Project Management

Kitchen Project Management Phases (with similarities to bath and interior project management)

Interview Process

This phase involves sitting down with the client and drawing out a list of project objectives, aesthetic desires, functionality/lifestyle concerns, and storage options. Also, it is important to know who the “everyday” cooks are (if there is more than one) and their physical stature. clients are asked to look through kitchen design magazines and put "post-it" notes on pages that make them feel something. Either they love something about a look or they really dislike it. The client needs to jot a note and describe what and how the picture affected them.

Time Frame: 1 week period, meeting with decision makers.

Design Process

This phase involves an initial and final design phase. During the initial design phase brainstorming, adjacency issues (what should be placed next to what, for example… refrigerator next to the microwave; or butler's pantry next to outdoor grill and breakfast nook), lifestyle review and rough sketches for client to review.

During the final design phase drawings are finalized from client feedback of rough sketches. These drawings include floor plans (showing space planning), lighting, flooring, backsplash, preliminary finish ideas and detailed elevation drawings with dimensions.

Time Frame: 2 week period includes meetings with decision makers.

Select and Order Materials

Cabinets, appliances, plumbing, lighting, tile, counter top and flooring material are determined with the clients. These are reviewed before purchase to make sure they fit the room, and the overall concept and lifestyle concerns previously determined.

Once a final specification list is approved, then the ordering of materials, time frame for deliveries and warehousing is established. Deposits are required and the contractor's time frame is set-up to work in accord with delivery dates.


Time Frame: 2 - 3 week period, includes meeting with decision makers.

Tear Out Phase

This phase can be a very stressful time for the client and they are forewarned to be gentle and kind with themselves during this phase.

"Eat chocolate, take bubble baths and go out to dinner
often since your kitchen is out of commission."

Plastic dust sheets can be put up and clients can be out during the noisiest time period. Certain ground rules and understandings need to be heard from contractor and client to have a successful team approach. Some ideas for the ground rules are to determine which is the contractor restroom, which pets cannot be let outside (the cat or dog) where the tools are to be kept, and expectations for a broom swept area plus the removal of trash each evening.

Time Frame: 1 week period, decision makers - try to be scarce.

Installation Phase

This phase can seem too long to the client. I have yet to hear a client say,

"The time you were here went by so fast...
Where did the time go?" or "I hardly knew you were here...
your drill, hammer, chainsaw, jackhammer...
were hardly noticeable. We should do this again soon." :)

Just remember that the final product will be with you for many years to come. You will forget the dust and noise soon enough... The project will be a testament to your lifestyle and architecture. At first opportunity, we hope that you will show your friends and family your finished project.

A listing of activities for this phase include, rough electrical, rough plumbing, setting base cabinets, templeting for counter tops, hanging upper cabinets, installing light fixtures, moldings, the new countertop, setting the sink and all its' fixtures, patching and repairing the drywall, painting, installing flooring, cabinet handles and appliances. A punch list (last minute things discovered which need to be finished or changed), are recorded before the project ends. Follow-up warranty work with the contractor are done as stated in the client contract.

Time Frame: 6 - 8 week period, decision makers - still try to be scarce.


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