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Meet Ryan K Dean of Kitchen Tune-Up in Chicago

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan K Dean.

Ryan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In high school, a family friend introduced me to a builder and I went to work for him. Moving my way from a general laborer to foreman, I really got interested in the business.

While in college, an older teammate of mine was graduating and got into the construction industry, focusing on multi-unit rentals for college students. He asked one of my best friends and I to be involved and work with/for him. This rekindled interest and gave me a ton of new experiences.

I then, went through a few career changes, worked in corporate america, founded a start-up and realized I never wanted to work for anyone again. Looked into an industry where I felt needs were undeserved and my business acumen could help advance and scale.

In mid-2016, we executed a deal to purchase this business and have been loving every moment since then!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, just as in anything tough the challenges are all worth the ride to learn through great or terrible experiences. We have botched measurements, order wrong finishes, challenges with employees, growing pains, shipping/freight delays messing with schedule… the list goes on and on. However, the best part is that we have implemented strategies and processes to adjust and now have efficiency, which means less mistakes & errors; and then in-turn helps to benefit our clients that much more!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Kitchen Tune-Up – what should we know?
We have been in business for over 15 years, with continued growth and profitability year over year. Kitchen Tune-Up team-members are experts with laser focus in the kitchen remodeling industry. Winning numerous awards for our design, installations, projects and styles. As Chicagoland’s largest redoor/reface company, we specialize in transforming kitchens in 3-5 days, within strict budgets, and limited to no downtime to the homeowner.

Definition of redoor:
Cabinet redooring simply means we replace your doors and drawer fronts with new ones in your choice of style that are color-matched to blend with your existing cabinet boxes. We replace your hinges and offer a wide variety of new pulls and knobs to complete the new look. It’s a quick and easy way to update your kitchen.

Definition of refacing:
Cabinet refacing enables you to revitalize your kitchen with new doors, drawer fronts and matching veneer, while keeping your existing cabinet boxes. Without changing the familiar layout of your kitchen, you can improve both the appearance and durability. You can create a “new kitchen” look without the “new kitchen” price tag.

We are most proud of the fact that we can make transformations once thought to be impossible by budget/scope to possible! For example, many of our clients have been told they need to “gut” their kitchen and start from scratch, which typically is a $30k minimum project investment. We come-in to the same homeowner scenario and can typically combine our services at reduce that number by 55-65%! Now making that project a reality within their budget.

The other item that sets-up apart is we use a system of dedicated installers, our teams have been with us for 15+ years and as we bring on new team-members, they are put through an industry leading training program. This training program consists of time in our 1600-square foot warehouse practicing their finish carpentry, refacing, paneling, painting, and reconditioning in a mock-kitchen. Many of our competitors have their installers practicing on the field or in other words, while in your home; YIKES.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Ed Jarnell from Jarnell Builders, taking a risk on a high school kid with no experience.

Mike Gillen and Andrew Gyorkos, my teammates who got me back into business.

Rae and Tom Dunlap, for their experience and expertise during transition.

Karen & Joe Kinihan, clients – for their continued supports, feedback and referrals.

Danielle & Tony Gianakis, clients – for their support in hosting events at their home and advocating for us.

Kitchen Tune-Up team/home office – for their training/mentoring & dedication to our success.

Elizabeth Dean, my wife; for putting-up with “all”.


  • Wood Reconditioning (how we got our name, the “Tune-Up”): $1800-$3200
  • Painting exiting cabinets, doors & drawer faces: starts at $4000
  • Redoor: $6500-$8500
  • Reface: $9000-$12000
  • Full remodel: starts at $30000

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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