Tips for Surviving a Kitchen Renovation: What Every Homeowner Should Know Before Planning a New Kitchen

Kitchen renovations are time consuming and expensive projects. While they are a worthwhile investment, and can make an out of date kitchen more use friendly, while increasing the home’s value, homeowners should be fully prepared before beginning.

Prepare for the Length of Time

While homeowners may realize that the kitchen remodel will take some time, and that they will be without a kitchen for some time, they may be unprepared for the amount of time that it will take. Kitchen renovations can take up to 6 to 8 weeks from the time that demolition begins, to the time that the counters are installed. This can leave homeowners scrambling for meals, and the extra finances needed to live without a kitchen for such a length of time. Be sure to err on the side of caution, and understand fully how much time this project could take.

There are a few misconceptions that many homeowners make, so be sure to watch out for pitfalls. The kitchen cabinets are often installed a full two weeks before the countertop is installed. This is because the counter needs to be templated with the cabinets in place. Manufacturing then takes two weeks, before the counters can be installed and the sink and stove hooked up.

Backsplashes, while attractive, do not impede the use of the kitchen at all, so homeowners looking to save some time can schedule the installation of the backsplash to happen at any time after the rest of the kitchen. While contractors may want to get everything done at once, don’t feel that the kitchen must remain off limits any longer than it needs to be.

Find Alternates for Food Storage and Cooking

Something that homeowners may not plan for in their budget is the cost of eating out for 6 – 8 weeks. Without a working kitchen, many families resort to take out or restaurant meals to make it through.

To save money, try making a number of meals a head of time, and freezing them. Hook up the refrigerator in the living room, basement or garage, and microwave pre-cooked meals. Use a bathroom sink to wash dishes; without pots and pans, the clean up should be simpler.

Keep the Rest of the House Clean

The demolition of the kitchen, as well as the installation of the new floors, cabinets and counters can be messy. If possible, seal off the kitchen from the rest of the house with tarps, or plastic to cut down on the dust that may circulate through the rest of the house.

Create a walkway for workers to travel to and from the outdoors by laying down plastic or cardboard mats, to avoid having to wash the floors over and over as dirt and mud get tracked in. Designate ahead of time where in the house contractors can go. Bathrooms, eating areas and other spaces should be outlined ahead of time. If a space is off limits, say so, and be clear. Then prepare the areas to be used by laying down walkways to them, and covering the floors to help protect them and keep clean up to a minimum.

Living through a kitchen renovation can be a stressful time. But if prepared for properly, it can be survived by anyone. Try to plan for the worst, hope for the best, and remember that the new kitchen will make it all worth it in the end.

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