How long did your kitchen remodel take?

RealHousewifeofNJJuly 14, 2014

Misery loves company here.... we started planning the kitchen in March, making selections etc. for the next two months. The actual demolition of the kitchen did not begin until May 23rd. Here it is July 14th and we look to have another 2 weeks left. The countertops are being installed on Friday, then my contractor is coming back to do the backsplash, install the hood, sink, cooktop, etc. So I think another 2 weeks until it's all said and done.

Just wondering if anyone else is going through this? To be fair, we have a large kitchen and numerous issues with my remodel..from the wrong cabinets ordered which put us at a 3 week standstill to having to rip out the sheetrock to move lights and ducts. All fun! lol

Guess I am anxious now that it's 90% done!

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Design in May 2013.
Tear Out in August 2013
Floors, cabinets and appliances installed December 2013
Counter installed February 2014
Finished July 2014

Ridiculous timeline, I know. But hope it makes you feel better!!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:56PM
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Cabinets ordered in January, demo at end of February, usable kitchen middle of May, final check list complete beginning of July.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:57PM
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It does! I really shouldn't complain too much. We also took on redoing sheetrock (recovering from a flood which started this whole project), replacing carpeting, ripping out all the hardwood floors on the 1st floor and replacing them with new hardwood floors, plus painting almost every room in the house, installing thicker baseboards everywhere, redoing closets, furniture etc. I really shouldn't complain bc it has only been ongoing since March and it is all done except for the kitchen. Think I am just tired of living in a construction zone.

CInjos, your kitchen is TDF! Love the color scheme.

I've been saving a bottle of Dom for when this remodel is complete! lol

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Real Housewife (love your name!):
It's true that when you make changes, it all gets delayed, but we knew we were only doing this once, so we kept adding to the scope of the project. We raised the ceilings, we added a skylight, a fireplace, replaced all the windows...

None of these were in the original plan and they threw the contractor off terribly. So, he ignored us for long periods of time. It was beyond frustrating, especially when people would say, "Is it finished yet???".

You might be saving the Dom for when it's done, but I highly recommend something a little harder for while you're living through it!! First world problems, I know, but sometimes it can get to you.

(and thanks for the compliment. I'm super happy!!)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:15PM
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Chase built a new bank a few blocks from me in 90 days. From used car dealership to fence, demo, foundation, walls, roof, vault, interior, state-of-the-art electronics and striping the parking lot in 3 months.

My wife's former employer could demo concrete, place new, install and calibrate new front end alignment machines in an auto plant over a 2-week Christmas shutdown.

And folks can't get a residential kitchen done in nearly a year.

The difference here is clout. Chase and General Motors will take your family hostage if you don't turn over the keys by deadline.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:24PM
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You are on to something Trebruchet. Despite my screenname I am a professional. If I treated ANY of my clients the way I was treated during my remodel I would be out of business. It wasn't just one contractor or supplier, every single one at one point or another dropped the ball, did not do their job right and there was no sense of urgency for getting anything completed. The one person I cannot blame is my GC. He has had to work around and correct other's mistakes and hold ups. I know it is frustrating for him as well, as he had a timeline for completion but other people's incompetence has slowed him down.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:39PM
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First, when they were unpacking my cabinets on Saturday I was the first to say DON'T BLOCK THE LIQUOR CABINET! I hear it's crucial while without a kitchen.

Design: April/May 2014
Cabinets ordered: 5/11
Cabinets arrived: 7/9
Cabinets inspected: 7/12
Demo scheduled to start: 7/16

I go back to work/school 8/11. I am still delusional enough to think that everything major will be done. Fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:40PM
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Ahhh, the whining of amateurs. hehehehe Fire December 3, 2005.
We moved back in and rebuilding work begun July, 2006. Thank GOD we bought most of the materials and fixtures.
By September, 2006 work halted (when POC-ex-DH-GC found a girlfriend).

long story long story long story long story Living without a kitchen, heat, A/C, plumbing, installed electricity, drywall, without installed windows (I do not recommend Tyvek paper instead of windows), flooring, bathrooms, canned lighting holes, (snakes, raccoons, other things of nature) space heaters off extension cords to the fuse box, and other sundry things most take for granted, since that July of 2006. July, 2008 I kicked into gear (and kicked him out) and have been working on this rebuild myself, alone. Teaching this Waitress/Bartender/Yoga Teacher/DIYer how to use tools, what they were and what they do.

This month I've been able to paint my first room. All it needs, completely, is trim. "TRIM," she screamed, "I don't need no stinkin' TRIM!" But someday, I'd like to have some.
My kitchen remains in flux, although I have all the components. I am saving for a lowered, counter height sink window and soapstone counters on that side. I own my flooring and all the other cabinets. I've built my own BB countertop and will need paint and trim. That trim again.

Then, there is the rest of the house.
The good news is that the electricity is finished in the kitchen, MBR, MB and Guest Bath. (We won't talk about the man-sized hole in the bathroom, where someday a shower will go.) The other rooms will be done as I get to them, because I don't live in them much.

Anyway, to answer the original question, I guess I'm talking 6 - 8 years. I always laugh (rather scornfully, I admit) at people with a few weeks or months reno inconvenience. These threads pop up way to frequently, so many here have heard my story (ok, a few times). Not news.

You chose this.
It can teach you that you cannot control everything in your life.
PRAY and pray hard on your knees, that this is the worst thing you ever experience in your life.
A little construction site dust you're paying to have created.

Bet you're sorry you asked!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:29PM
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No I am not sorry I asked. I AM very sorry to hear about your troubles. Your attitude about it all is wonderful. Alas in my case, I wish this was the worst thing that has happened in my life, far from it. And I know I am incredibly blessed in many ways maybe not so much in others.

Just wanted to vent as a person who sees the finish line and just wants it to be done already so I can go back to "normal" life.

Thanks for your post!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:43PM
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"Finish line!? FINISH LINE!?" she screamed.
"What's it look like," she whispered, fearfully.
"Does it hurt?" she worried.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:06PM
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We started June 2013 and we stalled a few times. We then restarted the end of January 2014 but it took a while to find someone who was willing to work towards what I wanted and not what they thought I should have. I think he did a great job and it exactly what I wanted. Now, if only I could get the backsplash figured out!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Pre-planning: Mar-May 2013. Discovered that kitchen structure must be worked along with living, family rooms and entry hall.
Design: May-June 2013.
Kitchen demo: July-Aug 2013
Today: countertops went in.
Tomorrow will be the first day with a sink and all appliances connected in 11.5 months.

This post was edited by schicksal on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 17:42

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 5:20PM
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I say this every time someone asks, so here I go again.

No kitchen for 4-1/2 years. For at least the last year of this we only had an undercounter refrigerator with no freezer and no microwave.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 5:50PM
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In my first house I had all my ducks in row, including bribing all 4 kids to go to summer camp for 2 weeks. 2 days before the demo the GC dissed us saying he had too much work. New GC could do the demo and prep, but he had another job in between. So the kids came home to no kitchen, just a fridge in the DR, micro on the porch and a temporary sink.
When the GC came back 6 weeks later, I had a gorgeous kitchen in 10 days.
This time, everything was in the garage. DH was the GC. And his office is in the house so he was around most of the time. From the demo to 95% done was 3 weeks. Then it was some painting cleaning.
My only advise is to do everything and order everything possible before the demo. If there is room, have cabinets and appliances in the garage or house before the demo so there is no down time.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:25PM
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2013/12: architect came to visit the house to approve wall removals/additions

2014/02: got permits from the city

2014/03: approved preliminary kitchen plans

2014/04-2014/05: demo, new walls, electrical, plumbing

2014/05: approved final kitchen plans after new walls were in

2014/05 to last week: venting, lighting, drywalling, plastering, painting, shopping & obsessing about sinks, faucets, countertops, knobs & pulls, fabrics, etc...

Today: new hardwood floors were installed

Tomorrow: appliances will be delivered

Wednesday & Thursday: cabinets will be delivered and installed

Countertops and backsplash will be installed in 5 weeks. From demo to completely finished kitchen, the project will have taken 4.5 months.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:15PM
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I'll let you know when its done. We started mid August 2013.

My kitchen works now but I still have no flooring, no backsplash , no pantry shelves, my wet bar is installed but not stained and finished yet so the counter and sink are not installed. I still need to order (or build) my island, buffet and china cabinets.

In all fairness though, we are doing all of it ourselves, except for the slab. We hired someone else to pour the slab and wouldn't you know, the ONE thing we hired out has been complete crap.

We had to grind down the slab, went through, I think 4 diamonds wheels, just to get it level enough to set the cabs.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:39PM
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Wow. I am almost afraid to answer........

6 weeks from the first day of demo to total completion. That included replacing all drywall and moving some appliances. And removing/replacing the fireplace and all the drywall in the adjoining family room. New everything in kitchen.

I should send my GC another thank you note.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 12:13AM
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You show me a GC that gets a kitchen done in 6 weeks and I'll show you a contractor that's making money and pleasing customers.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 7:30PM
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depends who is doing the work. If it's DIY depends on how much time you can muster toward the project. If contracted out....well that all depends. Good Luck.Try to make a realistic schedule that works for you. Plan, plan,plan and then plan some more to avoid hasty decisions on the fly and to be able to create a good timeline. Oh, and have fun. With all the info on this site alone let alone others you can really shop and educate yourself. Knowledge is power.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:55AM
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If contracted out....well that all depends. Good Luck. Try to make a realistic schedule that works for you. Plan, plan, plan and then plan some more...

