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Kitchen remodel by Thanksgiving?

Kitchen Remodel by Thanksgiving?

It’s 7:OO am and now I’m hungry…..

We’re at that time of year when homeowners wander into the showroom wondering whether they can have a kitchen or bath completed before Thanksgiving. (For international readers, American Thanksgiving falls around the end of November. This year it’s the 27th.)

So can you do it? Can you get that remodel by Thanksgiving?

For designs that use cabinets that might be in stock, or flat-packed, the answer is maybe. For the rest of you planning a custom kitchen, here’s the short answer: no.

Back dating is your friend.

We call it back timing, which is calculating when we need the products in time for the construction schedule. For that we need to look at the products that take the most time to order. This year, it’s been custom cabinets and custom doors and windows. For high-end or luxury kitchens, add appliances–luxury European ranges come to mind– some counter surfaces that are not as well-known, and custom-made lighting fixtures.

Let’s focus on the first items for now. Here’s a rough detail from some projects I’m working on now:

  • Cabinets:  8-11 weeks
  • Doors:
    • Solid Fir: 6-7 weeks
    • Paint-grade: 1-2 weeks
  • Standard windows: 2-4 weeks

The rest of the items can be successfully dovetailed into the project, so we don’t need to keep an early eye on them.

Let’s do the back timing math:

Say your kitchen takes 10 weeks from start of construction to the end. You want to be done by Thanksgiving. Allow some breathing room so you plan that November 15th is the end date. That means the start of construction should begin the first week of September.

Okay, so we have a construction schedule. Now we focus on the materials. Windows and doors should be during the 1st – 2nd weeks of construction. The cabinets the 3rd – 4th weeks. That puts the orders for the cabinets at the beginning of July, the solid fir doors mid-July, paint-grade doors the last week of August and the windows beginning to mid-August.

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”300px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” rounded_corners=”false” inside_shadow=”false” ]RECAP:

A Thanksgiving Kitchen:
* Design starts in June
* Cabinet and custom door orders in July
* Standard doors and windows mid- to end-August
* Construction starts in September*[/dropshadowbox]

Until next time,


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