Hawthorne Kitchens - Renovations

Renovation Expectations

Any renovation can be stressful. Renovating a key component of your home is a delicate dance. Regular home routines are upset, construction dust is created and personal space must be shared with unknown renovation experts until the job is done. It is important to keep the end goal in mind – your new and improved living space. The happiest clients are the ones who go on vacation during the first part of their renovation, but we realize not everybody can do this.

We have been renovating homes for 40 years. It is as much an art as it is a science. Walls will have hidden ‘presents’, torn up floors will reveal ‘treasures’ and we can only see so much before we begin demolition. We do our utmost, regardless of the service level you choose, to make this process as smooth as possible. The first trick to a harmonious relationship is for our clients to have realistic expectations of what a renovation includes.

What to expect during your renovation

  • Mess/drywall dust: No matter how many zip walls we put up (depending on service package selected), or how much we sweep, dust will get everywhere. We are not cleaners - we are construction workers. You should expect to clean your home multiple times before it is back to ‘normal’.
  • As the homeowner, you are responsible for covering up all furniture regardless of the service package you opt for. We take care of laying out floor runners, but that is where we stop.
  • Customers are responsible for emptying kitchen cabinets and clearing off counters. If you have a specific requirement for assistance with this, please let us know well in advance of your start date. We are happy to send someone to help with this process, but not on the morning of tear-out day!
  • Any antiques/special pictures/fragile items should be removed from walls or china cabinets and stored in a safe location (bedroom) until the project is complete.
  • Lock box on door/railing: During your renovation, we will do our best to communicate with you, but we need uninhibited access to your home between 7:30am and 5:00pm. Each day, we schedule over 20 tradespeople among various jobs to play to everyone’s strengths to ensure you get the best workmanship possible. We cannot be stuck waiting for somebody to get home for our people to start working. If you want us to respect the timeframe we have given you, you need to respect ours also.
  • Delays!: From the time quartz or granite counters are templated, there is a wait time of 14-16 days. Usually, there is nothing left to do on your project while we wait for this material to arrive so we can continue. This is a ‘cost’ of Granite or Quartz - we offer other surface options with much faster turnarounds.
  • Other delays will inevitably arise as well. A tradesperson may be sick or have a family emergency, flooring may arrive defective, or maybe it is too hot and the plaster isn’t drying. Construction is not an exact science. We do our best every single day - we expect our clients to be understanding that certain things are out of our hands. We will never cut corners to catch up. We will complete your project the right way, and as close to the estimated timeframe as possible.
  • Odors from paint/floor glue: The best materials have odors. Depending on the season, we will open windows and use fans, but you should expect to come home to a different smell every day when we do something different in your home.
  • Noise: Absolutely no part of a renovation is quiet. Especially during the renovation phase, it is best to leave for the day if you are sensitive to noise or dust. Expect drills, saws, or mixers to be running most of the day.
  • No water in kitchen for 1-3 weeks: Every renovation is different, but from tear-out to new cabinetry typically requires 1-3 weeks. Two additional weeks must be added if you’re doing a full renovation and buying granite or quartz. In this case, once the new cabinetry is installed, we can provide you with a temporary counter top (usually 4’ wide) that allows for water in the kitchen.
  • No appliances in kitchen for 1-3 weeks: Regardless of using existing or buying new appliances, we will not work in your kitchen with appliances in the way. There is far too high a likelihood that they will get damaged. While the stove and dishwasher will be unusable for the duration of the renovation, the microwave and fridge can be relocated and plugged back in. If buying new appliances, we strongly recommend keeping your old ones until the renovation is complete and then having the new ones delivered.
  • Spot for installers to cut material (deck or garage): Whenever possible, we do not want to cut material in your home. No matter how good our vacuum systems are, we want to minimize airborne dust for the safety of both our workers and our clients.
  • A kitchen renovation from the first day of demo to the day the finishing touches are done can last 4-6 weeks. Renovations can be of many sizes - some we can do in a week, while others can take 6 weeks or longer. We will provide you with our timeframe expectations before you sign your contract.
  • Changes add time: Every time you make a change to your project, it adds time to the project. Painting a new room? New baseboard in the hallway? Everything will add to the existing timeframe of your project. We can’t just ‘fit more in every day!”
  • Lots of traffic in and out of your home: A full renovation takes many qualified people. Plumbers plumb, venters vent, electricians do electrical. We have tilers, hardwood installers, painters, tear-out crews, cabinet installers and countertop specialists. We only use qualified people, but it means you will see many cars in your driveway and many faces in your home.
  • Less communication with designers: When your renovation starts, a project manager takes over as your contact person. A project runs best with one person in charge, and we have renovation specialists who do just that. Your designer will always be available for advice, ideas, or to share exciting news, but any questions, concerns, or comments should go directly to the Project Manager.
  • Work Stoppage: At specific, predetermined times during your project, a payment will be required. These times will be made clear to you before your contract is finalized. If payment is not received on or before these dates, we will stop work and move onto another project. Your job will lose priority and we will get back to it as our schedule permits, once payment is received. Our commitment to you is to manufacture perfect products, to have professional tradespeople working in your home, and to orchestrate the entire renovation process. Your commitment to us is to respect our payment terms, and to be respectful of the challenges we will encounter during our time in your home.
  • The “Good Stuff”: Listed above are the most common issues we run into during our renovations. This list isn’t meant to scare you away - it is meant to create a reasonable expectation of your project. On the plus side, you will see hardworking craftsmen, almost every day, who love their jobs and take pride in what they do. You will see exciting new products, amazing tools you may have never witnessed, and an incredible transformation taking place in your home. A renovation is dusty, tiring, and it can be ugly. But from the day we start, we are also building something beautiful - and it is all yours.