That's my problem. I can't. They won't let me. I can plan all I want, but if the other players won't commit, my plans are toast.

(Yes, lots of lessons learned about who and how I pick people.)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:02AM
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5 years and counting. However, this is included in a whole-house remodel. We knew the house needed some work when we bought it, but we succumbed to major scope creep (we should really change the kitchen before we lay hardwood floors, oh and there's that tax credit for windows so let's replace, etc.). We're DIY with full-time jobs so it's slow going. I lived with plywood floors and open walls for at least for two or three years.

The kitchen's been been cobbled together from a mix of old, yard sale, and home-made cabinets, and the appliances are in and have been working for over two years now though. So, at least it functions and we are just saving to "make it pretty" now. Along with the busted up driveway and "patio" that's just an outdoor rug over dirt :( Actually I'm mad about that last one, we weren't supposed to have to replace that patio! It ended up being pitched to hold water against the house :( Oh well, at least the windows, framing, electrical, plumbing, bathrooms, flooring, and most of the trim and drywall is done!! :D

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:35AM
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Last Wednesday they finished the last details and packed up all their belongings and left! Finished - yeah! I started contacting contractors last fall. Ours is a medium kitchen with no changes in the footprint but everything except a few appliances were being replaced. I signed a contract in January but we had a custom cabinetmaker who had several projects so we waited and waited. Once they started the demolition in May, it was 8 weeks and 1 day. One week we were on vacation so that doesn't really count. Another week was eaten by floor issues. Some weeks we saw lots of work and other weeks it seemed like we were just waiting. It was worth the wait and I love walking in my new kitchen. Used the oven for the first time in 8 weeks - it was so fun and I loved all the new cabinets and layout.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:52AM
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We were on a tight timeline because we wanted to get our kitchen and 2 baths redone before we moved into our new house. We designed and ordered in November, gut demo began in January and we were moved into our home in April. If it was just the kitchen and not the baths, it would have been much sooner.

I consider that to be a pretty rapid time frame, especially considering that almost all of the work was done by our contractor and one helper, and it was great work.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:53AM
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'More than twice as long as expected' is the best answer I can give now. Our job is more than a kitchen but the kitchen is the biggest, fussiest part of the job. GC originally estimated 12 weeks; DH and I knew THAT was wrong, since cabinet lead time was 8-11 weeks and those couldn't be ordered until demolition and substantial other work was done. When we pointed that out, the GC adjusted his estimate to 16 weeks.

Well, they started the first week of 2013, it's mid-July 2014 and we're still two months from substantial completion. Our relationship with the GC is in shambles - surprisingly NOT due to the delays but to myriad other issues - and this whole nightmare will end in arbitration. I've checked out emotionally of the whole mess, and DH, who's a litigator by trade, is handling the day-to-day battles.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:50AM
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We were without a usable kitchen for somewhere between 2 and 3 weeks. This included removal of old cabinets (Habitat did that for us), removal of old floor and installation/finishing of new HW, relocating and adding plumbing, a bit of construction to reframe an interior window (long story), having the whole kitchen completely rewired, and installation of new cabinets and countertop. There was another couple of weeks of kitchen work that I did myself (filling nail holes, caulking, painting, final coats of finish on the wood countertop, having the backsplash installed) but we were using the kitchen during that time.

This is what made it go so fast: 1. not being a normal GW kitchen (cabs/counters are from IKEA). 2. LUCK. 3. Lots and lots and lots of advance planning on my part -- I was the "GC." 4. Wonderful trades (flooring, plumber, electricians) who came when they said they would and got their work done efficiently; ditto local inspector. 5. Great installers with extensive carpentry and IKEA experience who were available on short notice (see point 2, Luck) when original handyman bailed out after reno had already begun. 6. Choosing a floor finish that was ready to walk on the next day (Rubio Monocoat). 7. Using a countertop that could be installed by the cabinet installers (IKEA butcherblock). 8. Having almost everything on site in advance, and having me available to run to the big box stores at a moment's notice for unexpected bits and pieces (corollary: being willing to have most kitchen components come off the shelf from somewhere local; there were only a few special-order things). 9. DIY'ing the final steps and using the kitchen during that time. 10. Almost forgot -- keeping the scale of reno fairly limited -- basic footprint of room did not change (some wall and window work had to be done, but no walls were moved and we left the original plaster in place for the most part).

