Calling Tampa Kitchen owners

kksmamaMay 20, 2013

I'm close to completing design and selecting a GC but there is time for you to help me by sharing (here or via email) things specific to our metro area that helped/hindered your kitchen remodel. For example, availability and selection of countertops (I hope to find, and afford, a hard soapstone),or local fabricators for a vent hood? Where did you look at hardware, faucets, etc?

We are fortunate to have Costco, Ikea, and now the Container Store and several competitive custom cabinet makers. Of course we also have plenty shoddy and shady characters around, though I think I'll avoid them by using a GC with employees or choosing my own subcontractors.

Any help you can offer a "neighbor" will be greatly appreciated!

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I'm on the other side of the bay, but still close :)
I am the GC of my project, so can't help you there, but so far my custom cabinet guy has been amazing. I am using GCI surfaces in Clearwater for my granite. We just templated on Friday, so no install experience yet, but they come highly recommended and have been very accommodating with my special edge requests. Mont Krest stone has Danby marble which was what I initially planned to use, but then I found a creamy granite from UMI stone that stole my heart. I haven't paid much attention to soap stone, sorry.

I have a great electrician and plumber, but they are local to N. Pinellas, so probably not much help to you. My cabinet maker and DH did my duct work and vent/wood hood installation.

The Container Store seemed pricey so I went to Ikea for most of my pantry organizing supplies. The majority of my other items were from Amazon :)

The one big piece of advice I have is to politely oversee what the tradesmen are doing. They have the knowledge and skill set to do what I cannot, but they are each a part of the big picture. Double checking measurements, edge profiles, radius corners, sink placement, etc. I try my best to stay out of their way, but have fortunately caught a few potential errors. The other thing I am finding out is to have some flexibility. We moved the refrigerator and recessed it into my laundry room. I have plenty of width and depth for it to fit perfectly, however, if I leave it flush, my kiddos will invariably crease my doors from opening it against the trim. Didn't think of that until it was in place.... That required us to modify a base cabinet since the drawer would no longer open as planned. Thank goodness for a custom cabinet maker!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Good stuff, thanks meyersdvm! Who are you using for cabinets? Painted or stained? I really like a cabinet guy I found, but am probably not using him because I'm afraid of being my own GC - we have to move plumbing (trench slab) and install ducting and roof vent - all way outside my and dh's experience. What kind of vent hood are you using?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:02AM
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Here in south St Pete, but we were strictly DIY.
Layout tweaked by GW, cabinets were from Scherr's (we were living in CA while starting the remodel, so couldn't work with a local custom person), appliances from Lakes (NJ/NY - so no taxes, free shipping and 5-year warranty), and tile/construction of walls and hood installation was all done by my hubby.
The biggest challenge for us was finding the special dolly needed to get the SZ fridge from the garage into the house.
Which reminds me - there are tricks to getting good estimates - close the garage door so that they don't see the SubZero/Wolf appliances and think you're rich. Park your expensive car down the street so they don't think you're rich. (Nothing can be done to hide that we are living on the waterfront - but at least our big boat wasn't here yet). I'm not kidding - my neighbor parked their Lexus in our driveway to get tiling estimates last month. Our plumbing estimate was cut in 1/2 with the garage door closed!
Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:15AM
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Meyersdvm - Would you mind sharing the name of your custom cabinet guy? My brother and SIL just purchased a home in the Tampa area, and the kitchen needs some TLC. Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Orlando area here. I just had a great experience with Lowe's for cabinetry and countertops. They were totally professional and reliable, but you have to know what you want. I shopped Amazon for many items too.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Thank you, Majra. I will pass that along to them. They were considering Lowes/Home Depot but were a little hesitant because they are not familiar with the stores in that area and online reviews seems to be very mixed, depending on which store you use.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:46PM
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I'm in N. Pinellas and used Knothole Creations for our custom cabinets. For granite we used Cutting Edge Granite. We hired a design build firm. I was pleased with all the subs they used.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Thank you, Monkeyjac. I have passed along those names to my brother and SIL. They had hoped to do a kitchen facelift on a budget, but I think they are realizing that it is a bigger (and more expensive) job than they initially thought.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 9:52PM
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