Getting ready for a kitchen renovation? Even if you are only redoing part of your kitchen, like the cabinets or floors, this still means losing an essential area of your home for days or weeks. Opting to stay in your home during kitchen remodeling can be cost-effective, saving you money on renovations. However, while this might seem initially more straightforward, it can pose challenges even for the most well-prepared or experienced homeowners, leaving many wondering how to navigate a kitchen renovation successfully.
During your kitchen transformation into an active construction zone, you’ll temporarily lose access to an essential area of your home. This can present a daunting prospect for many homeowners, particularly those with established work or school routines and families to feed. But surviving a kitchen remodel is much more manageable with proper preparation. Below are some tips to help you navigate your kitchen renovation safely and smoothly.
1. Plan Your Temp Kitchen
Constantly dining out isn’t always an option, and it can be unnecessarily expensive. Additionally, regardless of how much takeout you bring home, you’ll still need a space to prepare school lunches, pour a bowl of cereal, or brew coffee. Consider setting up a temporary kitchen in an area that won’t interfere with ongoing construction.
Once you’ve packed away your belongings, designate a section of your home for kitchen and dining that won’t interfere with the crew. Aim for a location equipped with a sink, trash bin, and room for a microwave or a compact fridge. Organize a mini-pantry stocked with quick and easy essentials, including snacks. Use disposable plates, cups, and utensils as needed. You may need this makeshift kitchen for several weeks or even longer.
Plan meals that require minimal preparation. During warmer seasons, arrange outdoor picnics in your backyard or host family gatherings on your patio. Useful appliances you may want available include a hot plate, electric grill, compact toaster oven, microwave, and Instant Pot. Simplify cleanup by planning straightforward meals like sandwiches and salads.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a guesthouse, you can transform it into a hub for food preparation. Alternatively, outfit a corner of your basement, garage, or workroom with portable tables, standalone shelves, storage crates, and folding chairs to create a functional food prep area. Having a place where you can still make or prep some meals will take the pressure off of missing a full kitchen and help you save some money.
2. Pack Smart
You can’t pack up everything when packing for a kitchen renovation. Some things will move to your temporary kitchen area or another place in the house to allow easy access. You may not want to pack up the coffee maker, but the nice dishes and ornate cookware should be safely stored out of the way.
Begin by focusing on the essentials. Consider the cooking utensils and small appliances used in your daily routine and how you’ll store your food. Set aside the kitchen supplies you know will be indispensable in your makeshift kitchenette before packing away items you’ll be less likely to use in the coming weeks.
In addition to plates and other crucial kitchen tools, it’s important to remember that you’ll require the necessary items for food preparation, cooking, and cleaning dirty dishes during the renovation. Keep everything you anticipate needing to maintain normalcy within easy reach or in other rooms, ensuring you’re well-prepared to bid farewell to your old kitchen. If you’re worried about losing things in the shuffle, label all your boxes with where things go and try to give away items you’ve never used.
Clean While You Go
It’s an opportune time to inventory your kitchen before packing your pots, pans, recipe books, and utensils. Consider which appliances, decorations, and dishware you genuinely wish to retain. Be candid with yourself; for instance, if you haven’t touched your grandmother’s dishes in the past six years, donating them or passing them along to someone else might be a good idea.
It’s time to part ways with broken, unused, and outdated items. If you find it challenging to let go of certain belongings, consider inviting a couple of friends. They can offer honest opinions on whether you should hold onto that old cracked teapot or that fondue set still in its original packaging.
3. Keep It Tidy
While this might sound counterintuitive or even impossible while going through a kitchen renovation, maintaining a tidy or at least organized house will help the process go smoother. This means cleaning out your kitchen and keeping those areas clear for construction. There may be places workers need to move through, and ensuring those spaces stay free of clutter will help everything and everyone move faster.
Consider the path people must take to move in and out of the kitchen. Relocate any items that could obstruct contractors as they enter your home. Safeguard valuable art pieces, photo frames, and furniture. Since dust is an inevitable part of construction, taking precautions to shield your belongings is important. Consider covering furniture with protective plastic or relocating items to your garage or a storage area.
4. Budget For Food
While a temporary kitchen space can offer you an area to cook simple dishes, you will not have your entire repertoire for a while. Cooking without a full stove top, oven, or fridge can be challenging at best. Eating out or ordering takeout can provide relief but might cost more than anticipated if you don’t plan for it.
