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Need advice - kitchen reno & baby

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October 22nd, 2012, 08:21 AM
Becky_78's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 2,002
Back in June, when we found our 2-bedroom apt, we signed a lease with a rider stipulating that the kitchen would have new cabinets, counter tops, sink, oven, and microwave. Although all of these things are currently "functional" - each has it's own issues (the microwave works 75% of the time, the sink leaks, the cabinets are from 1985). In reality, we felt the rent was too high for a non-updated kitchen.

A month after we signed the lease/rider, the owner contacted the broker and said the kitchen renovation would not be completed by our move-in date in Aug. Something about the contractor going over budget and rush order, etc. We said we understood and that as long as the work was completed by the end of Oct - all will be fine.

Of course, now it's Oct, and she wrote an email saying the contractor ordered the "wrong" cabinets and the work won't be done until Jan After going back and forth, she is giving us a discount on the rent for a few months - but the entire situation is obviously suboptimal given the baby situation.

Originally I thought we should just delay the construction until next summer - when the baby is 6 months old and I can go outside during the day. But now I'm feeling maybe I should just suck it up and let her do it in Jan. Here's my pro/con list for Jan vs June installation:

- We already are paying for the cabinets to be here and although she will discount the rent for two months, if we delay the construction she will not discount the rent for the rest of the time
- She will not replace the appliances until the cabinets are installed, and I'm not sure if the microwave or sink will wait 6 more months
- It's already been pushed back so many times, I'm afraid if we wait until June it will never happen
- When the baby is a month old, I plan to be still exclusively breast feeding. My need for the kitchen with regards to the baby will be less in Jan than in June, when I would have to make cereal, bottles, etc
- Although the construction will most likely be loud, I could go into the back bedroom and close the door. It will be no louder than construction going on in an adjacent apartment, which I would have no control over.

- In Jan, the baby will be a month old. I'll be tired. The baby will be tired.
- I don't relish the idea of a bunch of unknown people, coming in and out of the apt, when the baby is a month old without a functioning immune system, in the middle of flu and cold season. Although I will still be breast feeding - so maybe his immune system will actually be stronger in Jan than in June?
- In June, I could hang out outside at the park or something. In Jan, it may be too cold.

Regardless of when I choose, the noise and dust is going to stink. I'm so irritated by the entire situation because it is all suboptimal. But we are trying to be agreeable since it cost so much to move (broker fee, moving, etc) - that we would like to stay here 2-4 years. Sigh.

What would you do??

photo(5) by rebwend, on Flickr

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October 22nd, 2012, 08:35 AM
No longer one and done
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 947
How big is your kitchen? If its just new cabinets and appliances (and there isn't much in the way of changing plumbing or walls, etc) then that really should only take a few days.

Having lived through a major gut of my whole house as well as a more simple kitchen gut in my prior house, I would say that if you have an extended renovation, I would want to wait. But if its just cosmetic, I'd suggest moving to your parents house for a few days and let them have at it.

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October 22nd, 2012, 08:44 AM
gardenbelle's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: California
Posts: 3,553
Yikes! What a bummer. If it were me, I might do it in January, but tell her that because of the hardship this will cause you, that you would like to have a short timeline and substantial rent discounts if the project runs over the agreed upon timeline. Get it in writing!

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October 22nd, 2012, 09:13 AM
dickersons09's Avatar Expecting #2
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee
Posts: 1,086
I'd do it in January. Tyler will be easier then...he could be rolling all over in June!
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October 22nd, 2012, 09:30 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southwest USA
Posts: 1,907
I think I would do it in Jan. Baby won't be moving around so much, and won't be trying to grab everything in sight.
Yes, you will be more tired, but I think it would be worth it to get it done and out of the way.

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October 22nd, 2012, 09:52 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,688
I think I'd do January too, but with the stipulations that Mary talked about. At that point Tyler will be sleeping a lot and it will be easy to keep him in the other room where he shouldn't have to be exposed to the workers much, if at all. Would there be any fumes involved?? And do you have a place or two, even if it's just a mall or friend's house that you could escape to if you really have to?

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October 22nd, 2012, 04:07 PM
Becky_78's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 2,002
There is a common room upstairs that is mostly empty with a couch and a TV that I could sit at during the day...and I did make a friend in the building so potentially I could hang out there part time. And it's not a huge kitchen - so I can't imagine it would take long (only two countertops and about 6 upper and lower cabinets). I will defo get it in writing though! Good call!!!

Thanks for making me feel better about it too. I had gotten myself all worked up that he'd only be a month old and I was already making terrible decisions and was an awful parent. Joey really needs to come home soon!!!!

photo(5) by rebwend, on Flickr

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October 23rd, 2012, 12:28 PM
MarlowesMum's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,406
Originally Posted by Becky_78 View Post
I had gotten myself all worked up that he'd only be a month old and I was already making terrible decisions and was an awful parent.
Oh yes...I have no doubt that your decision to subject your month old child to the havoc of apartment construction will reap irrevocable damage upon his psyche. Better start meeting with the psychiatrist now so that the in utero subliminal therapy may have a chance to sink in.

Joking aside, I agree with the other ladies - it will be easier to do this with a one month old than a 6 month old - even with the cooler weather. Plus, babies only know what they know...if you make noise around the baby, he'll be good with it. I know of what I speak, having built our own home (and still being in the process of that when DD was new) - we regularly had construction sounds around our little one. She never even noticed - particularly at that age, I don't think you have to worry about that at all.

I wouldn't worry about cold/flu season. Those construction workers will NOT be handling your child, and you can lysol the crap out of your apartment as soon as they leave.
Maggie - Proud Mommy to 2 Girls
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