Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day Two: "Can we do that?"


Contractor Gary called early this am.

"Did you want a disposal?"

"Yes."

"Well, it's not in my bid."

"Um, ok. I know we want one."

So we spoke about that and I learned that in order to re-plumb the area to get the disposal to connect to my sink, it will add an extra $250 to the job. Plus the cost of the disposal. Oy.

I've never had a disposal. I have always lived my adult life in vintage apartment buildings, and in this older home. So I am not sure I understand the magic of it. But I asked my friend at work, and she cried out, "You don't have one?! You HAVE to have one!" Ok. I get that it grinds up the little bits of food from dinner, but I am not sure what the magic is. My better half and I decided that it seems like something a "modern home" has - - like soft-close drawers and, say, an electrical outlet in the bathroom (the only outlet we have in ours I can't reach. Go figure.) - - so we decided to get a disposal. I mean, if Karine is right, we need it.

But seriously. What is the magic? Please tell me.


Unrelated to the disposal business we had an interesting discovery yesterday, which I am still thinking through today:

Underneath the weird, gross, 12" x 12" plastic-y "tile" that the previous homeowner applied to the kitchen floor, Contractor Gary revealed.... hardwoods.

"So, are they.... good?" I asked him.

"Yeah. I mean. You'd need to refinish them."

"Can we do that?"

"Anything is possible. It'll just cost you more."

Which pretty much sounds like the unwritten rule of all matters related to home improvement.

So I know when discussing the floor everyone was hot on hardwoods. So maybe I will do that. I only have until tomorrow to decide. I better get a good night's sleep.


*UPDATE* Oh! And I forgot to add:
When he called me today, he had a question about the sink I ordered. And I told him, "Actually, if you look over on such and such, you will see a BINDER I have with everything related to the project so far... your bid, all my receipts, installation instructions for the sink, specs for the microwave, etc." I think he liked this.

When I returned home tonight, I noticed he left it open. He made notes in it. I love that part. He's actually using it.

Organization pays. (I can't believe my unorganized ass just typed that.)


Photo above? Not Contractor Gary.

97 comments:

mamacita said...

This is what your post looked like to me:

"Here's my hottie contractor. I'm getting a garbage disposal and soft-close drawers. Oh, and I also just discovered that I have hardwood floors. Woe is me."

I say this from the bottom of my heart, D: Fuck you.

K.Line said...

If you don't have everything written into the quote (and who can guess the future, really) it's anyone's guess how much extra it's all going to cost. My 10K bathroom ended up at 17K and I did not use any expensive materials. It was all in the work, which became ever more complex as we unearthed things in my century home. The plus is that the final product is gorgeous. Plan to spend at least 30 per cent more than you originally imagined. Seriously.

Condo Blues said...

On the garbage disposal, if you cook and eat a lot of fruit and veg it's great because you stuff the peels down the disposal and they go away immediately instead of smelling up the garbage can. Now that I compost that stuff, I don't use the garbage disposal much anymore. Only when the outdoor compost bin is snowed over in winter.

Anonymous said...

I just recently got a garbage disposal and the best part about it is that you can wash little, smallish things down the drain. I still can't bring myself to put whole fruit peels and such down it. But it is great to be able to put coffee grounds and things like that down the drain. It has made cleaning the kitchen a breeze. Although I still don't have a dishwasher. I like doing dishes by hand. Go figure.

The Bean said...

The way I feel about garbage disposals is how the NRA feels about guns. After growing up with a disposal, smelly food garbage makes me want to hurl. When we redid our kitchen, I was so excited about having a disposal again that my husband put a big red Lexus-style bow on it when he brought it home. While I realize that composting is a more environmental option, it doesn't solve the problem of my dogs diabolically plotting to get at the trash while I sleep.

Anonymous said...

OOOOOhhhhh....can we get a picture of the contractor?

Have to ask...did you get a sprayer so that you can spray the food down into the new disposal?? :) What did you decide about the faucet, btw?

In Raleigh, they have now BANNED garbage disposals on all new homes. Grease accumulates in sewers because of all the food going down the drain, and that leads to sewage leakage, which leads to millions of dollars being spent on treating, the sewers with chemicals to flush them out. Not exactly great for the environment. In a way I think since you've lived with one this long, why bother, especially knowing that they're not eco friendly. But, you will enjoy having one if you choose to proceed...maybe just being careful what we put in there is all we need to do. Sewer leakage...oh what a fun topic! I do love grinding up used lemons in mine...freshens it up! Good luck, D!

atelierkimbo said...

A plumber once told me that garbage disposals are their bread and butter items--lots of repair issues and maintenance. Also, you have to use it on a regular basis or they don't work as well. I have one and it has not worked since I moved into my house 8 years ago. I want to have it removed so I have more space under the sink. (we scrape plates and compost what we can)

Beyond that--congrats on the discovery of the floors! How cool is that!

