Sunday, June 06, 2010

Finally, the Outdoor Kitchen!

Once upon a time we had a dream. That dream began the day we saw our home for the first time. We'd only looked at about 100 homes, flying into neighborhoods like a blitzkrieg; reviewing 3-6 homes then moving on to another 'hood. This was back in '05. Finally we hit a neighborhood we liked but hubby insisted if we couldn't live near the lake then we must have a pool. All of the houses with pools were nixed for one reason or another.

We regrouped and told our realtor to find a house with potential for a pool. When we walked into this house, I knew immediately I was home...mostly because the interior paint worked well for all of our furniture. When my husband walked through the back door into the backyard, he knew we were home. The backyard was a canvas. Nothing but lawn and a few trees. We envisioned a pool, a pond, an outdoor living space that would become an extension of the house.

In the first year, we installed the pool & pond. This year we finally took it to the next level. After saving and planning, dreaming and strategically purchasing appliances we committed to build an outdoor kitchen.

Things started out well enough. We hired a contractor and provided detailed plans as well as all of the pre-purchased appliances. "This should only take a few weeks" the contractor committed. A few weeks into the project it was clear we were in trouble. Not only was the schedule blown, but the contractor hadn't followed the plan and hadn't bother measuring the hardware we'd purchased. The countertop was undercut, the rock veneer stuck out further than the counter. The drawer height wasn't accounted for. One of the counters drooped - at least 1/2" in the center. The tiles weren't put on per the well-known well-published (via HGTV and other DIY programs) guidelines, leaving them uneven. And day after day, the contractor neglected to show up. Finally, my wonderful husband took over. He is awesome! He tore out all of the faulty parts and began reconstruction. After 4 days of considering options (and the crappy work), my husband made his decision. He gave the contractor a second chance. "Fix it or pack your things and go". The contractor committed to fix it. But...after contributing to a day of deconstruction he no-showed for a few days. Hubby stayed busy and the kitchen began to take shape. By the time he heard from the contractor again ("I'm ready to buy new countertop material!") my husband was rocking and rolling on his own. He told the contractor to pick his equipment up. Done. He enlisted our son (and in a pinch a friend had to come help lift the countertop material). Progress, finally!In the background, a charcoal grill bears witness to the stop-gap measures. Night vision! With the lighting we should be able to operate well into the night. I'm looking forward to breaking her in this week. Let the parties begin!

1 comment:

Cha Cha said...

Beautiful - congratulations! I see many wonderful barbecues in your future.