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5 Steps to Prepare for Kitchen Renovation

A kitchen renovation can take weeks or even months to complete, depending on the size of the kitchen and extent of the renovation. It’s a good idea to review the timeline with your renovation contractor before he gets started, so that you can take appropriate measures to live without your kitchen for the duration of the project.

During the renovation, your kitchen will become a construction site, filled with potentially dangerous materials, sawdust, drywall dust, and tripping hazards. If you have infants, young children, or elderly people living in the home, it is worth considering temporarily moving the family to an alternate residence during the renovation.

If moving out of your home during the kitchen renovation is not an option, taking the following steps will help to minimize renovation’s impact on your family.

keep everyone safe kitchen renovation

Step 1 - Keep everyone safe. Construction sites are difficult to childproof, so you’ll need to be extra vigilant to keep children out of the kitchen and away from materials that may be stored in your yard or garage during the renovation. Your renovation contractor will tape plastic sheeting to the kitchen’s entrance ways to keep the dust in, but this should not be viewed as an effective barrier for keeping little ones out.

Step 2 - Create a temporary kitchen elsewhere in the home. Although you may opt to eat many meals out, having a place to prepare light meals, pack lunches, and store snacks and refreshments will make the renovation experience a more positive one for you and your family.

- Find a finished space in your home, preferably near water access, and set up a large table.

- Most building codes require the refrigerator to be connected to a dedicated circuit in your electrical panel, so moving the fridge to the temporary kitchen may not be an option. Consider purchasing, renting, or borrowing a small fridge to use during the renovation.

- Move your small appliances to the table in the temporary kitchen space: microwave, toaster, coffee maker, electric kettle. A toaster oven is especially useful

relocate most used appliances kitchen renovation

when you don’t have access to a full oven. A large electric frying pan or grill are also useful. Use power bars for the small appliances, and be careful not to run appliances all at once to avoid overloading the breaker.

- Stock up on disposable plates (meal and snack sizes) and bowls to reduce dish washing time.

- Go through your kitchen and gather up only the necessities. Move them to the temporary kitchen:

*One hot drink mug and one cold drink glass per person

*A set of cutlery for each person

*Cooking vessels suitable for microwave and/or toaster oven (glass and ceramic will work in both)

*Food wrap and food storage containers

*Set of commonly used food prep knives & a cutting board

*Dish cloths, towels, dish soap, paper towels

*Contents of fridge (toss out anything that’s questionable, or nearly empty)

*Commonly used seasonings

- Use a covered plastic tote box to collect and transport dirty cutlery, drink ware, and cooking/serving vessels to the nearest bathtub. Wash the dishes in the tote box, then rinse and stack in a dish drying rack.

keep menus simple kitchen renovation

- Plan to shop for meals for only a day or two at a time to reduce storage capacity needs.

- Keep menus simple and take advantage of prepared foods to make meal times less hectic.

Step 3 - Pack everything else in the kitchen up, and move it out. Be sure to carefully

pack everything up kitchen renovation

list the contents on the outside of each box so that you will be able find something you discover you need during the renovation. Don’t pack anything that’s perishable or could attract bugs.

Step 4 - Remove and pack everything that’s on the kitchen walls. Consider removing items from the walls in neighboring rooms that may be affected by equipment or construction vibrations.

Step 5 - Minimize dust. Your renovation contractor will seal the kitchen area using plastic sheets and tape to cover doorways, and will cover heating/air conditioning vents in the kitchen, but be prepared for an increase in dust in the home.

To minimize the infiltration of construction dust into other parts of the home:

- Ask the renovation crew to enter and exit through the door closest to the kitchen that provides direct access to the outdoors. If there’s a door in the kitchen that’s the one they should use.

- Insist that family members and visitors keep out of the areas behind the plastic sheets.

- Cover the heating/air conditioning vents in any rooms that are not in use.

check in with contractor kitchen renovation

Whether you remain in the home during the renovation or you move out temporarily, it’s a good idea to check in with your contractor every day or two. Changes you request after the work is complete could incur additional costs, and add to the project timeline, so checking in gives you an opportunity to ask questions and clarify preferences as the work progresses.

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