And ditto on what K.Line said--add 22-30 percent to your estimate NOW.

Emily said...

I second mamacita.

Also re: disposal: we went from having one that I only occasionally put lemon slices down to fresh to not having one. And really, I don't miss it. But it's handy not to worry. And don't put coffee ground down it. They dull the blades and gum up the works. Coffee grounds go in compost, plants, or the garbage. Not the disposal.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry for being really dull but for some reason this is really bothering me trying to figure out: where are the hardwoods? i thought you were building the house from scratch? sorry, but if i don't ask it'll drive me crazy!

Decs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

wait - duh. i'm an idiot. i thought i was reading the house that a-m built! now i get it. congrats on the hardwoods! and the hot faux contractor! isn't it funny how handy becomes sexy when you're doing a home renovation? i have a garbage disposal but really don't notice it that much - except when i do use it i'm utterly afraid i'm going to somehow stick my hand in it while it's on.

Decs said...

Mamacita, I love your brand of abuse.

Look, it's just a disposal. Honestly, our kitchen is the nearly the size of a matchbox. I don't want people to think this is some grand remodel. Believe me. It is not. We're going from "this should be condemned" (seriously) to "Well, that's a nice coat of white paint and hey nice marble, even though you have about 10 sq ft of counter space."

Not kidding.

I'll work on getting a real photo of contractor Gary.

Anonymous said...

Why would refinishing existing hardwoor floors cost more than installing brand new floors? That makes no sense.

katek said...

Yeah, you'll understand the magic after about two days of having a disposal. My husband grew up without one and was like you "....but why?" about getting one; I grew up with them and was appalled when I moved to NYC and they were nowhere to be found. Life is just easier when the drain isn't getting clogged up by the stray cereal or rice that managed to slip through the little basket. And you don't have to fish soggy food out with your fingers, which always makes me gag.

My husband, by the way, randomly pipes up every so often now and says "You know, I didn't want this thing but it's AMAZING." Worth $250. Worth more than $250.

(Run some lemon peel through every so often to clean it.)

Decorno said...

You're right, it won't. In this case, he really meant time. I am omitting from my story that earlier in our conversation, he said the same thing about the disposal (because once he knew the dimensions of my undermount sink, he realized that getting the disposal to work would require some changes to the plumbing, and when I asked if - with my sink of choice - a disposal was even an option, he said, "Anything is possible, it will just cost you more." In time and money. It became a refrain.

So, no, refinishing won't cost me more money, by my penchant for re-deciding will cost me more time. One way or the other, I am sure I will pay dearly.

Decorina said...

Two things:

1. Most cities require a disposer in every new kitchen sink. Portland is probably one of them. The contractor has to know this - $250+ cost of disposer sounds very very high from my experience.

2. You can live without it if not required. The others here have noted the pros and cons pretty completely. If you have one the dishwasher will drain into it - handy to run it as the dishwasher water goes through.

Oh, and coffee grounds and eggshells are not good for the disposers health. They don't degrade and, with grease, cause clogs.

Anonymous said...

Hardwood floors sound nice. It becomes costly if you have to replace pieces that are damaged. Well worth the investment.

Decorno said...

Decornia - very good to know, thank you. (I didn't know about all this grease business...)

(One note, though... while my beloved Portland is my hometown, I now live in Seattle, WA.)

RobtW said...

But seriously. What is the magic?

As katek notes, it's the luxury of not having to retrieve (by hand? paper towel? tongs? chopsticks?) something that before dinner and before it fell into the sink was food, but having fallen and sat there until after dinner, has become soggy and swollen and revolting.

Unless you have a kitchen maid who likes fishing soggy bits out of drain holes, take the opportunity to have a disposal installed.

The Bean said...

People always say not to put eggshells or coffee grounds or lots of other things down the disposal, and I have found that none of this is true. If you spring for a good model, which isn't much more than a crappy model, you can put almost anything down there. My parents put chicken bones down theirs. Clamshells, bottle caps, and beef bones are, however, off limits.

ATM said...

My dad is a plumber and we remodeled the kitchen, he recommended against a disposal. Reason: after a while, they stink, and once a disposal gets stinky, it doesn't matter how many lemons you put down it. The only solution is to install a new one.

Plus, it's better for the plumbing and your local water treatment plant if you compost or just toss out the food waste.

Downside: I have to dump out the sink strainer when I'm done doing the dishes. Doesn't bother me, but sometimes visitors get confused.

(I did install an outlet under the sink and a wall switch for a disposal just in case I ever change my mind. Still haven't.)

Sacheverelle said...

