In the last post, I mentioned that there was one more kitchen that I decided I needed to rip out. It was the one in apartment A, where the people were super, super filthy, and their kitchen cabinets had somehow become permeated with this funky, awful smell that just would not go away. It was Thursday evening when I made the decision to rip out the cabinets, and I was already planning to pick up all of the vanity and kitchen cabinets that Saturday, so that meant I had to hustle to the cabinet store the very next day to order one more kitchen’s worth of cabinets. It also meant that we now had LOADS of cabinets we had to pick and up and deliver, all in one day. Specifically, we had five bathroom vanity cabinets and TWO full kitchens’ worth of cabinets to move. Yikes! More on that issue later.
The New Kitchen in Apartment A
First, I had to order the new kitchen cabinets. This time I was at least able to plan the kitchen layout in advance, since I saw how the layout was planned with the other kitchen in Apartment C. I drew out the kitchen on graph paper, and started playing around with possibilities for cabinet sizes. Here’s what the layout map ended up looking like (sorry for the wrinkles in the upper left corner, it was a hasty photo):
It’s a top-down view, so the cabinets you see on the outside edges of the U are the wall cabinets, which are half the depth of the base cabinets. The inside edges of the U are the base cabinets, and then in areas where there are no wall cabinets, you see the entire base (like the sink base, for example. There’s no wall cabinet above it because there’s a window there).
This kitchen is pretty tiny, I have to say. The real bummer is that there was literally no layout that was possible that would make the back right corner (under the right corner wall cabinet) anything other than dead space. I could have gone with a narrower sink base and put a small 12″ cabinet just to the right of the sink, but there was no off-the-shelf cabinet configuration that would give that 12″ cabinet access to the back right corner. In an already tiny kitchen, losing that space is a huge bummer, but there’s nothing I can do other than custom cabinets, and that would have cost a ton of money. (I also had a pretty ingenious idea of slicing the countertop in that corner, putting a cabinet underneath, and using hydraulics to raise that section of cabinetry like an elevator. But, yeah, no one does that, and I’m sure it’d be really expensive.) Oh, well. Did the best we could, and ordered the cabinets.
Loads of Cabinets
I got back to work after placing the order, and I figured that I should probably pencil out how much cargo space we would need to get all of these cabinets to the building. We were initially planning to use the boyfriend’s Toyota Sienna minivan, and I figured it might take three or four trips. On our first trip, we were able to fit a 30″ vanity, a 48″ vanity, and one 48″ countertop. This time, we had quite a bit more.
We had five bathroom’s worth of vanity cabinets. Three of those vanity cabinets were broken up into smaller pieces, so we were really dealing with three 30″, one 36″, and four 48″ cabinets. Plus the kitchen cabinets above. Plus all of apartment C’s kitchen cabinets, and there are way more of those than there are for apartment A:
Soooo, yeah. We might have a problem now. I calculated the square footage of the cabinets we had to move, assuming they were all one level high, and got to just under 140 square feet of cabinets. Yikes! The interior space in the van is about 4 feet by 8 feet, so around 32 square feet. And that’s assuming the cabinets just magically fit perfectly to fill all the space each time, which isn’t realistic at all. The absolute bare minimum number of trips it would take would be five. A more realistic number might be eight or so. Sometimes, with the cabinets and the boxes, you just can’t get a good configuration and end up with a lot of dead space. In that first trip, I think we were only able to use about 16–18 square feet and it was a fairly tight fit.
Eight round trips multiplied by the 42 miles round trip between the furniture store and the building is about 320 miles. That’s a full tank of gas and literally about five hours of driving, just to pick up and drop off the cabinets. We needed another plan.
The Ridiculously Massive U-Haul Truck
I looked into renting a U-Haul truck. (This is not a sponsored post, for the record.) The per-day prices on the trucks are super cheap; it’s usually the mileage where they get ya. I figured out that getting a 20-foot truck would fit all of the cabinets perfectly stacked just one level high, so I wouldn’t need to worry about a cabinet taking a nosedive and getting damaged if I hit the brakes. A 20-foot truck is just $39.95 per day, plus $1.09 per mile on the day I wanted to use it. All in all, it would come out to about $95 with tax for the day. It seems like kind of a lot of money just to haul the cabinets, but when you figure the cost of a full tank of gas for the minivan and all the mileage from going back and forth, we’re better off renting the U-Haul.
So I popped online to reserve the truck we needed. Just one problem: it wasn’t available. This is the problem with last minute plan changes. They did have another, larger truck that was the same size, though. It’s a 26-footer. No big deal, right? Ha! Look at this monster. Here’s the 20′ truck and the 26′ truck (not to scale, so the 26′ truck is even larger than it looks):
It may be difficult to tell from the images, but the 20′ truck is basically a normal truck with a big box on the back. The 26′ truck, on the other hand, is a monster. It’s a Ford f650, which is a giant mega thing that feels like a semi truck. Thankfully, it’s the same rental price both per day and per mile, so it didn’t cost us any more. But good grief, was I nervous about driving that thing.
We went to pick up the truck, and I asked, just to double-check, whether they had a 20′ truck or anything smaller than the 26-footer. They laughed. Sigh. Okay.
I declined the additional damage waiver protection—I always do, because in the long run it’s a money-losing proposition—and then they told me that this was a BRAND NEW truck that literally was just delivered, with 106 miles on the odometer. There was not a single scratch on this thing. Great. Now I was paranoid that something would happen while I had this pristine truck, because any tiny little scratch would certainly be noticed.
Anyway, so the boyfriend and I hopped in the truck and headed to the cabinet store. The truck was designed to carry massive loads, so it was built with heavy-duty springs. Because the truck was currently empty, though, the springs were bouncing us all over the place. Seriously, every little bump bounced us around so badly that every time we tried to talk, we ended up sounding like sheep. We ended up just laughing at ourselves the entire time.
When we arrived at Builders Surplus(again, this is not a sponsored post, but it would have been nice to get a discount on all these cabinets!), I handed the stock pickers my massive receipt showing all of the items we needed to take that day. The workers swarmed like ants. Honestly. It was super impressive. There were at least half a dozen guys, maybe more, who gathered all of the boxes on the loading dock. The cabinet store has a strict no-returns policy, so you have to check all the merchandise carefully before you leave.
They arranged all of the boxes on the loading dock, and the employee with the clipboard walked around the circle with me checking off the boxes as I approved them. Right before we got to a box, an employee would have slit the box open and lifted it off the cabinet so we could check it, and as soon as we passed it, another employee would drop the box back over the cabinet, flip it upside down and secure the box flaps, and load it onto the truck. The whole process, with all of these dozens of boxes, took less than 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe it.
We drove to the building and unloaded all the boxes into two of the garages. Then we drove to the nearest gas station to put a couple gallons of gas in the truck. Thankfully the canopy at the gas station was tall enough that we fit underneath it without turning our monster truck into a convertible. We then successfully returned the truck without getting any dings or scratches on it. Phew!