In kitchen remodeling, the moment of truth arrives when old cabinets come out and construction begins. This is when the homeowner needs to be the most courageous.
There’s no getting around it - construction can be noisy, dusty and disruptive. A kitchen redesign typically requires several weeks of work, at a minimum. During that time, normal routines -especially cooking and eating - will be disrupted.
“You’re not going to like us for four to six weeks,” said Cee Edwards, president of Markraft Cabinets of Wilmington. “But then, you’re going to love us.”
To maximize the love - and minimize the disruption - Edwards and his team work ensure clients know exactly what to expect, and are on standby to solve problems and minimize delays.
After the brainstorming and design work, next is a meeting at the home between the homeowner, Markraft’s designer and the general contractor to pinpoint any potential problems for the builder.
After that meeting, final orders placed with the cabinet manufacturers. By that time, the homeowner should be prepared for things to be less than routine around the house for a while.
While a contractor is necessary for jobs involving structural alterations, Markraft can take on that role if the kitchen’s “footprint” remains unchanged. The company can tackle “tear-out” and “haul-out,” Edwards said, and refers clients to qualified subcontractors.
Of course, even the best schedule can fall victim to unforeseen circumstances. Mold on a wall may not be discovered until old cabinets are removed, or a cabinet might be damaged in shipping.
Being without a kitchen for “a bit,” Edwards said, is a challenge. But there are creative ways around that. The old refrigerator can be moved to the garage and used there, or a microwave can be relocated to another room to prepare packaged meals. The outdoor grill is another popular option. Dishes can be washed in bathroom or laundry room sinks, or replaced with disposables.
“It’s a good excuse to go out to eat,” Edwards said.
To help make that a little easier, Markraft will even give clients a restaurant gift certificate.
Once cabinets arrive, installation typically takes a few days to a few weeks. That time includes finishing touches, like installing paneling and molding, adjusting doors and drawers for perfect fit, and installing hardware. A common issue that can take some time is shimming or filling to cope with floors or walls that aren’t exactly level or plumb.
Then comes a sometimes surprising delay. A custom countertop, such as granite or other stone surfaces, can’t be cut to fit until all the cabinets are installed and leveled. Then, a specialist will measure and create a precise template to ensure the tops fit perfectly.
Markraft’s scheduling department ensures no unnecessary lags between steps. Within two days after installation, Edwards said, the countertop fabricator arrives to create the template.
Cutting and installing countertops takes a week or two. Finally, a plumber will install sinks and faucets.
Once the job is finished, the designer and a field technician evaluate everything, and any needed adjustments or reorders are done immediately.
After those fixes are complete, Markraft returns for another review. Markraft’s one-year guarantee on installation, as well as product warranties, don’t start until the client signs off on the job.
“That service after the sale,” Edwards said, “is how Markraft is different from everybody else.”
Ready to get your remodeling job started? Visit Markraft’s Design Center at 2705 Castle Creek Lane, just off Castle Hayne Road. Professional kitchen and bath designers consult by appointment but visitors are always welcome to stop by and browse the showroom. The Design Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.