The first day that your contractor shows up to start work on your new kitchen is a big milestone. It’s actually happening, you’re finally going to get the kitchen of your dreams! The next 56 or so days? They’re not quite as exciting, in fact, a good portion of those days might be challenging.
The old adage of “you won’t miss it till it’s gone” rings particularly true with your kitchen, especially after weeks of take-out and paper plates. If this sounds a bit doom and gloom there’s good news. With a bit of preparation and an understanding of what you’re in for, you’ll be able to handle the ups and downs of being without a kitchen.
Plan for Disruption
A typical kitchen remodel takes around 8 weeks or so from start to finish. If you’re doing a kitchen makeover (updating cabinets and counters without tearing down walls) then you can expect to be without a kitchen for around 4 weeks. No matter what option you choose you’ll still be without an oven, full-size fridge, sink, and dishwasher for a good chunk of time. Mentally preparing for this will make the transition (slightly) less jarring.
How to Prepare
Panic. Just kidding! It might not seem like it but most of your hard work is starting to pay off. You’ve already made a lot of tough decisions and appliances, cabinets, countertops, backsplash material, and flooring are either ordered or on hold. So now the best way to get through the next 56 days is to mentally prepare for what’s ahead and as cheesy as it sounds embrace the adventure. To help you get in the right mindset we’ve detailed the main things you’ll face over the coming weeks.
Eating and Preparing Food
We recommend that all of our clients set up a temporary kitchenette area in another part of the house. Usually, this includes a microwave, toaster oven, coffee machine, paper plates, and most importantly a bunch of take-out menus. You’ll want to set up your temporary kitchen on a fold-out table (or similar size table) so you have a reasonable size space to prepare food.
We’ve found that the temporary kitchen is usually fairly easy (and even fun) for the first 5-6 weeks. The last few weeks? Well, everyone eventually gets sick of eating take-out all the time. If you’re feeling frustrated towards the end don’t forget this is normal and in no time your kitchen will be done.
Remove as Many Unknowns as Possible
Kitchen remodels usually take 8 weeks but can take significantly longer if you get hung up making decisions or altering the original plan. Having most of the decisions finalized before you start helps reduce the number of ad-hoc decisions you need to make during the project which in turn keeps the project on track. We highly recommend utilizing our 3D modeling process before starting the project. It makes it a lot easier for you to make decisions throughout the project if you have a physical picture to reference. Faster decisions mean your project stays on track and you avoid pushing your completion date back days or even weeks.
Dust and Noise
Your kitchen is going to be a construction zone for the next 8 weeks. When we start a remodel we wall off the entire kitchen with thick gauge plastic and disconnect any A/C or heating systems in the room (so that dust doesn’t get sucked into other parts of the house). We control the access points (no more than two entrances) and put in an exhaust fan to remove dust from the room. In addition to the fact that we (are really good at operating) a shop vac, We even use tools that have dust capture systems and always have two vacuums on site.
In short, we work incredibly hard to keep your house as clean as possible and know that living in a construction zone is a major disturbance. Even so, you’re still living in a construction project and it’s important to mentally prepare for some dust and noise.
You are going to feel frustrated or a bit down around halfway through the remodel. Why? Right around this time, you’ll have spent around 80% of your budget and you’ll be looking at a bunch of wires, bare studs, and pipes. It feels a lot like you’ve spent all your cash and gone nowhere. Don’t despair! This is completely normal. A huge amount of the budget is spent on the “behind the wall” pieces including electrical, plumbing, and any structural needs.
The good news is that this low is actually a turning point for the project. In short order the drywall will go up, the cabinets will be put in and the room will start to look like a kitchen again.
With a little preparation and the right mindset, the disruption of a kitchen remodel will at worst be an inconvenience. At best it will be a fun experience and a good excuse to eat way too much take-out or even take a family vacation!
We hope you’ve found this article useful and are excited to see your dream kitchen come to life. If you have any more questions about preparing for your remodel or any general questions please feel free to reach out at email@example.com or give us a call at (908) 581-2229.
If you’re just starting out on a kitchen remodel take a look at our article on next steps and kitchen remodel costs.