For the record, I am not a fan of renovating and the thought of a complete kitchen upgrade made me depressed.
After 25 years, our cheap 1983 asbestos walled, lino, beige laminated kitchen complete with plastic handles and questionable building work was looking very tired. In saying that, if I was a single chap, I could have lived with it (I like the 80’s), but my wife was at the end of her tether. She reminded me that after 25 years of cooking in this dated kitchen, it was time to update. We had done some smaller renovations in the past including a couple of bathrooms, but a kitchen was a much larger prospect. I was not looking forward to it. Also, bathrooms and kitchens are expensive, right?
We went to a couple of places to get a feel for the likely cost. As always, the quotes coming exceeded my expectation (and budget), but considering the building work required and asbestos removal, we knew it was never going to be a simple rip out and refit cabinets and benches. It was the whole show, stripping out all walls and ceiling asbestos, knocking down some existing walls, redesign of layout, installing new appliances and painting. It’s a small space, but a lot of work.
We knew of Craftbuilt as one of our family had a very flash Craftbuilt kitchen installed about 10 years ago. It was quality and we had heard good things about the experience. When we noticed the shopfront at Stones Corner, which was in our area, we thought let’s stop by. We already had some indicative quotes so had an idea of the cost. The Stones Corner showroom was clean and professional and nicely fitted out. It was a good sign. We were also greeted by a warm and friendly staff member, so a good vibe. My sense from visiting the shop was that this was a small but close-knit company which took pride in the quality it delivered. We liked that.
Within the week, we were visited at home by Justine Glover, who is the owner and one of the lead designers. She came over to our place, had a look, took some photos and measurements and within a week had put together some indicative costs (after her construction expert Paul popped in to check out the changes to the walls and openings). Let’s talk about Paul Vidler. Paul did a huge portion of the site work during the project. As soon as we met him, we felt an immediate calm and relief. This guy knew what he was doing. Paul was competent, professional and extremely pleasant. Nothing was too much trouble for Paul. The fact he is also a perfectionist was a bonus. Paul provided everything we needed to hear. We trusted him immediately and I knew from that point, we were in safe hands.
Justine was also a delight to work with. A true professional, a talented kitchen designer and such a hard worker. She clearly puts so much of herself into this company. Her design wasn’t what we expected and at first and I wasn’t initially convinced as it was very different from the former configuration. Looking at the finished result, Justine was 100% on the money. She did amazing things with the space. It’s perfect. We have so much usable space and it looks great.
Because we wanted all new appliances, we delayed for about 6 months to save a little more cash. We agreed Justine would contact us in 6 months, and she did exactly that. We committed to getting the kitchen formally drawn up in CAD and soon after, signed the contract. From there it all became real and the wheels were in motion.
As an administrator, Justine also drafted up the paperwork for us with documents all completed to perfection. Craftbuilt has been around for a long time and delivered a lot of quality kitchens. I knew we were in good hands, but I was still edgy due to the scale of the renovation. Contractually, this was a tidy agreement, fully insured and registered. Perfect.
About a week after signing, we were contacted by Sharon Jordan who is Craftbuilt’s project manager. Sharon is a a delightful and very capable professional who worked tirelessly for us to ensure things went to plan. All trades turned up as per her schedule (which I had well in advance).
All trade contact details, dates and times were clearly defined in the project plan and any question I had was addressed immediately by Sharon. You can’t ask for better than that. Sharon is a genuine and capable project manager who provided a project plan that was delivered perfectly. One of the reasons we also liked Craftbuilt is they committed to doing everything for us. Some companies quoted and left the painting to us, or the flooring to us or the lighting to us. We didn’t want that. We wanted a complete kitchen, walk in with everything done. We got that.
The weekend before the job started, we removed 25 years of “stuff” out to our back deck camp kitchen. The old kitchen was removed on Monday, day 1 including all the cabinetry, benches, asbestos walls, ceilings and lino flooring. Completely stripped. This was done correctly (ceiling and walls) with asbestos removal protocols handled professionally. I have a certificate on the removal. Very legit.
Soon after the strip-out, Craftbuilt’s Paul Vidler came in to start the building component, get the floor prepped for polishing, create a new door opening, re-sheet walls and ceilings cornice, and do 1000 other things. Paul is so hard working and competent. We really enjoyed having him arrive early each morning as it was such a pleasant experience. On our project, Paul was never a “no show”, was never late and never let us down. It was sad when his work with us was over as we enjoyed having him around. He is a lovely bloke and a credit to the company.
Soon after the walls and ceilings were sheeted, the cabinets arrived and were all fitted in a day, the stonework benches followed soon after. The electrical and plumbing went off without a hitch. The appliances turned up as they should and were appropriately fitted.
I decided to alter the flooring type during the project (from cork to polished boards) which resulted in a slight delay (which Sharon immediately re-programmed). During that delay, COVID-19 struck the world. Craftbuilt were excellent throughout and delivered my kitchen despite the pandemic. They provided necessary safety protocols that ensured my family did not feel unsafe during this period of uncertainty. They took the pandemic seriously from both a client and a staff perspective. Great to see.
Craftbuilt are such a great team. They know their stuff, design and make quality, fully guaranteed kitchens and deliver exactly as they promise.
Kitchens are not cheap, so you want to go with a reputable company that delivers. We didn’t really know much about kitchen renovations at the time, but we know a lot more now.
We can say this experience has been a positive one for us and I have no problem recommending Craftbuilt for your next kitchen renovation. If you are not sure, check out their website, or pop down to their Stones Corner display location. That’s where we started off, and we now have a stylish, modern and functional kitchen. We are very happy.
Thank you Justine, Sharon and Paul. You are all excellent.