Cabinet refacing saved Kitchen Solvers customer money, and advice led to improvements
Susan Brown and her husband Glenn had been living in their Marietta, Ga., home for five years before they decided to update their kitchen.
Susan and Glenn like to entertain, and the cabinets and countertop had become worn. They started investigating a remodel in 2008, around the time the economy tanked. That put the kibosh on their plans for a few years. But in 2011, they were finally ready.
“I asked myself, ‘Do I want to put more money into our house?” Susan says. “And I decided, ‘Well, we’re going to live here for a while — I may as well enjoy the kitchen.’ ”
They discovered Kitchen Solvers and local franchise owner Art Mancino at an Atlanta home show in 2011. We spoke with Susan about the great refacing they got from Art.
How much thought had you put into remodeling your kitchen?
We probably started thinking about it about four years ago. When we started looking, we went to several places: big hardware stores and kitchen remodeling stores where they have the cabinets, and we also looked through magazines. We actually had some people out to do estimates, but we put it on the back burner for a while when the economy went south.
How did you find out about Kitchen Solvers?
We went to the Atlanta home show and met Art, and we felt really comfortable with him, and we decided to move forward.
Why did you hit it off with Art?
One, he didn’t oversell himself. He just told us the facts and didn’t push himself or Kitchen Solvers on us at the time. Secondly, when he came to our house, he was very organized. He had the whole process so organized that it made us feel comfortable. The presentation flowed smoothly, and I felt like we really understood what we were getting involved with.
I felt like the other two people who came out were pushing us to do more than maybe we wanted to do expense-wise. Art, as he went through, would explain or options and talk about options that would raise cost and whether it would be worth it, and it was our choice. I felt like that was very honest from the start.
What didn’t you like about your kitchen before?
Our appliances were the original appliances, about 25 years old, and we knew that if we pulled out the appliances that there would be other things that needed to be done, so we decided to go ahead and update everything. We actually liked our cabinet layout the way it was, and Art said that if we had them refaced instead of replaced, that would keep costs down. The finish is now a very rich, beautiful color and texture. They look more expensive, and we were able to put in some new cabinets, and he was able to coordinate the whole bank of cabinets.
Was Kitchen Solvers a good value?
I feel like his prices were fair. I don’t know that it was the lowest cost, but I thought it was very fair, and the quality is absolutely top-notch. He would catch things before we had a chance to look at them. Little things that needed to be touched up — he pointed them out to us!
Has the remodel changed the way you use your kitchen?
We use it a lot more for entertaining now. The flow of the kitchen is better. We’ve got a seated bar area now that we didn’t have before. Art actually came up with this design, which really enhanced what we already had without tearing anything out. The new tapered bar area is just great for a party. We probably entertain once a month or so. Our old kitchen just looked bad, so we’d have reservations about having people over … You know, everybody stands in the kitchen, no matter what.
Did you get much advice about ways to redo the kitchen?
We got a good bit of advice. We went in not feeling too knowledgable, and he really led us through the process. Although he didn’t push his advice on us when we asked him for ideas, he would be very forthcoming with suggestions, talking about what had worked in the past and what other people have liked and not liked. When it’s a new process for you, you like being able to hear what other people are doing and what other people have been happy with.
What was it like working with Art?
When they finished the project, we felt like we were friends. Art and (his son) Tommy were friendly, funny, dependable, responsible. We felt totally comfortable leaving them with our house while we were gone to work.
Have you recommended Kitchen Solvers to anyone else?
We have told several people who have talked about having their kitchen redone, we have absolutely recommended them. It’s a big decision.
Any touches that you like more than you expected?
I like the layout, the plan, the footprint. I like that it just flows so easily and it’s very easy to prepare meals in. We actually changed where we have some of our appliances, and we love that. We knew we probably had to make a change, but we weren’t sure what it should be. Through some of his suggestions we were able to make a change, and we love it, and it was all his ideas. For example, the way it was laid out before, you had the oven on one wall and the stove on another, and there was a desk. When you pulled something out of the oven, you had to pull it all the way across the kitchen. He suggested a landing area for items coming out of the oven. It not only looks aesthetically pleasing, it’s also very functional.
Was there anything else you liked about working with Art and Kitchen Solvers?
He always followed through. I didn’t feel like we ever had to chase him down. He made himself available. What could have been a very painful process went smoothly because he kept us apprised always of what he was going to do. He would tell us what parts of the project he would accomplish every day. There were never any surprises. We heard so many people say that remodels always come in over budget, but that didn’t happen. Art and Tommy are a great team. Art sees the big picture and Tommy is meticulous in the detail work. I don’t think we could have been any more pleased.