Bob Russo: Timing Your Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen project is something most people will do once or maybe twice in their lifetime. You might be doing your project with a contractor or plan on doing it yourself. Give yourself time to think about how to plan your project, because timing is important. How much time do you have to complete the project; is it a rental property or for your own home?

Set time aside to look for a designer you are comfortable with; give him or her the time they will need to get you the best plan possible. You may need to set several appointments (or email back and forth) to get the cabinet plan the way you want it. You will need time to look at and select the cabinets, counters, backsplash material, appliances, hardware, etc.

Some cabinets can be picked up at a warehouse, same day or next; others my take four, five, six weeks or more. Some countertops (laminate, Formica to name one) can in some cases be built and delivered with the cabinets. Other tops like granite, solid surface, quartz and others need to be templated after the cabinets are installed; this could add a week or two to the time line.

Some days (if you are contracting out) you will have many different contractors (carpentry/plumbing/electrical) in your home, some days less and, yes, maybe some days none.

You will arrive at a time when an inspection is due. There may be several needed: electrical, plumbing, and others. Some can be done together, some separately, or a structural concern comes up after the work begins, which may need an architect or engineer to address. This can slow a job down or bring it to a complete stop.

When your cabinets and other materials arrive (we hope for the best, but plan for the worst), upon inspection, you could find that you have incorrect or damaged items. Items may need to be repaired or even replaced. Although most cabinet companies have in place hot rush or quick response programs, most often the items need to be built, finished and shipped; they are not sitting in a warehouse ready to go. Along with all the paperwork needed, it could take up to half the lead time that the original order took.

During the winter months, December & January, a lot of the cabinet companies shut down for weeks at a time. This is so they can enjoy the holidays and repair or bring in new equipment to keep the flow of cabinets at maximum output. Keep in mind when planning a project around a holiday or a vendor’s planned shut down time and something goes wrong, if you need a replacement part, not a lot can be done until they reopen.

All of these things (and maybe others, every job is different) take time, so take the time to plan your project, learn of the things that might slow work down, and your project will go more smoothly.

Let your planner, designer, architect, and/or contractor help. Most of us have been doing this for a long time.

Bob Russo, ACSD/PKBP
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St.
Newton, MA 02461

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