With attentive preparation, your new kitchen can feel like a luxurious vacation spot everyday. But even the finest destinations can be fraught with travel complications before you get there. Follow these tips, and you’ll feel like a seasoned traveler flying first class – not sitting in coach with a screaming child next to you, waiting for your peanuts…
Pick Your Guest Suite
Your kitchen sink and dishwasher are going to be out of commission for awhile (it’s the first thing to go and the last thing to get put back in). Select an alternative water source (like the bathtub, laundry room sink, wet bar, or even a camper), and pitch your tent there. Even better – schedule your vacation during the remodeling project and set up camp away from home.
Pack It Up
Next, you need to empty everything out of the kitchen (make sure no one is planning on using the spare bedroom during the remodel). It is also a good idea to remove any breakables from adjacent walls as well. It’s better to box up that priceless vase in the next room, rather than to see it come crashing to the ground.
Clear The Landing Strip
Not only do the installers need room in the kitchen, but they have to be able to get from the outside, to the kitchen, and back again. Make sure the pathways to the kitchen are unobstructed – move the furniture, take up the throw rugs, corral the dog. Make sure you have discussed a location to stage building materials and set up saws, then plan on letting them use the space for a minimum of several days to a few weeks.
You still gotta eat. And without a sink or stove it can be difficult – but not impossible. Lay in a supply of paper plates, plastic utensils, disposable cups, and plenty of microwave meals. Fast food coupons and early bird specials come in handy too (this is what Bill Duncan use to refer to as the ‘Big Mac Factor’ of remodeling). But, whatever you do, don’t forget the coffee maker – caffeine withdrawal during a remodeling project is a sure recipe for disaster.
Having workmen invade your house for a remodel is stressful, even under the best circumstances. Go out to dinner. See a movie. Get a massage. Anything that gets you out of the house and feeling good will help the entire family cope.
No matter how hard we try, until someone invents x-ray glasses there will always be surprises in remodeling. Bugs, mold, and water damage are the most common culprits. Hidden mechanics can surface. Previous stupidity is a pretty good one too (ask the homeowners who found out they didn’t have drywall behind their old cabinets). It’s the Surprise Factor and it’s unavoidable. Just remember: it makes for a good story later.