Kitchen update: How to avoid delays

Partially complete kitchen

Remember in my post Goodbye 1987 where I said “Stay tuned for the gradual reveal as we go through 6 weeks of chaos to get to the end result.” If you’re wondering why there has been little in the way of updates and no grand reveal, that’s because we’ve hit delays. I’ll go through my lessons learned and give some tips in this blog post so you can avoid the same mistakes.

Partially complete kitchen
Our kitchen after 11 weeks

This is currently the state of our kitchen after 11 weeks. We have unfinished walls, unfinished floors, a half installed kitchen, an island in the garage, boxes of appliances everywhere and so much kitchen stuff in our living room we can’t move! If I were to say I wasn’t a little stressed at this point I’d be lying.

But from mistakes comes learning. And as I always try to do with these projects, I try to evaluate what went wrong, why it went wrong and what I can do to learn from it in the future to avoid it happening again. Mistakes will always happen on any project, but doing your due diligence upfront and planning for them can help to reduce the impact.

The major hold up for us right now is that we’re missing two base units for the kitchen cabinets, three if you include a trash disposal unit that was made too big. Without these our contractor can’t do anything else. He’s set in place what he can, but base units are an integral part of the project. You can’t get your countertops measured until all the base units are fixed in place, otherwise you risk having countertops that don’t fit perfectly.

Tip: Choose your cabinets based on what matters most to you

I chose my cabinets from Cliqstudios because I wanted a quality inset door style in a warm grey, but I didn’t want to pay a huge amount for them. Cliqstudios cabinets are online only semi-custom good quality cabinets at around 40% cheaper than store bought. The downside is that their shortest lead time for replacement or missing cabinets is 3-4 weeks, and for customized cabinets it’s 8 weeks.

If you’re prepared to wait, and don’t mind the possibility of 4-8 week delays, then these would be a good value solution. If time is an important factor for you, then buying cabinets that are locally readily available might be a better option.

Tip: Plan in some lag time

For me the most important factor was the inset door style, and not many stores actually sell this style. So going back I would still order the same cabinets, I would just plan for possible delays, and ordered the cabinets earlier. However we hoped that all our order would arrive complete and correct on the delivery day, which would’ve been perfectly timed to align with the rest of the project. But to quote David Greene from BiggerPockets “Relying on hope-ium is a bad strategy.” Always plan in some lag time, to allow for mistakes.

New kitchen window and partially finished walls
New kitchen window and partially finished walls

An area I should’ve done more up-front research in was reading reviews of the window company we went with. After being subjected to a high pressure sales technique in our home back in October, we signed on the dotted line for a new window from a local dealer who shall remain nameless.

We ordered a vinyl window from them and agreed to have it installed in March when they were quiet to save money on the installation. However March came and they told us that they couldn’t supply the window to meet our needs and pulled out at the last minute, leaving us stranded with a boarded up window.

If I’d read reviews of this company before signing, I would’ve realized that they had a bad reputation and chosen a different company.

Tip: Read reviews

Luckily I since started a job at Andersen Windows & Doors and together with Great Plains they managed to save the day! We got a new 400 Series window installed just 3 weeks after we were left in the lurch, at less cost than the original vinyl window. So you could say it all worked out better in the end!

We’re really happy with the window, it’s a wood-clad window with vinyl exterior, so you get the beauty of real wood inside your home with the low maintainence of vinyl for the exterior.

Andersen 400 Series Window
Andersen 400 Series Window

Another issue we had was ordering a fridge that was way too big for the space we had. We ordered a standard depth fridge-freezer by Samsung. However when it arrived, it was only then that we realized just how deep it was. We then double checked the measurements and realized it would stick out around 9″ from our cabinets! Cabinets generally come in a standard 24″ depth, so if you want your fridge-freezer to be flush or almost flush with the front of your cabinets, then you either need to order a counter-depth fridge, or custom cabinets that are deeper to accomodate a deeper standard depth fridge.

Samsung counter-depth fridge-freezer
Samsung counter-depth fridge-freezer

We learned the hard way. If we had just double-checked the measurements of the fridge online before ordering it, we would’ve realized that it was too big. Luckily Best Buy were fantastic about taking it back and swapping it for a counter-depth one for us, at no additional cost.

Tip: Measure twice, order once


Mistakes will inevitably happen. However, doing up-front research, reading reviews, measuring twice will all help to mitigate the risks. But planning in some lag time to the project is probably a good way to help buffer for any delays. Now I remember why I always bought a new build in between renovations!

Stay tuned for more updates over the next 11 weeks. (Aghhhhhhh!!!)

Thanks for reading,

Jo (@britflipper)

2 responses to “Kitchen update: How to avoid delays”

  1. […] To learn about how the kitchen was planned read my blog ‘Goodbye 1987’. To learn how to overcome common kitchen renovation problems read my other blog post ‘Kitchen update: How to avoid delays’. […]

  2. […] To learn about how the kitchen was planned read my blog ‘Goodbye 1987’. To learn how to overcome common kitchen renovation problems read my other blog post ‘Kitchen update: How to avoid delays’. […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: