20/10/2023  •  ,

Surviving a Kitchen Renovation: Your Comprehensive Guide

Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes

Did you know that 49% of kitchen renovators say it was the most stressful room in their home to work on? That's almost half, and it's no wonder. 


The kitchen is the heart of your home. It is where everyone gathers, where you cook and maybe eat all your meals. It is the hub, and daily life can be a little stressful without an operating kitchen. 


Don't worry, though. If you are undertaking a kitchen remodel, we are here to guide you through ways to lessen the stress and make the process much smoother.


Deslaurier Custom Cabinets in Ottawa has over four decades of experience designing custom kitchens.. We have worked on thousands of luxury kitchen renovations, so we know a thing or two about the tips and tricks it takes to survive one. We take pride in our industry knowledge and helping our customers navigate their remodels with the least amount of stress possible.


A kitchen renovation may be a big project, but it doesn't have to mean takeout pizza every night and a non-functioning kitchen. 


Below, we will talk about the essential things to keep in mind before any renovation starts, from choosing the right contractor and setting your budget to the best way to design your temporary kitchen space. 


Table of Contents

Preparing for the Kitchen Renovation

Tips on Surviving the Renovation

Pack Up Everything You Don't Need

Relocate Your Old Kitchen Appliances

Create a Temporary Food Preparation Space

Make a Plan For Your Meals

Design with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets

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Preparing for the Kitchen Renovation


The importance of thorough planning before starting a kitchen renovation cannot be overstated. The better you plan your remodel, the less likely you are to be surprised by unexpected costs, changes in the original plan for the space, or finding yourself with low-quality workmanship. 


There are three key areas we are going to highlight below:

  • Finding the right kitchen renovation contractor
  • Setting a realistic budget
  • Planning your kitchen design layout


Finding the Right Kitchen Renovation Contractor


Choosing a reputable contractor is crucial to the success of a kitchen renovation. Their ability to follow a timeline and budget while completing high-quality work can be the difference between a drawn-out remodel process that is way over budget and poorly done or ending up with the kitchen of your dreams on time, on budget, and beautifully executed. 

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When looking for a contractor, there are several key avenues to putting together a list of possible candidates for the job. No matter which route you go or if you decide on more than one, remember that you should never go with the first estimate you get for work. Always interview and receive quotes from two, if not three, before choosing. 


First and foremost, make sure that any contractor you are considering is fully licensed and bonded. Ask for references and a portfolio of their past work. Great kitchen contractors will be proud to show off their past work and will have no problem with you speaking to those you can vouch for their work. 


If any potential contractor bulks at these requests, run! You want a contractor who will be open and honest with you about your renovation and renovations they have done in the past. 


When building a list of kitchen renovation contractors, there are three great ways to get started: word-of-mouth through friends, family, and coworkers, online searches and reviews, and kitchen designers. 


Friends and family who have been through a custom kitchen renovation are a great way to find potential contractors. They will likely be honest about the crew's work, cleanliness, budget adherence, and timeline. 


There are industry websites solely dedicated to the vetting of contractors. Many are free, and some require a small fee to sign up, but that fee may be well worth it, considering the thousands of dollars you will be spending on your project. 


Finally, kitchen designers can recommend contractors they frequently work with or that clients gravitate toward. This can be a positive because you will know they have connections to cabinet, appliance, and flooring distributors, which can help make your process much more streamlined.


When speaking with your list of possible contractors, make sure you have a list of questions ready so that you can accurately decide who is best for the job. Things to discuss include your timeline, budget, and overall vision for the space.


Setting a Realistic Budget


Working with a kitchen designer and contractor will simplify setting a realistic budget. That's because they know the actual cost of materials and labour and can give an honest and fair idea about what you have envisioned for a budget and what is doable. 

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This is important to keep your expectations on the same level as your budget and ensure you have a clear vision for your remodel. 


Setting a budget also includes a contingency budget of typically 10-15% of the total budget. This money is set aside to cover anything that may pop up that you were not expecting. 


If you've ever done any remodelling in the past, you know that something that wasn't planned for is always bound to happen. A contingency budget makes this more of an inconvenience than an emergency. 


Kitchen Design Layout


If you are planning a major kitchen remodelling, you may be making significant changes to your kitchen's design layout. These changes can affect the overall budget of your project and how long the renovation will last. 


This can be stressful to try on your own, even if you have an idea of how you'd like your dream kitchen to look. Once you've gathered photos of some of your favourite modern kitchen designs, it's time to sit down with a kitchen designer before you talk to a potential contractor. 


