Remodeling the kitchen in your home can seem like an overwhelming task! There are a lot of steps to ensure a remodel is done well and in a way that you will be happy with for years to come. Below we have outlined the general process of completing a kitchen remodel, including some of the issues that must be considered at each stage. Depending on the extent of your project, you may not experience all of the stages outlined. At CAC by Design, we are committed to completing your remodel with as much care and attention to detail as we would a remodel on our own home. Our professionals take care of managing these details, so that you don’t have too.
First and foremost, this is going to be an awesome experience and you will love your new kitchen. However, it is highly likely something unexpected will come up or be discovered during the course of your kitchen remodel. Don’t stress, remain calm, stay flexible, and know you are working with professionals. We will access these issues and come up with the best possible solutions for your project to get it done right.
Don’t rush the process! Take time to educate yourself and spend time with your designer in the showroom asking questions. Simply asking well thought out questions up front, coupled with your designer setting clear and reasonable expectations with you, is key to setting the stage for a pleasurable and rewarding experience as you prepare to see your space transformed.
Planning & Design
So you decided that you want (NEED) a new kitchen…. Where is the best place to begin?
At CAC By Design we recommend that you start with our Kitchen Planner.
Our Kitchen Planner will help you organize your thoughts and help you decide what you like and dislike about your existing kitchen.
Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish is the key to getting the project done as efficiently as possible.
Once your thoughts are on paper using the planner, take a few photos with your cell phone and head to one of our convenient showrooms.
We have at least 2 qualified Kitchen and Bath Experts in each of our showrooms who will gladly work with you to get the process started.
Our Design team will help you discover alternatives to the parts of your existing kitchen you don’t like without compromising the parts of your existing kitchen that you do like.
They will start with the overall layout of the kitchen and then “design in” the cabinetry that will give you all the necessary options and accessories to make your kitchen state of the art! Next they will plan for any lighting changes that need to be made to make your kitchen bright and inviting. Then its flooring, countertops, backsplash and wall color. We realize it seems like a very daunting process but when you and your designer have finished, the combined vision using our expertise and your desires will blossom into a perfect plan for the “State of the Art” Kitchen of your Dreams!
Verification & Scheduling
Many companies have the ability to create a beautiful design. But the best plan poorly executed rarely meets the vision that the planning and design set in motion.
At CAC BY Design we handle every step of the process. During the Verification & Scheduling stage, a member of the installation staff will visit your home with the designer to look over all the details one by one to ensure that the vision that you and the designer have created can be executed at 100% of your expectation. This is where we double check and eliminate obstacles that might cause us headaches or heartaches if not discovered until the project is underway. We make sure that every cabinet is going to fit per plan and that every detail that you and the designer put on paper can be executed to the fullest. We check to make sure that all material can be ordered to fit as planned and that everything will be on site when we need it.
Typically, a full kitchen remodel will span 4 to 6 weeks from the first day of demo to 100% completion. Although the bulk of the work is done in the first couple weeks there always seem to be little loose ends to slow us down before we can do the finishing touches. Dust and debris are to be expected in varying degrees throughout the course of the remodel. Typically, medium to heavy mil plastic will be put over anything that cannot be removed from the area. Entryways into other rooms will be blocked with plastic to prevent dust and debris from crossing over into other rooms. At the end of each workday debris and trash will be hauled away. Tools and materials are also organized and cleaned so we are ready to begin work the following day.
We ask that you make sure there is a clear path from your kitchen to the nearest entrance to your home, as this will reduce the amount of difficult maneuvering the team must do to carry out trash and debris and carry in the tools, equipment, and supplies needed to complete the job. Although we will take every precaution to insure the safety of the area, small children and pets should not be allowed in the area while any of the remodeling process is taking place.
Expect demo to take approximately 1 to 2 days overall. We will begin by removing appliances, countertops and disconnecting plumbing. Then base cabinets will be removed followed by the wall cabinets. Next, wall or soffit removal will begin, followed up with any plumbing, electric or HVAC modifications that will need to be made.
