How to prepare for a home renovation

Planning for a home renovation is an exciting and potentially stressful time.  Preparing for your home renovation is imperative to ensuring you have a positive experience.  Once your contractor has given you a start date you can begin your pack- up process.  It is best if you take 2-3 days to completely pack up your existing space before the remodel begins.  The last thing you want to do is have your remodeling contractor leave on “demo” day because the house is not ready to begin work.  Here are some tips for how to prepare for your home renovation project:

Decide if you are going to stay in the home during your renovation

A home that is being remodeled is many things.  It is dusty, it is loud, and it is an inconvenience.  You may want to consider staying with a friend or family member if you are going to have a major home renovation.  Another option may be to rent an apartment or stay in a hotel for an extended stay.  Alternatively, home renovations are a great time to leave town and go on a vacation.

If you are going to stay in your house during your renovation, it will be important to decide which rooms will be yours to inhabit during the remodel.  If you have a larger family, you may need to spend some time working on a bathroom schedule.  Condensing your home to one or two rooms during a remodel can be stressful so it will be important to keep your inhabited space clean to keep stress to a minimum.

Decide where you will prepare and eat food during your renovation

Most likely if you are planning a major home renovation, you will be remodeling your kitchen.  This means you will need to decide where you will prepare your food.  Do you have space in a loft, garage, or bedroom for you to prepare meals?  Will you be eating, sleeping, and reading in the same room during your remodel?  Wherever you plan to prepare your meals, you will need to set up a small temporary kitchen.

You may find that you can not prepare your meals and eat in the same location.  If you are preparing your meals in a loft area or in a garage, will you eat in there as well?  Is it possible to eat in an office area or in the backyard?  Does everyone eat at the same time?  It will be important to plan out these details before the renovation begins to avoid making stressful last minute decisions when blood sugar is running low and children are hungry.

Decide what you will eat during your remodel

You will have no pots or pans and no dishwasher.  Eating during a renovation can prove to be complicated, especially if you are feeding a  family.  If you decide what you will eat before your remodel begins, you can properly prepare yourself as well as stock your temporary kitchen.  This is a great time to explore your family’s favorite casserole dishes or crock pot meals so you can prepare them and freeze them to eat during your remodel.

Prepare your adjacent rooms for your remodel

Prevent disaster and heartbreak by removing items from your walls.  During your remodel there will be tools used which will cause vibrations to the walls.  In addition there will be quite a bit of foot traffic in hallways from the installers, inspectors, and project managers.  For this reason, it is important to remove anything attached to the walls in the remodeled rooms as well as in adjacent rooms (including shelves, pictures, and prints).  In addition, be sure to remove any floor mats to avoid any tripping hazards.

Remodeling is incredibly dusty.  To avoid getting dust on upholstery and on knick knacks you should box up what you can, making sure to apply labels to your boxes.   Anything that can not be boxed up should be covered  with thin plastic wrap.  If you do not want to invest in plastic wrap many times customers will simply drape old sheets over their furniture as protection. Clean up will prove to be much easier if you protect the surfaces in this manner.

Have a plan for your children and animals

Kids and animals are curious by nature.  They will need to be restricted from the construction zone for their own safety.  If you have a young child who naps during the day, it will be important for you to realize construction will be continued during nap time.  It may be in your best interest to make alternative plans if your child needs a quiet space to sleep or if you have multiple children who can not be supervised continuously.

It is important to have work zones restricted from pets during your home renovation project. Pets are sometimes easily frightened by loud noises.  If your pet is easily upset you may want to consider finding care for them outside of the home during your remodel.

Prepare yourself

You home renovation project will be loud.  Your home will be dusty.  You will not always have plumbing or electricity (especially if doing a bathroom or kitchen remodel).  Your privacy will be interrupted.  Some days you will need to have a glass of wine and unload your stress.  Other times you will need to take a walk to the park or go to the movies just to get out of the construction zone.  It is okay to feel stress during your remodel.  Keep a positive attitude, trust your contractor, and understand the renovation process is temporary.  Construction is not fun, but once it is all over, you will have a beautiful new home.

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How to prepare for a kitchen remodel

Once your contractor has given you a “start” date or a “demo” date, it is important that you prepare yourself for construction.  Preparation comes in many forms.  First you will need to come up with an eating plan for the duration of your project.  Second, you will need to pack up and store your current kitchen so construction can take place.  Third, you have to prepare a temporary kitchen space.  Here are some tips for how to prepare for your kitchen remodel.

