Thursday, September 17, 2009

Naming Names

I've told you that a lot of the things we purchased for the house lately have been online. That includes the new stove, range hood and refrigerator in the kitchen and even the faux tin ceilings for both the kitchen and bathroom.

So, with all of these purchases made and in some state of use, it’s time to start naming some names and both lauding and lambasting where necessary.

First up: the refrigerator. Merchant:
If you’re appliance shopping in a Home Depot store, know that at least some of the sales staff don’t even know what products their company carries. If it isn’t on the showroom floor, chances are good they can’t be bothered with it. That was our experience after the mother fell in love with a larger than average fridge in-store. We were told there wasn’t a standard-sized version of this model made by that manufacturer or any other. Liar!

I was shocked to find one on their Web site. It was also during a time that they were offering 10 percent off online purchases. And while competitor Lowe’s offers free delivery and setup, there’s one key difference: Home Depot is FREE outright; Lowe’s requires a rebate process. Boo! Hiss!

I can’t say enough good things about how easy it was to buy the refrigerator and arrange for the delivery AND how wonderful the delivery guys were. They were on time, courteous and OVERLY SENSITIVE to the safety of our front door (which had to be removed) and our furnishings as they wiggled their way through the house with the refrigerator.

Next: the stove and range hood. Merchant:
Not sure how I stumbled upon this New York supplier but I know they had the best price for our stove and range hood. And I looked everywhere! This Web site has tons of merchandise (they are pretty serious about the everything part of their name) and most of the reviews I read online were very positive. For the most part, so was our experience. They had some prices that jumped around during the course of a week and while delivery was free, that didn’t get it into the house. (UPS Freight delivered it; they would not set it inside the front door because we “have a step” (also known as a stoop) to get in the door. And they “can’t do steps.” I was not amused by this as it forced my 67-year-old mother and I to drag it in as best we could – after we unboxed it.) So, you might have to spring for the $50 charge though I think that would have been excessive in our case.

As for unboxing, this thing was WRAPPED and that’s very good. It was wrapped and wrapped and wrapped. Both the stove and range hood arrived in good condition. The stovetop works but we’ve yet to take the oven for a spin! And we love our new hood which was at least $50 less than the next cheapest price we could find on or offline.

And finally: The Ceilings Merchant:
I looked at a lot of different types of ceiling panels to do the Michelangelo Project and we ultimately went with the one I found online. They were kind enough to send me a few samples. After doing a few tests with spray paint, we were sold – this was the one! And, after having now done the bath and kitchen ceilings, and planning to do the family room this fall/winter, I can’t say enough good things about this product. It is time-consuming and neck-wrenching work, but the end result is SO worth it. And the price? Unless you inherit some original tin ceilings, I cannot think of a better or cheaper option that makes such an amazing difference. (Unless you buy pre-painted – then it can get pricey. We just bought the unpainted white and did the metallic/gloss painting ourselves.)