This post is in collaboration with Pella Windows & Doors.
We haven’t talked about the kitchen since April, but for good reason. Simply put, nothing has been happening. It’s in a standstill. Well, I should say, it was in a standstill, as this story has a happy ending with a resolution(!).
For a couple months at the start of this year, it was all action, every weekend and most weeknights, too. We ran a lot of electrical, hung a pocket door, put in wall-to-wall cabinets, shopped and installed counters, DIYed an island, gave new life to an old hutch and tiled a backsplash. There was a lot of touching-up in between – painting walls, repairing poor drywall, adding trim and baseboards – but everything came to a screeching halt when it came to this back wall. That door leads to our yard and garage, and the plan was to add a glass paneled door with sidelights and a transom:
You might remember the not-so-hilarious story (delirious, more like it) of our contractor who initially ordered the wrong door configuration, only for us to find out after it had fallen into backorder for several months. We found this error to be odd – you know, taking into consideration our drawings, conversations and emails – but as a GC who came recommended from a friend, we thought it must have been a fluke. While we were pretty upset at the time, we ended up changing course and decided that, perhaps, a sliding patio door would be best. We thought, well, maybe this is a blessing disguise! A sliding patio door will make more sense anyway! This would allow for even more natural light, plus we’d have the convenience of not having swinging doors taking up precious kitchen or patio space.
He promised us a 3-4 week turnaround on the new configuration from his supplier – a 5′ sliding door in a French style (meaning, a thicker wood frame for a more traditional feel; this old house asked for such) with a 5′ transom window above. The door was ordered in the last week of February, and then that door also fell into back order.
And that, you guys, is where we left off.
Since then, he had been increasingly difficult to reach. To be honest, he was consistently vague on details, and we felt very out of the loop on such a large part of our renovation. (This was definitely a warning sign, but never having renovated a kitchen before, we thought, this must be normal, I mean, I guess?) Days would go by without any response to our phone calls and emails, and then – thank goodness! – he sent us a simple text around mid-May that our door had arrived! It was here!
We were thrilled because this not only meant that we might have a door by Memorial Day weekend (spoiler: it didn’t happen) – 5 months after our first order was placed, mind you – but we have been itching to hang art and additional shelving, plus I’ve been eager to pretty up the kitchen with plants. As I began pulling out our cute, framed prints from under the bed (safe keeping, you know?), we also started the process of getting him here for installation.
At first, he started by saying he was busy on other jobs, but he would put us in his calendar soon. After a week of no communication, we would call to say just checking in!, but he became non-responsive. Like, nothing. In fact, we never heard from him again. For a while afterwards, it became commonplace to say, I mean, seriously, what the hell? (Plus, bleep! Bleep!) We were confused, supremely frustrated and, naturally, mad. Really mad. As of today, almost 2 months have passed since we we were last told he had our door, and our anger has finally subsided; it’s time to move forward. He wasn’t coming back, and to be honest, we didn’t want him back.
So! As promised, this story does have a happy ending – an ending that we’re still trying to believe ourselves. (Are you still with me?) I do have to quickly step back to last fall, when Pella Windows & Doors reached out to us with a new program they were launching, Insynctive. The Insynctive technology allows you to control windows and doors with sensors that, get this, sync to deadbolts and motorized blinds and shades as an addition to your home’s security. At the time, we were about to dive into kitchen plans, but their goals for the product launch and our needs for a door didn’t mesh effectively for us or them. This happens frequently with collaborations, and while it was a great conversation to have with the Pella team, if it’s not the right fit, we don’t proceed. Checking in with our guts and being honest with you is important to us.
Fast forward to right now. Pella is doing amazing things to help create a safe and efficient Innovation Home with Better Homes and Gardens, and as a part of that journey, they circled back to revisit our own kitchen project. Timing is a funny thing, and it was as if every road block to completing our renovation led us right back to where we started. Pella wants to dive in and help us by putting a fat checkmark next to that last big to-do, and we’ll be working with them to cross it off our list once and for all! They are providing us with a door and transom, however, we’ll be covering the cost of construction through a Pella certified contractor. It’s an opportunity that we don’t take lightly or for granted, and we’re beyond grateful that it has been presented to us.
That being said, our hope is to receive the full Pella experience, so we asked them to take us through every step of the process. We’ve since met with local representatives, asked them hundreds of questions and selected finishes for outside, inside and every imaginable moving door part:
Our kitchen will receive a Designer Series sliding patio door in the French style, with a transom above. (Sounds familiar by now, doesn’t it?) The exterior will be black, and we’ve decided on a primed white interior until we can decide on a color. We’ll also have between-the-glass motorized cellular shades in Linen, as part of the Insynctive technology. Once all of these decisions were made, we had a home meeting with our Pella contractor, Brian of LaPelusa Home Improvement, and wow. What a breath of fresh air, truly! He was amazingly thorough, explained every detail of the construction process and put us completely at ease.
