Kitchen Solvers helped young couple save thousands on kitchen remodel
When Eric and Jane S. bought their home in La Crosse, Wisconsin, they knew that remodeling the kitchen was going to be on the agenda. Their 1932 house still had a 1932 kitchen, for the most part.
They started asking contractors to come out about a year and a half ago.
“Our original thought was to completely just gut the kitchen and start form scratch, so we had a couple of contractors come out and give us estimates,” Eric said.
“We weren’t ready to put down $20,000 to $30,000 on gutting and rebuilding the kitchen,” the 29-year-old dentist said. Instead, he and his wife, a 27-year-old graphic designer, started searching online for less expensive options.
That’s how they found Kitchen Solvers. Local owners Suzie and Brian Crowley helped transform the Eric and Jane’s kitchen in January.
We asked Eric how it went.
What didn’t you like about your old kitchen?
The use of space was pretty poor. It’s a small kitchen and the placement of appliances was poor, and there was a section of countertop that was useless because the cabinets above it were hung so low. There was about 10 inches of clearance. That alone made half of our countertop space unusable. The aesthetics were lacking. Plus, we didn’t have a dishwasher. Our house was built in 1932, and the kitchen for the most part was original to the house. Some work had been done as far as the flooring, but the cabinets were original and the paint color was pretty bad. It just didn’t look good. We also basically had a laminate countertop. We had a new laminate countertop put in, but today’s laminates look a million times better.
Why did the kitchen matter to you?
It’s an older house, but everything else is in very, very good shape. The basement has been redone and finished, and it’s just a very well put together house. The only thing that had been lacking was the kitchen. It was the missing puzzle piece to completing the house.
How did you start shopping for a new kitchen? What was the process like?
We were doing a lot of online research before we talked to anyone. I was just looking at everything that was involved and try to estimate the dollar amounts we’d be looking at for the square footage of our kitchen. Then we went to Home Depot and were talking to their kitchen designers there, and had them come in and measure and give estimates. Then we had an independent contractor come in.
How did you find out about Kitchen Solvers?
We found them online. I knew them primarily for refacing cabinets, and refacing wasn’t even on my radar at first, so I didn’t contact them. The other remodeling options were more than we wanted to spend. Really, what pushed us into doing the kitchen was that my wife and I decided we couldn’t go on without having a dishwasher any longer. We called Kitchen Solvers to ask about refacing the cabinets and modifying our kitchen so we could have a dishwasher put in. Suzie came in and took a look and gave us some quotes and prices, and from there it snowballed. We did the floor and countertops, and had some new cabinets built, and had electricians come out and to install new lighting and new electrical. Suzie took care of most of it.
We did a mix of new cabinets and refaced: All of our base cabinets were kept and refaced. The cabinets that were hanging too low on the wall were taken out, and Brian built a new set of cabinets to go in their place — higher up to give us more counter space. He also built cabinets to go over kitchen sink where there had been no cabinets before. It added a lot of storage space to our kitchen. Brian also added rollers and pullout shelves in some of our big base cabinets, which makes it easy to get to pots and pans, and he replaced the Lazy Susan that was in our corner cabinet with a newer one.
What did you like about Kitchen Solvers?
Probably the biggest thing was the value. Their initial quote for building new cabinets and refacing the old ones, and adding new countertops was probably one-third of the cost we were looking at for completely redoing the kitchen. The other thing was Brian and Suzie. They were just great people to work with — very genuine. You could trust them. We liked them quite a bit.
How much did your kitchen remodel cost?
The total, with electrical and appliances, was about $15,000, but the total for Brian and Suzie was about $9,000, which paid for all the cabinets, the flooring and the countertops.
What kind of flooring did you have installed?
It’s a laminate tile, which is similar to a laminate wood floor in that it looks and feels just like tile on top. It looks really good. Suzie and Brian had samples of it in their showroom, and we saw it and like it.
Did you enjoy the Kitchen remodeling process?
It was actually fine. It was relatively quick. The kitchen downtime was very short: The bulk of the work was done in three days — from tearing up the flooring to taking out the old cabinets and hanging new cabinets. We tiled our own backsplash, and that dragged out for a week and a half or so.
Did you like the installers? Do you feel like they were professional?
Absolutely. Brian did the bulk of the work and brought in someone to help with the flooring. They did an excellent job. Leading up to remodel, I was debating whether I wanted to do the floor myself. I’m pretty handy, but my wife convinced me to let them do it. They did a great job.
Do you get more use out of your new kitchen?
Oh, yeah. Hands down. It’s kind of cliché, but it does make you want to be in the room more often. It really does make cooking more enjoyable. The amount of functional space makes a big difference. My wife and I can both be in there and cook, and we can be doing two things at one time. It’s just a nicer area to be in.
How has it changed the way that you use your kitchen? Do you ever show it off?
We’ve had parties at our house, and we’ve gotten plenty of good compliments. The original owner of the house has been in and looked at it and talked about how good it looks.
Would you recommend Kitchen Solvers to someone else?
Kitchen Solvers is an expert in kitchen cabinet refacing, and has remodeled more than 45,000 kitchens during the past 30 years. The nationwide company, based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, has 68 franchisees who enjoy extensive training, business support and purchasing power. To learn more about Kitchen Solvers, visit www.kitchensolvers.com or www.kitchensolversfranchise.com.Back