How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel Without Losing Your Sanity

Surviving A Kitchen Remodel During Construction

So you're having your kitchen remodeled. It's a pretty exciting moment. You've spent years, planning, dreaming, clipping photos, picking up appliance brochures, and going online to look at pictures of dream kitchens. You've done your research, vetted contractors or design-build firms and chosen the perfect partner to create your dream kitchen. The big day has finally arrived... and you've got six weeks of craziness ahead of you before you can sit at your sparkling new island with your family for your first meal.

So how will you survive your kitchen remodel without losing your sanity?

What should you do? It is definitely not the time for that staycation you've been planning. Should you book a dream six-week vacation to the islands? Rent a beach house? Often, you've spent years dreaming of the big day when you'd finally have your dream kitchen, but you forgot to plan for the actual remodel! 

A major project like a kitchen remodel is disruptive to you, your spouse, your kids, and even your pets. Taking some time to think about how you can lessen the disruption (and working with the Toulmin design team) can help to make the entire process run smoother. Remember, that no matter how much you plan, there will be disruption...and DUST – lots and lots of DUST! But with a little pre-planning and some outside the box thinking, you'll survive!

Always remember the big picture. In the grand scheme of home ownership, this is but a short period of inconvenience amid a future of dream kitchen bliss. Keep the process in perspective and treat it as an adventure. When you're hard at work in your sparkling new kitchen, the temporary hassles will fade from memory.

So, in the spirit of staying sane, here are some tried and true tips to help you get through your kitchen remodel.

Make A Plan Before You Start

The fact is that a kitchen remodel is disruptive to your daily life. If you have the means, your kitchen remodel is the perfect time to take that six-week tour of the vineyards of Tuscany. However, for most of us, this is impractical. So you'll want to speak with your design-build contractor about the timeline for construction.

If you're taking your kitchen down to the studs, that will mean electrical work, plumbing, and HVAC, as well as refinishing floors if you choose hardwood. Living in your home without running water, or HVAC in the hot Alabama summer is not a great option. 

You may want to consider planning some getaways for those times when it's going to be most difficult to stay. Speak with family and friends. See if you can plan a visit when the power is shut off for those two days in week three, or the week the hardwood floors are being refinished.

In the meantime, you'll need to plan for the time you will be living in your home without a proper kitchen. You'll want to set up a temporary kitchen somewhere in your house or garage. At the very least, stocking the freezer with portioned meals that can be easily defrosted and reheated in the microwave is a good option. Make sure you have a place to watch dishes or use paper plates and disposable utensils. 

Or perhaps you have a friend who you can offer a home-cooked meal in exchange for using her kitchen. If you bring the food and the fixings and prepare the meal, she'll probably be delighted!

Safety and Security Concerns

Understand that construction may mean vibration, and workers carrying equipment and materials in and out, throughout your project. Items like artwork on the wall, lamps and other possessions can be damaged. Safely put away breakables in rooms adjacent to the construction zone.  

Also, because you'll have various subcontractors and workers in and out of your home, make sure all of your valuables are secured and locked up. A good contractor will remind you to safely pack items and ask you to lock away your valuables before work begins. 

You're also going to want to prepare and protect your home from dust. There is going to be dust... lots of DUST! Put up plastic sheeting to separate the kitchen from the rest of your house. Make sure to also protect other living areas for example, including plastic sheeting at the top of the stairs to keep dust out of the bedrooms and between the living room and kitchen area. Also, remember to protect any floors with paper or plastic sheeting as well. Workers will be bringing materials and equipment into and out of your home and floors can accidentally get scratched or damaged so take the time to protect them.

Taking Care of Pets When Kitchen Remodeling

Take Care of Your Pets 

A kitchen remodel can be noisy,  dangerous and disruptive for your pets as well. If you have pets, it's important to keep them safe. Have a separate room somewhere in the house away from the work where you can safely keep your pets. 

Make sure to include their food and water and keep items that can keep them calm like favorite toys or their bed in the space. Clearly, mark the door, so anyone working in the house knows to keep doors closed to keep your pets safe. Even under the best circumstances pets can sometimes escape and run away due to the noise. Make sure to get your pet chipped, or keep them in their collar with their tags, just in case the worst happens. 

Hire the Right Contractor For Your Kitchen Remodel, and Get Out of the Way!

A good contractor understands the disruption that a major home remodeling project can cause. They will take your lifestyle into account when planning your project and will keep you informed from the earliest stages as to particularly disruptive events. For example, you'll know well in advance when the water will be shut off to tie the new kitchen plumbing into your system, so you won't be left high and dry getting ready for work the day you have that big meeting. 

Learn About The Toulmin Kitchen Design Process

You'll know you've hired a good contractor when...

• They've mapped out a strategy to help keep you sane during your project and have given you a list of critical dates you should consider getting out of the house.

• They will help you to prepare a temporary kitchen

• They will work with your schedule to keep disruption to a minimum and work to keep kids and pets safe around the job site.

• They'll put up protection for your floors and plastic sheeting to keep the dust out of the rest of the house.

• They'll ask you to lock up valuables and remind you to safely pack and store breakable items in the rooms adjacent to the kitchen.

With a little planning, your dream kitchen can become a reality. That includes planning for the inevitable disruption that a major home improvement project can cause. Remember to look at the big picture! Keep the project in perspective and treat it as an adventure. And hire the right team. 

If you're planning a kitchen remodeling, give the experts at Toulmin Cabinetry and Design a call. We understand that a major home improvement project can be a challenge and we work closely with our clients to make sure that the entire process runs as smoothly as possible! 

View These Featured Kitchen Design Projects For Our Alabama Clients

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