Are you thinking of getting a kitchen remodel
done to your home? While there are many options when it comes to remodeling your kitchen
, you can bet that it won’t happen overnight. Your patience may be stretched to the limit during the process, you will want to cut corners that are not worth cutting and you may be living in a construction zone for a few weeks.
Of course when it’s all said and done and the project is finished, your family, friends and neighbors will be delightfully impressed with the newly-minted look.
If you’re getting your kitchen redone, here is your survival guide to weathering through the remodeling storm so you can obtain the space of your dreams.
What You Should Expect
When it comes to kitchen remodeling, everything that has a chance to go wrong can go wrong. There will be surprises around every corner; that’s why you’ll have to be quick on your feet to provide style guidance to your contractor.
Here are some other potential problems you should brace yourself for:
Products delivered late, dented or with missing parts
The wrong products delivered
More dust than you expected
Termites or other destructive bugs in the walls or floors
Mold or moisture in the walls from leaky plumbing or poor flashing
Structural problems that need to be repaired
Asbestos or lead paint removal
Managing Your Stress Levels
Because you’re potentially living in a construction zone, among other reasons, a kitchen remodel can cause stress levels to rise. Remodeling setbacks can sometimes result in arguments that cause tempers to flare and voices to rise among those living in the home. But, at the end of the day, these stressful events are part of what makes remodeling magic. Remember, a project that’s behind schedule isn’t a metaphor for the lack of control you have over the remodel, rather it’s a reality that every homeowner faces as they get their kitchen redone.
To manage your stress levels, you should be up-front with your contractor and ask as many questions as possible to clarify design choices and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Even if the contractor comes off as distant or annoyed by your questions, he needs to address your concerns whenever one should arise.
If you have children, engage them in the planning process. Giving your children the chance to offer up their opinions and take ownership in the process helps them endure the remodel. Giving kids age-appropriate responsibilities will keep everyone happy during the project.
Where Will You Cook & Eat while Your Kitchen is being Remodeled?
One of the toughest parts of a kitchen remodel is setting up your temporary kitchen to hold you over until the construction is completed. While you may not be able to prepare a full-course Thanksgiving dinner, you will at least be able to cook your own meals, instead of having to head to the local diner every night.
Here are a few tips for setting up your temporary kitchen:
Keep essential items handy like a hot plate, microwave, non-perishable food, coffee maker, dishes and utensils, wash cloths and towels, napkins, and garbage bags.
You will need another sink to do dishes in so you may want to consider purchasing some paper/plastic plates, utensils and cups.
Move your refrigerator to a convenient space close to a water source, or throw it out and get a mini-fridge if you don’t have the space.
Obviously, small appliances such as microwaves, toasters or toaster ovens, hot plates, and small electric grills will be immensely helpful in preparing home-cooked meals. Just remember, the area where you set up your temporary kitchen might not be able to support multiple appliances running at the same time, not to mention any other electronic items typically used in that room. You might need to have only one thing plugged in at a time to prevent blown fuses.
Packing Up Your Kitchen
First things first: when hiring a contractor, you’ll need to clear everything out of your kitchen – pots, pans, silverware, dishes, popcorn poppers, microwaves and everything else. Gather a few clean, sturdy boxes and start sorting through your items.
Because kitchen remodels can sometimes last for months, you need to find space to store all of your things. You’ll need to find storage space in your home or elsewhere to ensure that your stuff stays safe.
You should be all packed up before the remodel starts so that you can get all your materials in order. Waiting until last minute to do this could cause delays for your project’s start date. Set up your temporary kitchen before construction begins so you can test the waters and make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable through the process.
A kitchen remodel presents its own inherent set of dangers, as any construction site does. To truly stay safe, you should most likely spend time at a different home or rent a hotel room. But, most of us don’t have that fortune, so we must educate ourselves about potential dangers of living in a construction area. The good news is that the team working on your home know what they’re doing and take the necessary precautions to keep the work area and surrounding areas safe.
This point is especially important if you have children. You never know how they may react when loud power tools are being used in close vicinity. However, ensuring your children’s safety is about more than just protecting them from scary noises. You should also introduce them to the various workers that are coming and going, as well as the designated work zones.
If you’re a dog, cat, bird or any other type of pet owner, you’ll need to restrict your pet’s access to construction zones. This can be distracting to the workers, puts people and the pet in harm’s way, and slows down the project overall. If your pet is easily frightened by loud noises or strangers in the home, you may want to look into hiring a pet sitter or care-taking facility so they don’t experience too much stress.
Every day during construction, you should walk through the site (after the workers have left for the day) and collect any loose debris that may be hazardous. Work zones are a hotbed for dangerous items, like shards of glass, loose nails and exposed electrical. Yes, the remodeling crew should pick up after themselves, but they won’t catch every little piece of debris that falls to the ground.
The amount of dust and dirt that accumulates during a remodel can be alarming. It can’t be stopped completely, but there are things you can do to prepare. Here are a few tips to stay clean during the remodel:
Protect what you can’t remove; floors should be covered, dust curtains hung and a pathway defined for workmen to enter and exit the workspace. Use plastic sheeting and tape to seal off doorways into other rooms and cover bookshelves, furniture, and electronic equipment. Some contractors will do this for you.
Turn off the central air or heat when the workers are sanding floors. Keep extra air filters on hand.
Ask that the construction area be “broom cleaned” (swept) at the end of every day to minimize the mess.
If necessary, prepare a storage area in the garage or in another room near the kitchen for holding appliances, cabinets, and other items until it’s time to install them. Or rent a storage space for a month or two during the construction phase.
Many times, a kitchen remodel will require the homeowner to provide a dumpster of some sort so the construction crew has a place to get rid of their large amounts of debris.
Sometimes it will be necessary to rent a large Dumpster (like the one in the above photo) so the construction crew can get rid of large amounts of debris. Whether you use a large dumpster or not, if the construction crew is going to take debris to the outside of your home, you should set up some ground rules for where trash is put, as well as some rules about how construction workers should exit your home.
The inside of your home will be in disarray during a remodel, but the outside look of your home doesn’t have to decline. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry recommends the following to preserve your home’s landscaping and curb appeal:
Ask that all lumber and materials be stored on paved surfaces, not your lawn.
If that is not possible, designate a path across your lawn with stakes and string – allow several access points and try to keep the path as direct as possible.
You may want to lay down temporary plywood sidewalks – they distribute weight and will prevent ruts in your lawn. Standing the plywood up at the end of each work day will help preserve the grass. Be sure to remove the plywood as soon as the work is done.
A kitchen remodel is complicated enough without adding additional drama. Cranky neighbors and spiteful construction workers can make your project go from disruptive to torturous in a hurry. You may want to brush up on your remodeling etiquette before passive-aggressive (or just aggressive) overtures from neighbors and workers consume your life.
When dealing with neighbors, the National Association of Home Builders suggests taking the following steps:
Let neighbors know well in advance about your home remodeling plans and keep them apprised of progress, detail by detail. Tell them when work will begin, the approximate completion date, what work will be done and whether workers might have to come onto their property. If delays arise, promptly contact your neighbors to inform them of the revised schedule.
Make sure noisy power tools are only used during standard business hours. Reasonable hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Inform your neighbors of any large trucks entering the neighborhood and ask subcontractors to park on one side of the street only.
Best of Luck with your Kitchen Remodel
If you’re remodeling your kitchen, you need to be prepared for everything that crops up during the process. While it won’t be a one-day project, with a little faith and a lot of patience, you build the kitchen that you’ve always dreamed of.
Best of luck with your remodel – if you have any more questions or want to discuss kitchen construction, contact Treasured Spaces today!