This became my favorite word during this project as I have to say it made the entire undertaking a breeze. From our first meeting where we talked about the scope of the project and what we liked/did not like about our current space to the final stroke of paint being brushed onto the wall, the Kitchen Design Concepts process makes for enjoyable days. I work out of my home and was a little concerned about the possible disruption, but because we had a well-planned schedule where we knew what to expect and when, I was easily able to manage all of my clients while having our kitchen taken down to the studs and rebuilt again.
So the process…
Mary Kathryn and Katie (lead designer) came to survey our space and talk to us about our expectations, budget, timing, wishes and needs. We talked about the must-haves and the nice-to-haves; we even talked about doing it as a Kitchen Design Concepts project or a Snappy Kitchens project. They own both companies and each has its place – Kitchen Design Concepts if you are wanting a complete remodel or Snappy Kitchens if we only wanted to replace components. The difference for us and the reason it became a Kitchen Design Concepts remodel was because we decided to replace our old outdated cabinets with new custom ones (with Blu motion soft close on the drawers – so exciting). We were fine either way as we knew we were getting the same great quality, people and consultation throughout the process. We saw a couple versions of contracts based on give-and-take to make our budget work and then we signed the contract. Even though we are business associates and great friends, the process and details were outlined to perfection and we had talked about even the smallest of details. This is a BIG BIG deal in remodeling as I have learned – they talk about the intricacies up front (even the exact tile, for example) so that you don’t find yourself adding money on in change orders throughout the process. At the end of our project, we ended up spending less than $400 more than our contract! We don’t even get that close doing our own home improvement projects that are 1/100 the size of this one.
Once the contract was signed and a schedule was presented, moving out of the space and setting up our temporary kitchen was the first order of business. They helped us move our refrigerator into the dining area and we set up our microwave as well. They provided a booklet they had created that walked us through the set-up step-by-step. The book listed what items to keep out while we were packing up and where to put them. It made this foreign concept (in my 40+ years I had never set up a temporary kitchen) very manageable.
Demolition was next. In two days time, our entire kitchen was down to the studs. The contractors used their own side entrance to the house and we rarely saw them. At the end of each day, we as a family would enter into the space through our zippered door and see the progress that had been made. We were amazed that they cleaned up every single day and we loved how quickly change was happening. Early on,
Katie and I took a trip to the granite yard. Although we had already selected our small sample of granite, I learned that the big slabs can vary and you want to pick the one that has more of the colors you are looking for. In our case, we actually switched to a different color style but Katie was able to steer me to others that were at the same price point (no change order!). Here I am next to our materials (cabinet door, backsplash) and new slab of granite…
At the beginning of each week, we would receive a schedule of what to expect for that week in terms of work and progress. It was nice to be able to understand when we might be inconvenienced and they worked very hard at keeping those times to a minimum. Our utility room, for instance, was in our kitchen, but they gave us plenty of advance notice and then moved the washer and dryer out to replace the flooring, grout, dry and seal. We were without washer and dryer for a total of two days and we were amazed. Inconvenience avoided!
Construction continued and the one glitch happened – the backsplash we had chosen was on back order and it would not be in for several weeks. We met with Katie to see if there was something else we wanted to select, but decided that we wanted to stick with our first choice. They moved the other pieces of the project along to keep us on schedule as much as possible and then came back in to tile when the material was available.
My husband saw some great-looking hardware at a friend’s house and we decided to change hardware and faucet to oil-rubbed bronze from satin nickel. This was one of two change orders as we decided it was worth the re-stocking fees to get the darker fixtures. The second change order was because we decided to upgrade our utility room doors – they installed and painted them, put on the new hardware and I am so thankful we decided to make this move (another great idea of my husband).
Next time, I’ll show lots of pictures of before and after. I’ve decided I might need a couple more blogs but I’ll have to see if I can negotiate that with Mary Kathyn. Until next week…