You could refinish the floors yourself maybe, if you are handy-ish. You rent the sanders & apply stain & poly with a padded mop thingy. For a small room it's really not that big a deal just time consuming. I guess it depends on what your contractor is asking for the job.
Garbage disposals I just don't get maybe since I've never had one nor personally heard anyone mention having used one. I toss all my organic garbage stuff out into the woods where I guess it's eaten by animals or goes back to the earth from whence it came. I mean it's biodegradable right?

hunkate said...

On disposals: I've grown up with one and always appreciated it. I've lived abroad and missed it. And I definitely feel like I could go either way now. I would love to compost if I had a yard (and plan to when I do)! I can tell you that the one I have right now is almost useless though as it is in the tiny side of a sink like this:
http://www.inspiredsinks.co.uk/acatalog/cpx-160.jpg
and all the dirty dishes with food gunk end up in the big part anyway. I found a great OXO sink strainer that I loooove:
http://www.inewidea.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/image002com.jpg
It pops up and down and I try to empty it very often so I don't have to deal with tons of soggy grossness! It's way better than the metal strainers most sinks come with that only drain when tilted.

On hardwoods: I LOVE them in kitchens - it feels so homey and warm to me :)

David said...

I used the disposer all the time in our old house, because the trash sat in the garage until trash day and in the summer the smell could get pretty hellish fast.

Here in the condo we have a trash chute down the hall, so I don't use it much now. Only when I'm doing a lot of vegetables for soup or something, and the sink ends up full of peels.

Use it or not, it'll be there if you ever sell and someone might want it.

Oh, and mom always said not to run celery through it because it's stringy and will do something bad (I don't remember exactly what). I have no idea if thats true. Mom said not to, I'm 41 and I never have.

Suzanne said...

I regret not going with hardwood floors. I'd let my toddler "run" in the kitchen if I had hardwood. Tile is hard and grout is a bitch to clean. The hardwood floor should actually save you time because you're not installing anything new. It's there. And yeah, don't you just love that "anything is possible" phrase?

My kitchen gadget was going to be a hot water dispenser. Found out the total price (500$ plus installation) and decided against it. Now, I wonder what the heck ever made me think I needed that gizmo in the first place? Good luck with the reno. Take lots of progress pics for your binder - you'll appreciate it later.

Anonymous said...

Like the old guy from Louisiana said. "Houses eat money." Fact of life. You're opitimizing the whole thing. Onward! Kay (Blogger just won't let me sign in)

Penelope Bianchi said...

oh ps Of course you want a garbage disposal.

You don't live in Africa!

Yikes!

Penelope

kelie said...

oh my god, hardwoods? and they're already installed? you HAVE to keep them!! so jealous!!

JJ said...

I love mamacita!

Amy said...

Love my disposal. If I didn't have one it would be ME fishing everything out of the sink that my husband dumped in. I heard eggshells actually helped keep the blades sharp.

DO NOT put grease down the drain unless you want to date your plumber.

On a separate note, there is a great vintage lighting store up in LaConnor. I met the owner at one of the Sandpoint Antique Shows several years ago before she opened her shop. Mary Davis Lighting. She has a website....in case you haven't pinned your lighting down yet.

alis said...

Put a strainer in the sink for a much cheaper and eco-friendly option. I think dumping food in the sink, watching that disgusting mix go down the drain and make icky sounds as it gets mashed, and the occasional reaching down the disposal to pick something that gets stuck is no less revolting that just dumping the contents of a strainer.

A-M said...

Oh, I was about to say, "Hot Contractor". Any contractor who follows manuals and/or instructions is hot to me. I have yet to meet one. You must have wizz bang disposal units in the Northern Hemisphere as every house I have ever lived in, I have had them removed as they STINK.... BLAH... maybe our plumbing isn't as good down here in the colonies. I haven't got a disposal going in my new place, I'm a sink fisher....Congrats on the floors. A-M xx

joyandjanet said...

The magic of a disposal is that you can scrape all of the nastiness from your dinner plate directly into the sink - not into the garbage can where it festers, rots and smells.

It's magic we tell you - MAGIC!!
:)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE my disposal. Have never NOT had one. I have never had a problem with one, if that helps. We just renovated our kitchen and my number one request was hardwood floors. You are very lucky to have found these, the amount you will pay to have them refinished will be minimal compared to putting in something new.
Can't wait to see the finished product. Best of luck.

Habitually Chic said...

The joke about home improvement projects is that they take twice as long as proposed and twice as much money. But it's always worth it in the end. I live in NYC so I make due without a disposal but soft close drawers are fabulous! Until you get mad at someone and realize that you can't slam them. Soft close toilet seats are fab too.

Anonymous said...

Get one of the *expensive* Insinkerator models. They are so quiet. Do not go cheap on the disposal.

LB said...

