I recently got back into hands-on remodeling and carpentry work after spending a little over a year doing project management at Four Brothers LLC. As a project manager overseeing five simultaneous kitchen remodeling projects in DC, it was impossible to be on each job all of the time, so I got used to seeing the progress of each job leap forward each week. I thought it would be interesting to document some of the upcoming remodeling projects we take on from the perspective of the lead carpenter. As a lead carpenter, I will be on site daily and responsible for almost every aspect of the renovation. For a more detailed description of a lead carpenter’s position at Four Brothers, click here.

My first job was a kitchen remodel in a condo in Washinton DC’s Kalorama neighborhood. The existing kitchen was in fairly good condition, but the cabinetry and finishes were not of the best quality, and the homeowner wanted to replace them with something nicer. Working together with our DC kitchen designer, the client decided to keep the footprint of the kitchen the same, which is known as a pull and replace remodel. This decision was partly influenced by his desire to retain his marble floor tile. When the kitchen was installed, the tile had not been set underneath the cabinetry, so that changing the layout would have been difficult without replacing the flooring.

The kitchen also had a drop ceiling to allow access to the HVAC unit above. In order to keep this access open, we decided to replace the drop ceiling with upgraded track and tiles, and to run a drywall border around the perimeter of the room, eliminating the need to cut the ceiling tiles. The builder-grade cabinets would be replaced with fully-custom cabinetry from Elmwood Fine Custom Cabinetry, and the appliances and countertops would be upgraded as well.

Before each remodeling project begins, we meet with the clients to introduce our field team and to become familiar with the specific site conditions. The salesperson, project manager, and lead carpenter are all present at this meeting. After this meeting, our team heads back to the office to have a more in depth pass-off meeting in which all information about the job is discussed and a production schedule is created and shared with the client. Our schedule for this kitchen remodel called for it to be completed in exactly four weeks. As this project progresses, I’ll be posting updates, along with photos chronicling the progress of the kitchen.

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