Saturday, July 25, 2015

People Want Pictures

Chapter 1 - People WANT pictures. 

I've received that some feedback recently on the UX [that's 'fancy Internet' for User Experience] - from a professional.  And apparently my blog lacks two [2] things: 

A] Pictures and more pictures - kitchens in particular. 
B] Homestars reviews;

As for A] - here, I am adding pictures; 

People want to see more pictures of kitchens. 
Not enough pictures of kitchens! 
Where are the pictures of the kitchens?! 

I explain that all the projects that I do are nice - and not all my projects are kitchens - I do a great variety of things and my focus is not on volume, but rather variety. The posts that are put out are meant to educate, raise awareness, inspire - they are not a propaganda tool for IKEA kitchens. If one wants to see examples of nice IKEA kitchens it is enough to use the Google search engine and select images. Not everyone has access to my services - I believe that I offer a unique service - but everyone has access to the information that I offer - that's another reason that I try to put out quality, informative posts. It's about the possibilities of IKEA. 

B] Homestars annoys me. People are not understanding that it is 'strong-arming', and that they are paying for it. Essentially HomeStars is like YellowPages, the printed edition. Remember those big, yellow, heavy bricks? Remember the alphabetical listings - the quad 'AAAA' just to get that coveted first listing? Like that but with an added component of Social Media mixed in. YellowPages went out of business, because times have changed. They have been replaced by HomeStars - and I, as a contractor am continuously bombarded with offers to sign up for various 'rating sites' - rateMyCarpenter, rateMyThis...rateMyThat....All this is designed to do is to generate traffic, sell adds and sell advertising space. 

Want to know something curious? -  HomeStars has an escalating price point depending on how much you want to eliminate the ads put out by 'your competition' - they offer that service - you can pay your way through crappy work [a large value Boston Pizza gift card and a 'tear-jerking' phone call from the owner of the reno company is all it takes, apparently]. And crappy work annoys me. And I refuse to pay them. But there are companies, or individuals paying thousands of dollars to be prominently featured. 

In our digital economy, it is easy to find out about others, especially about the people that you intend to pay good chunk of cash in exchange for some excellent labour. And as long as HomeStars runs their 'ranking' site - for which they charge a good chunk of cash themselves - the picture will remain skewed and I don't intend to pay into it.

See, the Internet allows for great things - like sharing of information and experience. The concept of 'General Contracting' has changed dramatically - individual with strong management skills can educate themselves and often choose to act as their own 'general' - planning, organizing, choosing their finishes and hiring trades. The 'IKEA kitchen system' makes perfect financial sense and the 'no-lead time' requirement is a great advantage. 


as promised

So this dog snuck up on me during the install - the owners went to a baseball game with their kids, and in the rush forgot to crate the dog.  It's big and pretty scary looking, American bulldog - it looks like a half-albino?  - but it is a 2 year old rescue - and very very cheerful. It's only dangerous because of its size when it is happy - I can see this dog trashing the kitchen in a fit of happiness - that's risky. 

Always quality. Things are screwed and glued where they need to be. Glue adds great strength and rigidity to any project. And it's cheap. 

If you are installing an IKEA kitchen, you need a laser level - it's a must. The model that I have - a DeWalt self-leveling - you can now price match to $148 at Home Depot. Setting heights and keeping things level over long distances is a breeze. I can say with confidence that you can be less than an 1/8th of an inch over the entire project.

Here is an IKEA Hacker Pro Tip - a great way to strengthen your PAX wardrobe unit is to add a 2" solid lip under the edge of each adjustable shelf - like this - someone asked about this. 


ps. THIS IS SERIOUS - IKEA reminds people to fix their MALM dressers to the wall at the back. 

pps. The job before the one I'm doing now was this - good little story there. 
This was institutional cabinetry - done really old school way - no screws - just nails and glue. It was surprising how well it stood up to the test of time. 

Relocated, re purposed, increased functionality - top of the line hardware - went over the budget on hardware - it can be expensive - it turned out that there was a better hinge/plate combo with integral soft-close - even smaller footprint -  than I quoted. And so I upgraded - you only live once. 

Check out the solid edging on those doors - that's 1/4" hard maple. Nobody builds like that anymore - some exceptions. See how that top right door seems to be 'in' a little bit - the advantage of good hardware is that it offers great range of flexibility and adjustment. To adjust this was a breeze.