How to Prepare for a Home Remodel or Kitchen Renovation

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You’ve been preparing for a kitchen renovation. You've looked at dozens of appliances, color swatches, countertops and cabinets and hardware on Houzz. Finally, you’ve decided on the look of your new kitchen. Now what do you do with all your food, pots and pans, and gadgets while the work is being done. We at Dube Plus have renovated thousands of kitchens. Part of that renovation process is advising owners on how to prepare the most important room in the house for construction. Here are a few preparation tips we’ve found that will make your home or kitchen renovation run smoothly:

1. Plan your meals

Once you have a timeline of the work being done and know how long your kitchen will be compromised, you can plan family meals accordingly. Some people set up a separate temporary kitchen in a different room away from the dust and hazardous materials where they can stage and prepare food for school and work lunches. Some pre-make dishes, freeze them and reheat them in a microwave in a separate room. Others rely on grilling and eating dinners outside while the works being done, while many clients decide to eat out or order to-go meals during the renovation. Deciding which strategy you want to use before the construction team begins work is key. Just don’t forget the disposable plates, napkins and utensils.

2. Move or store non-essential items

Pack away any kitchen gadgets and small appliances into boxes. Most of these items can be stored in an attic, garage or rented storage space. (You may want to keep items like a coffee maker or toaster oven out to use during the project.) Portable workstations, microwave stands and bar carts should also be removed, as well as any eat-in kitchen furniture. All cabinets should be emptied.

3. Prep the room

A kitchen renovation is likely to include some degree of demolition and will certainly entail hammering, sawing, loud noises and dust. Remove all pictures, mirrors, wall hangings and curtains from the kitchen walls and any walls shared by your kitchen to prevent these items from falling. For foods that require refrigeration, consider freezing whatever may go bad during construction. For non-perishable foods, pack them in boxes and move them away from the work area or to your temporary kitchen.

4. Prep other rooms

Cover furniture in your living and dining rooms to protect them from dust. Turn off central heating systems that might blow dust throughout the home. Place mats down over carpeting and in areas where there will be a lot of foot traffic. If you’d like to have a separate area for preparing food, make sure coffee makers and toaster ovens do not present a fire hazard and that food is protected from construction dust. You may also want to set up a separate dish and food washing area in a laundry room or outside.

5. Remember Fluffy and Fido

Pets can get particularly stressed when they find their home has been taken over by a construction crew. To ease the stress, move pet food and water bowls to a quiet part of the home about 10 days before the project starts. This way the pet will be adjusted to the new location when the work begins.

6. Find a quiet place

Fluffy and Fido aren’t the only ones who can get stressed out by a kitchen renovation. The noise and constant flow of people and equipment can fray anyone’s nerves. Find a quiet place away from the project where family members can retreat for some peace, whether it’s your walk-in closet, a child’s room or an outdoor seating area.

7. Communicate

Your builder will likely talk with you about daily updates and who to contact if problems should arise. Make sure you have the name and contact information of this person, and provide your contact information, as well as your spouse or another emergency contact. Set clear expectations about when you’d like to be updated and set aside a spot in the home where the builder can leave notes when you are out. Most important, don’t be afraid to ask questions.