January 17, 2004
Day 32: Final Payment

Rylan and Aldo were arriving just as I was leaving this morning, and Jack was here (but Rylan and Aldo were not) when I returned around 3:00. He was just leaving me a note when I pulled in; the gist was that the kitchen is DONE! Well, not *done* done—Al and I still have to paint the ceiling and the backsplash (we're still deciding whether to have a tile backsplash or not)—but Jack's part is complete.

The entire job was done completely on budget (in fact, I think it was a few dollars less than the estimate); the only extra kitchen-related expense was the wastewater pipe relocation, and we paid Dennis for that directly. We obviously paid extra for the garage, roof, staircase, and upstairs vent work, but that was stuff we would have needed to hire someone to do anyway—having Jack do it was just ultra convenient. We're both really happy with the quality of all the work and the attention to detail. Heck, we're really happy with the attention, period—we'd heard stories from friends, relatives, and strangers about contractors who would disappear for days or weeks at a time without explanation.

Despite their (sometimes hilarious) bickering, Jack and Rylan were extremely nice and fun to be around, and they seemed to attract top quality subcontractors (Dennis Wasserman, the plumber, comes to mind, as do the tile guys, whose names I never got). Jack was very organized and (I learned one day when I found one of his lists) always had a plan for what would be done each day.

It occurs to me that I've never once posted the link to Jack's design/build company, Once and Done, Ltd.; now is probably a good time, since we've had a very positive experience and would recommend him to others in the Philadelphia area. The photos below show the kitchen as it looked after Jack left today (note that the protective film is finally off the fridge). I'll post more photos when we get the ceiling and backsplash painted, but the day count ends here. The final payment has been made, the keys have been turned in, the shop vac will be picked up tomorrow, and it's just us in the house again. We can't wait to get cooking.

the full kitchen, shot from a spot next to the pantry looking into the kitchen from the stairs the cupboards and countertop on the dining room wall the fridge and sink, as seen from the dining room the microwave, cooktop, and oven, as seen from the dining room

Posted by Lori at January 17, 2004 01:10 AM


Discovery channel should make an American Kitchen show about those two. Since bickering seems to mean big ratings. Lori, you can executive produce.

Posted by: Clark at January 20, 2004 9:56 AM

Funny you should mention that -- I was often reminded of Discovery's American Chopper when I heard them arguing. :D

Posted by: Lori at January 20, 2004 10:14 AM