Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Prevarication, procrastination and still in the same house at the beginning of another winter

Looking back over the records, the original moving-in date on the architect's schedule was October. That's October, 2010, so we are now a year late. When we finally got a contract with the builder, the finishing date was the end of June. This became September. September became October, and we're now looking at a November completion. The only positive side I can think of is that we can send a change of address notice on our New Year cards, rather than sending out a separate one. 

The reasons for the delays are complex, and I don't want to apportion blame on anyone, but I can't help feeling that if I said I was going to have a lesson from 9am to 10:30 and it didn't start until 4pm, there may be some complaints.

As awkward and indecisive customers, I'm sure we must hold some of the blame. 

For example, we spent about half an hour of the electrician and site foreman's time discussing the position of one socket in the kitchen.
We have a counter running along the back of the kitchen, the far wall in this picture.  The counter is going to be granite, which should be really nice. The sink and cooker are opposite, facing into the room. The cooker is under the duct, that is going to have an extractor fan on it. 

The fridge is going to be in the far corner, where the cardboard box is. Next to the fridge is something our architect calls a "tall cabinet", which is actually a  tall drawer with several shelves that can be accessed from each side. Then there is the granite counter. I think it's granite. Some kind of stone, anyway.

There's a window in front of the counter, and cupboards with things called "down walls", which are racks that fit in high cupboards that swing down to a level that people less then 217 cm tall can get things in and out of. 

To the right, there was going to be a microwave, up on a shelf, with space under the shelf for things like rice cookers and toasters. 

Since then, we have moved the oven to where the microwave was going to be. The original plan was to have the oven underneath the cooking tops, but this was foiled when we decided on Toshiba cooking tops. Toshiba have nice simple designs for cooking tops, but they don't make ovens to go underneath them any more. Because fitted ovens use the ventilation in the cooking tops above them, and part of Toshiba's simplicity is not having a wide ventilation grill at the back, this meant it was impossible to put an oven underneath the cooking tops. 

So the oven moved where the microwave was going to be, and there is another drawer under the cooking tops, which will be useful for putting pans in. The oven also works as a microwave, but it is deeper and higher, and the space underneath has become less useful, especially when it comes to placing a rice cooker, which gives out steam from the top, and which needs its lid to be able to open when the rice is ready. 

That's the situation, and I haven't even started talking about the sockets yet. 

In the plans there is one socket to the left of the window, which includes a switch for the lights above the counter, and there is another socket to the right, underneath the oven, as you can see in the picture above. This would have been a great place for the socket with a microwave on a shelf above, but now the oven has put the wall 60 cm back from the front of the shelf, and the gap is less than 30 cm high. If things are going to be plugged in there, and left plugged in, it's not such a bad place for a socket.

If the socket moved to the left, out from under the oven, and next to the window, it would be a lot easier to plug things in. It may look a bit busy though with all those sockets.

If we're going to put the rice cooker there, we may be able to keep it under the oven when we're not using it, then slide it out when we are using it, so it could be plugged in permanently. 

But that may not be the best place for the rice cooker. It should probably go to the left of the window. 

But that's OK if the person doing the cooking is also going to serve the rice, but if somebody comes from outside the kitchen, it's going to be much easier to get to the rice cooker if it's to the right of the window.

So, where are we actually going to put the rice cooker?

Are we trying to build the kitchen around the rice cooker, or are we going to try to build the kitchen first, then decide where to put the rice cooker when it's finished?

As far as this one socket is concerned, either the rice cooker is going to be to the right of the window, or it's not. If it is to the right, do we want the socket exposed, next to the window, or hidden under the oven? If the rice cooker is not going to be there, where do we want the socket?

Actually, if there is one socket to the right of the window, and one to the left, it will look quite well balanced, and look good.

So let's do that then!