Disposals can be very awesome, but they can stink. I'm always afraid a fork or spoon will fall into the drain and I turn on the disposal and out comes the utensil! It's happened to me before.

On the other hand, if you are composting (and there's no reason not to), you don't need the disposal. You don't want to put meat products, bones and egg shells in your compost and you don't want them in your disposal either.

And for the person with dogs, try out this trash can:
http://www.simplehuman.com/products/trash-cans/kitchen/rectangular-plastic-step.html
We bought a similar one because we were having an arms race with the dog. The key is that the body of the trashcan is whole and that there is an insert bucket that you put the trash bag on. Of course, the lock.

LB said...

Oh yeah. I kind of like thinking that your contractor is a hottie. So if Gary looks like any other regular guy contractor, can you just let me dream?

harlo said...

Please, please please keep the hardwood floors. But I can tell you from experience, try to keep the stilettos off when you are making something that requires lots of running about - either they'll mark tiny dots into the wood, or you'll slip if they're too polished.

HOWEVER - they are utterly fabulous. What is not fabulous, is a waste disposal unit. They make the most horrendous noise, and get blocked really easily. Plus, composting is fantastic for your plants, the planet, and is super easy. Like you mentioned, you've lived til now without one - why not spend the money on something much more exciting (that'll you'll definitly need by the end of this), like a bottle of Dom. Or maybe some hard liquour. I'm just saying....

katek said...

Anonymous is right, pay the extra $50 or whatever for the best Insinkerator. We haven't had a bit trouble with ours and it's WAY quieter than the old ones I grew up with.

To the composters who bemoan the environmental hazards: I'd love to compost! My parents are down to less than one trashcan of trash for pick-up every month, between compost and recycling. But if you live in a city apartment...

severedgrrl said...

I was hoping that the pic in your post about the contractor talking fishing was the real contractor, but I digress...

Just a thought (haven't tried it myself) on overbudgeting-because this is such a blatant and common practice, wondering if you can't work something w/ your contractor (as an addendum to the original contract) that you start getting a discount on labor when your exceed a certain percentage of the original bid...ie, when you reach a point where you are now over by 10%, the labor charges are discounted 10%; when you get over by 20%, labor charges are reduced by 20%. I don't know how this would fly but it makes the situation a bit more "win/win" than it is currently (contractor win/decorno, not so much). I'd approach this also with the inference that it would have been nice if he had possibly suggested these things before so that the scope of the original contract was more in line with what would actually happen.

Of course this is all just theory-but it might at least be worth a conversation...

Anonymous said...

i would put in the disposal if nothing else for resale purposes down the line. and $250 sounds like a steal. for a while we went through a phase with our remodel where everything cost $9,500. Everything.

and refinishing your hardwoods is something you and your husband could do your selves. you would just have to rent the machines to buff and then the materials to seal it.

Decorno said...

"contractor win/decorno, not so much"

Ha! When you put it that way....


And to the person suggesting that we could refinish the floors ourselves, that's true, but we would never get around to it. Part of the magic of this is that we're not doing anything but painting it. We're just not DIY-ers, sad to say.

Thanks everyone for all the comments. It's really helpful to get all this advice along the way - while there is still time to make decisions.

Anonymous said...

Garbage disposal: I've always lived in apartments and houses with them. They're not a big deal. Probably over-rated. They often break and cause trouble. I've had to replace one or two over the years. And now, I don't even bother to use it. I never really saw the advantage of scraping scraps into the trash, composting them or squishing them into a garbage disposal. To me, garbage disposals are like trash compactors. Remember those? Actually, if you garden, it is infinitely better to compost cooking scraps.

I have hardwood floor in my kitchen. My previous house had tile, and when we moved here, I loved the look of the wood, but was terrified I'd destroy the beautiful wood floor. I cook everyday and have 2 kids. Well, we've been in this house now for 3 years, and the kitchen floor still looks great. And I love it even more. Hardwoods are extremely durable. I guess there is a reason they last for centuries!

KathleenG said...

I want to put in a good word for composting. It's environmentally friendly and very easy to do. I have a pretty vase on my counter that I use for scraps-- and you can easily stick it in the freezer if you can't stand to see the scraps. I thought it would be a lot harder than it really is... As for the person with the dog you can get a dog proof trash can which I have from the Container store. BEST buy ever.

please sir said...

Darn - thought that was your contractor and said BONUS - he's good looking! As regards to the garbage disposal - I love mine. How did I live without it? In Raleigh they have banned them, so better get one while you can!

DoubleDog Mom said...

I work in construction, just thought I'd throw out a primer on how work gets priced, some people seem confused.

There are two parts to working up pricing for a project - manhours and materials. Generally, no one makes money on materials/parts.

When you're having work quoted (like for a kitchen), make sure you've either told them what model of ___ you want installed, or they tell you what's in their price.

