A complete kitchen remodel is a monumental home improvement, of which can uplift the look and feel of your entire home.
However, like most good things in life, it takes time.
When you are facing weeks without a kitchen, it’s easy to find yourself asking, “how many days more to go?” Or, “will this ever end?”
A kitchen is used multiple times per day. The key to surviving the chaos that accompanies the remodeling process is a thorough plan for how you will function around the construction.
Here are some of the best ways to prepare for a complete kitchen remodel (and survive it).
Assess the Procedure
Every kitchen remodel is unique.
The timeframe of the project depends on what you intend to do in the overhaul, such as fitting new appliances, building the cabinetry and countertops, replacing the flooring, re-plumbing etc.
If the tear-out is basic, then count a few weeks before you can start using the kitchen again in its entirety. If it includes a major renovation with changes made to every nook and cranny of, the process can take up to a few months.
Certain steps will more or less remain common in every project, irrespective of the budget and the size of your kitchen. This typically includes:
- Finding the contractor
- Initial Design Process
- Final Design Process
- Ordering The Products
- Demolition or Making Structural Changes
- Changing Utilities for New Layout
- Installation of Flooring
- Cabinet Installation
- Countertop Measurement
- Installation of Small Appliances and ventilation
- Installation of Lighting
- Countertop Installation
- Backsplash Installation
- Installation of Remaining appliances
- Finishing Touches
Individually, completion of these processes depends on a number of factors like finding the products, the extensiveness of the design, and the efficiency of contractors. The project’s timeline may extend due to unforeseen delays. You need to be mentally prepared for any last minute surprises that may spring up!
Hire the Kitchen Remodel Pros
A qualified and proficient contractor is a prerequisite for any kitchen remodel project.
Start by doing your research in the area. Be sure to look deeply into the reviews and testimonials.
Once you have made contact, ask them questions to ascertain that they are the right people for the job and can carry it out seamlessly. Ask them to provide recent references of their clients. Next, ask their clients about the contractors’ working habits, regularity, promptness in handling queries and issues, neatness, professional ethics, the standard of work, and so on and so forth. Also, ask them how the contractor managed everything within their budget.
How much time did they take to complete the task?
Was there any delay or glitch? If yes, how did they manage it?
It is also important to ask questions about the contractor’s adherence to safety and quality. If the answers match your expectations, go ahead and hire them!
Preparing for the Inevitable Discomfort
Kitchen renovations are going to be messy and noisy. There’s no way around it.
There’s going to be loud power tools, sawdust, a paint smell that can linger for days, and much more.
Moreover, the workers will be coming and going to fetch the tools and materials, increasing the traffic in your home. These woes can be manifold when you have young children, elderly, or pets.
Here are a few pointers to manage this reality:
- Remove pieces of décor, furnishings, or upholstery in the spaces adjoining the kitchen. You wouldn’t want gunk to settle on your favorite frame, vase, or floor rug.
- Alleviate dust and dirt by keeping the windows open, cleaning regularly, and getting an air filtration system to remove particles from the air.
- Blocks of wood, furniture pieces, tiles are often strewn on the floor and require efforts to clean up. It surely helps when the contractors and you pledge to dispose of trash as and when it’s possible before it becomes an unmanageable pile of clutter. Solve this problem by placing temporary trash cans everywhere and emptying them frequently.
- Many homes have pets that are accustomed to roaming around the house freely. The kitchen remodeling process can be a severely stressful time for them. If you have pets that would fall under this category, try blocking off the construction areas. If that won’t work, consider dropping them at pet boarding or with a relative for the duration of the remodeling process.
- If the renovation activities are an extreme ordeal for you and your family, it might be wise to shift to a furnished/semi-furnished rental home until the project is completed.
In addition to these, there will be days when you’ll wait forever for the materials to arrive or the work to progress; that will be a true test of your patience. In this scenario, just remember, the discomfort is going to be temporary and in the end, the results will be worth all of this!
Prepare for Your Storage Needs
Assign a space where contractors can keep their tools and materials for carrying out their work. This can be the porch, basement, garage, ect. Once this is decided, you’ll need to find a spot to store all your displaced kitchen gear. The adjoining living room can be a great option for storing your cooking equipment while the attic or garage can be put to good use for bigger items you won’t need until the renovation work gets completed.
Another great thing about kitchen remodels is you will likely find a number of tools or appliances you simply don’t use. For these items, plan a garage sale or give them away before the contractor starts the work. This will help you cut down the number of objects to store!
Set Up a Temporary Kitchen
What do you do when the area where you prepare meals goes for a reconstruction?
Answer: You put together a makeshift kitchen, unless you can afford to dine out or survive on takeaways for weeks or months!
Setting up a temporary kitchen is no big deal. Here are some handy tips that you can use:
- Buy a plastic folding table and arrange your basic appliances such as the coffee maker, microwave, toaster, griller, and food items on the table like you would do on a countertop.
- Reuse wine crates and cardboard boxes to store all the items you won’t need immediately. Wine crates can also be used to create temporary storage shelves, where you can keep the spices, condiments, cereals etc.
- Use the space below the table to stack the essential dishes, cutlery, and stuff you’ll need daily.
- No space or time to do the dishes after a meal? No worries. You can always refer to disposable paper plates, cups, and towels that need no washing. If you still feel the need to use the dishes and wash them, use the nearest bathroom sink.
- Preparation of meals can be extremely time consuming and frustrating with the ongoing project. Planning the meals a few weeks in advance can be a great solution to this common issue. Alternatively, you can freeze casseroles for the entire week, buy canned food or opt for microwave single-serve meals. You can also set up a grill in the backyard and have mini barbecue sessions a few times a week until the work gets done.
- Invest in a mini fridge to store food, condiments, dips, drinks, ect. for the time being.
- On days when you find yourself too busy to plan, cook, or order food, it’s always good to have plenty of snacks on hand. In this case, you can settle for things like fruits, granola bars, dried fruits, etc.
Apart from these tips, you can find out other ways to cook meals using unconventional methods!
It’s a daunting task to navigate the day-to-day during a kitchen remodel. Nevertheless, when you know what to expect, and more importantly, what not to expect, you won’t buckle under the stress.
Throughout our near 30 years of experience, we’ve developed a deep understanding of how families can manage their everyday lives throughout a kitchen remodel. If you need any pointers, feel free to reach out!