March 6, 2015

Surviving a Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling your kitchen is an exciting time. After all the designs are completed, your materials painstakingly selected, and the crew assembled, you can finally move onto the next stage and see your plans come to life.
As rewarding as the experience can be, it’s not without its challenges. For one, you’ll be living without access to your kitchen for an extended amount of time. Plus, you’ll need to store everything you want to keep from the kitchen elsewhere in your home. Not to mention the dust, noise and general chaos that comes with construction will limit your livable space.
While the situation can be frustrating at times, there are a few simple ways to minimize how much the remodeling process interferes with your daily life. Here are the 3 easiest ways to keep your sanity and survive your kitchen remodel:

Expect the Unexpected.

Kitchen Remodel Florida Design WorksWhile home makeover reality shows have shown people the amazing ways you can transform a space, they’ve also added to some common misconceptions about remodeling, especially concerning the time it takes to complete a project like a major renovation.
There’s no such thing as the “instant makeover” we see on TV. A show may claim to redo a kitchen in as little as 2 days, but you won’t see all the planning and extra work that goes into it well before the cameras start rolling (like ordering parts and waiting for their arrival, contracting labor, and the actual design process itself). But most of all, what these shows fail to highlight is that not every project goes smoothly, and not all problems can be fixed in just a day or two.
While every kitchen remodel is different, they usually share one commonality: things don’t always go as planned. When it comes to older homes you never know what problems you might (literally) dig up! The issues you encounter can be as minor as a smudge of paint, or as major as discovering there’s asbestos hidden beneath your floor. Our best advice is to expect the unexpected, and be as realistic as possible when you’re setting your schedule, as these things can majorly derail your plans, budget, and test your patience.

Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More…

It’s important to have a flexible game plan that accounts for budget and scheduling contingencies. The more realistic and thorough your plan, the easier it will be to tolerate minor setbacks, and the less life threatening unanticipated problems will seem. Fortunately, if you’re working with a company like FDW who specializes in kitchen redesign, you’re in great hands. Our designers have the planning process down to a science, and know what to do in a pinch.
When it comes to seeing your plans through, first time renovators often make the same mistake: they put off packing until the last minute, and are overly eager to start the demolition. As far as packing goes, it’s never too early to start going through what you have and getting rid of what you don’t want to keep in the new space. Putting this task off until the last minute will only add to your stress, and lead to hasty packing. This is when things get broken or lost.
While it’s tempting to want to get everything going right away, an unnecessarily early demolition will not speed up the process- just leave you kitchen-less for longer. Demolition is the fastest and easiest part of any remodel, while waiting for all the parts to show up can take weeks. So before you begin, you want to make sure all of the materials have arrived and are on-site ready to go, with exception of your countertops (the last piece of the puzzle).

Setting Up A Temporary Kitchen.

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Before you even think about starting the demolition, set up a temporary cooking space. Put it somewhere out of the way of construction where you’ll have enough room to do some basic prep work and cleaning. Close access to a sink large enough for washing dishes is a plus, but if it’s out of the question, don’t feel bad about using disposable plates and utensils.

The perfect temporary kitchen:
  • Counter space – use a kitchen table that is tall enough to store a mini fridge underneath.
  • One place setting for everyone in the house (or disposable dishware).
  • One or Two small appliances to cook with (microwave, toaster oven, hot plate, electric skillet, crockpot, etc).
  • Everyday cooking Tools (spatula, tongs, whisk, pot & pan)

The goal of your temporary kitchen should be to make preparing and cooking meals as easy as possible. If you have a stand-alone freezer, make several meals before you tear up your kitchen and freeze them. They can be easily microwaved or thrown into a crock-pot, and are much healthier for you than TV dinners. If the weather permits, make use of your outdoor grill as much as possible.
Remember, ordering out is an easy alternative to cooking. If you get tired of pizza, there are plenty of great places in Florida that make home-style and gourmet meals for delivery or pickup. Here are some of our favorite picks in your area:

  • Jacksonville:
    • William Culinary. An impressive selection of pre-made meals ready for the microwave. Lots of great-tasting, healthy options to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan).
    • Gregory Paul’s. Healthy, delicious meals prepared fresh daily and ready for pickup.
  • Fort Myers:
  • Naples:
    • Fresh Fit Foods. Healthy lunch and dinner options, available for pickup or delivery.

Give Yourself the Opportunity to Relax.

This is an important, yet overlooked piece of advice for remodelers. The fact is construction is hard to ignore: it’s loud, it’s messy and people are constantly coming and going from your house.
Try to designate an area of your home that will stay as-is. That means no setting up temporary quarters here or using the space for storage. This should be your remodel oasis: the place you go to de-stress and forget about the noise and chaos around you.
It’s also important to give yourself a break from your house during construction every once in a while. Here are our favorite ways to get away:

  • Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant or offer to cook for a friend at their place.
  • Instead of watching TV at home, go to a movie.
  • Take a spa day.
  • Spend a weekend at a nearby hotel.
  • Make the gym your home away from home.

 Whether you are planning a full scale kitchen remodel, or just replacing a backsplash to update a space that needs a little love – your friends at your local Florida Design Works can help! Contact your local store and talk with one of our many skilled interior designers to get started. 

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