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My Time is Yours
Picture of davetruong
Hi guys, we are in the beginning process of a kitchen remodel. What have been your experience and any tips, suggestions, advice?

God, Family, Country.

Posts: 5698 | Location: Orange County, California | Registered: October 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Mikus36
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It will take much longer than expected
It will cost much more than expected
Family dynamics will suffer

But it will be worth it in the end...... (Keep saying this)

Have fun - If a contractor involved, get a good one.


"It's a Bill of Rights - Not a Bill of Needs"
Posts: 264 | Location: Washington | Registered: April 18, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I gutted ours and remodeled. It took a lot of nights after work and weekends. Plan on lots of microwave meals or take out in the mean time. Make sure you have solid plans that everyone agrees on so that there isn't any,"Wish we did it this way." in the future. If you think you want a pot filling faucet above the range, do it now, a garbage disposal in the future, run wire and a switch now. Your wallet will thank me later. In the end, it is well worth it and if you are doing it yourself, relatively inexpensive. Hired out, not so cheap but quicker to getting done.
Posts: 3340 | Location: PA | Registered: November 15, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of IntrepidTraveler
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A while back, I did my kitchen in a house I had in Colorado. Almost entirely by myself. It was very rewarding, and I think it turned out very well. But everything Mikus36 and petr says applies.

Thus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimeter bullet.
- Dave Barry
Posts: 2813 | Location: Carlsbad NM/ Augusta GA | Registered: July 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'll agree with Petr. Decide exactly what you want now. We waffled on granite countertops vs concrete and finally went with granite but it meant some changes in the sink, etc. Have it planned out ahead of time, down to the fixtures and pulls on the cabinets.

We waited to decide until we saw the final color of the countertops and had a hard time finding required quantities in stock of the ones we wanted (of course that's how it goes). And right now I'm guessing certain things are hard to come by so make sure everything that is needed is ordered or on the way ahead of time.

Our wait didn't kill us but it just adds to the timeframe of an already PITA situation.

We did a partial remodel in an old house, simply reused to cabinets with new doors.

Sucks doing simple tasks like washing dishes in the bathroom.

This is just a personal preference too but I really dislike built in appliances. Having had to replace them a couple times I just don't see the need. I like simple functional appliances, even older vintage. I don't even have an ice maker. I keep ice in the freezer and use it when I need it, which isn't often.

I've taken the garbage disposal out of the two houses I've lived in. Seems to me kitchen "upgrades" work about as well as boats. Then again it may just be bad luck for me.

Remember, in the end the most important thing is... Is your new Brick Pizza Oven large enough?

14 years to retirement! Just waiting!
Posts: 3576 | Location: Seoul | Registered: August 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of mjlennon
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DON'T DO IT! I kid, we did it shortly after we bought this house; it was part of the plan. If I had it to do over again, we would have waiting until it was finished before we moved in...

It turned out very good. We did have it professionally designed and a remodeling contractor the designer recommended do the work. It's pricey, but in the end it was probably $60k. That was two plus years ago; I've spent more on the yard than that since. What is it they say about happy wife? Wink

At any rate, she wants to impart on bathroom reno now. I swear, when I become emperor, the first thing I'm gonna to do is ban HGTV and anything that looks like it.

Truth is, other than some electrical gremlins, only true problem we had was plumbing leak damaged newly installed oak floors. They refinished them, twice. Once at the time of remodel and another time subsequently because the boards cupped and warped. But I paid for new floors. You say what's the difference, trust me you can tell. However, a reasonable man wouldn't demand they replace them.

Hope your project runs smoothly.
Posts: 1506 | Location: Georgia | Registered: December 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We met with a general contractor on 6/29 to start planning a siding, trim, window, and exterior doors project along with some other very minor remodeling. Initial materials and first crews showed up on-site 9/21. We are on target for "final walk-through" 11/1. I never thought it would take so long.

The general contractor we're using is related by marriage (we have a niece and nephew in common). His company does high-end work - average projects costing 3.5 times ours. We were lucky he agreed to take on our project and divert his crews from more lucrative engagements. I trust this guy 100% and he's been delivering, or I should say his project manager has been delivering. Even with this high level of confidence in the company, it's been stressful.

