Wauwatosa Exclusive: Is it Safe to Remodel During COVID-19?

Wauwatosa Exclusive: Is it Safe to Remodel During COVID-19?

COVID-19 struck Wisconsin in March 2020 by surprise. The Petersons* were suddenly faced with working from home and teaching virtual school, all while their kitchen was under construction. The homeowners wanted to get their kitchen back into working order as soon as possible. Kowalske Kitchen & Bath successfully and safely completed this beautiful Wauwatosa kitchen remodel for the Petersons.

As an essential business, the Kowalske crew continued work on the Petersons’ kitchen, carefully following safety guidelines. We reduced our on-site team. Our experienced contractors followed CDC recommendations and kept hand sanitizer on-site. We respected the Petersons’ health, safety and privacy throughout construction, resulting in a gorgeous kitchen transformation.

Wauwatosa Story: A Worry-Free Kitchen Remodel During COVID-19

Is it safe to remodel during COVID-19? Want to learn more about remodeling during the COVID-19 crisis?

Kowalske had an opportunity to interview the Petersons. They are excited to share their story with Wauwatosa.

*Name changed to protect privacy

Q: Why did you decide to remodel?

“We moved into our home in 2011. The kitchen had good bones and was in great condition. We also had a newborn baby and a toddler, so we were not in a hurry to do a big home project. However the lighting was dim and we knew that the space could be enhanced with adding more counter tops and rethinking the space for enhanced functionality. We really wanted to find a way to brighten the space more. We also just wanted a more modern kitchen as well. It was TIME for an update. The space felt tired.”

Kitchen Before Remodel:

remodel coronavirusbefore kitchen covid remodelbefore remodel

Q: What was your “vision” for the space?

“We really like mid-century modern. We wanted everything to be bright and white but wanted to do something a little different and fun too. Function was super important to us. We wanted better cabinetry with some good organizational functionality but also wanted open shelves to keep things feeling more open and light.”

kitchen rendering
Rendering of the kitchen created during the design process.

Q: Why did you choose Kowalske?

“When we finished our bathroom remodel (March 2019) we knew that we would hire Kowalske again for our kitchen. It was such a positive experience that we only wanted to entrust our project in Kowalske and their designers and crew.”

Q: What did you like about the design process?

“Our designer was a perfect match for us. I continuously joked with her that she was in my head. She gave us such great ideas and when we were uncertain between an option, she gave us direct feedback. The design plans offered options within different budget ranges; this allowed for us to make our own decisions that still stayed within the aesthetic of the design, but allowed for us to decide on where we wanted to save.”

Q: How did the construction process go?

“Construction process went really, really well. We were less than two weeks into the project when the entire country went on pause with the corona-virus world pandemic. This was extremely stressful and provided a lot of uncertainty for us. Not only did we have to shift our world (work and school) into a more confined space, but also have to balance that all with a kitchen remodel. Kowalske was extremely thoughtful to our comfort in how to keep the project going, but to keep the project safe for all involved.”

dust control
Kowalske installs plastic sheeting on all projects to minimize renovation dust during projects. A zipper door into the living room kept out dust and ensured social distancing during the project.

“The plastic tarp blocking off the kitchen from the rest of the home not only served its purpose to keep dust out, it also allowed for safe physical distancing between our family and the crew. The schedule was also slightly adjusted to reduce crew present in the home and this only delayed the project by one day. In all, the project went very smoothly considering the extreme circumstances happening in the world.”

Q: How did we ease your worry during the COVID-19 crisis?

“Kowalske eased our minds by directly addressing it – open communication on how we felt as homeowners and also what Kowalske would do to make sure we felt safe. Hand sanitizer was present on the site and the plastic tarp blocking off the site from the rest of the home made us feel extremely safe. If the crew needed to ask us questions, they spoke to us through the plastic tarp or safely kept distance from us. Crew was reduced as well which also made us feel at ease.”

Q: What are your top 3 favorite features of your kitchen?

1) The cabinetry is super, super functional. The upper cabinet style is insanely functional and we never thought we would be this excited about cabinets. I love them so much I may even ENJOY emptying the dishwasher now. The pull out pantry is also super efficient. We actually REDUCED the number of cabinets in this project and somehow we have more useful space.”

custom cabinet milwaukee
Functionality is so important in a kitchen. These bi-fold doors lift up for easy access and storage

 

2) The bench seating (banquette). This was a space we always envisioned in this kitchen and Kowalske brought it to life. It not only has storage, but allows for more seating and is a very cozy space to hang out! It turned out even better than we had envisioned. We also kept our hidden spice cabinet!”

kitchen bench
The sunny breakfast is used for casual meals and a work-from-home space. The bench seats lift up for extra storage.

 

hidden cabinet kitchen
The kitchen had an old ironing board niche that we kept as a spice cabinet. The cabinet is concealed with wallpaper and opens with a touch latch.

 

“3) The lighting! No more working in our shadows. We have lighting options to cover every task and mood. Love how many options we have now!”

remodel during covid
This kitchen has recessed lighting, a pendant light over the table, under cabinet lighting, and a light over the sink.

 

Q: How did the remodel change your everyday functionality?

“With having more counters and the reconfiguration of the space we don’t trip over one another like we used to. The stove moved closer to the sink to give us more prep space and a dedicated coffee station. All four of us can hang out in this space comfortably and still get work done. This really feels like the heart of our home now.”

coffee station
The stove was moved from this location and turned into a coffee bar.

 

Want to learn more about this project?

 

Start Your Design (From Home)

To protect the health of homeowners and employees, Kowalske Kitchen & Bath is following CDC guidelines. We are taking precautions to make it safe to remodel during COVID-19.

You can start the remodeling process with a virtual appointment. Our designers can meet with you from the convenience of your home.

Since 1983, we’ve been remodeling bathrooms, kitchens, basements and whole houses in Wisconsin. We are a full-service design-build company, which means we work with our clients from design through construction. We coach you through the entire remodeling process to achieve the look of your dreams.

We will give you a space to enjoy for years to come – whether you need a functional family bathroom, an open-concept kitchen, a finished basement, or a master suite addition.

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