I am NOT a fearless blogger...

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like my friend Anne-Marie at The house that A-M Built who can write the words describing problems with the building of her gorgeous new house in Australia. Problems that would make a very strong, grown man cry.... She is so brave in the telling of the issues, problems, and solutions to the things that have been done to her beautiful, beautiful home.

I am not so brave.

I, instead, tend to crawl into the fetal position, and hide my head under the covers and the problems cause all my energy to drain from my body... for months. Talking about the problems in our renovation, and especially the writing of them makes them all too real... so usually I don't. Until now. And the only reason I am able to do so today, is because we had a very talented finish carpenter here yesterday and today to fix the problems.

The subject: Our Kitchen- my beautiful, dream of a kitchen. (excuse me while I go get a tissue...)

The background: Our fired ex-General Contractor fancied himself as a carpenter. He was not. If I had a dollar for every time I asked to "please hire us a finish carpenter" I could have paid for 1/8 of my kitchen. Instead the ex-GC took it upon himself to become our finish carpenter and installed our kitchen cabinets (and then had the nerve to charge us a carpenters fee plus his 20%---- I know, I know. If it hadn't been for the extreme time constraint of having to move out of our temporary rent house he would have been fired in February. From our point of view we just didn't have the luxury of time to fire him, and had to forge ahead to get into the house.) We are now paying the price, literally and figuratively, for that decision.

The problems: Ex-GC was a hack of a carpenter. My beautiful, beautiful kitchen had issues. Some days I had a hard time even walking into the room. It was the equivalent of a beautiful automobile that was a lemon. My very talented custom-cabinet-maker made lovely cabinets. He included shims for the installers to remove as necessary to make them fit the room. My ex-GC didn't know how to install them, left them on when they weren't needed, and my subzero housing was then installed unlevel which is apparently obvious in what was supposed to be a open shelf above it-was instead 1/2 " off of level. My gorgeous Venatino marble on my island developed a huge sag. Yes, I just said my marble developed a sag. Hard to believe, but true. Several interviewing carpenters were shocked it hadn't cracked. Doors in the island opened to a huge gaping hole to the floor- as ex-GC didn't put in the piece that was made by the cabinet-maker to finish it out. The baseboard on the island had be ripped out to correct the problem. Drawers and cabinets don't work with the self-close feature we had paid extra for; some barely close at all without scraping the paint off of the wood below. A gaping hole was left open under overhead cabinets. Just a big hole sitting there.... go figure. All these pieces were provided by the cabinet maker. Ex-GC left a stack of unused materials..... One of the cabinet doors under the sink is installed upside down. The kitchen company who happily took our money, now doesn't want to get involved....

The Solution: [It should be noted at this point: Via our lawyer (yes, sadly there is a lawyer involved. Ex-GC is writing letters acting as a lawyer;) ex-GC offered to come fix all the problems; he said it would be "easy" and only take half a day! Now, why would I want the person who screwed it all up in the first place, and obviously didn't know what he was doing to come "fix" the problems? So, we are paying to fix them ourselves.]
Back to the solution. A very talented, kind-hearted man and his son were here yesterday and today to fix my kitchen and bring her back to all her glory! Hooray!!! They are building new doors to camouflage the unlevel shelf above the SubZ. Turning sink cabinet door right side up, extending 6 of the under island supports/feet to make them meet the floor- as ex-GC didn't bother to do that which is what we learned today caused the marble to sag, and is kindly fixing all the many remaining problems.
They were miracle workers I tell you! For the first time in the three months I actually walked into my kitchen tonight and wasn't pissed off. I looked around and saw my beautiful, beautiful kitchen again!

My apologizes for writing about things that are not 'pretty.' I just felt I needed to talk about some of the difficulties of late. And while the kitchen problems were a huge issue, it is just one of a long list of little and big 'issues' that we are now resolving. I do think; however, that fixing the kitchen will bring the muses back, and inspire me to not only start cooking again (which I love to do), but to continue the decorating of the house. All of the issues and the problems have been a huge energy drain.

I salute A-M who is my hero in fighting the 'bad guys' in a remodel. Her courage gives me strength.

The good news is that I promise a kitchen reveal is not too far off now!

b.a.d. photos

upside down cabinet door

unlevel shelf

gaping hole to floor between island trim and cabinet

Please note the 'daylight' showing between the bottom of the level and the marble.

g.o.o.d. photo

Please note NO 'daylight' between the bottom of the level and the marble!!!!! Miracle workers I tell you!