Kitchen Remodel Survival Tips

Perhaps you’ve decided to remodel your kitchen and now have the design plan, final budget and a licensed contractor.   But wait!  The renovation process won’t be easy, especially if you’ll be living in your home during the remodeling process.  Here are some steps you can take to minimize dust, stress and family quarrels:

  1. Mind over matter- Above all, explain to your family that the remodeling process may be stressful and you’ll need everyone’s cooperation, but that the end result will be well worth it.  You can expect a few bumps on the road including delays, unanticipated costs and decisions you hadn’t planned on having to make.  When you want to scream, take a deep breath and remember your end goal and vision of a new, fabulous kitchen.
  2. Create a substitute kitchen- When we gutted our kitchen, I set up a small kitchenette in our laundry room with a small toaster oven, mini fridge, microwave, George Foreman grill and essential cooking and dining supplies.  The substitute kitchen should be set up away from dust such as a finished basement or unused bedroom.
  3. Store and purchase necessary supplies- If you are replacing all of your cabinets, set aside enough time to pack all of your dishes, pots, pans, vases, linens, pantry items, art, anything on display, etc.  My husband and I started accumulating large boxes in advance of the ‘breaking ground’ date, packed on the weekends and stored everything in our garage during the renovation.

As an environmentalist, I never used paper plates or plastic utensils…until my kitchen remodel began.   Since you and your family must eat and you more than likely will not have a dishwasher set up during your kitchen renovation, I believe it is perfectly acceptable to use paper plates, styrofoam cups and bowls, and plastic utensils during that time.

  1. Eat out/Take out- Weather permitting, use your outdoor grill to prepare meals so you aren’t relegated to restaurants for most lunches and dinners.  If possible, place a cooler with ice on the back porch or deck to keep soft drinks cold and to avoid running out constantly for ice.  Plan on spending a larger portion of your disposable income on take-out meals and at dine-in restaurants than you normally spend.   Purchasing individual servings of frozen meals and healthy snacks like fruit, granola bars, cheese and crackers, etc.  will help defray costs if you will have access to a microwave during the renovation.
  2. Everything but the kitchen sink!  Instruct your contractor to remove your old sink last, so you have access to running water in a large sink up until the absolute last minute.  Often times, the delivery of cabinetry, flooring, tiles and other supplies can be delayed, so it’s important not to remove the kitchen sink too soon.
  3. Take cover- Place plastic sheeting over all appliances, unless they are being replaced, in order to minimize the dirt during the day.  This way, you’ll have access to them so you can resume meal preparation during the evenings. Cover the doorways with plastic sheeting to minimize the spread of dust to the rest of the house.

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