The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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Kitchen Cabinet Delivery Day Is Coming!

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.

susan serra truck.jpg

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Reader Comments (7)

How cool is that to see one of the kitchen's you designed driving down the road? Very cool accomplishment!

April 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Let me tell you, that was one of my most exciting accomplishments to date!

April 4, 2007 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

very exciting! Congratulations!

BOY! Does this bring back some memories!
Back when I used to sell cabinets I went on all deliveries; and do I have some stories.
Like the time we were unloading an oven cabinet from a Crystal semi truck:
The tailgate is up about 4' from the ground and the truck was sitting on an upslope.
The driver was pushing the oven box toward the back and it got away from him and tipped right out the tailgate.
My associate (a man) and the contractor caught it ON THEIR HEADS!!! NO WAY was I getting in there!
No damage to the oven cabinet; but a couple of head and neck aches for the next few days.

Another time I had a Wood-Mode semi truck on a cul-de-sac. I had the driver back-in, and he insisted he could drive out HIS way.
Needless to say he got stuck and we had to cut down a little tree in the middle of the cul-de-sac to allow the truck to pass over the center planting area.
Wood-Mode paid for the tree.
Those trucks are 60' long and very tall too! They don't turn on a dime. Don't forget to watch out for low hanging wires and tree limbs. They can be a real problem.

April 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Deras, CKD, CID

See, our clients do not realize the lengths we go to to protect their cabinets, lol! And, you bring up a good point..it makes me crazy when cabinet companies assign huge semi trucks to deliver to residential areas. Usually, they have to deliver it to a warehouse who then redelivers it (IF they insist on using a semi), but sometimes they just send the semi to the home! Not too long ago, the semi could only get as close as several streets away, and I had to participate in bring the cabinets from the truck to the home through several vehicles. Luckily, it was a media furniture piece, so not many pieces. And, of course, this same delivery was given to a different driver last minute, who delayed the delivery day by 4 days and then delivered at 7 pm at night. Ugh. ;-)

April 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersusan

Amen to this one! My boss thinks I'm nut's for supervising the delivery. Maybe I am. But, I just know that the driver's are more careful when they know I'm watching the unloading of cabinets off the truck. The drivers know me by now. Once, I saw the delivery man, who wasn't paying any attention to the "fragile glass" stickers, drop the wall cabinets too forcefully, I joked with him, "hey, hug it like your girlfriend". His response, she just broke up with me. You never know what kind of day your delivery man is having, better to have someone there to supervise.

April 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

Thank you, thank you! Ours are to be delivered in just over two weeks - I plan on being home for sure! Very helpful!

April 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjen

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