Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

During a remodeling project, a part of your home is thrown into complete disarray, chaos and clutter increase, household routines are disrupted, and everyday items are packed away. At some point during the remodel, stress levels in the home will increase, leading to arguments or the proverbial “kicking the dog.”

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The best way to handle remodeling stress is to anticipate it and prepare for it.  A few simple suggestions to reduce stress are:

  • As mentioned in a previous post, keep the end in mind. You have undertaken the remodeling project for a variety of reasons.  When it is complete, you will have a wonderful space for your family to enjoy.
  • Ask questions and clarify any issues. Being persistent in getting answers to your questions will reduce stress during the remodel. Leaving issues unaddressed only increases your frustration and may leave a feeling that the work was not done well.
  • Don’t be surprised when arguments occur. Remember the argument is likely due to the disorder in your home and is not personal.  
  • Help your children manage the disruption by engaging them in the planning process. This can help them view the project as an adventure, reducing their stress.
  • Pets are also impacted by remodeling. Like the rest of the family, their routines have been disturbed and a variety of new people are coming/going. A little extra attention will help them cope with the situation.

Murphy's Law ... "If anything can go wrong, it will" ... was coined at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949.  Its namesake, Captain Edward Murphy, was an engineer working on a project to determine how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash. Upon finding a transducer wired wrong by a technician, he remarked, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it." The project manager added this to his list of "laws," referring to it as Murphy's Law.

So, how is Murphy's Law connected with remodeling projects?  Like the Air Force project, you can expect to have some aspect of a remodeling project go wrong. This can even include items outside the area being remodeled.

For example, in one of our kitchen remodeling projects, electrical work was required for the relocation of appliances and lighting, and the addition of undercabinet lights. In the process of completing this work, it became apparent that during a previous project in the home, shortcuts were taken with the electrical work. Breakers and wiring were overloaded creating a significant risk of fire. Not a pleasant or inexpensive surprise for the homeowner. As you would expect, the electrical issues were corrected before continuing with the kitchen renovation.

As you get ready for your remodeling project, here are a few "surprises" you should prepare for:

  • Products delivered late, damaged, or with missing parts
  • Incorrect products delivered to the job site
  • Miscommunication
  • More dust than expected
  • Mold/moisture from plumbing leaks
  • Finding termites or carpenter ants
  • Structural issues including insufficient support for load bearing walls
  • Need to remove asbestos or lead paint

Preparing yourself for project surprises will help minimize your stress and frustration when they occur. Including a budget item in your project for contingencies and surprises will allow you to deal with the problem without feeling like your budget is busted.

A kitchen remodeling project represents a significant of your time and money.  At various times in the planning process our clients ask a version of the following question … “What should I expect during the project?”  As most people only undertake one remodeling project in their life, it is filled with uncertainty and unfamiliarity.

To help minimize this uncertainty, it is important to understand what to expect, how long it will take, how it will impact living in your house, and the best ways to maintain a clean, safe home.  We will address various remodeling expectations in this and future blog posts. While we cannot answer every potential question that could arise, we will work to provide information to prepare you for what lies ahead.

As you begin planning your kitchen remodel, remember the following:

  • Keep the end in mind – when the project is complete, you will have a new, beautiful kitchen designed for your family’s needs.
  • The project will not be complete overnight – remodeling a kitchen is a significant project and will take time.
  • Your patience will be tested – over the course of the project, there will be times when there appears to be little progress, you will tire of having people in the house, surprises will happen, etc.  Stay focused on the first bullet point … a beautiful kitchen.
  • Communicate – if anything is unclear or you have questions during the remodeling process, ask your designer/contractor. You have hired them for their expertise and they will gladly respond to your questions and/or concerns.

Watch our blog for more details on what to expect during a kitchen remodel.  We will touch on temporary kitchens, minimizing the mess, packing up your kitchen, and more. If you don’t want to wait, stop in our showroom or call us.  One of our designers would be happy to talk with you.

Cabinet Inspirations & Ideas

Cabinet Warranties - 4 Questions to Ask

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Warranty information has at least one characteristic in common with a legal document or owner's manual ... they are not terrible exciting reading. However, like most small print, you should take a moment to read and understand the warranty. As you evaluate your cabinetry options, remember to consider these 4 questions.

1.  What is covered?

Almost all warranties cover defects in the materials used in a cabinet’s construction. For example, if the hinge on a cabinet door breaks, a replacement hinge will be provided. Likewise, any defects due to workmanship will be covered. If the cabinets arrive and a piece of molding has a scratch in the finish, a new piece of molding will be supplied.

2.  What is not covered?

There are three key items that are typically not covered by warranty … misuse, natural aging/darkening of the wood, and labor to replace defective materials. As you would expect, the warranty excludes damage from misuse, abuse, negligence and improper installation. So, if your son uses the drawer as a ladder to reach the cookie jar on the counter, any damage will not be covered.

Over time, wood and finishes will be affected by a variety of environmental factors … lighting, smoke, humidity, and household cleaners to name a few. Painted cabinets will eventually have small, visible cracking around joints due to the expansion/contraction of the wood from variation in household humidity. These are all considered part of the natural aging process of wood. Consequently, they are not considered imperfections and are not covered by warranties.

When an item is considered defective, the warranty only covers providing a replacement part. The labor cost to install/replace the defective part is typically not covered.

3.  What is the length of the warranty?

Warranty length is generally related to the price of the cabinets. The more expensive the cabinets, the longer the warranty. In general, warranties run from 5 to 25 years. As you move to more expensive semi-custom or custom cabinets, the warranties are for the lifetime of the cabinets.

4.  Is the warranty transferable?

Almost without exception, the warranty is only good for the original purchaser … it cannot be transferred when your home is sold.


If you believe there is an issue covered by warranty, we encourage contacting the company which supplied the cabinetry. They will be in the best position to help resolve your issue as quickly and conveniently as possible. 


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