Most of the money spent on a project pays for the time people spend working on your project. If they take longer to do your work than they think they will, they lose money. If they do it quicker, they'll make money.

If they get there and have done a weeks worth of work, and you change your mind about something and want it taken out and re-done, you just signed up to pay double for that area. Because now you've added the time to rip it out, and it will probably take longer to do it a second time, because they have to fix things from the demo.

This is why it could be cheaper to put a "new" floor in on top of the hardwoods; refinishing wood is time consuming.

The end of the longest post ever. There will not be a quiz.

Anonymous said...

I really didn't see the appeal of a garbage disposal until I moved into an apartment that had one - they are the best - I'm back without one again and miss it terribly.

Anonymous said...

although I subscribe and don't therefore usually get to leave a comment, I felt so absolutely enthusiastic about the disposal issue that here I am. But grinder-talk seems minor in comparison to the level of vitriol from mamacita. Yikes! Settle down and deal...no one's life is like anyone else's, you should know that by now. It makes you sound extremely unhappy.

Anonymous said...

Re: garbage disposal. We have one, but compost most. I like it, but it's not critical. However, from the perspective of a former landlord, if you get one, get a good one. The cheap ones are an endless source of heartburn.

Re wood floors: We had oak floors as the base under the asbestos lino. The floor guy wouldn't take up the asbestos,and so laid new oak over the lino over the old oak.
It looked great, until there were a few spills of grape juice (grown from compost, above), which have left remarkable grey stains on the golden oak. We haven't had time/money to have the floors re-done yet, so I don't know how deep the grape stains go. Oak floors are lovely, but not perfect.

bc

Amy said...

i also never had a garbage disposal growing up, or during my single years. my husband did and convinced me that we had to have one when we recently redid our kitchen. i have to say, i don't think it is as revolutionary as everyone makes it sound. But I guess the #1 thing to never put in there is potato peels.

Anonymous said...

Yes on the hardwoods. We had a very similar last-minute discovery of hardwoods in our kitchen (under literally 6 layers of old-school linoleum). We decided to re-finish. There was more labor involved to fill in all those holes left by the linoleum tacks. The filler was some-what matched to the wood color. You can definitely see the little holes everywhere, but I don't even care. Even after re-finishing the entire house and happy with how "great" it looked. Great is a relative term, you know. We're not concerned with scratches and wear that happens over time, it's already worn in.

We have a disposal, but don't trust the pipes to carry the food. We still throw everything away and just use the disposal for the small bits that stay in the sink. I think it's a convenience having one, but I sweep the sink of veggie peels and foodstuff anyway, so what's the point. Plus bad for the water system...

mamacita said...

@Anonymous 7:20: Are you new here?

lovesbubbly said...

Anon 7:20, seriously. The way I read mamacita's comment was something like...decorno has a hottie contractor, has found hardwoods, is now getting a disposal, found a bag of cash buried in the wall, a diamond mine under the house, and the fumes from the remodel mysteriously made her boobs increase two sizes. You bitch. I hate you, how wonderful for you.

Great Dame said...

Nothing to add to the discussion, other than with Mamacita and Lovesbubbly on board, you have the best commenters EVER!

lucitebox said...

I grew up with a disposal, but I haven't had one since I was a kid. I have an intense fear of putting the wrong thing down there like my hand, for example. Then, suddenly, there is a Freddy Kruegerish character standing at the switch ready to maim me. And when you
there, it is a very scary situation. There is a high potential that the fork will fly out of the sink and poke your eye out. Disposals are dangerous. Of this I am sure.

Our disposal broke frequently. It seems that it's a pain in the ass to fix because we had to call a plumber to do it. I also remember that it had a slightly funky odor.

I'm hoping to start a composting revolution at my apartment building and it's sorta working, so I vote "no" on the disposal.

As for the wood floors--forget about the tile! Get your floors done. You'll love the warmth and richness that your wood floors give your kitchen.

Jenny said...

As the other Raleigh-ite said, disposals were banned in Raleigh... but only for a month. Due to the drought here, they were doing all they could to conserve water. It didn't go over too well, so City Council repealed the ban in April, but does have a ban on what can go down the drain. Hmm...

We compost. Easy, doesn't smell, and is great soil! Disposals use TONS of water, so it isn't a very environmentally friendly way to get rid of garbage. And the whole grease thing...

oh, and while I'm at it, can i just tell you that even my husband loves your blog? seriously, he has spent hours reading through old posts and laughing out loud. thanks for being the entertainment committee.

Little Lantern said...

This is crazy. Of course you need a disposal. Just don't go hog wild and put everything down it like my father-in-law who will remove things from the garbage and put them into disposal. We are talking chicken bones. Not a good idea.

