What does the title of this blog have to do with a home renovation? EVERYTHING!
By gear, I mean all the pieces/parts you need to order or pick out to make the reno more complete. Like...appliances.
We live in and online shopping generation. It's so convenient to log on, find what you want and order it. However, when you are talking about things with a time constraint, online ordering can become an issue. Which I didn't think too much about because for the last few years my husband and I usually do all of our Christmas shopping online and we have ALWAYS had everything on time! Some things have been close, but, no one went without on Christmas. So why would this be any different?
There are a lot of reasons that ordering online can be an issue:
Out of Stock - When we were picking things out for our reno, we did so online from a local big store website. We sent link after link to our contractor so he would know what we wanted. However, contractors don't go on shopping sprees and buy everything you want at the moment you send it to them because it's just not a smart thing to do. First, if they are in the middle of a huge construction zone in your house, it's not good to have breakable things sitting around, in the way, waiting to be put in. If they are painting everywhere, why would they install finishing pieces before that? Make's no sense. So some of those things we sent weren't going to be purchased for a while. We were proud that we found some things on sale, but when it was time to get some of those things, POOF, they were gone. Out of stock. So, we had to pick out something new all over again! It's ok to shop online for some things, but be sure to order right away (and store it with you) or look for things in a store itself so they aren't gone when it comes time to put them in.
Custom Order - On a website, there may be a lot of items that seem simple enough to order, like a door, but if it is a different size than normal (or color in our case) that makes it custom. Custom basically means that there won't be any in the store because not many people buy a blue interior door for their homes. Usually custom orders can take longer than the average ordering time, too. So, not only does it have to be ordered, but it could take WEEKS to get in, which in itself, didn't seem like a big deal to me...but what I didn't know was that the door needed to be installed BEFORE they could finish the trim in that area, so that door held up a lot of little projects. Also, when the door was finally in and ready for pick up, we didn't know the door jam wasn't going to be painted, so we had to then get paint to match the odd, blue door. Then, it had to be installed and painted...well you get the idea. It was a lot to go through just to have a different color door...I do love the door, but knowing what I know now, it would have been a lot simpler to get an unfinished door and have it painted (and probably cheaper!).
Not-So-Easy to Return - In the case of our kitchen appliances, we found everything we needed online at a great price. I was so excited! I had NO IDEA it would take nearly a month for them to arrive at the house! They got to the house barely a week before we moved in. Then they needed to be installed, so they were basically put in a day or so before we moved in. The day we moved in I went into the kitchen and found out the fridge was HUGE. In fact, it was WAY TOO BIG for the spot it needed to be in! So, we either had to do more renovation in the kitchen to MAKE it fit, or we needed to see if it could be exchanged with the store. Well, the store didn't have anything comparable without ordering all over again (which would be another month with no refrigerator in my kitchen--where I was now living and possibly a way higher price for the replacement) AND it was also more than a month after they were "purchased" so we might not even be able to return it at all!!! PLUS, how would we just return it to the store? It wasn't like the fridge was going to fit in the trunk of my car, and I fell immediately in love with this ginormous fridge and didn't want to get rid of it at all. So we had to alter the wall behind it...(which cost more money too). Some things weren't an issue to return, but some things are way more difficult when they are ordered. If you can find it in a store, you can generally return it without issues if you need to. Keep that in mind.
One Deadline Can Mess With Another - Like in the case with the blue door, because it was late, it messed with the deadline for the inside trim. If one thing is off, it may cause other things to be off. We took a while to decide that we were going to do a custom shower. We first picked tile online, but, then (of course) the store didn't have it in stock, so we had to make a mad dash to pick out IN STOCK tile at the store so that the installation could be done that week. But, even though the shower got done in no time, the door for it couldn't be ordered until the shower was measured with the installed tile. Of course, that measurement wasn't a "regular" size. So the door had to be ordered for that, which was another three weeks before it was installed.
There are so many other little things like this that happened over and over again and we did our best to choose quickly and even our contractor worked hard to get things as quickly as possible, but, you truly can't plan for everything. For me, if I had known about some of these things, they may have altered the way that I shopped. For other items, it might not have, but at least I would have been more prepared when things didn't go as planned.
It would have been so much easier if we just got our gear on time!