboards." But his gig kept going to the last iteration drawings.

I figure we saved a number of thousands of dollars by simplifying his plans for "curb appeal" and DH was able to install the steel siding himself because we omitted all that facade variation and just went straight up to roof with same product installed horizontally. We will be repainting our old absolutely plain but still serviceable garage door in the spring with gray "mistake paint" from the paint store--$5 for a gallon.

The front facade was done quicker and entirely DIY than if we'd gone with the design on the plans. I get to use the saved money for landscaping & decorative cement edges along driveway and I can pocket the rest. And I don't need to buy additional stuff to match his vision--exterior lights, mailbox, etc. etc. etc. We have kept the facade from looking dowdy, but it's no Craftsman bungalow either. I did buy some trim stuff like lights & house numbers, but on my own terms. Once the balance of the siding, the landscaping and driveway are finished, we're done. And believe me, the home improvement line of credit will nevertheless be fully tapped out. Slippery slope avoided!


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

Oh dear. I was reading along, smugly patting myself on the back for not sliding anywhere...until I suddenly remembered my own black diamond run.

I had dreamed/planned/saved for my new kitchen for almost 5 years and basically I did stick to what I thought I was going to do. However,I only ended up using half the granite slab I had purchased. The fabricator mentioned that the rather substantial remnant could easily be made into something else. and, really, what a shame to waste a nice large piece of granite that was *already paid for* (This is the phrase that tipped me over the edge). I could get some simple cheap cabinets and put the granite on top to make a nice serving area on my patio. Since-all together now-the granite was paid for the cost would be minimal. Just fabrication and some low end cabinetry. Maybe IKEA.

Enter Bob the contractor, who had done the kitchen. I love Bob, in a contractor-homeowner way of course. Decent guy, did a great job, reasonable and so on. I show Bob my patio, and mention that I might want to hire his guy just to install some cheap cabinets and the granite countertop. Bob mentions that I could, for just a little more, put in a sink tied into the plumbing for the kitchen faucet and then I'd have a nice wet bar. Hey, good idea and after all, still a cheap project.

And then I start thinking about how the patio is non-air conditioned and in the Miami weather cheap fiberboard is probably not going to last any time at all. I find out from the fabricator that to get the length of counter I want the cabinetry will need to be no wider than 22" wide, which means standard off the shelf cabinets won't work. I realize that I really, really want to be able to have the cabinets up off the ground on legs with a removable toe kick so I can clean the patio since after all it's basically just a roofed area that is open to the dust, dirt and grime outside.

So here I am now, in the midst of what Bob the contractor calls Phase 2: custom Crystal cabinets were delivered and installed last week, I just received the pricey Kohler faucet that I figured would hold up well and look so nice in the lovely wet bar. I'm waiting for the Top Knob hardware that I will tie in with the same style knobs and pulls on the interior cabinets. Oh and the Swanstone bar sink that I couldn't resist instead of the uber cheap stainless steel bar sinks on faucetdirect.com And now of course I really do need to paint the porch swing and wouldn't it look nice to get an indoor/outdoor rug for underneath the table out there since after all now I'm going to have such an elegant wet bar party area and the chairs that go with one of my tables out there are falling apart and...wheee, aren't the dollars flying by as I skid merrily down my slope.


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RE: Describe you 'Slippery Slope' Experiences

I think mine starts Monday. I'm ready, I have thoroughly whetted my appetite for the best, and practiced rationalizing. Soon we will sign a contract with the dreaded "allowances". Then we will see how the allowances don't cover what we thought, and off we go.


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