5 Tips For Surviving a Kitchen Remodel Relatively Stress-Free

5 Tips For Surviving a Kitchen Remodel (Relatively Stress-Free)

by Kristi Linauer

Kitchen remodels are stressful…period.  The kitchen is probably the single most-used room of any home.  Disrupt the daily use of the kitchen, and you could have chaos.  Add to that the fact that full-scale kitchen remodels can take anywhere from six weeks to three months, and there is definite probability that you will be completely stressed out…IF you’re not prepared.  Here are a few tips to prepare you for the chaos to come and help you survive your kitchen remodel relatively stress-free.


(Want to see how this kitchen remodel turns out? Click here to see the full before and after!)

1.  Have a budget, but don’t carve it in stone.  Problems arise, minds are changed, desired items may be out of stock or discontinued, and substitutes found, plans can change during the remodel.  These things are almost inevitable during a large remodel, and many times, they can affect the bottom line.  Be flexible, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

2.  Be aware that mistakes will be made.  I have yet to see a complete remodel go perfectly from beginning to end.  Oh, I’m sure it’s happened at least once in history, but I’ve never seen it.  Generally the mistakes are small (contractor ordered the wrong faucet, so we have to wait two weeks for the new one to arrive).  But on occasion, big mistakes are made, like the granite arrives and it’s cut the wrong size.  If you’re working with a general contractor, it’s his job to be certain that all of these details are corrected.  Don’t stress too much when they happen, because mistakes WILL happen, but certainly don’t sign off on the final walkthrough or pay your final payment until all of the little mistakes are corrected.

3.  Expect dust.  I’ve noticed that for clients who are really neat, this is probably the most stressful thing for them during a kitchen remodel.  They can deal with the budget overages, with the small mistakes and setbacks, but they have a hard time with everything in their home being covered with dust for three months.  Yes, it will happen.  It doesn’t matter how much plastic is hung to keep dust out of the rest of your home, those little particles will always find a way around that plastic.  So just expect the dust, prepare yourself mentally in advance, and you’ll handle it much better.

4.  Plan for the kitchen remodel to take longer than expected.  Very often, remodels are completed right on time, as contractors often have another job scheduled and have committed to a start date.  However, much of the time, remodels go over schedule.  The lesson learned is that the date that your contractor gives you is simply a general date.  Don’t mark the date on your calendar, and cross off the days as they go.  That type of expectation could only lead to disappointment and frustration when that planned finish date comes and goes, and you still don’t have a stove or running water.  Just prepare your mind.  If your contractor tells you the kitchen remodel will take two months, prepare for three.  That way if it takes two months, you’re pleasantly surprised.  If it takes three, you’re prepared.

5.  The absolute biggest inconvenience of a kitchen remodel is deciding how or if to prepare food.  I’ve known of many people who just simply didn’t want to deal with cooking in makeshift kitchens over tiny hotplates that are reminiscent of their college days, so they planned to eat their meals out during the remodel.  This can be a huge expense, so this cost really does need to be taken into account when deciding on your budget for the remodel.  The easiest and most cost effective solution is generally to set up a temporary “kitchenette” in another room of your home, including a microwave, toaster oven, toaster, and refrigerator.  Plan simple meals that don’t require much prep or cooking, or purchase complete pre-packaged meals (t.v. dinners) that can be prepared in the toaster oven.  And if you won’t have access to your dishwasher or kitchen sink, then you’ll need to plan on using paper plates and disposable utensils. 

A kitchen remodel can certainly be a challenge, but if you’re prepared in advance for the inconveniences, you’re much more likely to make it through relatively stress free.  

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    kitchens cheltenham
    December 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Remodeling your kitchen can not only add to your own enjoyment but, often increases the value of your home should you decide to sell it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Modular Kitchens
    December 20, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Really informative site – this is the first of its kind that I have been able to find. Thanks for the layout design and your tips/pros/cons about each one.