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Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

Posted by lafacia (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 11:21

Is there a good thread on this topic? I'd love to know what you did to prepare that worked out well, how long it took you to pack up your kitchen, what you wish you had done differently, what did you use the most in your temporary kitchen, how did you feed your family without getting takeout all the time -- anything that made it all go smoothly - or lessons learned/mistakes you made that you can share so we don't make the same mistakes. Thanks!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

Now that spring weather is here - or almost depending on where you live - I can recommend an outdoor kitchen on the back patio. We bought a 10 x 10 pop up from Costco that looked sort of like this

except we kept 3 sides on with the "door" sides pulled back. Inside we put the peninsula that came out of the kitchen, a folding table, the MW, a Coleman stove, and the appropriate kitchen ware needed for basic meals. The refrigerator was in the living room right next to the TV - weird. The garage 10 feet away has a utility sink that was very handy, but you could make do with the garden hose if necessary, maybe attached to a camping sink. Lots of paper plates and plastic silverware is useful. We did have to spray around the edges for ants, but the pop-up itself did very well in wind and rain. This was a very workable solution for us.


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

I started packing up at least a week in advance, if I remember right. There are lots of things that you don't need on a daily basis. I got boxes from the liquor store and put them in the livingroom as I filled them. I also arranged them so things I might need could be reached. I did go into those boxes more than I would have expected.

We set up the cutting board, knife block, some utensils, toaster oven, MW and coffee maker in the basement, fridge went in the DR. Breakfast and lunch were OK, we ate a lot of yogurt, toast, and sandwiches. It was summer, and we could grill meat and MW sides, or make big salads with rotisserie chicken from the store. But it got to be too much of a hassle because of trying to wash dishes in the deep cellar sink - it was awful. Even with paper plates, we'd need to wash up the utensils and things we cooked in. Towards the end, for dinner we often got takeout or ate out (Boston Market is great value). But ours only lasted about 5 weeks.

Stock up on alcohol, and I don't mean isopropyl.


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

Pack a corkscrew in your purse. That way you always know where it is. And buy lots of screw top wine. Try williamsem's super easy cocktail--a juice box with coconut rum!

Yes, it's all about the alcohol. ;)


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

Booze is the answer. Cook a lot and freeze for easy dinners. Buy a electric skillet with a lid - you can cook/steam/poach anything in it. And a toaster oven is great too.


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

My advice is to don't be 5-8 months pregnant.

Our biggest problem was clean up. We just have a tiny pedestal sink in the downstairs half bath. We do have a double basin kitchen sink in the basement with the washer and dryer, but the idea of lugging dishes/pans up and down the stairs was overruled by me not following the advice in my first paragraph. LOL


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

We were fortunate enough to have a basement kitchen that we could move into. Lucky for us, cuz we starting gutting kitchen in June, and granite didn't get put in till the end of November... one thing I learned, you don't really have a functional kitchen until you have a sink!

Useful for us, little portable cart with coffee maker, and all coffee/tea supplies. We had tons of company that summer (of course! well-original completion date was supposed to be Aug 08! Ha!). DH and I preferred it downstairs, but our company wanted it upstairs (we had patio table set up in gutted DR)--honestly can't remember if we used hose or bathroom to fill coffee...

Amazing how little space you actually do need, note my ~ 2ft of counter and most of the time it had a drying rack on it! We kind of enjoyed it...viewed it as 'camping with all the amenities"! Maybe part of it was the little table we had in basement was from our first apartment, so brought back pleasant memories!

I had packed kitchen stuff in open boxes, so that it was reasonably easy to retrieve things. Seldom used items got packed away, and some never got unpacked...good time to get ruthless and declutter! This 'kitchen' was my craft room/plant starting room, so most of those cupboards and drawers were already filled with my supplies, I think I took over the large upper for plates and glasses, etc.

Basement kitchen photo BasementkitJ6.jpg


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

If at all possible, MOVE OUT. I say this as someone only three weeks into our kitchen renovation with probably 3 more to go. I have two little kids and have so far mostly avoided takeout, thanks to our microwave, toaster oven, and crock-pot. Oh, and some REALLY nice friends who feed us at least once a week. But it is a real drag washing the dishes in the tub. (Especially since DH told me that showering with the dishes is "gross." I like to think it's efficient.)


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

We set up in the basement, where we already have a sink. I bought adjustable height legs and put them on an old tabletop, making it counter-height, which really saved my back.
We cooked every night for 6 weeks, having decided to make it an adventure in creativity. Used the rice cooker (the simplest, cheapest kind) to make soups in, boil pasta, steam vegetables, slow cooker, whatever. Spent $13 on a plug-in electric burner. Those two things worked really well.
My GC had the brilliant idea of putting a 4 pin plug on our old oven, so that we could plug it into the dryer outlet. That meant we added a broiler and oven to the cooking tools. I don't think we ever used the microwave at all.

I bought some rubbermaid type containers and stored china in one (I will NOT use paper plates! I'm just weird that way), pots and pans in another.

Now, I acknowledge it was just the two of us to feed, but we challenged ourselves to make it fun, and it really was. We managed to have guests staying in the house for a week, and even held a dinner party, which was a bit of an athletic adventure up and down the basement stairs, but everyone had fun with it.

Try and keep looking on this positively: and keep the corkscrew handy.


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

Demo started yestereday. It took us about a weekend to pack up; it was hard to estimate exactly how long since it went in stages. Got boxes from HD and big plastic storage containers to keep vermin (and the dog) out.

Demo started yesterday. The temp kitchen is set up in the 6x13 laundry room with full-size sink (and counter) set up with a new induction burner, microwave, toaster oven, Nespresso machine and corkscrew :) Some racks were relocated there and the ironing board relocated to a bedroom.

The tough part is the refrigerator is still downstairs. We may have to relocate a small one up the stairs. The fridge is stocked with pre-made meals but also plenty of raw ingredients. The grill still needs to refueled, but since it hit 82 F this week, BBQ is a real option.

The laundry room will need a facelift after this, as will the residents.


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RE: Please post tips for preparing for and surviving renovation?

Um, excuse me , Breezy, but these are -smoothies-, not mere juice boxes, lol! Though I suppose in a pinch...

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

But seriously, they are pretty healthy as far as alcoholic beverages go. Those boxes are all fruit juices and fruit purée. And the alcohol is for mental health.

We have demo starting 4/29, but Mom and I are taking out all the cabinets on the 27th/28th so she can put them in her garage. I'm looking at my hood on the floor, the Advantium comes on the 22nd, really starting to become real!


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