Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cabinet Delivery and Installation

If you are friends with either one of us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, you've already seen our cabinets. This is just the long and lengthy post full of pictures (and more words) about those very same cabinets. That is how excited I am, people.

The cabinets were delivered to the house last Friday afternoon and after quite the show watching the two guys figure out the best way to get the cabinets into the house, including backing their truck up into our yard, they were all sitting peacefully in our dining room. Nineteen of them among end panels, crown molding, shoe mold, and shelves, the room was pretty full. But I was so anxious I started digging around to see the color.

We let them sit for the evening, but Saturday morning, we found a babysitter and Paul and I dove straight in to installing the cabinets.

At our last house, we paid for installation of the cabinets when we remodeled our kitchen. It wasn't very much and it seemed like the smart way to go. Installing cabinets was going to take us forever. I happened to be at home briefly while they were installing them and I thought, "I could have done this...grumble grumble..." as I watched my money go out the door. They did a great job, but with Paul and I's capabilities, it was absolutely something we could have done.

So we decided at this house, to save some money and do them ourselves. Just to make sure we were entirely aware of what we were getting into, we watched a couple of the This Old House videos and did some research to make sure our method was the fastest but most reliable way in a house where nothing is level and nothing is plumb.

We marked off the wall, basically drawing our cabinet layout directly onto the gyp board. Seemed silly since we knew exactly where everything was going but it was crucial to making sure everything fit correctly and that we could locate the studs.

We did the upper cabinet first so they base cabinet wouldn't be in our way. We marked our studs, lined up our cabinet (seated nicely on a ledger board we installed) and started to install. And we missed the stud.

Frick and frack.

Thankfully, we were both in a pleasant mood so we re-measured, re-located and then got the cabinet installed without any tears or angry words.

Once it was installed, the other cabinets started lining up against the wall. Because our dishwasher sits on top of the tile floor (yet to be installed) as does the refrigerator, we had to make sure we accounted for the thickness of the floor when installing our base cabinets. That way, the top of the dishwasher would clear the underside of the counter when it was 1/2" higher sitting on the tile. So each base cabinet is set on two long strips of 1/2" plywood that were all leveled all the way across using shims. (I should have been taking better install pictures...but we're in crunch time here). So this is where we left it Saturday afternoon:

Moving the double oven cabinet and the pantry proved to be quite a feat. For one they are large, we didn't want to damage any of our newly finished gyp walls and corners and they are also pretty heavy. After a quick video research bunny trail, we figured out how to release our Blum motion drawer glides and take all of the drawers out. Made moving these extremely heavy cabinets a little bit easier.

Since we are trying to push for such a quick finish date, we installed all the cabinets that needed to be used for template creation for counters first. One entire wall has no counter on it and the window bench could wait. The island, sink wall and master bath vanity were crucial.

After the kitchen cabinets were set (the ones requiring the counters) Paul moved upstairs and installed the master bath vanity. Our master bath is not huge. It's ours and only ours, which is a first for Paul and I and due to some last minute money saving changes, we chose not to relocate the toilet and vanity (switching their locations). It was going to cost more money and more time, neither of which we had/have. Nothing was wrong with the placement of the two items, they just weren't where I would have placed them. But it wasn't a game changer (I mean at this point, there really isn't much that can be considered a game changer, the match is almost done). Because of this, my original vanity plan fell through. Our original vanity was going to be twice as large as it ended up being and was going to have two sinks.

I had already placed the order for our cabinets and it was too late to add another cabinet onto the order. By the time I knew for certain I needed a smaller cabinet, it was also too late to order for their expected lead time. So I started researching the vanity cabinets you see all over the place. Ridiculously expensive. And not all of them are very attractive. Of course the ones I liked were astronomically priced.

I was also starting to become concerned with continuity. The kids bathroom has this vanity from Ikea. But I kind of want our bathroom millwork to tie into the same stuff that is in the kitchen. Even if I had to fake it a little. So we purchased a cabinet locally, unfinished, cut out for the plumbing and installed. All this means is, I have to take some time to prime and paint it.

So, the counter cabinets were placed and ready for templates. Which happened yesterday. Which means now we can move on to finishing the other cabinets.  We spent two hours last night, in the dark and cold loading three very large piles of sheetrock scraps into a dumpster. We wanted it off the ground before it rained/snowed and became impossible to pick up.

Tonight Paul starts priming the upstairs for paint! Eek! That is amazing news. The remaining stacked upper cabinets and the window bench will probably wait until this weekend to be installed, again since they aren't critical items. We have to make sure we follow the smartest "critical path" method in order to get everyone in and out on time.

Here's some information about our cabinets. I spent a couple of weeks laying out what I wanted in the kitchen, once we had it nailed down we got quotes for five different routes. The five quotes ranged from $9,500 to $19,000. In the end we went with the second cheapest option. We ended up getting everything we wanted (soft close doors/drawers, trash pull out cabinet, roll out trays in every cabinet, window bench, end panels, good quality, etc.) and the delivery for the company was $50 vs. the $200 the other companies offered. And some of the other companies couldn't provide a window bench or the roll out trays and they we're still more expensive. So far, I'm very pleased with the cabinets. The quality is on par with what I specify regularly and the finish is beautiful. The company is Cardell, they are manufactured in Texas, meet all testing standards and are approved by KCMA for assembly and environmental approaches. They have dealers all over the US, and in Oklahoma City we used Cabinet Outlet to order and deliver them for us.

Once we're fully done with the kitchen, I'll write another post about our layout, our somewhat small aisle clearances and sources for everything!

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