Tear-out to new kitchen in eight weeks
New kitchens don't magically happen in the blink of an eye. As you plan your kitchen remodel, you confront more choices than you thought possible and these choices have to be made with a sharp eye on your budget.
Suukko's kitchen was part of a remodeling plan that would add a small addition to the front of her house. While she planned the kitchen before the remodeling started, installing the new kitchen could not begin until all the other work was finished.
Suukko's budget for this kitchen was $7,000 which turned out to be low. That money was earmarked for new cabinets, a peninsula, premium laminate counters with a decorative edge treatment, a new sink and faucet, and a dishwasher.
The remodeling work finished just before Christmas and that's when she ordered her cabinets from Campbell's Do-It Best in Superior Wisconsin who also handled the countertop fabrication. But they didn't do installation work, and the bid from the installer they suggested was high. So Suukko asked her builder, who had just finished the addition, how much he would charge for tearing out the old kitchen, installing the cabinets and then the countertop. That bid was significantly lower and the builder got the job.
Tear-out of the old kitchen began a week before the new cabinets were set for delivery and that's where the problems began. Mice had chewed through the walls behind the cabinets and there was significant damage that had to be fixed. This caused delay in the schedule. More importantly, the fix required Suukko to pay for materials and labor she hadn't budgeted for. This is a lesson for all of us who remodel. You never know what you're going to find when tearing out old cabinets or old walls. But what you find has to be repaired, so keep a contingency fund in your budget for this and be flexible with your schedule!
When the cabinets arrived, the builder was tied up on another job and Suukko had to wait several days before the kitchen installation could begin. Some of this time was made up because the countertop fabricator was able to make Suukko's counters in seven days instead of the 10 to 12 days which is more common after final site measurements are taken.
The builder was able to coordinate his schedule with the delivery of the laminate counters, but the new dishwasher required plumbing and electrical work that had to be turned over to a subcontractor, who wasn't available until the following week. Finally, with running water in the sink and working dishwasher, the job was done. From ordering the cabinets to cooking the first meal in her new kitchen, the job took eight weeks two weeks longer than she planned.