I still can't quite believe we pulled it off so fast. It wouldn't have happened if the people I hired hadn't been so professional and helpful (a big deal, I know, since I'm just a homeowner and can give them only so much business).

I really do sympathize with all of you with the longer renos. Your kitchens are on a different level than ours, though, and ours wouldn't suit everyone.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Ours was a to-the-studs remodel including changing sizes of windows, moving walls, new plumbing, new electrical, with tile floor, new custom cabinets, and all new appliances, done almost completely DIY, so it took a while.

Sept 2006 -- Sending plans to cabinet company for quote.

Nov 2006 -- Cabinet deposit to get on the schedule

Feb 2007 -- Start demo - Build new partition wall

Mar 2007 -- Cabinets Arrive - Modify exterior for new windows - Plumbing - Insulation - Electrical

Apr 2007 -- Removing sliding glass door to replace with single in-swing door - prep floor for tile

May/June 2007 -- Tile - Drywall - Spackle - Paint

July 2007 -- Install lights, Assemble and Install Cabinets.

Aug 2007 -- Install Appliances - getting granite quotes

Sept 2007 -- Installing windows, Installing granite.

Oct 2007 -- "Substantially done" except for trim, toe kicks, and backsplash

Present -- Done except for backsplash. :-(

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:30AM
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Wow. People are going to hate me. We have been looking/planning since last November, but were also considering moving. When we decided to stay, we moved pretty quickly. I did not hire a general contractor- I hired and scheduled all of the installers myself. And was I ever lucky- they all did a great job and no unusual delays.

To be fair- our remodel was not too drastic- we replaced cabinets, counters and backsplash, but kept the floors and existing footprint. We have no basement and a concrete slab, so moving plumbing would be prohibitive. We did vent our hood outside which involved a couple of holes in the ceiling, but it was surprisingly minimally invasive. All of my appliances except for the hood and cooktop are only a couple of years old so they stayed.

May 7, 2014: Ordered hood and cooktop
May 15, 2014: Ordered cabinets, put aside granite slabs
June 10, 2014 Cabinets delivered- ( a week earlier than the estimate!)
June 12-13; Demo and cabinet install
June 16-17; Ductwork for hood installed
June 18: Electrician (added a couple of plugs)
June 20: Drywall repair, hood installed
June 24: Granite measured and templated- sub counters installed
July 2-3: Granite and backsplash installed, plumbing re-connected, new RO drinking water system installed
July 5: Finish trim on cabinets
July 8: Granite and backsplash sealed
July 9-12: Painting (me)
July 14: Cabinet installer back to make minor adjustments (even though we already paid him!)
July 15: Ordered door for pantry
July 16: Pantry door installed, painted
We still have to get the ceiling painted- that is scheduled for August 4th.

So 3 weeks in chaos and another 2 weeks of adjustments with a working kitchen. We have been truly lucky. Granite was delayed a week because installer was on vacation. Minor glitch was one wrong sized cabinet- it was at the end of a run and we got a new one delivered within 2 weeks so granite installation was not delayed.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:26PM
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mapletex - that sounds like our schedule!

April 2 - Home Equity loan (gotta start with the important stuff 1st!)
April 7 - Designer meeting, get quotes & bids
April 17 - buy appliances (with July delivery - great sale at Sears)
April 23 - Cabinets selected, design approved, tiles & floor selected
May 7 - Contract signed
May 20- Counter selected
June 23 - Demo started
July 16 - Floor finished
July 17 - Cabinets arrive
July 18 - Appliances arrive

At this stage we have 2-3 weeks to go, so from demo-to-finish will be about 6-7 weeks of chaos and mess. We spent about 2 months researching, planning, and selecting.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 2:52PM
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I have to say, I know (I hope, I think) ours will go a lot faster/smoother than many, but I've still been feeling very sorry for myself about the fact that my kitchen will maybe be done a few days before I go back to work (school teacher). I anticipated it being done the first half of the summer, not the last.

I'm using HD. I love my Innermost cabinets so far (in my living room for 8 days now.) My only real regret so far is using them for the demo and trades. It's not that I'm not happy with them, the electrician is great, I've had more exposure to him. The plumbers seem good too. But... IF I'd worked as my own GC or hired another non-HD GC, demo, electrical, plumbing etc. could have all been done before cabinets arrived...and we would have more or less been on my schedule. It's my own fault for not asking the right questions at the outset. I know. And I know I'll love my kitchen. But I've definitely learned a WHOLE bunch this summer. I thought that going through one place, HD, would make it the quickest and easiest, though it would cost a premium. But no...cost a premium AND delayed my project at least a week or two. ::

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:34PM
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