Yep, the estimate is in!
Good news - it is well under what I feared it would be, and we're able to include the little extras we wanted (a bookshelf, wine rack, crown moulding, under cabinet lighting, and GRANITE countertops! YAY!)
Bad news - it will be happening sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving, which is already a very busy time of year for us. We are being told it will take one day for rip out, one to two days to place the new cabinets and fix everything up, and then five days past that for the countertops to be finished. Ugh. I can't wait for it to be done, but that's going to be a tough week with no sink and no prep space except the kitchen table! Peanut butter sandwiches it will be!
I still have to give the final okay to the samples they are making up (we chose oak wood with a maple stain vs a patina stain), and choose the granite. They will be starting on the construction of the cabinets off-site as soon as possible, however.
I must also choose what sink I want (undermount, single bowl stainless..but have to pick which exact model); water fixture; and the new stainless microwave (since they'll be taking the old one down, it will be the best time to put the new one up so they can frame it in if needed).
I am SO excited! We're going to refinish an inherited kitchen table that fits our space much better (has 2 leaves vs 1) to match the cabinets as close as possible (it's a maple wood, so the stain will look a little different). If possible I may ask them to do this to both save our time and because our level of expertise is nill next to theirs.
Will update with Step Three: Final Decisions when the verdict is in!