Kitchen designers can take the stress of designing a beautiful and functional layout because they are the experts. 


In your consultation and subsequent design meetings, your designer will learn the aesthetic you are going for and how you need to function in your kitchen. 


They have the experience to make sure every appliance, cabinet, and finish will end up being precisely what you want and need. This will boost your confidence significantly when speaking to your contractor.


Tips on Surviving the Renovation


Now that you've executed the plan for how your kitchen will look and turn out with the help of a designer and a contractor, here are some tips to help you survive the renovations in the coming months. 


Pack Up Everything You Don't Need


Before you put a single thing in a box, take some time to make a list of the items you use the most and those you barely touch in your kitchen. 


You probably don't need your entire knife set, but maybe just those you use the most frequently. This can also be said for utensils, pots and pans, dishware, and glasses. 


The goal is just to keep what you need for daily use. Washing everything after each use will help the space feel clean and keep it from feeling cluttered with too many items. 


Another important tip is to take your time to pack and label EVERYTHING. This will make unpacking in your newly renovated space much quicker, and if you find you need a specific utensil or pan while the renovation is ongoing, it can easily be found. 


Relocate Your Old Kitchen Appliances


If your renovation doesn't include purchasing new appliances, you must decide what will be used in your temporary space and what can be stored until the renovation is complete. Keeping a microwave and toaster oven is wise because they make reheating meals much easier and can be tucked into the back of your prep space. 


If you are getting new large appliances, your stove and oven will likely be moved out of the renovation space, as will your fridge. If you can make do with a mini fridge, this can be a great space-saver as it can be slid under a table. 


If your family requires a full-size fridge, consider temporarily placing it in an adjacent room or garage. It may be slightly inconvenient, but it is temporary. 


Create a Temporary Food Preparation Space


If you are like many of us, you will be living in your home during your kitchen renovation. This means you will need to continue to cook for yourself and your family. You will want to design a temporary food preparation space to make this less stressful and still productive. 


A table or bar height console that can be pushed against a wall with a power outlet will allow you room to chop, mix, and use any small appliances you need, like blenders, mixers, and food processors. 


It also can be a space to have a crockpot or pressure cooker, which can be a lifesaver when you are food prepping during a renovation.


A well-placed temporary food preparation space can help you stay within your food budget and cook healthy meals for you and your family instead of constantly ordering take out, which can be costly to your budget.


Make a Plan For Your Meals


Your kitchen remodel is the perfect time to practice your one-pot or one-pan meals and try out new crockpot or pressure cooker recipes. With less mess to clean up and the ability to just set it and forget it with a crockpot, you can make less mess and cook a wide variety of dishes for meal prepping during your remodel.


If you have a grill or BBQ at your home, your kitchen remodel is a great time to use it, even in the off-season. 


Maybe your remodel is taking place in the fall or winter. That's OK! If you bundle up a bit, then grilling can become a memory of your renovation. 


Grills can be great for your standard meat, veggies, and seafood, but if you have side burners, they must be used to prepare breakfast items and soup. Get creative and get grilling!


Repeat after us: Tupperware is your friend. When you're in the middle of a kitchen renovation, storing your food in well-sealed containers will be the key to keeping meals fresher and longer. 


This can also be helpful if you're short on storage space, as these containers can be stacked and allow you to fit much more in your fridge or on your temporary counter and prep space.


Now, we all know you won't always be able to cook a meal in your temporary kitchen space, or you'll have days when you want to order out. That's perfectly okay too! 


Your remodel can be a chance to try some old favourites or experiment with new restaurants and cuisines you've been interested in.


Design with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets


Preparation before even the first minute of renovation starts is the key to surviving a kitchen remodel. 


Working with the right designer and contractor will help make the process much smoother, but ultimately, the ease of a kitchen renovation depends on you. Taking the extra time to make your lists and design your new kitchen and your temporary one will make your life so much easier. 


If you are looking to work with a modern kitchen designer and need custom kitchen cabinets in Ontario, then Deslaurier Custom Cabinets has just what you need.


With over 40 years of experience to our name and an outreach of over 30 dealers across Ontario, we provide our clients with a fully customized design process with our talented team of designers. When you want to add customization to your new kitchen, we are here to help you through the whole process.


Book a free consultation with a Deslaurier kitchen expert at our Ottawa showroom!


Live outside the area? Find a Dealer to connect with near you! Interested in becoming an authorized Deslaurier dealer? Visit our Become a Dealer page to learn more!


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