Here at Holland’s Custom Cabinets, we often get requests from clients looking to squeeze their cabinetry project into an incredibly tight window. In our experience, this is usually to meet a hard deadline. Maybe they’re hosting Christmas brunch and want to wow friends and family with their brand-new kitchen.
While we always look forward to delighting our customers by delivering ahead of schedule, as reputable, honest custom cabinet makers we sometimes have to dole out a bit of harsh truth. It’s never a good idea to rush a cabinetry project.
From design to manufacturing to installation, a lot of hard work goes into a kitchen cabinet remodel. Even if you’re updating your cabinet faces, the process requires great care . . . and time.
Let’s take a peek at what exactly makes up a typical kitchen remodel timeline.
Factors Affecting the Timeline of a Cabinetry Project
Just how long remodeling a kitchen takes depends on a wide variety of factors:
1. Design Complexity and Customization
While an intricate custom cabinet design can be incredibly appealing, it often comes with a time cost. If your cabinet design features elaborate patterns, curves, or unconventional shapes, it will take longer to craft and assemble.
Special features, such as built-in lighting, hidden compartments, or intricate inlays require precise measurements, careful planning, and more time-consuming craftsmanship.
As a rule of thumb, the more customization you request and the more intricate it is, the more time you should expect to invest. Custom cabinets are built from scratch, so everything gets tailored to your specifications. This kind of process can take many weeks, and if there are changes during production or delays in getting supplies, this can quickly add time to the entire project.
2. Material Selection
Your choice of cabinet materials can significantly impact your kitchen remodel timeline. Different materials have different processing times. If you’re looking for a quick turnaround, materials such as laminate or plywood might be the way to go. Solid wood cabinets may be more elegant, but they take longer to make.
3. Finishes and Hardware Selection
Next, think about cabinet finishes. For painted and stained cabinets, you must allocate time for multiple coats, drying, and potential touch-ups. Furthermore, painting intricate designs and patterns can be a lot more time-consuming.
Even natural wood finish cabinets need sealing and polishing. You don’t want to skip this step and risk the wood warping over the years.
Knobs, handles, hinges, and other fixtures can add both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your cabinets. They also require precise drilling, mounting, and aligning, which takes time. Your cabinet maker might also want to coordinate the hardware installation with other aspects of the project to avoid delays.
4. Scope Changes and Budget Adjustments
Scope changes refer to alterations or additions to your original kitchen remodel plan. These can range from small adjustments to significant revisions. If you add new features, change the layout, or alter your cabinet design midway through the project, it can add multiple days or weeks to your kitchen remodel timeline.
Sometimes, financial constraints can force you to rethink your original plans. For example, you might need to change material choices, which could mean reselecting, reordering, or finding suitable alternatives. These kinds of adjustments can have ripple effects on the entire timeline.
5. Contractor Schedule and Availability
Contractors and carpenters often have multiple kitchen construction projects going simultaneously. Their availability will vary based on the size of their team and current workload. If your chosen contractor is engaged with other projects that overlap yours, it might lead to scheduling conflicts and delays.
To prevent this, try to secure your contractors as far in advance as possible to ensure they’re available when you need them. Be open to adjusting your project start date to accommodate the contractor’s schedule. And most importantly, talk to them about your project’s timeline and any potential scheduling issues.
6. Ordering, Manufacturing, and Delivery
Not everything you’ll need for your kitchen restoration will always be in stock, especially in case of custom finishes. High demand for certain materials can result in longer lead times as suppliers work to meet market demands.
We’ve already mentioned how manufacturing custom cabinets can be time-and-labor-intensive. But you could face hiccups in delivery too. Delays in transportation due to logistics or unforeseen issues can extend delivery timelines.
7. Site Preparation and Readiness
Although it’s often overlooked, a well-prepared site can work wonders to speed up cabinet installation. Besides allowing for accurate measurements, it also lets contractors work more efficiently.
We suggest you prep your kitchen well before the installation date. Remove any existing cabinets, appliances, or furniture. Address structural issues and electrical/plumbing changes early to avoid last-minute delays. Remember, a great canvas sets the stage for a masterpiece!
8. Unexpected Issues and Changes
You can always expect the unexpected during your kitchen cabinet remodel. Unforeseen challenges can pop up anytime, and how you handle them can influence your project timeline.
Let’s discuss some of the problems you might come across.
- Once you start dismantling old cabinets or working on installation, you might discover hidden structural issues, plumbing or electrical complications, or mold and rot that needs immediate attention.
- There’s always the risk of material shortages or delays in delivery.
- You or your contractor might identify design flaws or improvements that necessitate alterations to the original plan.
Here are some tips on how to respond to unexpected issues in a cabinet project.
- Stay flexible about altering design elements or finding alternatives.
- Practice effective problem-solving.
- Collaborate and communicate with your contractor to discuss issues, explore solutions, and agree on courses of action.
- Always go in with a contingency plan for issues common to cabinetry projects.
- Maintain realistic expectations.
9. Communication and Decision-Making
Effective communication and timely decision-making are the glue that holds your cabinet project together. When you and your contractor are on the same page, everyone involved in the project understands the objectives, requirements, and expected outcomes. Additionally, it helps identify and resolve issues before they escalate and cause disruptions.
Swift decisions also let your kitchen construction move forward without unnecessary delays. Whether it’s choosing a cabinet design, finalizing materials, or approving layouts, you can keep things flowing. Likewise, every decision delay can extend the remodeling timeline. Multiply this by the number of decisions in a project, and you can see how it adds up.
We Are Here to Help
Over the course of a cabinet project’s timeline, from picking materials to deciding on finishes, every move counts. We recommend you plan, talk things out with your contractor, and be ready adapt to situations as they arise.
Ready to transform your space with a beautiful kitchen cabinet remodel? The skilled artisans at Holland Custom Cabinets are here to bring your vision to life. Contact us today for a consultation and let’s start creating the cabinets you’ve always dreamed of.