Kitchen Makeover Survival Guide
With any domestic construction project, whether an addition or a roof replacement, a certain degree of inconvenience is expected. Sleep, home activities, schedules and accessibilities are often challenged by the interruption of the work that’s being performed to better the home. As a whole, people tend to take these things in stride and tolerate these little inconveniences and just roll along without much affair. However, a kitchen makeover or reconstruction project is an entirely different matter. This is the ‘open-heart surgery’ of the home and, unlike a roof replacement or a pool deck being built, sets the standard for being the most bothersome in affecting how the home and family normally operate. Given this level of calamity, it’s very important for a homeowner to be fastidious about planning ahead and anticipate all the possible adverse variables that are likely to arise during this construction process.
Setting-up a ‘Temporary Kitchen’
Depending upon the scope of the kitchen project and, in particular, how much structural or architectural modifications need to be made, the services associated within the kitchen may be unavailable for several weeks. While some families may relish the ‘camping’ experience at the onset, dining on paper plates tends to get pretty old after the second week. This might be alleviated by planning and positive attitude alone.
Designate an alternate area of the home which will accommodate the absolute necessities of the kitchen amenities: refrigerator, microwave oven, folding table to serve as a countertop; and, if you don’t own an outdoor grill, put one on the kitchen budget! As adversely as some families may feel about paper plates and plastic utensils, they can be a fun and necessary alternative to having to wash dishes in a bathroom sink after a meal. Tip: set-up this alternate kitchen space and start using it before it is actually mandatory–the usage of it won’t feel so terminal at this point and this will give the family time to acclimate to the new idea.
Altering the Travel Patterns of the Home
In most homes, the primary point of ingress and egress in the kitchen. People walk in through the kitchen door and people walk out the kitchen door–exponentially more frequently than other exterior doors of the home. With workers being so active in the kitchen space, undesirable traffic needs to be minimized–if not eliminated–during work hours; and you, the family, are what’s considered ‘undesirable traffic’. So, ahead of time, get the family used to avoiding the kitchen door entirely and designate that particular door to ‘construction workers only’.
In addition to relinquishing the kitchen entrance to the workers, be considerate and generous with the exterior parking privileges of the home. Grant the workers, during work days, the most convenient accesses associated with the property and make sure to alert the workers as to where to park and set-up exterior equipment. Remember, the more accommodating you can make your home to their efforts, the quicker and more efficiently they’ll perform their tasks–gets your kitchen back to you sooner!
As you might assume, but many fail to realize the breadth of this reality, the expenses of establishing a temporary kitchen space and living without a functional kitchen for a period of time incurs a healthy level of expense that is often not a component of a kitchen makeover budget. It’s fairly common that a family, faced with the loss of their kitchen for a period of time, will often resort to eating-out or doing ‘take-out’ much more frequently. This is an expense not usually calculated in a kitchen makeover budget but really should be included. Additionally, the pantry items are likely stored in boxes and are inconvenient, at best, to use. A good plan includes the storing of these items, like cereals and canned goods so that they’re easily accessible once the kitchen is overturned. This bit of planning deters the need or assumed necessity to shop every day for each meal. Of course, if an outdoor grill needs to be secured as the temporary cooking appliance, this needs to be added to the budget as well.