Friends Don't Let Friends Build Under The Influence… Use A Professional!

Sixteen years ago we bought our dream house in the woods. As we moved in met the neighbors, many of them told us that they had hammered a lot of nails into our house.  The process the former owners followed was simple: Invite the neighbors over for a meal, enjoy some beer or wine with dinner, go build or remodel a room.  The house was the nicest house that we had toured, with the vaulted ceilings, wood floors, large skylights. We even have an old growth redwood tree in the backyard. I was seven months pregnant when we moved in. We were excited about our new home with all of its space, a perfect place for a new family. No problems, even though some of the building that had been done seemed a little strange.

fridgeOn Saturday, I discovered that the refrigerator that was with the house when we bought it finally breathed its last breath.  The compressor had quit.   My husb I went to pull the refrigerator out to look for a reset on the compressor, discovered that the step from one part of the kitchen to the other prevented us from pulling the refrigerator out of its slot.  Six screws later, we had pulled the molding around the step off pulled the refrigerator out. Moving the refrigerator caused the copper tubing for the icemaker to leak a little. Within a moment we looked at each other asked if the builders could have been so stupid. And sure enough they were.  There is not shut off to the water line within the house. In order to disconnect the water line, we need to turn the water off to the entire house.  Okay, we can deal with this, we will fix it add a shut off into the line.

This morning, I hear my husb in the kitchen with a tape measure. He brings me a cup of coffee says that the opening between the built-in sideboard the cabinet is only 26″ wide.  At first I didn’t underst why he was telling me this. His answer to my puzzled look: The refrigerator is 29″ deep 36″ across.  Evidently, the cabinets were built after the refrigerator was put  into its place.  I knew what this meant. The dishwasher was replaced about 8 years ago, it was built in. I asked the question that I knew the answer to already. Did the flooring go in after the cabinets?  Sure did.  To replace the refrigerator we will need to pull out the cabinets on the one side of the kitchen. There will be a big hole in the floor where floor boards should have been place. The owners saved 6 square feet of lumber when they did the flooring.  To make it all make sense, we will either have to fix the floor or live with the cabinets in a poorly designed configuration.

They say that drinking impairs one’s reflexes thought processes. I believe it. If you know someone who has something to drink wants to build or remodel part of the house, take the hammer, hide the saw, lock up the lumber. And don’t forget… Friends don’t let friends build drunk. If they do build drunk, they could wind up with a Frankenhouse. A better idea is to run for a pencil paper write down HB Building Design’s phone number for your friends. HBB+D knows the materials, they know how to avoid design pitfalls, they’ll give you a result that will last for years won’t give you headaches.  The phone number is 650-728-5878.

– Monique