How to Survive a Kitchen Renovation

Everyone has heard the Horror stories from homeowners that have undertaken a kitchen renovation. This is especially true of homeowners that hire a contractor to renovate with no concrete design plan but especially from homeowners that decide to tackle renovations on their own unaware of what they do not know about the process. In the case of the homeowner going on their own, the time that the project is actually under construction is usually double perhaps triple the duration of a professionally designed, planned, and implemented project. 

However, with any type of renovation, there is the inconvenience of being without a kitchen for the duration of the project and the inconvenience of having craftsmen in your home on a daily basis until the project is complete.

When I am working with a client to prepare them for their kitchen renovation there is a series of steps that I take them through to prepare for the entire project. There are also a series of recommendations and preparation tips that I provide clients on how to prepare for the length of time that they will be without a kitchen. When I am working with a client, I keep them informed as to the best time to execute some of the recommendations based on our project start date. This helps the client to know exactly what steps they can take to be better prepared for the first day of their project, “Demo Day” and how we can help them with this process of getting prepared.

Add rich color.

Here are a few of these recommendations:


Make preparations for a temporary cooking area or meal preparation area. Although many clients frequent a variety of takeout options, it really is necessary to prepare for preparing simple meals while awaiting the completion of that dream kitchen. This might involve a simple table out of the construction area for a microwave, coffee maker, and an electric skillet. Or perhaps making preparations to temporarily hook up your old range and refrigerator. A small dorm refrigerator can work well in a temporary kitchen area also.


Pack all of the items in your current kitchen. This involves some sorting and purging so I always recommend clients give themselves plenty of time for this. Select a few items that need to be included in your temporary kitchen space, dishes, utensils, a few pieces of cookware, a crock-pot, glasses, and coffee cups. The rest of the items, if they are going to be coming into your new kitchen, should be packed, labeled, and removed from the construction area. Marking these boxes will help you to locate items should you need them before the unpacking begins. Part of this process is purging any unwanted items before packing that way you know that everything that you are packing is coming back into your new kitchen. Many people enjoy updating some of their kitchen items after they renovate their kitchen so think about this before you pack everything.

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If new appliances are part of your new kitchen renovation, many times older appliances are disposed of or donated. We usually remove existing appliances during the demolition of the kitchen and dispose of them but if you are looking to donate your old appliances or give them to a friend or relative, arrange for them to be picked up so they will be out of your way during construction if you are not using them for your temporary kitchen area. Also, remember to remove any dishes or items from inside these appliances before demo day.


When starting construction on a new renovation project, my contractors will do their best to contain the construction area and block off adjacent areas, however, even with the best situation, there will be some dust in your home during a major renovation. Be sure that if you are renovating on your own that you take steps to control and contain the construction areas and that work areas are left as neat and orderly as possible at the end of the day.


I find that communication with my clients is important before,  during, and throughout the process of a kitchen renovation. This helps my clients know what to expect during the duration of the project. What time will construction begin in the morning? What time will the construction end for the day? How will inspections building inspections work? If you are doing your own project or working with other contractors don’t be afraid to ask questions. Although construction is not an exact science and sometimes unexpected circumstances come up, you should feel comfortable asking questions and communicating with your contractors throughout the process. If you are hiring a company like mine to design and oversee every aspect of the project be sure that you are comfortable with the communication that you are receiving regarding your project, before, during and throughout the process

Until Next Time,


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