In the spring of 2005 we started a kitchen remodeling project. We contacted several local contractors for bids. We accepted a bid from Gridley Construction of Campbell. We were impressed with their responsiveness during the estimation phase, and we enjoyed working with Linda Gridley, the owner.
Gridley assigned a project manager, Joe Smart, to our remodel, and he dealt with all the subcontractors. If we ever had a question or a problem, we just called Joe and he took care of it right away.
Gridely’s electrician was a woman named Robin. She was fabulous – competent, funny, efficient, and very accommodating. In addition to the kitchen wiring, she replaced our electrical panel and rewired a couple of areas to get rid of unsightly wires and conduits on the outside of the house.
Chris has a talent for interior design, so we knew pretty much what we wanted. We did not want to change the footprint of the kitchen – keeping the cook top, refrigerator, and sink in their original locations. We did want to have a range instead of separate cook top and oven. We also wanted to get rid of a row of cabinets that obstructed the view from the kitchen into the den. We made a couple of trips to Home Depot and Expo Design Center to get ideas for flooring, countertops, etc.
We worked with a designer from Gridley to nail down the details, choosing cabinet materials (maple with a Butternut finish), counter top (Corian), and flooring (bamboo). Gridley’s designer also helped us pick out the faucet, backsplash tile, and lighting fixtures. We chose our appliances (all black and stainless steel) from University Electric in Santa Clara. Our cabinet hardware came from Ikea in East Palo Alto.
We also found a wonderful hutch at Ikea. With that discovery, we changed our design to get rid of a desk area we had planned on. Instead, we put the free-standing hutch in that area (see the photos).
During the remodel, we set up our "kitche" in our dining room. It worked out pretty well as long as we didn’t use the microwave while the refrigerator was running. For 3 months, we ate off of paper plates and cooked on the gas grill a lot. We washed the few actual dishes we used in the utility sink in the laundry room.
Overall, Gridley’s team was excellent. The kept us in the loop as work was scheduled. We had some minor mishaps with the plumbing, and we had to wait a bit due to shortages in the flooring and tile, but the work was completed pretty much on time. As the work was completed, we occasionally added new tasks (mostly electrical) to the job, and Gridley was very accommodating.
The back wall. In the before picture, you can see the old wall oven and microwave we had. The microwave was pretty useless and the location of the oven was inconvenient. We liked the pantry, though, so we had a new one installed. You can see the Ikea hutch in the after picture. The old flourescent light panel is gone, replaced with a cool-looking ceiling fan.
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