More often than not a major kitchen remodel will cause homeowners to get steaming mad for months before they get the pleasure of boiling water in the kitchen of their dreams.
Far too prevalent are the horror stories of a remodeling project dragging on—draining bank accounts and straining relationships.
“Remodeling nightmares are usually the result of poor organization and management,” says Shane Whilhoit, owner of in Studio City. In business since 1988, his company strives to provide a stress free experience for their clients.
“There are always issues that come up during a remodel but we are here for our clients,” says Wilhoite.
Although the name would suggest otherwise, The Kitchen Factory is a refreshing alternative to “big box” operations like Ikea or Home Depot. They also provide designs and services for dining rooms, home offices, laundry rooms and entertainment centers.
“They’re all about customer service and their products are amazing,” said Lori Lawson, a client and resident of Studio City for 25 years. She had an excellent experience with her kitchen remodel and said that The Kitchen Factory was always available to her even for the smallest issue.
Wilhoite plans a project from the beginning, providing computer generated floor plans, elevations and perspectives. He and his staff will coordinate preparation, demolition, electrical, plumbing, drywall, painting, flooring, counter top and appliance installation. The firm has established relationships with reputable manufacturers, contractors and trade professionals and deal only with those that have a proven track record.
Wilhoite, a resident of Studio City since 1996, purchased The Kitchen Factory in 2005 from its previous owner who retired to Palm Springs. Previously he worked in the entertainment industry but wanted a change. He studied Design at UCLA and then purchased the business, pleased to have found an opportunity to do what he loved, close to home.
His new venture was not exactly a gravy train with the advent of recession in 2008. He didn’t see a downturn in business until last year, when a reduction in his backlog became evident.
The banking and foreclosure disaster is a knife that cuts both ways for Wilhoite. Home equity loans to finance improvements have dried up, but thrashed foreclosures are being scooped up by investors that require an extensive make-over.
“Prices for remodeling have lowered some and some manufacturers are giving incentives of up to 50 percent off,” expained Wilhoite.
At the moment, an average kitchen remodel will cost $50,000 or more. A bathroom remodel will cost at least $10,000.
Wilhoite does not mince words when he cautions a kitchen remodel will take two to three months and cause some disruption no matter how organized. He suggests that another area of the home be set up as a “landing area,” for a microwave, coffee maker and hot plate—preferably someplace with running water and refrigeration.
“Some clients just go out to eat all the time…or they go on vacation,” he said.