An Old Kitchen Comes to Life

When Joey Hayden Mazarelli decided to remodel the kitchen in his modest, 1950s brick home on the bluff overlooking Protest Avenue in Boise, just off Federal Way, he first consulted one of the big design houses in town. They told him he would have to triple his $30,000 budget to do what he wanted, so he started looking for other avenues and came across a brochure for JDI Custom Remodeling.

In business since 2001, the company began as JDI Custom Carpentry, but by 2006 they were starting to focus more on complete remodels, so owner Justin Wildman decided to update the company name a bit. They moved into their current location at Fairview and Milwaukee a little over four years ago.

Joey did his homework, and liked what he saw, so he gave Justin a call, figuring the sticker shock couldn’t be any worse.

“After we did an initial consultation I told him that the big design house was right about one thing,” says Justin. “But $30,000 was not going to cut it for this project. He was more in the $60,000 range.”

It was still a case of sticker shock, but Joey was impressed with JDI’s open book system, which shows clients the actual costs for the project, as well as JDI’s markup, and their management and administrative fees. Justin also told him they could make changes as they went along if necessary. Joey took the plunge, and with a contract for just over $63,000 in place, the JDI team went to work in October 2014.

“The original kitchen was really compartmentalized, and clear off to one side of the house,” Justin explains. “You had these two big living and dining areas, and then there was this little, 30-inch doorway that led into the kitchen, so whoever was in there was completely isolated from the rest of the house.”

There was a big fireplace in the partition wall separating the kitchen from the living and dining areas. Once that was knocked out, along with the brick chimney, Justin put trusses in place over the kitchen, allowing them to vault the ceiling up. Everything was going smoothly; cabinets and appliances were chosen, floors were in, and the project was on schedule for Joey’s hoped for Christmas 
completion. Then, with the granite set to be installed the second week of December, they hit one of those unforeseen bumps in the road. Four guys on the installer’s crew came down with the flu, all in that same week, and everything ground to a halt.

“The demand in this valley is vertical right now,” Justin says. “All it takes is one guy getting behind and all of a sudden everybody’s behind.”

They discussed going with another fabricator, but that would take time to set up, and the change could bring other problems with it. Justin advised it would be smarter just to wait it out, and Joey reluctantly agreed.

“It was disappointing for the client,” says Justin. “But we did our best to keep managing the project. Eventually, we pushed through and got it all done by the end of January. In the end the client was extremely happy. Now you can see who’s in the kitchen from three-quarters of the way across the house. It’s a night and day transition.”