Preparing for a kitchen renovation

For several years, kitchens have been a top choice for homeowners seeking to remodel their homes. The room has become a more social area, and people are eager to update features, improve storage capacity, and otherwise make the space more functional and aesthetically pleasing.

While this work can bring enjoyment for years to come, it will also result in some short-term headaches. After all, the renovation will take some time to complete, and it will put one of the most important rooms in your home out of commission for awhile. Taking the time to prepare for this project will help make the process go smoothly.

If you're hiring a contractor to complete the work, make sure to keep in touch with them. Rebekah Zaveloff, writing for the home design site Houzz, says this will give you a firm idea of what work the construction crew will do, anything they need from you, and when the work might be completed. The home improvement site HomeAdvisor says you may have to temporarily move your vehicles to create enough room for these workers to park.

Check with your contractor to see if there's any preparation they expect you to do in the kitchen. You may want to put down carpet scraps or other material to protect the flooring if you aren't replacing it. Zaveloff says you should also determine any items that should be on hand if you'll be ordering appliances, fixtures, or other materials for the remodel.

A kitchen renovation can be hectic for your neighbors as well, due to issues such as noise and more limited parking. Get in touch with them before the work starts to give them a heads-up.

You'll need to empty out the kitchen so that no personal items remain. Daniels Design & Remodeling, a company in Fairfax, Va., says infrequently used items should be packed up and stored. HomeAdvisor says any important or sentimental items, such as photos or documents on the refrigerator, should be moved to an easily accessible place.

One benefit of this process is that you can pare down on any unused or unwanted belongings. Zaveloff says you can set aside anything you wish to donate or throw away. At the same time, you should keep any frequently used kitchen utensils and a few place settings available for meals.

A temporary kitchen will allow you to do some basic food preparation while the renovation is underway. Jacquelyn McGilvray, writing for HGTV, says a utility room or other area with a working sink is ideal. If your cabinets are being replaced, you can use one to store items and create a small countertop. Zaveloff says the contractor may be able to temporarily relocate your old refrigerator to this space, and you can also set up a table with items such as a toaster, microwave, and coffee maker.

Plan out what you'd like to do for meals during the time when you won't have access to an oven or cooktop. Daniels Design & Remodeling says you may opt for simple meals that can be prepared in a crockpot, microwave, or toaster oven.

If you'll still have access to a freezer in your basement or garage, you might prepare some meals in advance that can be defrosted and reheated. McGilvray says you might also rely on a grill or takeout until the project is complete.

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