When it comes to remodeling, not everyone truly understands what is involved. Lucid Development is here to guide you through the process and take the stress out of any remodel you may have in mind. For any project, there are 3 key players:
The Homeowner, who knows what they want but doesn't know and/or want to do the work themselves.
The Vendors, who are experts at their chosen trade but may not have the ability and/or desire to oversee the entire project.
The General Contractor, who takes on the responsibility of overseeing the project. They need to communicate effectively with homeowners and vendors on site to ensure a beautiful, high-quality project, and a stress-free experience for the homeowner.
For this article, I will be focusing on the process involved in a kitchen remodel as we strive to execute here at Lucid Development. Follow along as I take you step-by-step through one of our previously completed kitchen remodels.
Step One: Walk-Through & Initial Estimate
After a client reaches out to us, we schedule an initial walk-through to see the scope of the project, take initial measurements, and ask some questions to understand what the client desires. With the information gained during this walk-through, we are able to formulate an initial estimate based on the square footage and scope of work, typically within 24-48hrs. This estimate is based on previous project budgets and does not represent the final contract price.
Step Two: Vendor Walk-Throughs & Updated Estimate
If the client would like to move forward after reviewing the initial estimate, we reach out to our vendors and schedule walk-throughs with them so that they can provide a more detailed bid for their portion of the project. We typically schedule 2-3 different vendors for each trade to provide competitive pricing & ensure professional vendors are selected for the client's needs. Once all bids are compiled from the necessary vendors, we formulate a revised estimate, which is much more accurate by getting the prices directly from the vendors involved in completing the project. This estimate may become the final contract price, but we still review the details of the project with the owner before any contracts are signed to ensure clarity on the scope of work & prices involved.
Step Three: Obtain Permits
Not every project requires a permit (painting, trim, etc.), but when the project is more involved, we will obtain permits from the local building department. Building permits are generally between $250-$3,000 and fluctuate based on the size of the project.
Step Four: Schedule Dumpster
Here at Lucid Development, we take every step necessary to ensure a clean project, because this is not just a jobsite, this is your home. All vendors are expected to maintain a safe, clean work environment by cleaning up after themselves daily. A dumpster ensures there is no excuse for not keeping the jobsite clean, providing them a place to dispose of any waste. If a dumpster is not required / desired by the client, an alternative plan will be implemented to contain and dispose of the project waste. We take pride in keeping the jobsite incredibly clean throughout the entire project, from demo to final touch-ups.
Step Five: Demolition
Remove existing trim, appliances, cabinets, fixtures, flooring, drywall, and potentially studs. Demolition can be completed quickly but should not be hastily undertaken. Care needs to be taken to not cause additional damage requiring repair outside of the scope of work. Protecting floors, masking off windows, and installing temporary dividers are some of the steps taken to keep the demolition contained from the rest of your home.
Step Six: Framing
This kitchen remodel included removing a non-load-bearing wall, resizing two corner windows, and framing in a cubby for the fridge. After demolition, the walls are accessible for any additional framing. Don't forget to add additional blocking where required for your drywall sub.
Step Seven: Electrician
Our electrician came out once framing was complete to run a new circuit from the panel to the kitchen, replacing the dated wires that were causing issues for the owner. During this rough-in stage, additional can lights, under-cabinet lighting, and new wall heaters were wired. You may need the electrician to come out during the demolition / framing stages to properly cap or relocate wires in the way.
Step Eight: Windows
Part of this kitchen remodel included resizing two corner windows so that the new kitchen cabinets could extend all the way to the wall underneath them. After framing the openings smaller, installing housewrap, and waterproofing the openings, new windows were installed. At the time of this remodel, windows were very delayed in production, so the actual installation of these new windows was much later than anticipated.
Step Nine: Plumbing
The plumber came in after our electrician to relocate the kitchen sink plumbing, install water line for the fridge, a pot filler above the stove, and relocate the dishwasher. The plumber was able to complete his rough-in work in two days, then waits for the call to come back and install fixtures at the end of the remodel.
Step Ten: Drywall
After all work inside the walls is complete and each necessary inspection (framing, electrical, and plumbing) has passed, the drywall sub is scheduled to come out and close everything up. He will hang, tape, and texture the walls and ceiling patches to match the wall coverings currently in place outside of the kitchen. This process is messy, so we stay on top of the drywall vendor to keep them accountable for floor protection, dust mitigation, and thorough clean-up once complete.
Step Eleven: Cabinets & Trim
Once drywall is complete, you may decide to have your painter apply a prime coat over the walls and ceiling while the kitchen is still empty. This prime coat allows for quality final coverage later, as well as making any necessary drywall touch-ups obvious and easy to complete before further trim install begins. Once drywall is approved, kitchen cabinets, window trim, and remaining base trim are all installed by our trim carpenter. This process really brings your new kitchen to life, but the attention to detail is paramount to avoiding major issues in the upcoming steps.
Step Twelve: Counters
This client chose to upgrade their kitchen with beautiful quartz countertops. The countertop vendor comes out once all cabinets are installed to take his meticulous measurements. He then goes and picks up the slab(s) from his supplier, takes them back to his shop where his CNC machine cuts the slabs into each individual piece, with very thoughtful layout to reduce seams. The actual install of these quartz counters only takes one day, and they are phenomenal at joining each peace to completely hide the seam.
Step Thirteen: Tile
After the countertop is installed, the tile backsplash is installed. Depending on the size of the tile and the square footage of wall to cover, this install can take between 1-4 days, including grout and cleaning. We mask off the counters, cabinets, and floors where backsplash will be installed so no thinset or grout can affect our beautiful finishes. Tiling is a messy process, so we take additional steps to keep it controlled.
Step Fourteen: Paint
If you decided to schedule your painter right after drywall, they may only need to come back at this point for touch-up. This client decided to have their cabinets painted, so we scheduled the painter to come out once and complete everything (walls, ceiling, cabinets, & trim). A quality painter makes quick work of all the masking required and can transform the project from a jobsite to nearly finished kitchen in a matter of days.
Step Fifteen: Final Trim
Once all other vendors have completed their work, the plumber and electrician are schedule one more time to install the new fixtures and appliances. Our plumber came out to connect the fridge line, install the new dishwasher, pot filler, and kitchen faucet. The electrician was our last vendor on site, and installed the can lights, under-cabinet light strips, outlets, switches, and connected the necessary appliances. After final trim is installed, both of these vendors have a final inspection to ensure proper installation and function of their fixtures.
Step Sixteen: Clean
Once construction is truly complete, it is time to deep clean every part of the kitchen. Removing all waste from the site, scheduling the dumpster pickup, cleaning the cabinets, backsplash, counters, and flooring allow us to hand over a beautiful new kitchen to the owner with pride. Connect with Lucid Development and build your dream kitchen today!