The World's Ugliest Condo: And Then There Were(n't) Countertops

Renovation Diary

Sorry to have skipped my renovation update last week. I was too busy beating my head against a wall to write. Just kidding. I was actually dancing around in my ballet slippers while demanding peeled grapes and a fan.

My beautiful marble countertops came on their appointed day, and then — just as quickly — they left again. Among other things, the sink hole was cut large, creating a positive reveal that I didn't want. As they hauled the huge pieces back out the door, I was assured it would be a quick turnaround and that the office would be in touch to reschedule. The plan was for them to come back with another, comparable yet larger, sink to use instead. It sounded like a plan.

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After one week, I was still waiting just for the call about the reschedule. I phoned multiple times to check in but either couldn't reach anyone, or didn't get an actual answer. When I did talk to people, I got conflicting and vague responses. But still no date.

At the end of TWO weeks, I finally reached one of the managers and released a sh*t?!storm of frustration. He said he'd get back to me shortly and I didn't hear from him for another day.

This brought us to week THREE, when they returned to install the bathroom vanities (another long story, but they were done as separate jobs). And guess what? They got it wrong. Again. Among other things, they cut the guest bath stone according to the master bath specifications, and vice versa.

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Another call to the manager, where I learned they couldn't find an appropriate kitchen sink that would fit my base cabinet. I decided to go with the positive reveal, just to move things forward. However, I was told that it would still take another five days to install. In the meantime, he would research the new bathroom situation, and get back to me shortly.

As of today, I still don't have an actual date. For either job.

Keep in mind that I drove down from Missouri to be there for this portion of the process; that's 18 hours in a car with an 80 lb. slobbering bloodhound in the backseat. And I am still here, in St. Pete, just twiddling my thumbs until they are done, and squatting in an empty condo with no furniture. I'd love to tell you more, but my butt hurts too much from sitting on the floor all this time.

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I seriously regret my decision to purchase the countertops through Ikea. I originally had a smaller company in mind, but went with Ikea's contracted company in order to reach the mark for their 20% kitchen sale discount. Honestly, I feel the price of the countertops wasn't that great, and the customer service is, to say the least, less than stellar. The moral of the story for all you kids: Recognize that this international company hands the job off to a local company and do your research about them as well. I looked them up on Angie's List after the fact and saw that they have a "C" rating.

There had better be a discount, and it better be big.

Lest I leave you with an icky feeling, I'll say that not all is bad. I started gathering lots of great stuff for the condo (can I get a hallelujah for Tampa Bay thrift stores and Craigslist?) and have spent hours since happily wandering from room to room to gaze at the progress and mentally plan. And I can tell that the countertops will be pretty, from the 30 minutes I've already spent with each one.

PREVIOUSLY ON THE WORLD'S UGLIEST CONDO:
Introducing the World's Ugliest Condo
The World's Ugliest Condo: Scope of Work & Budget
The World's Ugliest Condo: Finding That Special Contractor
The World's Ugliest Condo: A Glimpse of What's To Come
The World's Ugliest Condo: My Ballad of Renovation Woes
The World's Ugliest Condo: Now We're Cooking

(Images: Dabney Frake)

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