Decide what types of meals you are going to eat during your remodel

Chances are you will do a mix of the following eating plans.  It is easy to fall into a rut of eating out a lot during your remodel because it is “easier”, but it is not healthier and you would be surprised to know that after a few weeks of eating out, you will actually crave home cooked food!  Plan meals around small appliances:  microwave, toaster, or toaster-oven, slow cookers, electric griddles and skillets, hot plates, and coffee makers.

Eating In Options:  

  • Prepare meals and freeze them
  • Cook frozen meals in an electric oven
  • Cook in the crock pot
  • Cook using an electric skillet
  • BBQ on the weekends

Eating Out Options

  • Sit Down Restaurants
  • Fast Food Restaurants
  • Pizza (this can get old very quickly)
  • Eat24.com is a great way to order restaurant-style food and have it delivered to your house
  • Help coordinate a family or friend potluck at someone else’s house

Tips for packing up your kitchen

  • Set up a temporary kitchen before demolition of your existing kitchen
  • Keep items that might need to be unpacked (such as seasonings) in an area that is accessible.
  • Label your boxes!
  • Relocate throw rugs which are in the pathway to the kitchen
  • Secure objects such as wall-mounted china, photos, prints, or other breakable collectibles.  These items may fall away from the wall or shelf and break during construction because of vibrations of the tools.
  • Find a secure location to keep your mail (most people keep it in the kitchen and are upset when they lose bills because their routines are disturbed during their kitchen remodel).

Create a temporary kitchen station

  • Move your old refrigerator or a small mini-fridge to a convenient space close to a water source.  Add a table with a microwave and place a trash can below the table.
  • Keep a stash of non-perishable snacks such as soups, condiments, and cereal.
  • Stock up on microwaveable frozen dinners.
  • Keep essential items handy such as paper towels, garbage bags, dishcloths, dishwasher soap, paper cups and napkins, paper plates and utensils.
  • Coffee pot:  Don’t forget your coffee pods (or filters with coffee grounds), Coffee mugs, Sugar, Cream
  • Electric Oven:  Don’t forget your oven mitts
  • Electric Skillet:  Don’t forget your spatula, cooking spoons, tongs, oven mitts, pam cooking spray
  • Crock Pot:  Don’t forget your spatula, cooking Spoons, oven mitts, pam cooking spray
  • BBQ:  Don’t forget your cookie sheet, grilling utensils, basting tools

TIP:  Small appliances such as microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens, hot plates, crock pots, and small electric grills will be immensely helpful in preparing home-cooked meals.  Just remember, the area where you set up your temporary kitchen may not be able to support multiple appliances running at the same time, not to mention other electronic items typically used in that room.  You might need to have only one thing plugged in at a time to prevent tripping the circuit breakers.

Eating Tools

You will be without water in the kitchen for a few weeks so plan to do the dishes in another sink or a bathtub.  Or stock up on disposable plates and cups, paper towels, and disinfectant cleaners.  Even if you decide to use disposable eating utensils – there are a few items you will want to make sure you have set aside for your use.

  • Wine cork screw
  • Potato peeler
  • Can opener
  • Forks, Knives, Spoons, Steak Knives
  • Tongs
  • Spatulas
  • Scissors
  • Cutting Board
  • Plastic Sandwich Bags
  • Plastic Freezer Bags
  • Trash Bags
  • 3-5 Tupperware containers with lids
  • Plastic cups or real glasses, depending on what you prefer
  • Styrofoam coffee cups or real coffee mugs, depending on what you prefer

Cleaning Tools

  • Dish soap
  • Dish towels
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • House cleaners (many homeowners keep these under the kitchen sink.  You will want these cleaners for the rest of your house during your remodel)
  • Many homeowners keep their pet food under their kitchen sink – do not forget to set that aside for your 4 legged family members.

Other tips:

Your home will not be child-proofed during your remodel so explain to little ones where they can and can not go.

If you have pets you will need to restrict their access to the construction area, especially during work hours.  If it is difficult to keep work zones sealed off, or if your pets are easily frightened for upset by loud noises, consider finding a pet sitter or care-taking facility for them, at least during work hours.

Preparing your kitchen to get remodeled should not be too daunting of a task.  If you take a few days to prepare your space, you will find the organization will help you get through the remodel easier.  Using the tips above should help alleviate some of the stress of preparing and living through your remodel.

 

 

 

 

 

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