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TWEAKS+inspiration : Appliance Procrastination

Maybe my biggest procrastination yet took place recently. I've been doing the "washing-up" for over a year as my dishwasher was broken. This is a bit of a shaggy dog story but here it goes.

When my beloved Bosch dishwasher stopped working in February, 2023, I called Tom, my construction company owner brother, who wisely told me that since all my appliances were 20+ years old, most parts were no longer available and it was time to start anew. Wow! Here was my chance for matching appliances.

In February, 2023, I gathered my measurements for dishwasher, refrigerator and oven/convection/microwave openings and headed to Bay Area's Friedman Appliances in Pleasant Hill, CA. I was planning to get matching units in glossy white. Of course, I briefly got off track with this crayon yellow range for just $7,999. I met with a salesman who went through the options. White was completely out. "No one makes it anymore." To replace my white Bosch dishwasher, it would be a special order - 6 to 9 months. OK, how about stainless? Well, your refrigerator (an odd size) would be available in one brand, the dishwasher another and the oven unit in others. The total minimum price would be about $12K. Gulp. "So, here's the thing. None of the stainless finishes will match exactly." Huh? So, I gathered up my spreadsheets and headed for the door. And then I handwashed dishes for a solid year. For someone with a self-diagnosed mild case of OCPD when it comes to my rooms, I was somewhat paralyzed on what to do.

This past February, a year later, the light bulb finally came on when I thought, "Why don't I get a cabinet ready dishwasher?" That way, when I get the oven/convection/microwave and refrigerator, which are at opposite ends of the kitchen, non-matching stainless won't look so bad. I went in to Airport Appliance only to find a very patient sales guy. I brought my spreadsheets and he confirmed the original prognosis. Lead time for a white Bosch 800 dishwasher was still 6 to 9 months. I asked about panel-ready and yes, the model I wanted was available. OK! Game on.

At the installation a few days later, the installer warned me that until the cabinet panel was on the door, it was going to be pretty noisy. True. I wasn't sure how the control pattern would work. Turns out, a red light shines on the floor when operating. And when a cycle is complete, a little chime sounds.

Two cabinet makers quoted $450 for the panel and installation. I wasn't prepared for for that. I called Tom and he walked me through the steps involved and $450 then seemed reasonable. He also told me that NO one builds doors anymore - just the cabinet boxes. Tien, the owner of Bay Area Custom Cabinets, took measurements and the cabinet color, telling me that it should be ready in two weeks.

Tien called me two weeks later and I drove to his immaculate cabinet shop to make sure the trim was correct. Perfect. Well, maybe not perfect. Turns out the gap on top is larger on the right. But that's not Tien's fault. Maybe some would let it go, but this was expensive and I could see online that legs of a dishwasher could be adjusted.

On Friday, Airport Appliance installers adjusted the legs so now it looks perfect.

Fourteen months later, I've got a silent dishwasher that I don't even know is there most of the time. Enjoy your Sunday and here's to all appliances lasting as long as they used to.

PS - Contact Tien at Bay Area Custom Cabinets (510.992.9131) in Oakland, CA. You can view his 5-star reviews and gorgeous remodels on Yelp. After all, that's how I found him. He and his wife, Hien, are super responsive. I'm thrilled I found them. I plan to use Tien to spray my 2006 kitchen cabinets a new color this fall. And build a new fireplace mantel. And, if I have any custom cabinet needs, he's now my man.


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