In fact, he even nudged us in a slightly different direction from our initial thoughts of a 5′ door. The door opening on a 5′ sliding door is just under 2′ wide, due in part to not being able to slide any wider than the handle will allow. We were hesitant about the 6′ door being too wide, but to see, we taped it out:
The outer most tape lines are representative of our trim, which is why it’s heftier along the top, and the space directly above the “door” is our transom window. It’s large, yes, but just imagine all the light the kitchen will receive! Because it will fill most of that back wall, you’ll see it from our living and dining rooms as well.
We had to rethink a few plans we originally had for the dogs’ food station, since you can see it will no longer fit (new ideas are in the works – spoiled pups, we say), but the flow from the dining room to the kitchen to the patio will be spot on.
The door and transom are expected to arrive mid-August, and installation will begin immediately by the LaPelusa team! We cannot wait to bid farewell to our current sad door and drafty window; the countdown begins – now!
This is a sponsored project written by us on behalf of Pella Windows and Doors, and you can learn more about Pella’s Insynctive technology right here.
Pella is providing us with a Designer Series sliding patio door with transom, and all text, opinions and storyline drama (what’s a renovation without one?) are our own. Thank you, as always, for supporting those that so graciously support us.
So happy to hear that you are getting closer to finishing your kitchen. I know how frustrating it can be with delays and contractors letting you down. But man, funny how all those things happen to lead you to the very best option that you didn’t even know about. And good call on bigger doors- we added large sliding French doors to the eat in part of our breakfast nook when we built on a deck and I love those doors so much. They let in tons of light and the large opening is perfect for making the outside feel like part of our inside. http://www.suburbanbitches.com/making-deck-spanning-inside-outside/
GIRL! That is STUNNING!! Our outside won’t look pretty for at least another year, but I’ll be looking to you for inspiration!
Yay! I so happy it worked out for you guys. Totally annoying and frustrating about the previous contractor though!! Cannot wait to see it come together.
Had you already paid for the other door? It always stinks when a great recommendation turns out to be not so great.
No, thank goodness! We had only paid him for his work up until that point. That would have been a whole different story!
So glad there’s a happy ending to this story! You will be so much happier with the 6′ door!
Yay! It’s finally happening.
I hope that the GC didn’t runaway with any of your money. That would suck on top of his disappearance.
Definitely didn’t take any additional money. You better believe there would have been more to the story..,
YAY! I’m so glad you FINALLY have a happy ending to this saga.
Good for you guys! Happy news that you are finally able to wrap up what I’m sure has seemed like a never ending project AND stop thinking about the contractor (and the doors) that disappeared.
Thank you, Allison! It’s comical to think that we were hoping to be finished with this project in 2 months – 3 months if we were pushing it! And now, here we are in the 7th month and hoping to finish by the end of 8. It’s so crazy!
I am very relieved for you, having read the comments. Your contractor definitely was terrible, and this happy ending is awesome!
You guys are sooo lucky he didn’t take your money and run – it really does happen all the time!
Every time you’ve popped into my reader for the last 5 months I’ve been hoping for a happy ending to this kitchen! I’m so glad that you are finally moving forward and can’t wait to (finally) see the finished product. Congrats on the hard work and finally getting to move forward.
I hope you weren’t holding your breath! ;) we never could have imagined these issues, but we’re so excited to move forward!
I’m so happy this had a happy ending. I’ve heard too many horror stories and I’m glad that it seems he at least finished your kitchen mostly before dropping off the planet! Some people!
Post is very nice …. thanks
Amazing you idea New Home Decoration Design
So question – is the GC who was doing the door the same who redid the kitchen?
He did parts of the kitchen, as his GC skills weren’t exactly our favorite – he was never ON site when his team was, and so they were constantly asking me questions during my work day. (We’ve had several readers email us for our GC info, and we’ve politely explained that we didn’t love his work enough to pass it along!) He did the pocket door and electrical, but there were issues when it came to moving and capping some plumbing, for which we hired someone else on our own! We actually liked the guys he sent in to do the work, but our personalities didn’t mesh with his, apparently.
All I can say is, we’re actually happy to part ways.
A quick edit to add: the new Pella certified GC overlooking the entire door process is the bees knees! Work won’t begin until mid August, but he’s already over informed us of every step along the way! We no longer feel like we’re in the dark.
So happy that you you were able to find someone that you’re enjoying working with. I can wait to see the end results!
Thanks, Ashley! :)
Consider me jealous! That kitchen + patio situation is about to be spot on!
Josh | The Kentucky Gent
Very pleased to read this update!
[…] in kitchen limbo right now (broken record much?), but good news! Our door is scheduled to arrive next week, and before the month’s end, we should have it installed! (If […]
Do you still love your Pella door? No problems and you’d choose the same one again?
Yes, and in a heartbeat!