A Case Study
This client, Tony, inquired about a kitchen remodel on our website. The basic package was for a 10 x 10 kitchen, but his kitchen covered a larger area. He wanted a complete kitchen remodel included kitchen countertops, from floors to cabinets. He also agreed to let us document the remodel and publish the photos on our website.
The kitchen had been last remodeled around the 1990s, and was in good condition. The appliances were new and stainless steel. However, the counters were a laminate, there was no backsplash, the floors were dated ceramic tiles, and there was inadequate storage space. It has an open floor layout, with nice large windows over the sink and facing the kitchen.
Tony walked us through what he wanted, and showed us a kitchen design he had seen online. We made initial measurements and photos. We also discussed with him possible materials for the floors, countertops, and backsplash. Tony wanted stone tiles for the floors, and granite for the countertops. We showed him a catalogue of floor tiles from our suppliers, and he tentatively chose two: travertine and granite. He chose a Baltic Brown granite, but couldn’t choose a backsplash from the catalogues. He also wanted new cabinets to replace the white Shaker-style ones he has now.
There was an extensive discussion about what the client wanted to accomplish, which was primarily a modern, functional kitchen where entertaining guests would also be ideal. The design included a straight bar separating the kitchen from the dining room, but we suggested a semi-circular bar-cum-island that would increase the storage space of the kitchen and make full use of the natural light and length of the kitchen. The client liked the idea, but wanted a more graphical representation. We invited him to the showroom so he could look over the stones we had on stock and our displays. He agreed to come in the next day.
Tony came in the morning the next day. We sat him down to show him a 3D rendering of the existing kitchen and the proposed changes, including the proposed bar/island. He approved the proposed layout, at which point we assigned our most experienced staffer to show him around the showroom.
He looked over the various stones in the showroom, and chose a similar granite stone and also selected a checkered stone backsplash with a brown theme, which would go very well with the brown travertine of the new floor. And also chose dark brown cabinets with stainless handles, and two sinks, one large one for the main counters, and one smaller one for the bar/island, complete with fixtures.
The staffer showed Tony some clever cabinetry, which included a pull-out trash compartment. He also suggested maximizing store space by adding cabinets all around the appliances. Tony thought it was an excellent idea, and asked us to send him the cost estimate as soon as possible. We promised to do so by the next day as he needed about five slabs for his countertops, and we had to check with our suppliers for availability.
Closing the deal
Fortunately, the supplier had what we needed, and we were able to give the client a cost estimate by end of day. Tony was not happy with the one-month time estimate, but project was quite a major undertaking, and we would have to wait for the stones to be delivered so one month was non-negotiable. He finally agreed, and asked us to send someone to get the deposit for the stones.
We advised Tony to empty the kitchen of all items and to make arrangements for a makeshift kitchen as the area would be unusable until the project is done. We agreed to have the demolition crew bring out the appliances to the covered garage on the first day.We scheduled to begin work on the following Monday.
The demolition crew came early Monday morning with a dumpster to take away the debris. They first moved all the appliances to the covered garage and then got started on dismantling the existing cabinets and countertops. We would have to rebuild the counters to fit in the new drawers, so we also took out the support structures.
However, since the wood turned out to be all in good condition, it would be possible to reuse some of them in building the bar/island and some of the counter supports. The crew started on the floor tiles the next day after hanging retaining plastic sheets to keep the dust from escaping too far into the rest of the home. The demolition process, including clean up, took three days.
Framework and tempting
The construction crew came in to lay the structure for the new bar/island and the countertops, and installed the drawer sliders and cabinets. They set up a work area in the backyard where they cut the old and new wood to size for the support structures.
Our fabricator came in once the countertop framework was done to do the templates for the countertops and bar/island. He demonstrated to Tony how the counters would look once the stones are cut, and where the seams would be.
He invited Tony to be there for the fabrication to identify areas of the stones he may want to highlight. Tony declined, asking the fabricator to use his best judgment, and initialed the templates to signify approval of the placement of the cutouts. The fabricator explained that fabrication would take two days.
The construction of the support structures, sliders, and cabinets took five days.
The tiling crew came in the next day to prep the floor for laying the travertine floor tiles. Prep work, laying, grouting, and drying took five days. Installation of the backsplash and sinks, and moving the appliances back in took an additional two days. The kitchen was finally ready for the countertops.
The installer came in after the tiling crew had cleared out to dry-fit the cut stone slabs for the client’s approval. Tony approved the placement, at which point the installer glued the slabs in place. He then polished and sealed them while Tony watched. He inspected the seams. The installer advised Tony to let the seal dry completely before touching them. The client signed the work order as complete, and handed over a check for the balance.
The complete remodel of the kitchen went off without a major hitch. Despite delays in the delivery of the cabinets and the kitchen countertop stones, we were able to complete it within the 30-day period we promised the client.