How to Survive and Thrive through your next Kitchen Renovation
At this point we have lost count on how many kitchens we’ve renovated and over the years we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks. This is our practical guide to help you navigate through your next kitchen renovation. Congratulations, after scrolling through countless images of designer kitchens and endless conversations about blowing out that wall that is spoiling your sightlines, your dream kitchen has gone from ‘one day...’ to ‘Day One!’ As exciting as it is to finally pull the trigger, the reality of any renovation has its highs and lows, but with enough time and planning (and a few tips from the pros) we can help you can focus on the good stuff.
Ok so let’s get started, first and foremost you want to figure out your timeline. If
you’re working with any hard deadlines like a hosting a holiday or a special event like a wedding, you’ll want to work backwards from that date. A kitchen renovation can typically take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to complete plus you’ll want a couple buffer weeks to account for delays and to move everything back in and set up. Once you know when you need the work to start you can move on. Some other points to consider are that summer months can be easier on you and your family since you can use your BBQ and have some meals outside. You may want to book a vacation, or visit family out of town to escape the construction zone. The first few weeks are typically the noisiest.
Book your trades! Most trades book up months, sometimes a year in advance. We normally need 6 months for a project like this. That way we can make sure that we can schedule you in at the time you need. Also, this gives us enough time to work through different layout and design options. We’ve got lots of ideas on how to stretch your dollar so you get the most out of your renovation. The good people over at House and Home magazine made a series of videos breaking down the budgets of low, medium and high budget kitchen renovations. These are real life numbers in Canadian funds based in the GTA. A must see, in my humble opinion. Once you have an idea of labour costs we can help you estimate for materials so you can finalize the budget and work with your financial institution to secure financing. A Pinterest board is probably the best way to communicate your wish list with us. This is also the time to decide whether or not you will be living in the house during the renovations or finding some other accommodations.
It’s time to finalize your layout and design choices. If you know anyone who has recently remodeled their kitchen, I’m sure they told you about how difficult it has been to find in stock cabinets. Cabinets from Ikea can be hard to find. If this is the route you’ve chosen, you’ll want time on your side to find the pieces you need. If you go the route of custom cabinetry, this usually needs 6-8 weeks of lead time. For those who aren’t familiar, custom cabinetry, while beautiful, can easily double or even triple the cost of your cabinets. Appliances are another challenge to source. Some of our clients are still waiting on appliances to arrive weeks after their kitchen has been completed. The pandemic has caused many manufacturing delays and shortages so the sooner we can order your materials and especially your appliances the better.
For a full kitchen renovation you’ll need to pack up most of your kitchen so collecting moving boxes around this time will help. Another helpful tip, is to start cooking your meals in double batches. Making lasagna, spaghetti sauce, casseroles or soup? Might as well make double and freeze half. Like I mentioned before a full kitchen renovation can take months to complete and a home cooked meal can be hard to come by. Stocking your freezer with some of your family’s favorite meals can be a lifesaver.
We’re getting close! Now is the time to find your inner Marie Kondo and donate or purge whatever is no longer serving you. The items that you keep will have to be sorted into your daily essentials that you need to move your temporary kitchen and
the rest will be stored in the boxes you collected earlier. Do yourself a favor and label everything that goes into the storage box, it’s a bit time consuming but you will be saving your future self a lot of stress.
It’s almost game time!! Its finally time to set up your temporary kitchen. The hardest thing to live without is your kitchen sink, so ideally you will set up your temporary kitchen next to a laundry sink or a utility sink. If you have ever set up a camp kitchen, those skills will be very useful right about now. Take a look around your house to see what items you already have. You can also borrow from family and friends. Here is a list of items you may want to have in your setup:
Clear storage bins to keep organized
Paper plates and utensils (compost friendly)
Small appliances like toaster oven, microwave, instant pot, coffee maker, mini fridge, electric skillet or hot plate, electric kettle etc.
Extension cords, table lamps
Don’t forget the fire extinguisher!
One final thought, plan for super simple meals. Your dream kitchen is on the way, there will be plenty of time to create beautiful culinary masterpieces later on, right now it’s time to keep it simple.
You're done! This is the part where we take over. Hopefully these tips will help take most of the stress out of your next kitchen renovation. If you have any other tips we’ve missed or questions please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.