Long Island kitchen renovations stalled due to backlog in appliances and materials


Like many Long Islanders, the Broth family of Plainview decided to use their time at home during the pandemic to renovate. They designed a dream kitchen, ordered custom cabinets and appliances last winter, and demolished it in July.

After the household appliances failed in August, the Broths set up an ad hoc kitchen and dining room for the family, including their three children aged 11, 8 and 3. toaster oven and plug-in burner, ”said Jessica Broth during the renovation in November. “We order a lot to take out.”

Supply chain slowdowns

Supply chain disruptions began at the start of the pandemic, with factories around the world forced to shut down, forcing shipping companies to cut their hours. But the demand for property skyrocketed as many Americans poured money into homes they suddenly spent a lot of their time in.

And experts say product and raw material shortages will persist until 2022.

Even in the best of circumstances, a major investment like a kitchen remodel is a recipe for major stress. Difficulties in the supply chain have only compounded this stress, frequently adding months to projects as devices, materials and cabinets arrive later than expected. Products sometimes arrive damaged, which takes even longer for a project, according to homeowners and industry experts.

Kitchen renovation costs vary widely, but nationally, they average $ 25,000, or $ 150 per square foot, or 5 to 15% of a home’s value, according to HomeAdvisor. com. Large kitchens, 200 square feet and larger, can easily cost $ 30,000 to $ 60,000 and more, according to HomeAdvisor. Expenses vary depending on the size, scope, quality and modification of the layout.

Hurry up and wait

Instead of going with stock cabinets, the Broths went for custom Shaker-style cabinets and appliances they particularly wanted, like an undermount sink, even though they came with delays. “I wanted to go with something that I liked,” said Jessica Broth, 42, teacher. “If I had to wait, I would be more willing to wait. I didn’t know how long” that would be.

The Broths’ delays included devices, like a GE oven, ordered in March, which they were then told would not arrive until February 2022. He and a few other devices arrived in October, still well after that they had hoped for it.

Meanwhile, new cardboard-covered hardwood kitchen floors, boxes and cabinets piled up, and a contractor board sat on their lawn for months. “My fridge is in the garage. To get milk, I have to go to the garage,” Broth said. “We use a lot of paper and plastic.”

Errors added to the delays, including a quartz backsplash that was too small and had to be reordered, and drawers that arrived damaged and needing new parts. The demolition and the delay made time a much more important ingredient. “They think we’re building an expansion because it’s been so long,” Broth said of the neighbors.

The Broths spent about $ 60,000 on their kitchen renovations, including $ 7,500 on appliances, $ 17,000 on cabinets, $ 7,700 on a counter and backsplash, and other expenses.

The process was tough, but the Bouillons ultimately got a bigger and better new kitchen – which should be finished overnight – that they can’t wait to enjoy. “The kitchen was very small,” said Broth. “Now that’s a really big space.”

Product versus process

Nicole and Damian Pappas began designing a new 700 square foot kitchen, the “center” of their family’s home in Suffolk, in May.

“I limited myself to looking at things that would be readily available,” Nicole Pappas said of materials such as porcelain tile for the kitchen floor. “There were enough options to find what you needed without a long wait. “

The variety of choices made ordering household appliances appealing, but instead Pappas used existing appliances, such as the family’s Sub-Zero freezer and the Miele dishwasher she was happy with, moving a range a island to a wall. “We thought we would have better use of the island,” she said.

Demolition began in October and the project is still not finished. “It’s supply and demand,” said Pappas, 40, who runs a preschool in Brooklyn, while her husband, also in his 40s, works for a bank. “There is a lot of demand, but the supply is not there. Pappas said she expects the kitchen to be nearly complete and functional by the end of January, but it will take around three months until work is complete.

Coordination is essential with kitchen renovations, where a delay can delay project completion. The kitchen cabinets, which she ordered in July in part because of a rebate, took longer to receive than she expected. The microwave, the moldings and the counter, “the last piece of the puzzle”: everything is behind schedule.

“One of the reasons I chose the cabinets was, supposedly, the speed of turnaround,” she said of the semi-custom line she chose. “What was supposed to be a month turned out to be three. It affected the project. We were supposed to demo the whole house at the same time.”

Many items were more expensive than expected, due to inflation. “Everything is so much more expensive,” Pappas said.

The Pappas’ new kitchen was part of a larger renovation, including the bathrooms, which also suffered delays. “Now they’re telling me it’s out of stock,” she said of the toilet. “Here we go, back to the drawing board. “

Backyard backlog

With the pandemic, many people have discovered the joy of having an outdoor kitchen, as well as the delays involved in installing one. Christie and Kevin Fehmel decided to build a kitchen in the backyard of their home in East Islip as part of a renovation that included the addition of a swimming pool and new pavers.

They ordered appliances in February and March, but were still waiting for most until the fall, with a backyard full of trenches and construction in progress.

The project was stuck in limbo for months. The pool was taken in the process, leaving a pit in the yard until it could be completed. Speaking in November, Christie Fehmel, a retiree in her 40s, said: “Our pool is blocked because of the steel. They finally dug it. She’s been in the ground for a month without a canvas. The canvases are out of stock.

Even after the grill, side burner, and outdoor refrigerator arrived, the Fehmels waited for a paper towel rack, grill access doors, beer keg refrigerator, and pavers.

After experiencing 10-month delays in furnishing their children’s bedrooms, the Fehmels decided to stick with their existing outdoor furniture. They wanted the kitchen of their dreams, but they also wanted to make it happen. “We’ll use what we have,” Fehmel said, “and once that’s done, I’ll choose.”

As the kitchen finally draws to a close, Fehmel said the family, while eager to enjoy their renovated backyard, are exhausted by the “enormous inconvenience” of the delays. “It took all the fun, all the joy,” she said.

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