After 20 years in the same house, our kitchen cabinets had seen better days. While the insides and basic structure were still okay, the white doors were overlaid with some kind of thermal layer that started peeling off at the corners. I’m kind of frugal, and have a misguided view of myself as handy, so I tried super-glueing the peels down. If you’re wincing thinking that could not possibly turn out well, you would be correct!

Now we needed to replace the cabinet doors. We called a cabinet contractor we had used several years ago to create a small custom piece. He’d done a great job back then. So when he gave us a quote to replace just the doors, promising higher quality and better hinges, we happily signed the contract. At his request, we gave him half up front. You’re probably wincing again. Months went by with no work whatsoever, and lots of excuses. I’m embarrassed to say I even gave him a little more money when he claimed he needed it for some more materials.

I then read an article in the newspaper written by an experienced contractor who basically said only fools give contractors money up front. If you’ve paid them their profit already, what incentive do they have to start the work? Minor panic set in. Even though luckily for us he eventually did complete the job, I was indeed the fool.

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