Friday, December 08, 2006

The Cabinets

Friends and family, we have kitchen cabinets!

Yesterday we had the car out and were leaving to go to Guanajuato to look for tiles when we saw the carpintero. He said he was delivering the cabinets in about an hour. Needless to say, we turned around and headed home.

For those of you in the USA, I wish you could experience this process. And those of you in Mexico or maybe other places in Central America, you know what I'm about to write about. Our astonishment and sometimes dismay at how it is done, is in part....maybe totally....due to cultural and construction practice differences and most of the time we are left scratching our heads as to why it was done the way it was done. But it gets done.

The carpintero and the muebles (which is what the carpinteros called the kitchen cabinets) arrived in a mixta taxi which is a small pickup truck that is used to transport goods and sometimes people too. Everything was unloaded and then the fun began and lasted into the afternoon.

First of all each section of the cabinet is made just like a dresser with backs and sides. So they cut a large hole in the back of the cabinet that goes under the sink so that the water pipes could be connected. Then they cut another hole in that section because the electrical meter extends into the house under the cabinets. Next we try setting the sink in the cabinet. The sink was to be in the center of the window but it wasn't in the center of the window. No problem, they take a planer and plane away some of the frame so that the sink would be in the center of the window.

Are you starting to get the idea? Instead of bringing in the table saw and equipment, attaching the frame work to the walls, and building the doors and drawers to fit in the frame work, you make the cabinets off site and then carve them up to make them fit. And making them fit isn't easy because there are not standard construction practices. We still had a little problem with one L-shaped corner of the cabinets and fixing them so that the doors and drawers would open all the way. No problem, they set up the cabinets with some spaces between them and today they came back and added in some wood to cover the spaces. Of course, I had told them two days ago that those corners would need an inch added. They only added about 1/3 of an inch before they brought the cabinets. Oh, well.

The list of how all of this was done could go on for several more paragraphs but I think you get the idea. The color of the cabinets turned out nicely but the wood that they get here in Mexico isn't the best. I'm sure that you can get a higher quality of wood but then I don't know if we can afford it. The carpinteros did a nice job and no matter what problem they encountered it was "No problema." They just figured out a way to make it work. The drawers have the kind of slide hardware we get in the USA and I think they are going to work nicely. The finish looks great with the stainless appliances. Today, the people from the granite company in Queretaro came and took measurements. They say they will try to have the granite tops back and installed on Thursday.

We still need to make the upper cabinets and the cabinets for the dining room but when we get back after New Years we can start to use the kitchen. All in all, I'm pleased and we are a big step closer to finishing this project.


Anonymous said...

WOW! Those are some beautiful cabinets. Great choice in design. Of course being the environmental NUT that I am I might argue the use of wood backing - but I won't go there.

REALLY beautiful amiga!

Juan Calypso

Billie said...

Juan, Thank you. I hope that I thought through all of the design issued and depth of drawers etc. But I think it is going to be highly functional. I agree with you. I don't have any idea why they use the wood on the back. I'm sure it is a bracing issue but a 2x4 or 2x6 would do just as well