The hardware installers showed up on time this morning. The guy who does it is also the demo guy. I wasn't sure I wanted a demo guy drilling delicate holes and trying to make my door pulls plumb and spaced correctly. To me, it seemed like that sort of job as compared to bashing holes in walls required conflicting skill sets. But the Kitchen Design Center swore he would do a good job or they would buy new cabinet doors.
When he arrived, I said, "Hey, your referrers said you never mess up and you always do a perfect job." I always butter them up. He replied, "They were lying to you. This is tough, and I have to concentrate."
All righty, then, I did not try to engage him in conversation and left him alone to focus on plumb and straight. Fortunately, the cabinet pulls were installed beautifully. Whew. He had me going there. I don't know if it's his daughter who works with him or some waif he picked up pawing through donations at the Salvation Army, but she continually tripped over her own feet and dropped stuff. I was a bit concerned as to whether the job would end up well, but my anxiety was for naught. Which is better than the alternative, in my book.
Then, the range hood guy showed up rather late in the day. He ripped the box apart, left all of the cardboard and plastic crap for me to clean up and dispose of, and went to work. He was here for four hours. He asked if I wanted the vent 29 inches above the counter or 36. Since I'm not the one to bonk my head on it, I said 29 inches would work, figuring closer to the actual grease and flames was probably better. I am so tired of the kitchen smoke alarm going off.
I found him later studying the stainless surround and looking perplexed. There was about 3 inches from the top of the bottom of the vent that needed to be covered. He was thinking about cutting it to fit. But there were holes in the bottom of the surround, and if he cut the top, it would leave a jagged edge. I suggested he cut the top of it three inches down and then drill holes, so the top edge would be finished. That had not occurred to him. He liked the idea, and that's what he did. Still, I should not have had to come up with that suggestion.
He put the vent in, but he's not finished. He is planning to hook up the pipe in the attic at an angle to match up with the roof jack already in place for the old water heater. I asked if this was to code, because the city is sure to require it, but he assured me it was. The thing is I have a roofer who will install a new roof jack for free, so if the pipe would cost less to run straight up, it would make more sense to do it that way. Nevertheless, the cost of running the pipe doubled the installation price for the range hood from $180 to $365. Why didn't he just say "double the estimate" and be done with it?
He is coming back on Monday to finish the job, because I am showing homes in Land Park tomorrow and in Natomas on Saturday. Plus I have a closing and a final walk-through late tomorrow afternoon. I can't be hanging around the house all day waiting for contractors to show up . . . or not show up.
I'm lucky in that this is the first estimate that turned out to be double.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub