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

Reface or Replace Cabinets?

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As discussed in a previous blog, remodeling a kitchen can be expensive. One alternative is refacing cabinets instead of replacing them. Refacing cabinets can be a viable option, however, there are situations in which refacing cabinets does not makes sense. Let’s look at what refacing is and the advantages/disadvantages of this option.

With cabinet refacing, the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed and replaced with new doors/drawer fronts. The exposed face frames and cabinet ends are covered with material to match the new doors/drawer fronts. New molding is installed to cover any raw edges or exposed areas. Typically, the new finish is painted or stained wood.



The key advantages of cabinet refacing are:

  • Cost – Typically, refacing cabinets will cost less than complete replacement. That said, the difference versus replacing cabinets may not be significant as it involves replacing the most expensive part of the cabinet … the door and drawer front.
  • Time – Refacing cabinets will take less time than removing and replacing cabinets. Most refacing projects take around one week, while replacing cabinets typically takes four weeks.
  • Cleaner – There will usually be less mess/dust with refacing.
  • Convenience – During the cabinet refacing, you will still be able to use your kitchen in the evening.


Disadvantages of refacing cabinets include:

  • Poor kitchen layout – Many remodeling projects are undertaken to improve the functionality or layout of your kitchen. Refacing cabinets will not solve this problem.
  • Tired cabinets – In many cases, the existing cabinets are tired … sagging shelves, falling apart. Refacing will not fix worn out cabinets.
  • Structural issues – There may be structural issues in the home, including floors that have settled, causing problems with the cabinets. Refacing cabinets will not correct these structural issues.
  • Cabinet accessories – Today, there are a growing number of wonderful cabinet accessories to improve the storage, functionality, and design of kitchens and bathrooms. In a refacing project, you will likely be limited in the ability to incorporate these accessories into the existing layout/design.

Refacing cabinets is a good option for some kitchens, however, if any of the above issues exist, examine all the options before making your final decision.

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