So last week we popped down to Yokohama station to the CLEANUP showroom to look at kitchens. Apparently, this is the only place that our renovator can get discounts (40%). I was flabbergasted.
The kitchen units look great and have all kinds of amazing options, but cost an arm and a leg (a basic corner kitchen unit with no options was going to run us 800,000+ yen) and, get this, are only guaranteed for 2 YEARS!
Which explains why most Japanese kitchens that I’ve seen that are over 10 years old look like crap.
It’s a bit of a slap to the face, isn’t it? Can the westerners reading this imagine dropping a comparable amount of money ($10,000 CAD) on a kitchen and then being told that the workmanship was only covered for two years!? Oh, and the faucets and electrics? ONE YEAR! My fucking computer has a longer warranty than that! My camera has a longer warranty than that!
Solution? Well, we’ll see if our renovator will go along with us, but it looks like our option is IKEA, at least for the kitchen (bathroom, we’ll probably have to go for a Japanese maker). It will be cheaper, and it will be guaranteed for 25 years. But, as I say, it depends on whether the renovator will agree. It may be that the burden of the IKEA installation will fall more on him, which may not be desirable. But we’re meeting with him tomorrow, and I think it behoves us to at least ask.