…it’s like camp cooking in your home…
When we bought our new house we knew that it needed some work done to it and we worked out our plan of attack; main bathroom, ensuite then kitchen. Simple really.
What we hadn’t factored in was that the gas cooktop (a relic from the Russian Space Station) was leaking gas. You see if you happened to knock the knobs or the flame went out for some reason the gas would just pour out.
Over Christmas we discovered this charming design feature while cooking on Christmas Day (we’re lucky we didn’t blow ourselves up). Ever since then I refused to touch the thing. Then while my Dad was cleaning it he noticed that the main element was (for some reason) pushing the flame up against the underside of the main part of the cooktop.
That was the nail in the coffin for the cooktop.
…30 years of baked on grime…
Despite it being No Spend January I made the executive decision that we were replacing the cooktop pronto. (As much as I want to remodel the kitchen, I don’t want it to be because half the house has exploded!)
In our dream kitchen plans we replace the cooktop and the wall over with an all in one unit. We didn’t have the funds to start the kitchen renovation now. (Nor did I want to. I’d like to spend a little more time getting to know the house and thinking about the perfect solution.) So there was no way we were going to be able to get our all in one unit.
We made the decision to replace the cooktop with something that would do the job for the next 2 years and just live with the expense.
In my head I had figured all up it was probably going to cost $1,000 to get it done. So I hit the internet and started to bargain hunt for cooktops. I had measured the space up and figured a 60cm cooktop would do the trick. What a pleasant surprise to find 60cm cooktops under $500.
I got us a bargain cooktop for $298 and even managed to find a gas fitter that could do the install that very day. Yay! I was quietly smug with myself.
It was when the gas fitter arrived that I started to see the folly of my ways. For a start he didn’t want to do the job. He didn’t come out and say it directly, but suddenly he needed a mystery part which he just knew he didn’t have on him. He quoted for the job and said he’d be back sometime the next day.
I was cool with that. Figured one more day without the cooktop wasn’t going to kill us.
Later that night I decided to have a look at the old cooktop compared to the new cooktop… this is where it gets nasty. Our new cooktop was a good 10cm smaller than the old cooktop. Bugger.
We debated about possible solutions and in the end decided we’d just suck it up and buy the bigger cooktop. Then I did some more internet shopping and discovered that the bigger cooktop is double the price of the smaller one. Turns out 10cm is worth around $300! My smugness was leaving the building.
But what are you going to do? The holes that size, we can’t afford new bench tops and there was no way in hell I was going to live with some dodgy patch job. (I already hate that kitchen I’m not going to add to it by having to look at some Tim the Toolman type counter fix.)
So we went out and ran around like mad people to find the bigger cooktop and exchange it in time for the gas fitter to arrive.
I waited all day and he never showed. At 4:45pm I received a text message from him telling me his van had broken down and that if I “wanted to find another person to do the job he was ok with that”.
I very rarely put in complaints about service, but I did on this day. I am more than understanding if his van had broken down but he could have called instead of sending a text message. He also could have tried to reschedule the appointment not just leave us high and dry, especially given that it was Friday afternoon!
When I rang his head office and put the complaint in they didn’t even try to fix the situation. They just took the complaint and said “thanks for your call”. Are you kidding me? Is the economy that great in Australia that people no longer need to take jobs? Oh well, your loss is someone else’s gain Tap Doctor!
I then hit the phone book and tried to find someone who would be willing to come out and do the job and that’s when I found Sam Dillon from Aussie Plumbing Services. Not only was he super polite he said he would come out on a Saturday morning and do the job. Love him!
He turned up when he said he would, he did the instal, he cleaned up his mess and he made sure we understood what he’d done and why. Superb!
So now we have a new cooktop and I can once again boil an egg without worrying I’m going to blow myself up!
…isn’t she pretty…
All up the job is going to end up costing $1,000 by the time we get our trusty electrician in to put in a power point under the cooktop. But it’s money well spent to know that I’m not going to set off a huge fire ball in our kitchen. (Well not from a gas leak any way!)
…note the power cord…
Ironically the new appliance actually seems to make the kitchen seem a little less dated. We still have to do a complete gut and renovation of it, but for now at least I can stand to look at the cooktop. Now I really should defrost something for dinner as I no longer have the excuse for takeout that I once did…