Plus, how to cook & eat meals during the kitchen remodel process
Kitchen remodels are very disruptive to your life. A UCLA study shows that we Americans spend more time in our kitchen than in any other room in our homes. In fact, a recent survey stated that we spend on average 400+ hours per year in our kitchen. That’s about 17 days’ worth of hours.
Not being able to use our kitchen for a few weeks while it’s under renovation can be a stressful, unpleasant feeling. If you are living at home during your remodel, it can be difficult to temporarily adjust your lifestyle to accommodate your kitchen remodel.
So how do we mitigate that? What should we do to prepare for the disruption? Let’s talk about it.
Preparing for the Remodel
One of the most important things to do when preparing is to talk to your contractor about timelines. While your contractor probably won’t be able to guarantee an exact amount of days your remodel will take, they can give you a good estimate of the timeline and schedule to help you understand how much work goes into the remodel. Depending on the size of your project, the materials you’ve selected, and the lead times for countertop fabrication, it could be anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, or even longer.
Setting Up a Kitchenette
Next, as you are going through your kitchen cabinets and packing things away before demolition begins, make sure to store supplies you use every day (for example a cheese slicer, or forks) somewhere that you can easily grab it. Basically, you want to give yourself all the essentials you would pack with you if you were to go camping.
Pick a room in your home that will not be affected by the remodel. This could be your laundry room, your garage, or even your bedroom, provided you have the space to do so. You are going to set up a temporary “kitchenette” in this room. It is best to have easy access to a place where you can wash dishes, like a laundry sink or a bathtub.
If you don’t have a good room to do this in, you probably should not be living at home during the remodel.
Bring your everyday supplies into this space, as well as dry goods from your pantry that are quick and easy to fix, or ready to eat. You’ll want to move your microwave and purchase an electric hot plate.
Talk to your contractor about helping you temporarily move your fridge into your garage or laundry room, or similar space, so you can access it as needed. Or consider purchasing or borrowing a mini fridge.
Because your kitchen will be under construction, you’ll want to fill your fridge and temporary pantry with quick, easy-to-make foods, and ready-to-eat snacks and meals. Take the grocery money you would normally spend on ingredients, and budget for eating meals out or getting takeaway.
If you are a fan of meal prepping, you can batch prepare and cook meals, divide them into portions, and freeze them in a microwavable dish. Then, when you are using your temporary kitchenette, you’ll be able to have your standard meals, with smaller effort. Eating a good home-cooked meal can significantly help reduce the stress of living in a remodel zone.
More Tips for a Successful Remodel
Open communication between you, your partner, your family, and your contractor is key to surviving your kitchen remodel process. Make sure everyone sets expectations and clearly communicates those expectations.
Remodels can be difficult on relationships, so always remember that it is you and your partner against the problem, and never you and your partner against each other.
And the best way to prepare for a kitchen remodel? Hiring a design-build kitchen remodeler. The design-build process is designed to eliminate as much stress and difficulty as possible by expanding the planning process. The more detail we work together to put in during the pre-construction process, the smoother and faster your kitchen remodel construction process will be.