Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stool, Stool & Couch

I thought I'd take a few minutes on this sleety, snowy October day (BTW, WTF?!) to say hi to my blogger friends and let you know what's been going on in my Ravenna.  Not much, truth be told.  BF and I are settling in, but we still have unpacked boxes everywhere.  Good thing I found the winter coats!

You might remember that I hate shopping.  Hate it!  Detest it!  But we need some new stuff to make the house into a comfortable home for ourselves.

Avery Stool - Espresso
Target Avery Barstool. 
The first thing I decided i needed was barstools for the kitchen island.  The island is great, but without seating around it, its not the gathering place that it should be.  The stool search has proven to be very frustrating.

I purchased two Avery barstools at my local Target  for about $90 bucks a piece.  I generally think Target stuff is of decent quality, but these were an exception.  One the first stool, one leg cracked as we tightened up the bolt.  On the second stool, the legs were about half an inch different in length.  After about 2 hours of fighting with them, we packed them up and took them back. Bennett Barstool.
I then started checking out Overstock, thinking I might be able to get a good deal and avoid going to the mall or a furniture store (hate!).  Ordered the Bennett Barstools for around the same price.  Same general style, same faux leather.  They arrived in a about a week and I tried to put them together a couple days ago.  Same kinds of problems. Cracked parts, uneven legs, general wobbliness. We took them apart this morning and got them boxed back up to send back.

So after a total of about 4 hours of assembly and disassembly, not to mention time speaking with customer service people, we are still without the bar stools that I want!  Grrr.

But we do have a new rule in our household - no furniture that we have to put together ourselves.  Both of these stools were made in China, which is part of why they were so reasonably priced AND why we had to assemble them ourselves.  I'm not a huge fan of China's labor and environmental policies, so I'm going to keep that in mind as we go forward on more furniture purchases.

And so, we are getting a new sectional sofa for the living room, one that is on sale, and made here out of fabric that is made here!  Sale lasts until next Friday.

PB Comfort 3-Piece L-Shaped Sectional, Polyester Wrap Cushions, Brushed Canvas Honey
Pottery Barn Comfort Roll Sectional in Honey Brushed Canvas

To be perfectly honest, even on sale and with the additional 10% discount we were offered, this sofa costs a bit more than I would have liked to spend.  But, it saves me from having to spend any time in furniture stores (bonus), its made in North Carolina (bonus) out of US made materials (bonus).  And its a nice color and comfortable (bonus).  BUT, it won't be here until January (boo!).

So, we've got a new couch on the way, but still no barstools.

Anyone have any barstool success stories?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

30 Day and Dryer Disappointment

We had our 30 day walk-thru on Wednesday.  Our punch list was extremely small.  We asked our PM to fix tire tracks in the yard, fix a weird bubble in the master bedroom wall (from the drywall tape), fix a squeak in the hallway and fix one hardwood board that was cracked and missing stain.  Four things.  The 30 day list on my last home was 4 _pages_ long.

The most major problem we've had so far is out of our PM's control.  Our brand new Kenmore dryer hasn't been drying clothes properly and I've been walking around in clothes that smell like musty basement for a week.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that clothes seemed a bit damp when I took them out of the dryer; I figured I was overloading it or hit the wrong setting, so didn't think much about it.  A few times, I re-started the dryer and let the clothes tumble a bit more.  But this week, I noticed that my clothes smelled MUSTY!  Like I'd pulled them out of a moldy basement.  So I paid more attention this weekend and found out that the dryer was not working at all.  It was getting hot, and steamy, but it wasn't drying clothes.

We called Kenmore to schedule a service appointment, but the lady on the phone wanted us to do a diagnosis over the phone.  Somehow, the machine can send a code over the phone.  So we did that, and we were told that the dryer wasn't venting properly.  Hello?  Really?  It was installed 30 days ago, it couldn't possibly have any kind of buildup in the vent.  But, we checked it out anyway.

This is where we learned the drawback of the upstairs laundry:  there is not a lot of room to move the machines around if you need to get behind them.

So, after some acrobatics on my part, I got my ass behind the dryer to check out the vent.  I was horrified at what I found.  The sears delivery people had completely botched the set up.   First, they didn't shorten the vent hose, so when they put it on and shoved the dryer back into place, all of that metal jammed up behind the dryer, basically cutting off the flow of air.  Second, I found the large zip ties that were supposed to be used to secure the hose INSIDE THE HOSE.  Can anyone say fire hazard?

I shortened the hose, and secured it properly to the machine and the wall.  Now the machine is working great, and I've done about 16 loads of musty laundry today.

Morale of this very long story - check your dryer install job!!  Make sure the hose has plenty of room for air flow, and that it is secured.  Don't trust that the delivery guy knows what he is doing, or cares about proper installation.  Second morale of this very long story - make sure your laundry room is big enough to move the machines around and get behind them for repairs and cleanouts.  The Ravenna laundry room definitely falls a bit short on this.