Old House Journal - - Stuff I Screwed Up -

This was not a dis­as­ter as ren­o­va­tion mis­takes go. But our long-time reader was hor­ri­fied at his “novice mis­take” all the same. So was the cab­i­net­maker, who gra­ciously ac­cepted re­spon­si­bil­ity and made a new side piece—a sat­is­fac­tory fix. The re­made sec­tion has a false back and a sin­gle nar­row cabi­net door, which opens to re­veal shal­low shelves. The re­dun­dant (orig­i­nal) side piece was re­pur­posed as a built-in set of draw­ers for the bath­room up­stairs.

How did this hap­pen? The usual ways: (1) Over con­fi­dence: The ren­o­va­tor trusted the cab­i­net­maker, who as­sumed the ren­o­va­tor knew what he was do­ing. Hah! (2) Get­ting lost in the reeds: Clear­ances were over­looked in the ex­cite­ment of re­search­ing and then spec­i­fy­ing pe­riod de­tails like wood species, ogee edges for the mar­ble, and East­lake-style cast brass hard­ware. (3) Not hav­ing a full set of de­tailed plans: The size of the new pow­der room was known, but a floor plan show­ing place­ment of fix­tures was not done be­fore the cabi­net was or­dered. Novice mis­take, in­deed!

No big deal. Had this been a run of kitchen cab­i­nets, though, or the place­ment of a stair­case, it could well have cost a lot of time and money to fix. Al­ways a good idea to have a full set of plans from the out­set!

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