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We’re redoing the kitchen in our home and much of the work is being done by Phil Carlson Custom Woodcraft. He (very reasonably) asked us to fill out a form describing our expectations for the work being done and any thoughts we had about how it should be done. We filled it out and rather than taking what we had written seriously, Phil seemed to be amused by what we wrote.  Please read what I wrote and see what you think!


Communication and Expectations

What hours of the day can we be at your house?  When can we start and when would you like us out of your home?  Can we work on Saturdays if necessary?

We’ve got a sort of odd schedule and what would be most helpful is if you are only in our house on even hours on odd days and odd hours on even days.

Please don’t work before 11:30 AM or after 2:30 PM

Saturdays won’t work as we have our weekly Porcupine Owners Round-Up Meeting (P.O.R.U.M) at our place all day on Saturdays.

What is the best mode of communication?  When is it appropriate to call you?

The homeschool curriculum we’re using encourages engaging in different kinds of communication tools. So while calling us on the phone is fine, it would be great if you would refrain from using your voice – rather, use some kind of implement to tap out morse code. I can send a link to a website of how to perform the dots and dashes, if that would help. Or you could perform the clicking communication used by ancient Aztecs circa 1400 A.D, although the documentation about that is less substantial.

How involved do you want to be in the project?  Will you be present on the job site?  How much of what is going on would you like to be informed about (ie – tomorrow we are doing xyz, and next Tuesday xyz will be here, etc).

We’ve never done this before, so we’d like to be very involved, if only for learning purposes. For example, if you could show all of our kids how to hang a cabinet, we’d appreciate it.

Will your kids be home alone with either myself or my workers there?  Are you ok with that?  Just want to make sure you’re comfortable.

Ever since the ‘Rotto Rooter Incident’ – in which Foster somehow inadvertently (but extremely cutely) destroyed our sections of the neighborhood’s sewage system – we’re not allowed to have workers alone with our kids, due to a Court order – for the “protection of the nearby block section and those entering [our home]”. You may have heard about this situation in the paper, but I can assure you, the local press overplayed the story. In any case, the RoRoo employee has almost nearly fully recovered, with minimal permanent loss of gross motor functionality in his legs.

Are there any parking restrictions I should know about, whether in your driveway or on the street?  Do you have any neighbors we need to be extra careful around or respectful toward?

Our city ordinance prohibit construction workers from parking within 300 feet of the home in which they are doing work (for marketing purposes, I don’t claim to understand it).

We’d actually request that you be DISrespectful to our neighbor to the north (Lyle Blortenmurhen).  He’s kind of a pain. Could you toss some kitchen remodeling waste on his roof, for example? Or yell disparaging words at his dogs?

Where can I set my dumpster?

What would be great is if you could put it at the far south west corner (a mere three minute walk) of our backyard. We don’t want junk being stored on our driveway, obviously! Adding a wrinkle to that request is our fervent wish to keep trucks off our lawn, so if you ask any of the neighbors for permission to drive through their lawn to position the dumpster, that would be great. Option 2: Keeping the dumpster at your place and simply hauling all of the refuse there each night. Either is fine with us.

Can I store materials in your garage?  Is your garage available as a workspace for cutting materials and making a minimal mess with dust?

Sure, but only on pleasant sunny days. During inclement weather, we’d appreciate it if you keep the gear and do the work somewhere else (anywhere outside is fine, esp. Mr, Blortenmurhen’s front lawn) so that muddy footprints don’t sully our pristine garage floor.

Which restroom should we use?

Whoah, whoah, whoah, who’s ‘we’? What do you think we are, some kind of free lavatory service for whoever you want to invite to our home?

How tidy do you want the jobsite to be left at the end of each day?

Just as long as you can hook up the kitchen sink before you leave each night, we don’t care. After all, we don’t stop eating (and that means preparing food, obviously) just because we’re making our kitchen nice.

Do you have any aversions, sensitivities, or things that annoy you I should be aware of?

Well, dangling participles, for one. That sentence should read, “. . . or things of which that annoy you I should be.” Also, some of our kids are afraid of power tools. And loud noises.

Anything else?

Please see our attached list of music we’d like you and your workers to be limited to. Don’t worry, it’s a pretty diverse set and includes music ranging from ‘Carmen’ to ‘Sandy Patty’. And everything in between.

Thank you,


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April 2012