Owning a home of one’s own is a big part of the American Dream. Nothing’s quite as exciting as moving into a brand new place, unless it’s refurbishing an older home to your precise specifications. Transforming your house into a dream home can be a lot of fun and stressful, too. In the interest of saving your sanity during a complete kitchen renovation, we are pleased to present these helpful survival strategies.
Timing is everything
Before you start calling contractors and carpenters, it’s wise to give a lot of thought to the weather. Certain seasons are better than others when it comes to planning a kitchen remodel or any other major home improvement project. If you’re remodeling a kitchen in Minnesota in wintertime, and workers are constantly coming in and going out, you may lose valuable heat. The opposite applies to a kitchen remodel in Arizona during the scorching summer months.
Want your new kitchen to be ready by Thanksgiving? You should probably start with the design phase no later than the first week in September, say design experts at Houzz magazine. Be sure to speak with your contractor about his or her plan to prevent air loss. The savviest contractors will offer to hang an insulating sheet of thick plastic or even make a temporary locking door from plywood in order to reduce heat or cool air loss. As an added bonus, an insulating curtain or door can help to prevent dust buildup and debris accumulation, too.
Speaking of timing; plan on scheduling your life according to your contractor’s clock. Most work crews like to get an early start. Some homeowners find a 7:00 a.m. start to be a bit too early. Some contractors can adjust their work day to begin at 8:00. Any later than that, and you should be prepared to pay for the hour delay.
Cooking and eating sans kitchen
A complete kitchen remodeling in which everything from floor to ceiling is replaced can take many weeks or even months. Unless you intend to dine in restaurants for every meal for the duration of your renovation project, you will need a place to store food, as well as a place to prepare and eat meals.
Work with the space you have, and make the most of it. Roll the refrigerator into the garage or laundry room. If you have the right sort of outlets in your garage, you might want to stash your old electric oven in there, also. Just be sure to keep it well away from flammable chemicals and oily rags to reduce the risk of fire. If you can’t plug in a stove, invest in a hot plate, toaster oven and electric tea kettle or one-cup coffeemaker.
Some people park a recreational vehicle or camper-trailer on their property during a kitchen remodel. Doing so eliminates the need for creative indoor cooking solutions while your kitchen is out of commission. Still, it’s a good idea to keep a small refrigerator indoors and a coffee station, too.
Maintaining your normal life
This is a tricky one. As mentioned above, you may need to adjust your own schedule to coincide with your carpenters and contractors. But what about nap time for the kids? This may be difficult to accomplish when there are workers with saws and hammers making a racket at all hours of the day. A simple solution might be to ask a neighbor if you can bring your little one over for a “nap date” at a specific time in the afternoon. Offer to repay the favor once your kitchen renovation is complete.
Find out ahead of time whether or not your water will be turned off while your kitchen is being renovated. A rented water dispenser can go a long way toward keeping your family refreshed during a remodel. Bottles of water can be stored on closet shelves or in the garage.
Keeping your non-kitchen clean
You can cook in the garage or on a grill in the backyard, but where in the world can you do dishes while your kitchen is under construction? Easy answer: wash dishes in the bathroom sink. Insert a screen over the drain to avoid clogs and set up a drain board in the tub, suggests Pretty Handy Girl.
A kitchen remodel is a hassle to be sure, but the once it’s done, you will undoubtedly find that all the adjustments you made during the project will be very much worth the effort.
Lauren Howard is in the process of renovating her home, one room, or project, at a time. She loves interior design and loves putting the final finishing touches to a room. Her articles focus on this; sharing her DIY knowledge and ideas with like-minded folk around the web.