Posts Tagged 'kitchen design and installation'

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

Bob Russo: Kitchen Installers & Insurance

Bob Russo, Kitchen Views at National Lumber, Newton, MA

Bob Russo, Kitchen Views at National Lumber, Newton, MA

A true veteran, Bob has designed kitchens for almost 35 years, 19 of them at National Lumber’s Newton Highlands location. Certified as an Accredited Cabinetry and Space Designer (ACSD), Bob is also certified as a Kitchen Remodeler by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (RKBP).

You can view his profile and portfolio on the Kitchen Views website.

Kitchen Installers & Insurance

In my 30 plus years as a Kitchen Designer, I have seen many well-planned kitchen projects go badly, due to a less than qualified installer. If you are a homeowner that has the ability to do your own install (some homeowners really can with a little advice from your designer), then good for you.

For those who plan to hire out, please take the time to talk to a few installers, find one that you feel comfortable with. They will be in your home for awhile. Talk to your neighbors, family who had kitchens installed lately & your designer to get names of installers. But you should always ask for references. Please take the time to call and even visit the homes if possible.

Don’t be afraid to ask how many years have they been installing. Schooling is great, but there is no substitute for field experience. Many things come up in the field that they can’t duplicate in class.

Make sure that whey understand that regardless of field conditions, you expect the cabinets will be plum, square and level, installed properly (attached to the studs in the walls) and with the proper hardware.

It may sound funny to ask that of your installer, but I have visited some jobs, and have been told by the installer: “Well, that is the best we could do, given the field conditions.”

If cabinets are not plum/square and level drawers and accessories (like trash/recycle bin cabinets) they may not stay closed. Doors and drawers may not adjust or line up correctly, sometimes caused by racking (the twisting of a cabinet), trim (crown/light rail etc.) will not fit well.

In the way of insurance, please, please, please, I can not stress this enough. Make sure that any professional you have work in or on your home is insured with both Workman’s Comp (in case one or more of their workers or subs get hurt on the job) and liability insurance (in case they do damage to your home or something happens with the work they had done after they are gone). You just never know…

In closing, take the time to pick someone that will install your cabinets with the same care and thoughtfulness that you did when you picked them out and planned your project.

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

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