Keep the old hardwood if they look promising. We just got a quote in SF for $11 per sq ft to install new hardwood floors. This included everything (even the wood). My understanding from the guy was that the sanding and staining was about 1/2 the quote, so I think you're looking at about $5/sq ft and maybe it's a little cheaper in Seattle?

Jill said...

My garbage disposal "turn on button" (I just woke up and my brain isn't working), is right at eye level of my hip bone. I can lean over the sink, accidently hit it with my hip, and it comes on, which totally freaks me out. I'm always afraid my hand is going to be digging around in there. I must have it moved...Hardwood floors! Keep them, babe!

Renate said...

wow, a hardwood floor for free! okay, well, almost. i bet having it finished won't be as expensive as having the floor you had picked out layed. Go for it!

Anonymous said...

My two cents--I say nay to disposals!! In my experience they break down, and then you gotta pay somebody to fix it unless you are a DIYer, that's just more time and money down the line. There is really no big deal on scraping your plate ("oh my goodness you mean I have to walk over to the garbage can and scrape my plate and walk all the way back over to the sink and rinse it before I put it in my dishwasher.." I say save the 300+ and buy something cool that you want!! Hardwoods sound great, keep em!

Krysta said...

One of my first thoughts while reading this post was "how much more does it cost for you to work without your shirt on?"

I was sad to learn that was not your contractor Gary.

Alex said...

I vote no on the disposal -the noise, the stink and it breaks and costs even more. It is totally over rated (yes, I've lived without and with).

Funny story -my MIL had platters of leftover cold cuts so rather than wait for trash day she threw it down the disposal. She spent $500 on the plumber who was able to bring back the top of the line Insinkerator. Was it worth it? Prob. not because now she's so afraid of putting ANYTHING down it.

As for the floors --yes have them done! Take a look at mine:

http://2ciaos.blogspot.com/2008/09/starting-from-ground-up-craftsman-style.html

I wasn't able to have it in the kitchen because it was only crappy plywood but the dark color I had done throughout the house looks AWESOME.

Anonymous said...

disposal charge seems like total bullshit. i live in a 1920s building. my landlord recently, out of the kindness of his heart, decided to install a disposal in my apartment. nothing special was required. the guy who installed it just hooked it up to the same pipe that was there already. (and i've never had any problems with it either). btw, the new disposals allow you to put anything down the drain. anything, body parts even. and they're quite quiet.

Charles said...

A big yes on the hardwoods is a no brainer:
* ecologically the best way to go by far
* great flooring for the kitchen
* you can do so many different treatments that
options of what look you want are near limitless -
refinishing and sealing, painting, lime wash and seal.
We work on eco restoration of old homes in Portland and even restoring and feathering old reclaimed wood if you need to patch is not a big deal and it always looks great. Nice find.

ita darling. said...

two things: (or more)

please dont restain your hardwoods.
sand and wax or pickle. but i think most restains of old wood look eehhhhh. (refer back to earlier inspiration pics of yours of rustic HW floors)

the other night i lost my brain when i was cooking dinner for 12:
I mindless shoved sweet potato peels and garlic skins down the disposal of my 1940s bungalow.

two hours of hell later the clog finally cleared (guests brought wine AND draino) and i finally served dinner at 11pm. TWO guests ended up napping. Dinner tasted divine.

Note to self: potato peels and garlic skins clog drains.

Corbett said...

I use my disposal ALL THE TIME. It's great b/c it cuts down on the waste in your garbage can that would otherwise start to rot and smell. I'm not saying it's more environmentally responsible, but I take out the trash less and the can doesn't feel so gross. To save some money, maybe you can just lightly sand your floors and paint them. I know, sacrilegious. But, I love a painted hardwood floor and it doesn't have to be permanent. Google it.

snobertson said...

My current rental did not have a disposal and I negotiated to have one installed. The landlord took his sweetass time installing it (for which I docked rent, I'm tough like that) and when it was finally in, the decrease in garbage and the amount that I had to take that shit to the curb drastically went down. Seattle garbage is expensive so reducing to the smaller, less expensive can makes me happy every single month.

abchao said...

I am ALSO redoing my counters next week (white kitchen, marble, we're soulmates!) and trying to decide yes or no on the disposal. Now I am afraid it will be broken and smelly all the time unless I grind up lemons in it all day long.

Oh, and I am re-painting my floors because they are already painted. If you decide to do the same to your newly discovered hardwoods, don't tell anyone what color you're painting them because they will act like you've just personally eaten their baby. (White, and I know.)

Before pic here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abchao/2740773564/

Lizzie said...