Material availability absolutely sucks right now. Prices on some materials like OSB are currently 5 times what they were less than a year ago. Items like windows, doors, etc. have lead times in months. We're also replacing our wood burning fireplace with a direct vent gas fireplace. Lead time for the new fireplace liner is 18 weeks. This item will not make that 11/1 date.

I highly recommend you wait until the supply chain gets back closer to normal. Even if you plan it all out perfectly, guess what happens when something gets broken or the wrong materials arrive. You wait again. That would double-suck during a kitchen remodel. - The search engine that doesn't track you
Posts: 544 | Location: NC | Registered: March 05, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of two-two-niner-romeo
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Make sure to order soft closing hardware for all cabinet doors and drawer slides.

"Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's God-given right!" - GhostBusters II
Posts: 1755 | Location: Putnam County, NY | Registered: May 22, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would echo safespot’s comments. Lumber prices are nuts. The supply chain is the issue. We are almost done with an extensive remodel of our small house, to prep it for sale. It has taken much longer than anticipated.
Posts: 3039 | Location: San Marcos,Tx. | Registered: July 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rexles
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The biggest problem I have seen with Kitchen Remodels is: the kitchen sink drain.
Most new remodels with granite, marble etc tops is the sink is undermounted and deep. By the time the garbage disposal is mounted on deeper sink the drain going back to the wall is either higher than the discharge on the disposal or has no fall.
When cabinets are out is the time to open up the wall and re-pipe if needed.

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Posts: 975 | Location: Holland, OH | Registered: May 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici
Picture of ChuckFinley
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Run away!!


In all seriousness, good luck.

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"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
Posts: 5189 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You and the Mrs sit down and figure out what you want. It gets a little overwhelming, but you need a "starting point".

Set your budget!

Pick something to build off of. Could be colors, doors, appliances... If there's something that the Mrs and you really want (say, stainless steel appliances), there's your starting point.

Cabinets and style of cabinets-
Then pick out a color. But sit in your kitchen with the Mrs and look at the colors and make sure it goes with the other colors in the house (if there's a living room/dining room/family room off the kitchen)

Marble, Granite, Quartz, Concrete... There's a ton of choices.

Again, a ton of choices, sizes and styles. Pick a few different colors and play around with them.

Check that budget again Wink

Yep, a ton of choices, makers, styles... But actually a sitting in your kitchen and looking at pictures of (about 50 different) stoves kind of helps.

Walls, Doors, Door frames.
Figure out what colors go with what you have.

There's a few contractor supply / interior design places that have a computer program that will show you and actual visual of what it's going to look like when it's done, which helps A TON!

You're going to be extremely pissed off if you have a great carpenter, but they suck at laying tile. Do your research! Ask around for people that know what the hell they are doing, ask your friends and neighbors who they do and don't recommend.



"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy
Posts: 6332 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My son did his last year. He did it himself.
Changed from Electric range to gas, all new cabinets, new flooring and added an island.
He used a wide piece of Ash we cut down for half of his island countertop. He also did the tiled backsplash himself. He had never done anything like that himself. He also custom made a range vent fan enclosure.

With the shortages now on lots of items, I hope you can get everything you need without paying double for them. Good luck.

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Posts: 2760 | Location: Ohio | Registered: December 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Skins2881
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Don't do it in the middle of a pandemic. Mines still not finished. As soon as I get my stimulus check or unemployment I'll finish it, if neither comes soon, I'll take money out of savings account, trying to avoid doing that though.

Can't wait to get countertops, backsplash, and sink installed. I made my own temporary countertops.


Sic Semper Tyrannis
Posts: 17461 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just finished a Kitchen remodel......and a bathroom remodel..... weren't any shortages on anything but appliances but a month ago those all showed up in stores also......I'd look at pictures online to get inspiration, figure everything you want in the kitchen, and then go from there.....white is in for cabinets now and granite and tile with greys in it......
Posts: 20320 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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Our new home was what the builder chose, Mrs. Mike did choose the granite...I wish we had a gas stove, but the city doesn’t pipe it where we are. Those farm sinks are very nice and I wish we had one of those.

