Down to the Studs: Surviving Your Kitchen Remodel

Down to the studsWeek #2 brings us more demolition work and more bad news.  In week two, the remaining kitchen cabinets and old appliances were removed. Wiring was added for the new appliances in their new locations. We are now down to the studs.

Down to the studsLighting placement was decided and holes for the can lighting were drilled.  Even with a perfect lighting plan, problems came up.  Several of the locations selected could not accommodate a light fixture because of stud locations in the attic.  The lighting plan had to be reworked several times.  Patience and flexibility are required.

Down to the studsThis phase of the project is a dusty mess. Make it a point to clean up after the workers leave each day. It will minimize the dust that floats into the other areas of the house. Plastic has been hung to keep the other rooms clean.  It helps, but doesn’t keep dust out completely.

My husband is 6’3 so I had the custom cabinets raised one inch, making the cabinets and quartz taller than the previous set of cabinets and granite.  After walking around this week, I got focused on the kitchen window (above) and began wondering if someone had figured the higher counter tops into the calculation.

Down to the studsYou guessed it.  Of course not.  Unless we move the window higher, the quartz counter tops will partially cover the bottom of the window.  The solution is either to install a shorter window or rework the header so that we can move the existing window higher.  We are awaiting cost estimates for each of these options.

Down to the studsFriends told me to expect things to go wrong with any remodel.  At some level I thought I might be different.  And I was wrong. Things have gone wrong, the kitchen design is evolving and the delays and costs keep adding up.

Three tips to help you survive your down to the studs kitchen remodel (Week #2)

1. Take time making decisions.  Throughout the day you will be presented with “issues” and in most cases asked to make snap decisions. Don’t.  Learn to absorb new problems about your kitchen remodel provided by your contractor.   Ask questions, understand the options and then sleep on it.  Decisions seem much easier in the morning.

2. Eating out is getting old fast.  If you don’t own a crock pot, buy one prior to the start of your remodel.  Print recipes that can easily be made with ingredients that you have stored in your refrigerator.  As note earlier, our refrigerator was relocated to the garage.  In addition, have a microwave available to heat up restaurant leftovers and healthy frozen meals.

3. Have blue painters tape handy and use it to mark spots for new lighting fixtures and electrical switches. Painters tape can be used to leave notes for your contractor. There was a wall that was going to be removed in our original design. We later decided to leave the wall.  As noted previously, communication between workers isn’t the best. Painters tape was used to mark the wall we wanted to keep and we added big letters written on the tape to read “keep.”

Week #3 is upon us and I can hardly wait to learn what is in store.  The beam that was on order is now delayed a few more days.

Traveling with lipstick is Veronica’s blog on travel, beauty and living life beautifully organized. During the next month Veronica will be writing about her experiences remodeling her kitchen.

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