Getting a new kitchen is super exciting but extremely stressful at the same time. Especially if you are doing it on a budget like we did (well technically still are!). Things don’t always go to plan and your house in an absolute mess. Don’t even bother cleaning it, as the dust will get everywhere and you will end up moving things from one place to another… constantly! In this post I will share our experience on how to (try) to survive a kitchen renovation. Spoiler alert – large glass (or bottle) of wine certainly helps!
Our house had a strange layout and from the moment we set our eyes on it we knew the kitchen would be a big project for us if we bought the house. We had big plans but not such a big budget. After initial meeting with the kitchen designer we realised that kitchens are bloody expensive and needed plan B!! You can read how we found our kitchen here.
Having bought our second hand kitchen and appliances, we needed to plan all the work that needed doing. For us saving money was a priority, so anything we could do ourselves – we did. This meant slower process as we both have a full time job and also more stress (and more wine).
First of all, give yourself plenty of time. We started removing old cabinets in January and now it is April and we still are nowhere near finished!! Things go wrong, trust me THEY DO!! Delays are inevitable and if you think things will go smoothly, think again..
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We encountered several delays and issues during the kitchen renovation process. Getting our building control approval took us about 5 weeks! This was happening in the middle of the renovation, which meant we were living on a building site for over a month and things weren’t moving. There was no point stressing over it..
I made a list of my (hopefully helpful) tips on how to survive a kitchen renovation:-
- Hire only reputable tradesmen (and women) – plumbers, tilers, electricians, builders etc. Don’t go for the cheapest option – some things are worth paying for;
- Make a temporary kitchen set up with only things that you will need, put everything else away (2 cups, couple of plates only the necessities, you don’t have space for it all, this will also make you wash up straight away);
- Clear out as much as you can from your old kitchen as everything will get covered in dust and eventually be in the way;
- Prepare for lots of dust, noise and general mess, when you can’t find anything;
- Set a contingency budget aside for unexpected expenses;
- Paper plates and disposable utensils will help once you have no kitchen/sink etc.
- Prepare yourself (and your purse) to eat a lot of takeaways (after a long hard day painting or knocking walls trust me last thing on your mind will be cooking);
- Get an electric hob – this was a life saviour, we still managed to cooked lovely meals on the hob. Having a steamer and slow cooker helped us have proper meals too;
- If you can prepare your meals and freeze them before your renovation do it (wish I did this because it does make sense and will help!)
- If you have pets, don’t forget about them. I dropped Coco off at my friend’s house when things got too noisy!
- Prepare yourself that some days nothing will happen and you will not see any progress;
- Order and buy as much as possible before the work starts, this will allow you to tick things off the list and most things will be paid for before the works start. It will leave you with bills for the tradesmen (and women) only.
- Accept help – if anyone offers to help you/cook you a meal/invite you out – accept it!
- Keep your running water and washing machine for as long as possible.
- Stay positive, think of the finished result, see the funny side and finally have a large glass of wine.. It does help!
We are nowhere near finished, but I am keeping positive and cannot wait to show you the whole transformation!!
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