Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

For today’s lifestyle, the kitchen is the hub of family activity. During a kitchen remodel, the lack of a usable kitchen poses many challenges. If you frequently prepare meals in your kitchen, consider setting up a temporary kitchen. While this may not allow you to host a dinner party for 20 people, it will help with daily living and avoid the need to eat out for the duration of the project.  A few items to consider if you set up a temporary kitchen.

  • Keep critical items accessible. This might include coffee, coffee maker, non-perishable food like soup, meals that work in a microwave, utensils, dish soap and rags, napkins, cereal, and disposable plates & cups, and garbage bags.
  • Water. You will be without your kitchen sink for the duration of the project.  Think about an alternative location to do dishes, get water for coffee, etc.  This could be a sink the laundry room or a bathroom. As an alternative, you can use disposable items and avoid washing dishes.
  • Use small appliances. Microwaves, toasters, small electric grills are very helpful in preparing simple, home-cooked meals.  Like the sink, find a convenient place to set these up. Be aware, the outlets in this area may not be able to handle all these appliances running at the same time.
  • Move your refrigerator. Find a convenient place for you refrigerator. This, combined with the small appliances will facilitate making simple meals and provide a place for snacks. A small, mini-fridge may also be useful.


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During a remodeling project, a part of your home is thrown into complete disarray, chaos and clutter increase, household routines are disrupted, and everyday items are packed away. At some point during the remodel, stress levels in the home will increase, leading to arguments or the proverbial “kicking the dog.”

The best way to handle remodeling stress is to anticipate it and prepare for it.  A few simple suggestions to reduce stress are:

  • As mentioned in a previous post, keep the end in mind. You have undertaken the remodeling project for a variety of reasons.  When it is complete, you will have a wonderful space for your family to enjoy.
  • Ask questions and clarify any issues. Being persistent in getting answers to your questions will reduce stress during the remodel. Leaving issues unaddressed only increases your frustration and may leave a feeling that the work was not done well.
  • Don’t be surprised when arguments occur. Remember the argument is likely due to the disorder in your home and is not personal.  
  • Help your children manage the disruption by engaging them in the planning process. This can help them view the project as an adventure, reducing their stress
  • Pets are also impacted by remodeling. Like the rest of the family, their routines have been disturbed and a variety of new people are coming/going. A little extra attention will help them cope with the situation.

Murphy’s Law … “If anything can go wrong, it will” … was coined at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949. Its namesake, Captain Edward Murphy, was an engineer working on a project to determine how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash. Upon finding a transducer wired wrong by a technician, he remarked, “ If there is any way to do it wrong, he’ll find it.” The project manager added this to his list of “laws”, referring to it as Murphy’s Law.

So, how is Murphy’s Law connected with remodeling projects?  Like the Air Force project, you can expect to have some aspect of a remodeling project go wrong.  This can even include items outside of the area being remodeled.

For example, in one of our kitchen remodeling projects, electrical work was required for the relocation of appliances and lighting, and the addition of undercabinet lights. In the process of completing this work, it became apparent that during a previous project in the home, shortcuts were taken with the electrical work. Breakers and wiring were overloaded creating a significant risk of fire. Not a pleasant, or inexpensive, surprise for the homeowner. As you would expect, the electrical issues were corrected before continuing with the kitchen remodel.

As you get ready for your remodeling project, here are a few “surprises” you should be prepared for:

  • Products delivered late, damaged, or with missing parts
  • Incorrect products delivered to job site
  • Miscommunication
  • Higher level of dust than expected
  • Finding termites or carpenter ants
  • Mold/moisture from plumbing leaks
  • Structural issues including insufficient support for load bearing walls
  • Need to remove asbestos or lead paint

Preparing yourself for project surprises will help minimize your stress and frustration when they occur. Including a budget item in your project for contingencies and surprises will allow you to deal with the problem without feeling like the budget is busted.

Testimonials

"Sonja and I want to thank you for the great experience that you and your company provided to us throughout the design, manufacture, and installation of our library cabinetry you made for our condo. Our friends and family rave about its quality and appearance. You are all craftsmen and it was a real pleasure watching the project come together during the whole process."
Al & Sonja
 
"Thanks again for successfully completing our project today. Special kudos to Mike and the other craftsmen at the shop for a job well done. We could not be more pleased with the results. Mike’s attention to small, finer details was very much appreciated. He was patient, pleasant and understanding. It’s all about the “fit & finish” with us and Spiceland Wood Products did not disappoint. We WILL be doing more business together soon – we look forward to it. Given the opportunity, we will highly recommend SWP to everyone. It was a true pleasure working together."
Wayne & Tonia 

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