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D. John Bray: If you can’t stand heat, don’t renovate kitchen

Near the top of the list of words a husband does not want to hear are: “I want to redo the kitchen.” For the uninitiated man, this is not just a simple “go out and get some new cabinets, throw up a few new tiles, new faucet, that’s it.”

Far, far from it. This is a major renovation; it ranks up there with the plans for the Normandy landing and may cost as much.

A kitchen renovation is near and dear to a woman’s heart. Who knew? The nearest thing I can compare it with is when a guy is getting his treasured custom car repainted. Both enterprises arouse deep passions, unfortunately only in one of the individuals involved.

To a man, if he can open the cabinet door, get his coffee cup or beer glass and find the refrigerator, then the kitchen is just fine. The fact that it may be 50 years old does not faze him. To a woman, it’s old, outdated and she needs a new one. So, stand back.

After hearing my wife’s wish, I immediately consulted with my associate at the office, known as “Cher, the woman who knows everything about everything” for some insight into what a kitchen project entailed.

As soon as I blurted out my situation, she said, “I’m so excited for your wife! This is great.” I immediately knew I was in for it. There would be absolutely no support for me. “If she wants new cabinets, you have to redo the entire kitchen,” Cher said with great glee. “That’s an ironclad rule. New floor, new counter top, new sink, or else it doesn’t work.”

I must have been getting pale because she said, “Get used to the idea and apply for a home equity loan.” I sensed a conspiracy.

“A woman is in the kitchen for hours on end and needs to update her kitchen regularly,” she happily advised me. “We see the great-looking kitchens on all the cooking shows and we all want one.”

Of course, word got around the office and soon, like magic, a gaggle of ladies were offering me advice based on their own kitchen renovation experience or what they would like to renovate in their own kitchen. I received tips on what kind of flooring I should have, cabinet color, and granite or quartz counter tops. Of course, they all agreed a new stove and refrigerator to complement the renovation would be needed.

I had to hold them back from calling my wife with ideas that surely would cost me my entire 401(k).

If you are one of the men who has never been involved in this enterprise, it is beyond belief.

Just selecting cabinets is no easy task. It opens a whole previously unknown world of wood, hundreds of finishes, handles, hinges, sliding shelves, rotating cabinets, glass inserts – you name it, there’s a cabinet with it. There are various sizes – tall, small, vertical, horizontal, some with interior lights or a wine rack.

Then there are the counter tops. Should it be laminate, Corian, granite, quartz or stainless steel? Where did this all come from? I just want something to set the pizza on.

Kitchen floors. Think that’s simple? I found a kitchen floor website that stated: “See more than 1,730,000 images.” Yes, one million, 730 thousand images. I kid you not. I immediately clicked off that site. My mind was reeling.

Well, there’s a new kitchen in my future, but there is a bright spot. My wife said a built-in beer dispenser is an option.