You don’t have to overcook your budget to revamp your kitchen. Be willing to get your materials from unorthodox places, as well as learn how to do some of the improvements yourself, and you can end up with a better-looking kitchen than your neighbor at a fraction of the cost.
Remember the days when your kitchen was an investment? Yeah, those days are over. Now you need a reasonably priced kitchen where you can actually cook!
The Aqua Pool & Spa company in California had been building pools for over 20 years and had built up a good reputation, but after a bank went under and called in a $3 million loan, the company abruptly laid off everyone last week and shut its doors. Now everyone who was in the process of getting a pool built is stuck with torn up yards and half-finished pools. What’s worse, subcontractors are now dunning those customers for payment for services or supplies, even when the homeowners already paid (through Aqua Pool & Spa) months earlier.
The kids over at Consumer Reports are working on their August kitchen-remodeling story and are finding that there is less emphasis on remodeling homes with ROI in mind.
Starting the middle of next year, Walt Disney will be rolling out a new version of its mall store format that is intended to suck in your child like a fairy princess crack pipe. “The goal is to make children clamor to visit the stores and stay longer,” writes Brooks Barnes in the New York Times, by using things like embedded chips in the packaging to trigger responses from the store’s furnishings, a rotating library of scents that fill the store, and karaoke.
Thomas says his wife was approached by a belligerent salesman the other day regarding the windows on their home. He tried to get her to agree to an instant estimate and promised a huge discount for being a “model home” for the window upgrades, but when she refused to make an instant decision, Thomas says he “snatched the card out of her hand” and “yelled at her.”
Despite all the media attention, buying well-made, affordable products that are also environmentally sound is still a difficult task. Kiplinger’s “Shopping Guide to Eco-Friendly Products” offers several suggestions to help you buy green and get a solid deal on major appliances, lawn care, building supplies, and home maintenance.
As Linda alludes to at the end of the newscast, the real problem lies in that Home Depot customers are forced to pay for their services in full, upfront. Typically, contractors don’t get full payment until the job is completed to the customer’s satisfaction. By denying customers this crucial check and balance, Home Depot encourages sloth and incompetence.
Don MacAskill (pictured) is sitting in an unfinished $130,000 kitchen with two prematurely born babies. Home Depot said the kitchen would be done 9 months ago by Owens Corning HOMExperts . The home improvement store assured him that, “being a large corporation, they would have lots of control and organization around the project, and the contractors would be incentivized to finish the job quickly and thoroughly.”
Home Depot claims you won’t have to deal with subcontractors, but they do use subcontractors. When something goes wrong, and consumers complain, Home Depot avoids or ignores their repeated phone calls and letters.