Depending on the scope of your project and your design, walls may need to be removed. Perhaps we are eliminating a built in pantry from the kitchen like the photo above. Although this is a relatively simple process, close attention to detail is required to make sure that the end result looks as if the pantry we removed never existed. Often we eliminate a formal dining room to make the kitchen more spacious. Regardless of why we are removing a wall, possible obstacles to consider are water lines, HVAC, gas or electrical lines, all of which may be easily rerouted by our professional staff. As we described above, our installation staff goes over the design with a fine tooth comb to find possible trouble spots before we even order the cabinetry or even consider starting work in your home. Removing a load bearing wall is more involved and may require our licensed engineer to visit the home to insure that we meet all the load requirements for state and local building codes. We do the demolition process surgically, removing items in small sections as we search for anything we don’t expect to find.
Building and Drywall
Your project may also include adding a wall or just replacing drywall. In either event we want to make sure that any wall we build is constructed in the same manner that the original walls in your home would have been built. Our goal is to make everything we do look as good or better than it originally looked when it was built new many years before. We never want it to be obvious that a remodel ever took place.
Addressing and adjusting electrical on any job goes hand in hand with the scale/size of the remodel project you’re working on. Each project is different, but one thing that most existing older kitchens have in common is that the majority are under lit. This can be addressed in a variety of ways, but while the area is under construction it can be remedied very easily with the addition of can lights, pendant lights, under-cabinet lighting, and in-cabinet lighting. The temperature/coloring of these lights is also an important consideration. The higher the number, the brighter or more blue the light becomes. A 2700 light is much more yellow than a 3000, which is much more blue. In addition to lighting, now is also the time to ensure that you have the right amount and type of outlets within the space. Type of outlets includes GFCI, a ground fault circuit interrupter. A GFCI outlet is the first in a series of outlets, and is the one used to provide GFCI protection to the circuit (i.e. everything connected after that point.) When considering the amount of outlets, think about the number of appliances you will keep in the area. In addition, state and local electrical codes require a minimum spacing of outlets behind countertops and on islands. Other things to consider include: USB charging ports to keep your tech devices at your fingertips, pop-up outlets within a large island for added function, and dedicated outlets within your cabinetry for the specific devices that you may use or store in that area.
One early consideration in terms of plumbing is the use of soffits. These may be a design choice, but they are also often used as “chases” or easy places to hide pluming lines and drains. If you have existing soffits that you would like removed, any plumbing contained in them will need to be relocated or designed around. Another important piece of plumbing will be your sink and faucet selection. These are things you use (and abuse) every day, so an informed choice of quality materials/functions will make for lasting enjoyment of the space. Things to be considered include sink material, including stainless or composite, and how you want the sink mounted, undermount or drop–in. If you are interested in a farm sink, they typically require a special cabinet with extra support for weight and design; however, there are “retrofit options” that allow a standard sink base to be used after a minor cabinet modification. Another important consideration is the depth of the sink in relation to the plumbing location; enough space is needed to ensure proper flow/fall in order to avoid smells or potential backups.
After demo is done, and all the items that were in the area (cabinets, furniture etc.) are removed, it is time to start prepping for installing the new floor. The first step is to remove all base boards. If the new design includes using your old base boards, extra care will need to be taken during the removal; depending on the original installation, it may be harder to remove in some areas than in others. Be prepared that some pieces may break and need to replaced. Once the base boards are removed, it is time to remove the old flooring. Different tools and methods will be used, depending on the existing flooring. For example, for carpet, a utility knife will be used to cut the carpet out; this is done in small sections and overall is a very easy process. The removal of tile or other glued down material is another story and can be a very daunting task. Never put any new surfaces over old. It may save a few bucks today but eventually there will come a day when you or someone else will regret the fact that you did it. Our rule is always, install everything as if it were being installed when the home was first built.
