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Living in Your Home Through A Kitchen Remodel: 4+ Things You Need to Know

Updated on August 23, 2017

Kitchen remodels can be a nightmare. A two day tile floor project in my home has now turned into an almost complete kitchen remodel, and we're going on two weeks.

In the past two weeks, I've learned quite a few things that I wish I would have known before hand. If you intend on living in your home through a kitchen remodel, these tips are going to save your sanity and make life a lot easier.

1. Remember That Plans May Have to Change

When it was discovered that the floor needed to be replaced, it seemed simple enough. Ripping up the floor turned into an all day job because there were seven layers of floor due to people putting down plywood and then laying a new floor over top of it over and over again.

Then, after ripping up the floor, it was discovered that the wood under the floor wasn't properly connected to both sides of the kitchen. You know, that wood that holds the floor up in the first place.

Taking down the cabinets revealed that there was no insulation in the outer walls. I could go on for several more paragraphs about the unexpected things that came up as this project went on.

The point is, assume that it will take three times as long as it should. This guarantees that you will be prepared for not using the kitchen for a couple of weeks, and that there will not be a lot of frustration because it's taking so long. You already thought it was going to take that long anyway.

2. Make the Refrigerator Accessible

When the plan was to simply replace half of the floor, the refrigerator was put in the living room so that we could still get to it for the next couple of days. Almost two weeks later, it's such a blessing to have it within easy reach.

Had we put it in the garage (the only other available space to put it) because this project was supposed to be done in two days, the entire family would be significantly more miserable right now.

3. Don't Forget Something to Cook With

The stove was crammed into the pantry off the kitchen, and the microwave cart found a home in the living room. Once again this was due to a lack of space to put things when clearing out the kitchen, but it worked out really well.

If it had been shoved into the garage or a bedroom, it would have had to have been moved into the living room so that the family could eat something other than yogurt, fast food and salad shake 'ems by now.

Make sure to put the microwave, stove or hot plate within easy reach. If the kitchen remodel takes longer than expected, it's going to be a hassle to transform the living room into a makeshift kitchen. If the main things to cook with are already in there, it will be that much easier.

4. Hang Up Sheets

There might be a lot of dust. When the men were ripping up the floor and cutting the tile, there was so much dust it looked like the kitchen was on fire. Now, because that dust spread throughout the house, there is an unattractive inch of dust on every available surface.

The couch had to be dusted to have somewhere to sit. It made it's way into the nearby bathroom and covered everything. The living room looks as though it hasn't been dusted in three years. The pantry off of the kitchen is even worse.

It's going to take me an entire day to clean this up once they are done (if not longer), but you can save yourself from going through the same thing. Hang up some sheets in the doorways of the kitchen and adjoining rooms to keep the dust in the kitchen.

If that's not possible, grab some old sheets and cover everything possible, like the couch and the television. Don't forget gaming consoles, as too much dust can make them overheat.

5. Try to Maintain the Same Diet

This one is important for a couple of reasons. First, if a person is used to mainly eating cooked meals in the home, they may not realize just what fast food can do to a person's stomach.

When the body isn't used to a person eating that much grease, it can cause heartburn, diarrhea and a slew of unpleasant problems. It can also make a person feel more tired than usual, and make life more unhappy than it already is.

Second, a person never truly understands how expensive it is to eat out every day until they do it. Especially if they are suddenly doing it for a week or two, and they are paying for everyone in the family.

Granted, a hamburger may only be a dollar, but the more people there are in the house, the more expensive that is going to get as time goes on.

Some healthier options that don't involve fast food include:

  • pre-made salads (they sell them at most grocery stores by the lettuce)
  • crackers and peanut butter
  • fruit
  • yogurt
  • eggs (they still taste good if made in the microwave)
  • sandwiches

Freezer food is another option. This isn't exactly healthy because of all the preservatives, but there are versions that are healthier than others.

6. Paper and Plastic Dishes

When they took out the cabinets (because the kitchen sink was leaking and the bottom was apparently rotting out, which we also just discovered), they also took out the kitchen sink.

This may not be an issue for someone that has a large bathroom sink off the kitchen, but my family does not. We have a small sink and a shower off the kitchen, so the only way to wash dishes is to carry them upstairs and wash them. There is also no sink to put the dirty dishes in when they are used.

Granted, washing dishes in the bathtub is always an option, but it's not going to happen right now. I have a bad back and there are seven people in the house. Bending over the bathtub to wash all of those dishes sounds like pure hell to me.

Make things easier while you're trying to survive without a kitchen by picking up paper and plastic dishes so that the family can just toss them when they are done. These can be picked up at a local dollar store relatively cheap. Foam plates are even cheaper, but you're not supposed to put those in the microwave.

Living in a home through a kitchen remodel may not bother some people, and it may be almost unbearable to others.

A family that eats out daily will barely notice that they are not able to use their kitchen while a family that cooks twice daily will be counting down the hours until the project is done.

Either way, it's still going to be dusty and there will still be dishes. Use some, or all, of these tips to make sure that things run as smoothly as possible until the kitchen gets put back together.

© 2017 Amber Lynn

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