Think about how you want to eat or cook while living with renovations. You’ll likely adopt a combination of the following eating strategies, from cooking to eating out. While it might seem convenient to eat out frequently during your kitchen remodel, it’s only sometimes affordable, and you may be surprised to find yourself craving homemade meals after a few weeks. Consider planning your meals around small appliances like the microwave, toaster, oven, slow cookers, electric grills and skillets, and hot plates.
Options for Eating In:
- Prepare and freeze meals in advance.
- Use an electric oven or microwave to cook frozen meals.
- Utilize a crockpot for cooking.
- Cook with an electric skillet.
- BBQ on the weekends for a change of pace.
Eating out can get tiresome, but it may also provide an excuse to try new restaurants in your area or make more plans with friends. As long as you prepare in advance, you should be able to work with a mix of eating out and cooking at home during the kitchen renovation.
5. Out Of Town Time
If you’re contemplating a vacation or need to schedule a business trip, this could be the perfect moment, provided you’re comfortable with the remodeling work progressing in your absence.
A family vacation can be especially beneficial during a remodel since losing an entire kitchen can disrupt a child’s schedule. Staying home while construction is underway can quickly become cramped and stressful, especially for small children who might respond to the disruption with meltdowns, sibling conflicts, and tears. By arranging a vacation, you can alleviate some of the stress for your entire family.
If you cannot plan a big vacation for the renovation period or want to remain close by, consider spending a few days a week with relatives or friends. Encourage sleepovers so kids don’t have to be around the chaos of construction as often, and find places you can go to get away from the hustle and bustle. There are also many areas like libraries, parks, and recreation centers where you can go and spend lots of time without incurring extra costs.
6. Create Construction Free Space
Unless you are having your entire home renovated, there should be a few rooms that aren’t experiencing construction. Create these spaces before construction starts and make them as comfortable and quiet as possible. Having a place where you can be away from the dust, noise, and general commotion of renovations can make the process less stressful and overwhelming. More extensive renovations can bleed into other areas of the home, so be sure to speak with your construction team about the space they need and where you can create these more comfortable spots.
You should create these spaces for yourself, family members, and pets. If you have household animals that generally roam the house, consider where they can go safely during construction and build those spaces before renovations start.
Before construction begins, think about when and where you need quiet space. If you typically work from home, finding temporary office space or working at a friend’s house might provide a better work environment than trying to talk over construction on calls. The more you can schedule your day and plan to lose that space in your home, the better prepared you will be and the easier the transition. While not using the kitchen is one thing, dealing with noise, dust, and disruption is another. A kitchen renovation can impact more than that room.
7. Communicate With Your Contractor
If you have concerns or questions, always bring those up with your contractor team. It will help you feel more at ease, and they can also focus more easily on doing their job, knowing you are fully prepared for the process. While some renovations can take longer than others, if you have hired a reputable company, you shouldn’t have any difficulty estimating a timeline and planning ahead.
Following the steps above will help your family and your renovation company. Cleaning and organizing beforehand will allow the team to start immediately, and your kitchen can return to working order sooner.
8. Keep Calm And Comfortable
Living with a renovation in your home can make it feel like there is no relief or time for yourself. It can be difficult to relax or move through your house and may cause stress for anyone living with you. However, it is a process necessary to create a more beautiful and functional space in your home. Remembering why you’re going through the kitchen renovation and all the good that will come from it can help ease the transition.
In the broader context of homeownership, this represents a brief period of inconvenience amidst many years of joy in a beautiful kitchen. Maintain a sense of perspective and approach it as a journey. Whether you stay home during the renovation or take the opportunity to go on a family vacation, these few weeks of disruption will ultimately yield a magnificent kitchen.
Kitchen Renovation Done Right
No home improvements are completely stress-free, and kitchen renovations are no exception. However, if you plan accordingly, there is no reason why it can’t go smoothly and interrupt as little of your day-to-day as possible. Losing a kitchen will necessitate some changes and adjustments, but none are extraordinary or impossible to manage during renovation.
Finding the right team to complete your kitchen renovation is one of the most important steps before beginning your preparations. At LA Carpet, our dedicated team of experts is committed to delivering excellence through the exclusive use of top-tier materials sourced from leading industry manufacturers. Our services encompass a broad spectrum, from impeccable cabinet installations and countertop replacements to captivating kitchen island designs and exquisite backsplash installations.
Experience the convenience of swift installation without sacrificing quality, all at a budget-friendly price point. LA Carpet can transform your vision into reality and craft the kitchen you’ve always envisioned. Reach out today for a free estimate.