The day is finally coming, after all the time, the planning, the labor, and let's not forget, the angst, (just a little bit somewhere). So, what's going to happen? How will it all unfold, and is there anything you need to know? In a word, YES. Here are some tips to make the day go smoothly, and be as exciting as it should be:
- Start two weeks ahead and review your contract. If extra items were ordered, or any items cancelled, settle up with your designer sooner than later.
- Note the method of payment on your contract! Is your payment designated to be via bank check? If so, have your funds in order in advance to avoid any unforeseen difficulties.
- Still 2 weeks in advance, get the day and time of day of your delivery so you can plan accordingly. Be home, or your delivery may not be able to take place if there is no access into the house previously arranged, and as a result, you may be responsible for a redelivery charge. Often, your kitchen is one of several being delivered that day, therefore, it is critical that the cabinets be delivered, or the other kitchens may not be able to be delivered to their destinations, and even if they can be, your cabinets will be moved around in the truck. This is not a day to be forgetful. For me, the designer, it is a high stress day, always, to have it all orchestrated properly, as you will continue to see below!
- Tell your designer to keep you in the loop as to any changes in delivery time in advance, or even that day, to be aware if the schedule is still accurate.
- Consider the path into your home. If floors are newly finished, make arrangements to have building paper put down in advance. This step is most likely not in your contract, and can be as simple as putting down drop cloths. My recommendation is to address it in advance with your designer. There may or may not be a charge attached, if you want all of your floors covered with building paper. Consider where you will store the cabinetry. If you realize that you have nowhere to store them, due to project delays, call a storage facility or see if you can delay delivery (sometimes you can, but probably not likely). You want the cabinetry handled as little as possible, therefore, try to make it just one stop.
- Is your address confusing? Are there two streets with the same name in your township? Advise your designer, who may not know this, or you will be waiting unnecessarily.
- If it is winter and you are in a cold climate, or hot and humid, do not store your cabinetry in your garage! Your cabinetry should be in a climate controlled environment. Think of it as furniture.
- Do you live on a driveway that is up or down a large hill? Make sure that it is completely clear and accessible, and all pathways clear of snow, ice, and debris, or the delivery may not be able to take place.
- You are permitted to be controlling(!) and if you think of it, ask your designer to stack your cabinetry efficiently (in two layers vertically) and carefully. It does not hurt to occasionally keep an eye on how the cabinets are being brought into your home and ask questions/make suggestions where you see the need to. I always tell those who move the cabinetry into a home to understand that it should be treated as if it is glass. I hover and watch and remind and direct in a nice and professional manner. I will ask that items be rearranged. That's ok to do.
- Plan to be home if possible during your delivery. Find out if your designer or his/her representative will be present at delivery and will supervise. ideally, you want someone to stand at the back of the truck to determine if any cabinets are transported off the truck in a damaged state, (a rarity). This is critical. Any damage should be noted on the delivery receipt, which your designer will keep a copy of.
- Do not worry if anything is damaged or missing. Your contract should protect you in terms of missing items and manufacturer's defects. It rarely happens. Sometimes the factory will not advise the design firm that they are "shipping short". Your contract is your promise that all materials will be delivered in good condition. Check that on the front end, not the day of delivery.
- Do you have to tip those who move the cabinetry? No. If you want to, that is up to you. It is not expected.
I would guess that NONE of my clients follow the advice above in regard to the day of delivery and are often not present, and everything ends up fine. However, a word to the wise...
I'll bet you did not think there were so many issues involved during the day of delivery!
HEY! That's one of my kitchens on the side of the truck! And, it's for real! :-) Too bad it never comes to my part of the country.