My thoughts on the hardwood floors - do it now while you can. There can't be that many busy contractors in Seattle right now, so I'm sure he has the time and won't rush through the refinishing and do a crap job. My old house (1940s built) had linoleum on top of hardwood. It was very difficult to refinish and took weeks and the house was a nasty dusty mess. Our contractor however was very busy doing work at multiple neighbors houses too, that could have been the hold up. Either way, hardwood is always in and will always be a big selling point of a house.
Garbage Disposal: It's nice, but now with free composting in Seattle picked up by city, you're better off just putting your food in the compost that will be picked up on a weekly basis, or creating a compost pile in your newly landscaped backyard! It's all about reduce, reuse, and recycle!

Rachel said...

LOL!! I love the post about dogs diabolically planning to get into the smelly trash! Ours do the same thing. But admittedly, it's not as smelly b/c we have a disposal. It's a nice thing to have, and since you're redoing your kitchen, you need one. Yes, it's convenient, but more than anything, when you go to sell if you don't have one the buyers will think you're weird.

I'm glad you're all organized! Hooray for you!! That's awesome.

Oh, and if you haven't made up your mind yet - refinish and go for the hardwoods!!! Original hardwood floors are ALWAYS a plus!

Rachel said...

Okay, just finished reading the rest of the comments.
First of all, my parents disposal has only broken once, and my dad was able to replace it. He said he bought one at Home Depot for about $75. He said it wasn't the top of the line, but it wasn't a cheapie either. I've never had one break, or stink. To clean, just use ice cubes and lemon or lime peel. Or hot water and dish soap.
And yes, you have to be kind of careful what you put in it - no metal or bones or shells. And you can still compost if you want to. But it's nice to have for those small "bits". Yuck.

Who knew that there would be so much discussion on a garbage disposal??? I can't believe there are so many people who don't like them! I wouldn't give mine up!

Susan said...

You DEFINITELY should have a disposal AND hardwoods. It is expensive to install new hardwood floors---refinishing them is far less costly---do it!

A disposal really cuts down on icky kitchen refuse. Of course, if you want to be totally green--put it all in a composter. I would still have one. I've had one all my life (and I'm 56) and wouldn't think of not having a disposal.

Barbara said...

I'm wondering why so bitter, Mamacita? Everyone's life is different, responsibilities, resources---you know that. No need to be so nasty.

Anonymous said...

the aging of the hardwood is going to match the aging of the marble - that is it will get more cozy, homey and personalized the more you use them.

a vote for hardwood

Suzanne said...

Barbara: Mamacita not nasty. Mamacita funny. As hell.

Suzanne said...

Whoops. Shouldn't have used "funny as hell" in my comment to Barbara. Might be taken literally. Should have written: Mamacita is genuinely very funny. That is all.

melissa said...

I will spare you the "The Rat and the Disposal" story
and also the "Engagement Ring and the Disposal"
story.....
One is dobloody and the other is just bloody awful.
I think that you can use your fertile imaginations here
Horror stories both.

Decorno said...

It might help settle people down to know that Mamacita and I actually like each other and are just in the business of giving each other shit.

scone said...

Re: disposal, if you have one, you'll probably love it, if not, you probably won't miss it. That goes for most household luxuries. But $250 is a little high. Is that labor and materials? Anyway, putting one in yourself in no biggie.

Re: hardwood floors. You will have to keep the sink area bone dry, with no drips around the dishwasher, or those suckers will be buckling in a couple of years. Even of you put down several coats of finish, it gets underneath and buckles the wood. Voice of experience.

Charles said...

we have been redoing hardwood floors for almost ten years and never a buckle, and we are known to periodically have water fights around the kitchen sink, loser does the dishes

Anonymous said...

Decorina posted that many cities she knows of actually require a disposal? Hmmmm. I'm in So. Cal and don't know of ANY city that actually REQUIRES it. It must be a regional thing. ???

I don't use my disposal for much. I never stick big chunks down just little crumbs and such when cleaning up. But love having one.

Congrats on the floor find. Nice!

ShopDownLite.com said...

I'm always afraid to use mine for anything larger then a speck (Like egg shells would somehow ruin the disposal). I'm really neurotic about cleaning out the junk by hand. However I have a nasty habit of turning it on when my childs binky is stuck in there (thank goodness silicone is so long lasting).
Stef
ShopDownLite.com

Susan said...

We have had hardwood floors in our kitchen for more than 15 years---no problems at all. Don't let anyone scare you here. Look at magazines---almost all the kitchens have hardwoods. They are timeless--and fit your house. Do it!

Disposals are normal. Normal people have them. Eggshells should ALWAYS be thrown in the trash. Any plumber will tell you that.

I can understand $250 for plumbing costs for a disposal. ANY plumbing changes cost at least that much.

I can't wait to see your finished kitchen.

Others are right. Remodeling always costs more than you think it will. Things come up---always.

Susan said...

We have had hardwood floors in our kitchen for more than 15 years---no problems at all. Don't let anyone scare you here. Look at magazines---almost all the kitchens have hardwoods. They are timeless--and fit your house. Do it!

Disposals are normal. Normal people have them. Eggshells should ALWAYS be thrown in the trash. Any plumber will tell you that.

I can understand $250 for plumbing costs for a disposal. ANY plumbing changes cost at least that much.

I can't wait to see your finished kitchen.

Others are right. Remodeling always costs more than you think it will. Things come up---always.

Tara.Fields said...

I bought a wee house w/o a disposer, but luckily I had inherited a brand new one when my dad died a few months prior (no precious metals, but some good power tools, too). It's been right there under my sink these 3 years... in the box in came in. Wish it was in, but it's not killin me.

I tried to read all 85 comments and I know I at least looked at all the words, so maybe I'm repeating someone else. I think it's a really valid point to consider how much nicer it will be to stand for an hour on hardwood than on tile, especially in cute shoes. After 30 minutes you can really feel how much easier on your feet and knees the relative softness for the wood is compared to tile.

scone said...

Um, whatever. Like I said, IF you keep it dry, it may be o.k., and I bet you're cleaning the place up pretty thoroughly after the waterfight. Of course, if the wood is old growth, it will last longer, but nothing will survive a grinding paste of water and kitchen dirt.

I have renovated many homes with destroyed subflooring around the sink. Ask a plumber on this, not a homeowner. In any case, the pics in the magazines are usually just after installation, not several years down the road, where the damage shows up.

There is a reason why most older kitchen and bath floors were covered in linoleum or tile.

eeps. said...

i've lived in places with and without disposals and i prefer without. i was constantly afraid of getting something stuck in the disposal, plus it sucks when something does get stuck. and it smells if you don't maintain it. i haven't noticed disposals in houses/apts outside the US; i wonder if this is a part of our american laziness that we can't even clean up our own garbage.

Anonymous said...

Wow, have you gotten a lot of posts on this. I didn't read them all, but have to say that I agree with the people warning against a garbage disposal. It's not true that most cities require them! In fact, some cities are beginning to ban them because there is nothing good about them, except convenience for the homeowner. Nothing is supposed to go down them -- nothing! Not egg shells, not vegetable peels, not grease, etc.

My father used to warn us against using our disposal because of the old, narrow pipes. Turns out, it doesn't matter how old or new your plumbing is, ultimately, as Anonymous from Raleigh said:

"Grease accumulates in sewers because of all the food going down the drain, and that leads to sewage leakage, which leads to millions of dollars being spent on treating, the sewers with chemicals to flush them out. Not exactly great for the environment."

I don't use mine since being enlightened about the problem with them. And I won't ever have one again.

Iheartfashion said...

Garbage disposal=emptying the garbage less often

And hardwoods in the kitchen are NICE! Not as hard or cold as ceramic tile or stone, they hide stains and absorbs spills easily.

Anonymous said...

Me likey garbage disposals, hardwood floors (refinished), decorno & Mamacita. That will be all.

hello gorgeous said...

I think I've just been admonished not to comment from the last commenter, but...

I've always had garbage disposals and they have never smelled. Ever.

(knocking wood now)

And ask your contractor if you can have the floors screened, rather than completely sanded, and refinished - it's cheaper and depending if they just need a little freshening up, will look just as good.

Mamacita cracks me up.

Anonymous said...

I used to be free and easy with putting everything down the disposal till I clogged it up with potato peels and had to call in the plumber. My years of dumping caught up with me, apparently he had drill through time-hardened crude with an auger-like device to open up my drain. I wasn't there to see it, unfortunately, but heard all about it when I got home. I am a bit more careful now.

drollgirl said...

must have: garbage disposal AND hard wood floors. no way around it.

drollgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I did hardwood in our last kitchen..it was a big budget kitchen. It is HARD to clean in a kitchen. It wears great in the rest of the house but the food just HAS to be washed and it wears off the finish. I regretted it right away...and dog claws don't help. New house now (actually new OLD house) and this time I'm doing inset cabs but and not doing wood.

Cynthia said...

I live in Seattle (not native) as well, and freak out at how many people are unfamiliar with the glory of a disposal.

I compost all I can, yet it is nice to know that those little bits of things can go down the disposal.

Whenever you cut up a lemon, throw the remains in the disposal to freshen it.

We just remodeled our kitchen this fall and a friend raved about an "air switch" for the disposal. DO IT!! It's a button flat on the counter next to the sink. Convenient, nicer than another switch on the wall. If you need no outlet near the sink, it prevents having to put one in.

I also did my outlets in horizontal strips (by Plugmold) under the upper cabinets. Highly recommend - less visible and more flexible than a 2 or 4 plex standard outlet.