Dishwasher Leak Ruins Kitchen in Elk River

Insurance claims suck, but with the right help you can still recover in style

There are many universal laws. Gravity is one. Your dishwasher springing a massive leak only when you are gone for the weekend or on vacation, that’s another. And that’s exactly what happened to this homeowner nearly a year ago, when he had his own “A River Runs Through It” adventure.


Design/Build Consultant & Project Manager — David Long

Design/Build Consultant — Scott Loso

Project Design Assistant — Tania Katzenmaier


Photography — Alyssa Lee


BEFORE — Damage from dishwasher leak. It is #1 for insurance claims followed closely by refrigerator ice maker lines. Fortunately the sub floor was salvageable, lower level was luckily unfinished, so largely unaffected.


When Mike, the homeowner, called us back in January of 2020, he had already had the leak and the clean up done. Unfortunately, the company that did the water mitigation added to the damage already done to some of the lower kitchen cabinets in the process, so all the cabinets had to be replaced.


2-tier island in Alder, doubles the size of previous usable counter top space.


Large refinished columns frame entrance to kitchen and new hardwood flooring which was spread throughout the main floor.


“It’s like doing a remodel backwards,” explains Murphy Bros. design build consultant David long. Normally we talk for weeks and weeks to create a design and budget before we ever start to demo a single thing.”


With insurance projects, it’s all happening in the blink of any eye. Bam! No kitchen! Time to start grilling your eggs!


Before and After layout comparison—By moving the walk-in pantry to a set of tall cabinets at the entry point off the garage we were able to move the refrigerator next to the sink (where it belongs) and add additional cabinet storage.


New appliances all around with new configuration makes this kitchen as functional as it is beautiful.


So, the homeowner and our team all want to jump on the project immediately, but you still have all the design work to consider and an insurance company in the middle taking twice as long and wanting to pay half as much.

“Which is why you want an experienced remodeling company to stand up for you, push for progress and be firm on what it takes to restore things properly,” explains Long. “Even so, it will take longer than you think. And that’s another universal law. So you might as well get as much out of the ordeal as you can.”


Jennair range top replaces old appliance.


This homeowner took the opportunity to not only restore his kitchen, but reconfigure and upgrade everything. "To be perfectly honest, the kitchen configuration was basic cookie-cutter stuff, pretty dysfunctional, which was more common that you might think in new builds of that era," explain Long.

With some slight wall configurations, we reclaimed space for a coffee bar and relocated the pantry nearer the garage. We also created a much larger island, upgraded all surfaces and backsplash with a mixed use of quartz and granite and replaced all the flooring throughout the first floor.


Whitehaven Smart Divide® undermount double-bowl farmhouse sink.


“Mike really transformed the entire space,” explain Long. “Now he’s got way more storage and total “kitchen beautiful” bragging rights out of the ordeal. I think it helped that he used Houzz.com to get his head around the style and quality level of surfaces as well as the new appliances he wanted,” recalls Long.

If you haven’t explored Houzz.com yet, we highly recommend doing so and using the idea book feature to build your own vision of what your remodel can look like.


From left: Where pantry used to be there is now pull out storage next to new refrigerator. New cabinet pantry was relocated close to the garage entrance.


                  • Flooring — Prefinished solid hardwood 5" plank by Paramount- Barnwood Hickory finished in Shiplap
                  • Kitchen sink — Whitehaven Smart Divide® undermount double-bowl farmhouse, finish – Dune
                  • Lighting — Recessed LED cans and perimeter under cabinet lights, and in upper cabinets
                  • Kitchen perimeter countertops — Corian Quartz Calacatta Natura 3 cm
                  • Kitchen backsplash — Corian Quartz Calacatta Natura 2 cm thick
                  • Island countertops — Granite, 3 cm, ogee edge, Mayfair White
                  • Kitchen coffee and pantry cabinets — Custom square flat panel doors. Color – Snowbound.
                  • Kitchen Island — Custom in Alder, square flat panel doors with hand-applied finish
                  • Drawer hardware — Esquire by Amerock in stainless steel
                  • Upper cabinets — White Melamine interiors w/GNA glass panel doors, hinges from top Aventos HK-Zs lift system
                  • Appliances — Jennair Rise coffee system, range top, refrigerator and dishwasher


Drawer hardware is consistent throughout, even matching the other appliances in style.



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