6 Day Kitchen Reno // Construction

JULIA AND GARRETT’S HOUSE

We renovated a whole kitchen in 7 days. Seven days! It feels like quite a feat considering what a major remodel project a kitchen is. And yes, it took us one more day than we anticipated, but who’s counting…right?!

So how exactly did we renovate the #6daykitchenreno in 7 days?  The simple answer is: a lot of late nights, early mornings, upfront planning (check out the design plan here), and a whole lotta hustling. The homeowners, Julia and Garrett, who happen to be some of our very best friends (and yes, Julia and I both married Garretts, which is totally confusing), worked along side us for the entire renovation. Plus they called in favors with family and friends so we had even more help during the weekend. For the record, it’s totally true what they say. Many hands make for short kitchen remodels!

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As I mentioned last week, the homeowners demo’d the kitchen before we arrived, which was awesome because I hate demo. Plus it saved us at least a day in the schedule. A win-win!

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We purchased most of the finish materials ahead of time and stored them at Julia and Garrett’s house so they’d be onsite when construction started. This included the cabinets, the Rejuvenation sconce, tile flooring (which we ended up not using), appliances, and the french door. Another advanced planning item were the Quartz countertops, which Julia and Garrett picked out and scheduled for install on day 3 of construction.

Julia and Garrett also decided not to mess with the ceiling lighting, which kept our renovation scope trimmed down. They’ll have to go back and add some more ceiling lights at some point, but it wasn’t in the budget right now.

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Construction followed a pretty traditional sequence: demo (done by the homeowners), subfloor, door install, electrical and plumbing repairs, drywall/hardiboard, lower cabinets, countertops, upper cabinets, wall tile, grout, finish lighting and electrical, floors, trim, caulk, and then appliances. More or less. I’ve included a day-by-day schedule at the end of this post in case you want to know more.

Here’s what that the construction looks like as a gif (note: you’ll have to view the video in a web browser, so if you’re reading this post in an email, click through to the Grit and Polish or head over to Instagram for a version with tunes!)

There were a few notable things that slowed construction down. Mainly: the amount of wall tiling, painting the cabinets, shopping trips, and kids. You may have noticed that there is subway tile on every wall. What exactly possessed us to tile every single wall when we were trying to renovate this kitchen in only 6 days, I’ll never know, but at least it looks pretty. Painting the cabinets also added a lot of man hours to the project, but was totally worth it! The original cabinet color was a warm white, which Julia likened to “coffee-stained teeth”. Painting the cabinets bright white and navy blue really took this kitchen from ‘nice’ to ‘great’. Julia, Garrett, and/or I went to a store almost every day, which was a huge time sink. Purchasing the tiles, picking paint, swapping the stone floors for wood, and 6+ trips to Home Depot really slowed us down. But in the end, the single biggest delay on this project was… our kids! Between us and Julia and Garrett, we had 4 young children around, and we were in over our head trying to entertain the bunch.

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Now I don’t want to blame our kids for turning the #6daykitchenreno into a #7daykitchenreno, but the kids absolutely turned the #6daykitchenreno into a #7daykitchenreno! Brooks was teething, so he wanted me 24/7, which meant I wore him in a Ergo a lot (even for naps…a heavy load at 11 months). But he wasn’t super happy with the Ergo, or anything really (teething is hard!) and he also just started walking so when I did put him down, he was off into everything! Wilder was easier, but I tell ya, just feeding that kid is a part-time job. Don’t get me wrong though, I love having our kids with us, even while we work. I think they learn a ton from being around their parents and being included and watching us work. But if you’re going for a quick reno, kids will slow you down. Period. We definitely could have left our two at home with grandma, but Brooks is still nursing, and I’ve never left him overnight let alone a week. So along they came. But my advice to anyone looking to renovate quickly is get a babysitter! I am 100% sure that if we had left our kiddos at home or had a babysitter onsite we could have finished this job in 6 days.  But of course, without the kiddos, the pictures would have been a whole lot less cute!

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As promised, here’s the rundown of the work we did each day:

Day 1. wall demo and french door install, subfloor install, first of many Home Depot trips + lumber store

Day 2. install base cabinets, sink drain repair, Home Depot trip, pick up backsplash tile

Day 3. countertop install, upper cabinets, start backsplash tile, remove cabinet doors in prep for painting, fix small electrical issues, pick up new flooring, Home Depot trip

Day 4. paint store, finish tiling, first two coats of paint on cabinet boxes, first coat of paint on doors and drawer faces (spray application)

Day 5. grout tiles, second coat of paint on cabinets, replace electrical receptacles and fix a couple issues, hood vent ducting and roof jack install, Home Depot trip

Day 6. hardwood floor install, install cabinet doors and drawers, finish electrical, appliance install, install sconce light, Home Depot trip

Day 7. Trim, open shelves, caulk, paint touchup, cabinet hardware install, french door hardware install, hardwood treads and stair landing install

Can’t wait to share this finished space with you on Thursday!

In the meantime, any tips for renovating with kids?! I’d love to hear them

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. this is just so upsetting. amazing what a few lies about sugar can do the health of a nation for half a century.

p.p.s. I really loved seeing Ginny’s dining room. Dark blue is kind of my bag right now and I’m already thinking where I can use it at the farmhouse!

p.p.p.s. a few of my favorite pins this week: an antique map, kitchens and babies (two of my favorite things!), cardamom in a cake (!!!),  I want all the wood-framed couches/day-beds.

p.p.p.p.s. my friend just started an interior design firm in Seattle/Portland and I’m super excited for her! Check Carrie out on IG!

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5 Comments

Comments

  1. Another great project you guys! I can’t wait to see the finished room.

    Can you recommend a paint sprayer? And, in your experience, would you paint a ceiling with a sprayer? I’ve been rolling the ceiling in bathroom and it’s an awful job.

    • Thanks Lulu. I would only use a sprayer if we were going to paint a really large area (like a whole house) or something needing a perfect finish (like cabinet doors). It’s a real bear to mask for a sprayer so I’d rather pull out a brush and roller 90% of the time. I’ve only ever used our sprayer, and it’s a good one (you can read about it here). But there are definitely smaller ones I’ve seen on Young House Love and other blogs that are well reviewed!

  2. Allison Ross says:

    What stock cabinets did you use? And how was it painting over already finished cabinets? Most of them are laminate so how was that painting over the white laminate? Thanks!

    • We bought ours from a local Seattle shop, GS Cabinet. They are made of all wood/plywood. We lightly sanded the finish off before painting and they’ve held up well.

      • Allison Ross says:

        Okay great! Also was trying to find the post about what paint sprayer you used to paint them. We used one once and it didn’t go over too well!

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