With any building....plan on it taking twice as long and twice as expensive..

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Posts: 7628 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Stay on top of the quality of the work. I caught a number of issues and made them fix it before proceeding to where it would have been too late to easily fix. Accept zero substandard work. On mine they didn't get the countertops/floor distance right. Still not sure how it happened because tile and cabinets were both replaced exactly like the original build with tile up to but not under cabinets. Anyway it resulted in too little clearance at the wine fridge and I had to remove tile in order to replace it when it failed. Replacement of the dishwasher would have been questionable as well.

What you REALLY need to do is find the David Troung of kitchen remodelers. :-)
Posts: 1407 | Location: Indiana or Florida depending on season  | Registered: March 18, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you are replacing appliances I suggest deciding which ones you want, ordering them, and basing your schedule around the delivery time. My friend’s refrigerator died and they decided to also replace their very old range and dishwasher. They were quoted 12-16 weeks to get them, and that was tentative.

If you are having cabinets made, deeper than normal uppers are nice. Soft close hardware. Slide out shelves on lower cabinets. Power to your island. Task lighting over the counters. Under cabinet lighting.
Posts: 492 | Location: Tampa | Registered: July 27, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
SIG's 'n Surefires
Picture of M-11
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We had the luxury of remodeling when we bought our place. A friend and I gutted it. Our local True Value had a gal that was a whiz at CAD design and was able to create and recreate as Mrs. M-11 saw things and changed her mind. The lady would stop by our empty kitchen and show us how things would look in situ. This was 1998. Been happy with the results since.

"Common sense is wisdom with its sleeves rolled up." -Kyle Farnsworth
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Posts: 6672 | Location: IL, due south of the Arch | Registered: April 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Striker in waiting
Picture of BurtonRW
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Mrs.BurtonRW and I bought a house in March and have remodeled the kitchen, so I speak from very recent experience.

A word of advice... don't waste your time with boutique kitchen remodelers. No matter how they advertise, if they walk in and start with "what's the house worth / what did you pay for the house?", they're about to pitch you the notion that you need to spend 10-15% of the value of the home on the kitchen remodel to "get your money back".

I budgeted 20K for the kitchen makeover. Three of these kitchen remodeling outfits quoted me anywhere from $36-59K for nearly identical kitchens, often doing the "I can give you a great discount today" thing. What utter bullshit. If you quote me something in the 50K range and then knock off 20% right away, and then "call your manager" for a "special" discount or "last month's coupon" just for me, and end up at $35K, you can get the f--- out of my house.

I ended up going to Lowe's. I got the EXACT same cabinets, installed, including some necessary remodeling work, for $16K. Add another $5K for the EXACT quartz countertops I was looking for from the local countertop wholesaler, and I got my kitchen for $21K.

As an aside, we knew we were going to have LVP put in through most of the upstairs including the kitchen, which would have to flow through the living room, dining room, and hallways as well. I asked one of those kitchen remodelers about it. Sure! No problem! He pulled out samples of the LVP we had been looking at and said his best installed price was going to be $22/sqft. I asked him twice if I had heard him correctly.

I called Empire and had the EXACT same LVP put in through the entire house for around $5.50/sqft.

Others have chimed in with good advice about cabinet features and other design considerations. Our kitchen designer at Lowe's was fantastic. She even suggested rearranging the location of the dishwasher to improve our cabinet layout, which was extremely easy to do once everything had been torn out. Having a good designer who knows their cabinet product goes a LONG way to getting it done right and to your satisfaction.

Covid definitely slowed things down. Took us almost 8 weeks (vs the usual 4-6) to get our cabinets, and don't even get me started on the appliances. I'm expecting our refrigerator next Thursday.

It's a royal PITA, but absolutely worth it in the end.

Good luck!


I predict that there will be many suggestions and statements about the law made here, and some of them will be spectacularly wrong. - jhe888

Posts: 15467 | Location: Maryland, AA Co. | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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