When homeowner’s have me do an estimate for their cabinets, they often ask me in which order should they have various contractors work on their kitchen update. A lot of pieces may be in the puzzle of a remodel besides cabinetry: painting the walls, new counters, new appliances, tile backsplash, electrical work, etc. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this question, I have a few standard recommendations.
1) Cabinets first. Have us refinish your kitchen cabinets first. There are several reasons for this: 1) some homeowners may be modifying their cabinet layout such that the new cabinets are needed to fit the new appliances and counters. 2) When we cover up parts of the wall next to the cabinets before spraying finish, sometimes flecks of paint are removed when we lift the painter’s tape. This becomes a non-issue if you are painting after we work on your cabinets. 3) If you suspect your counter tops are not level, tell us and we can add that service to the project before the counter installers arrive and tell you there’s a problem. 4) If you’re ready to part with your current counter tops, we cabinet people can use that to our advantage. For example, we may simplify installing new drawer boxes and slides if we can pop the top off. In certain cases, we may be able to save you a couple of bucks by removing the counters ourselves instead of waiting for your counter company to come in and do it.
2) Counter tops. After your cabinets are done, time to get a the counters in place. Remember that you will need a plumber to disconnect the water lines before the counter people come in. They will visit you twice: once to do a “template” (detailed measurements of the space where the counters will be placed), then second to do the installation. More on this in the previous post.
3) Tile. As new counter tops are typically 3cm (~1 3/16″) thick and old counters are usually 1.5″, the new counters will be a little more than a quarter inch thinner than the old ones. The granite or quartz backsplash may mask this gap, but then new tile must be aligned to the new place along the wall.
4) Paint walls. This step will hopefully cover up any wear and tear on the drywall sustained during the previous processes and will go around the new contours of your kitchen.
5) Appliances. Wow, does it feel good to open that new stainless steel refrigerator for the first time! Great icing on the cake.