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UT Remodel Projects

A new kitchen, bathroom, and flooring in a Building Nine unit

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Aki Murata writes,

"My unit was remodeled in summer 2013.  I updated the whole kitchen and the main bath, and installed new carpet and vinyl flooring for the entire unit. 

"The whole kitchen (cabinets, sink, faucet, appliances) came from Ikea.  I really like the design and the way it fit in the unit.  As seen in the pictures below, the kitchen became bigger and much brighter.  I downloaded the Ikea kitchen design app on my computer, and from there, created a few possible kitchen designs.  I took them to Ikea, and they were very helpful in helping me finalize the design as well as orders and delivery.  Ikea has a kitchen sale every summer, and you save a lot of money if you purchase their materials during that time.  Their delivery was on time, and their customer service reps were helpful whenever I needed to phone in.

"I contracted with Superior Builders and Remodelers in Oakland to do the general construction work.  To be honest, they were overpriced and unorganized – I would not recommend them to my friends and neighbors (!!).  They came with a high recommendation from a friend of mine, and because they were a Diamond Certified business, I thought it would be safe to work with them.  They were late in starting the work and changed their work schedule constantly throughout.  I think they were working with multiple projects at the same time, and making plans as each project progressed.  Because they took much longer than they had first informed me, I ended up moving in the unit before they completed the work, and that was very difficult.  I put all my boxes and furniture in one part of the unit, while they continued to work in the other.  The place was dusty and dirty, and people were going in and out all the time.  We did not have a shower/bath for a while, and I visited my friends to “borrow” their showers several times during the summer. 

"Bathroom updates (tub, shower door, vanity, sink, fixtures, toilet, etc.) were ordered through various places. Some were online orders.  The contractor installed them all.  I am pleased with the way everything fit at the end.

"I purchased my carpet and floor vinyl from the Floor Store in Richmond.  I was/am happy with their service and the timeliness of the work.  The price was reasonable, and they had many different choices.  I would recommend them.

"I had Home Depot install my backsplash in the kitchen.  I purchased the tiles myself online, and after considering whether or not to install them on my own, decided to work with Home Depot.  They were fast and got the job done as they had promised.

"If I learned any lesson from the entire experience -- next time, I would choose a contractor more carefully.  Just because someone comes with a good recommendation should not be the sole deciding factor.  Remodeling is stressful, and challenges are not avoidable, but I wonder if my process could have been better if I worked with someone who communicated with me better.  I would also never … never, never, never … live in the place while being remodeled again.  I will take a trip to Europe/Asia for a couple of months while the craziness happens, and come back to a completed home."

The kitchen

The kitchen before remodeling
The kitchen before remodeling


The kitchen after remodeling
New cabinets, new appliances, new countertops, new flooring, new vent!

Building Nine kitchen remodel - the backsplash after
Countertops, sink and faucet, cabinetry, and backsplash!

The bathroom
Building Nine remodel - the bathroom before remodeling
The bathroom before remodelng

The bathroom after remodeling
New everything in the bathroom - vanity, toilet, flooring

The bathroom after remodeling
New tub, shower, fixtures, and tile

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