Photos of Our Hawaii Remodel in Kona

hawaii remodel in kona

Who knew this Hawaii remodel in Kona would run 45 days past its completion schedule? Hey, it’s Hawaii. We all know. All I can say is it’s a good thing I extended my stay in Kona this winter because we needed that extra time to get the remodel finished. The major hangups were damaged cabinets (which Shenandoah had discontinued) and the quartz install. Those cabinets had to be outsourced and when they finally arrived, one of the replacements was damaged in four areas. Oh, man, just fix the first cabinet.

I paid for a perfect cabinet and ended up with one that had a defect. No way around it unless I wanted to wait another 8 weeks. Will Lowes give me a refund or credit for that damaged cabinet? Ha, ha, ha. It’s a Hawaii remodel in Kona.

Most of the problem with the Lowes kitchen remodel could have been avoided if I wasn’t dealing with Lowes. The contractors were fabulous, but the systems Lowes uses need work. It may surprise you to hear that Lowes has discontinued its PSI program for remodeling projects, but it doesn’t surprise me. I heard their new CEO put the kabash on that program last month.

hawaii remodel in kona

The cabinets are distressed maple with a glaze and the pulls are Amrock pewter. Our previous kitchen was all white. Although a little bit nervous about stainless steel in a coastal environment, I suspect it will last longer than I estimate.

Both the stove and microwave are GE, and I purposely chose a design with the knobs on top so I won’t accidentally turn them on by leaning over the stove to operate the convection microwave. Counter tops are popcorn quartz, which shipped from Honolulu (twice) because the guy who sold them to me can’t measure. But what do you want from a guy who works out of a storage unit?

Unfortunately, his contractor went to Maui for a bigger job and pretty much stranded me with sub-par workers. It took the quartz fabricators two and half weeks to cut and install the quartz counters in the kitchen, plus the idiot cut the long backsplash by mistake so we have an unnecessary grout line. He also set the pre-rinse faucet back too far on the sink. His sidekick told me he hasn’t done a quartz remodel for 13 years.

hawaii remodel in kona

This is the first bath remodel that the workers finished, which was completed last October. Except for the counter top guy who cut the hole in the wrong place for the faucet, this part of the project went well. We replaced a 9-inch deep fiberglass tub with a 15-inch deep, steel and enamel tub.

If I am giving in to my picky side, and why not, the tub faucet and lever is not perfectly aligned with the overflow, but only a person sitting inside the tub would notice. And there was having to call the quartz contractor guys back to connect hot water on the left. Now that I think about it, the Lowes contractor also had to fix the master shower connection. Out of 5 connections for water, only 1 was installed correctly.

hawaii remodel in kona

The master bath was an easy project as well. We coordinated the shower glass installers to place it in channels, instead of with clips. Which sent the general contractor into a tizzy because it meant his tile guy would have to cut a lot more tiles all the way down on both sides. Lowes wanted to charge me more, but it wasn’t my fault they didn’t include that in their bid.

Nobody asked: are you using clips or channels? Lowes just told me to go to a glass contractor and referred me to Reflections. But I do like the bamboo design embedded in the glass. No water spots. These guys know what they are doing. Unlike the flooring guys who had to lay the floor 3 times and still messed up. No attention to detail.

hawaii remodel in kona

From start to finish, this was a 6 1/2 month job, for which I made 4 trips to Kona to complete. But then I walk into the master bath around 4 PM in the afternoon, when the sun is low in the sky, and the Schoenbeck chandelier is shimmering on the walls and ceilings, and I don’t care how long it took or how screwed up the process was.

Although, I will say out of all the remodeling projects I have done in my life, and I’ve done many with my very own two hands, this Hawaii remodel in Kona was the worst. Like banging your head back and forth between door jambs, it feels so good when you stop.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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