As with floor removal, the installation of a new floor requires different tools and materials depending on the type of flooring being installed. For tile flooring, important material and tools include sub-straight, mortar, a tile saw, and a trowel. For LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), glue (if you are not doing a floating floor) and a sharp utility knife are the most important tools required. Once all the supplies and tools are gathered, it is time to install the new flooring. Throughout this process, the installation team will be careful to ensure that the floor remains as level as possible, as well as that it is lined up properly with the walls. Once the flooring is installed, base boards or edging will be installed, as well as transition strips. Transition strips are installed where the type of flooring changes, for example from tile to carpet.
Once your walls, floors and any plumbing and electric work are done, the next step in the remodeling process is to start installing your new cabinetry. We install the upper cabinets first, measuring up from the floor to allow room for the base cabinets, countertops and backsplash. A level is used to draw a line where the bottom of the upper cabinets will sit, to ensure your cabinets are level. We then locate wall studs; it is important to ensure that the cabinets are attached to the wall studs, so the weight of the cabinets is properly supported. Then the cabinets are carefully hung, checking for plumb and level throughout the process. Fillers are used to enclose any gaps between the final cabinet and the wall.
Once the upper cabinets are hung, the base cabinets are installed. If the floor isn’t level, the installers find the highest point on the floor and use this as the starting point. We then mark a level horizontal line where the top of the cabinets will be located. Once wall studs are marked, we install the base cabinets. We use shims under the cabinets in any low spots on the floor to ensure that the tops of the cabinets are all level. It is very important that the base cabinets are completely level, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also because stone countertops need to be installed on a level surface to ensure the stone doesn’t break. Once the cabinets are installed, any trim is added, then doors are hung, and drawers and hardware are installed.
Countertops are installed after all the cabinetry is complete. The countertop material is carried into your home and carefully laid on the new cabinetry. It then must be leveled and secured. It’s essential that the cabinets are as level as possible before heavy stone is put in place. Any unevenness in the cabinets must be counteracted with shims. We use Akemi epoxy at the seams of your stone to bond the granite or quartz pieces to each other. The akemi is typically blended and colored on-site to match your countertop as closely as possible.
Cut-outs for sinks and appliances are done in the fabrication process, before the countertops are brought to your home. However, the installers will drill the hole(s) for your faucet on site. The hole placement and how many holes we drill will depend on your faucet and sink. Some sinks require you to have a single hole faucet and the hole is typically drilled on center. With some sinks, the faucet hole will need to be drilled off to the side of the sink in order to accommodate the spacing for the faucet itself. This is something you and your designer should discuss when you are choosing your sink and faucet. During the drilling process, you can expect there will be some dust from the stone, although our experienced installers will take steps to minimize the dust and clean up the mess.
Assuming you choose an undermount sink, it will be mounted to the underside of the stone slab with a sink harness. This harness is a piece of hardware that consists of 2 metal wires and a tightening metal strip. The wire strips are secured to both sides of your sink base cabinets in an “X” pattern. The sink is then cradled in the middle. Once the sink is in place the wires are then tightened to where the sink is pushed up to the underbelly of the top. A bead of silicone is then added for a watertight seal. The reason that CAC by Design uses this technique in mounting your sink is because if your sink seal ever fails, in other words becomes loose or disconnects from your countertop (this does happen, though not very often), the sink harness will keep the sink up and prevent it from falling straight into your sink base and damaging your plumbing.
Once the countertops are complete, we can install your backsplash. If selections have been made and your tile material has been received at our facility, we can start tiling the day after the countertop is done. Once all the tile is set, we can come back the next day and grout it. Usually this is a two-day process, but it may take longer depending on the size of the job and the complexity of the pattern.
The backsplash is usually the last major piece of the project. Once it is complete, that usually indicates the completion of the remodel. There may be a few additional things that need to be completed, including installing the exhaust hood, installing under cabinet lighting, or finishing trim. Once we have completed all of these pieces, we will ensure the space is fully clean and free of dust.
Now your new kitchen space is ready for you to enjoy! With CAC by Design, you can be sure that everything about your remodel will be handled professionally, with care and attention to detail. We pride ourselves on our work, so you have a space you are proud to call your own! Contact CAC by Design today to get started on your remodel!