Willetton kitchen renovation fit for a serious cook

John did Gillian & Bill’s kitchen in Willetton. They moved into the house two years after it was built and they’ve been there now for 16 years.

Gillian said there wasn’t much wrong with her 18 year old original kitchen, but it just didn’t have enough space, so they decided it was time to renovate. And because Bill works in the building industry, he was able to get a couple of good quotes on cabinetry and figured he would do the rest of the renovation himself. It started with family members pulling out the old cabinets to ‘recycle’ them into a new life elsewhere. Then in January Bill ripped out what was left in the kitchen and knocked out some bits of wall to make space for walk-in pantry. But Bill’s a super-busy guy and, unfortunately, work commitments meant the no cabinets no appliances and no walls kitchen stayed that way for two months! Gillian ended up thinking it was going to be Christmas before Bill finished! That was when she said, hey, we’re time poor, can we get a builder? Bill agreed. He had to with Gillian cooking on a portable gas burner for two months!

So Gillian started looking around for a builder. She Googled ‘builders south of the river’, and she found the website for John Bodin at One Design and Construct. She liked that John was local. She liked the website and thought the testimonials were great. So she emailed John and liked that he got back to her right away. One thing she said about John was that he was really good with communications, and that was right through the entire job. And he impressed her right away when he first arrived with document folder with what Gillian described as ‘everything’. Builders’ registration. His insurances. Everything about the work all laid out. Gillian immediately thought this is not a backyard builder.

John's Folder

John’s Folder

This is someone who is very structured and organised. And given that Gillian and Bill already had quotes for cabinetry, they thought John’s estimate of cost was pretty reasonable. But there was still the design aspect to nail down. Gillian said that if she was going to spend a good chunk of money, the kitchen had to be perfect for a busy cook. She bakes bread every day of the week and when the whole family turns up, that’s a lot of people! So working with John and his cabinet maker, who is also an architect, plenty of designs went back and forth for weeks. Drafts were made and suggestions offered and Gillian tried moving things around, and she kept tweaking and scribbling all over the designs and getting redrafts until she was happy.

And so is she happy now? Gillian says she couldn’t be happier! John’s job is amazing! Once the layout was finalised, everything fell into place and it was less than four weeks until it was all finished. That’s a whole lot better than Christmas! Now she’s got another four square metres of floor space, two ovens (one with a steam function for the bread) and two cook-tops with a total of nine burners. And she loves her tiled feature walls.
What about tradies stomping around in big boots? Gillian said that all of the tradies that John employed were polite and, one really great thing, they were tidy! So no mess left behind 🙂 She couldn’t fault them.

No hiccups at all? Well, there were a couple. After choosing a beautiful stone bench-top and having everything measured, the stone company called up at the 11th hour and said they couldn’t supply that particular choice of stone. It wasn’t available. John thought they might have been trying it on, so he phoned Australia-wide and it was true. That particular stone had some stability problems and had been withdrawn. So that very evening, John came around to see Gillian and Bill with colour swatches of stone from every other company! They ended up with exactly the same colour but without the problem-causing sparkly flecks. Oh, and guess what? The kitchen ended up needing three-phase power installed to run all that serious cookware! Which led to a lot of re-wiring. Rewiring for three-phase power was not part of the original quote, but John organised it all, got a bunch of quotes, rejected some as too expensive or not adequate, then sent the rest to Gillian. She said she just ticked off on the one she wanted. Yes, it was a bit more money, but Gillian wanted those appliances and she wanted to be able to run them all at the same!


So a beautiful quality kitchen, a smooth worry-free build, a great experience, and such a difference from just a few months ago when there was no end in sight to hubby Bill’s home-reno. With John, Gillian said, there was suddenly light at the end of the tunnel and it just kept getting brighter!

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