SLINGERLANDS – It was mid-March in a very unusual year.
Spring had finally arrived.And with it came a sense of renewal, rebirth, and the desire to make things seem fresh and new.My husband and I made the decision to finally renovate our kitchen.Our existing kitchen was original to the house, circa 1965.And, believe me, it showed. The cabinets, although sturdy and well-built, looked dated and tired.The countertops were the old Formica style—again, sturdy and well-made, but the color of ugly clay.The flooring held up to the traffic you’d expect of the heart of the house, but the flesh colored Mexican-style tile was fading and showing its age.
We wanted new.We wanted contemporary. We wanted utilitarian and fresh.We wanted a change.What we did not want, but got anyway, was chaos.Pure chaos. Be ready.
–Do try to have your cabinets and appliances and such on hand prior to demo.We did not plan this well and did the work in stages.We lived for three weeks with walls to the studs, and only a kitchen sink remaining, and then at least another three weeks with no sink at all.You have no idea how much you miss a sink and your countertops until they are gone. (Washing dishes in the bathroom is wrong on so many levels, but necessity made it so.)
–Do hire someone you trust to do the work.Best way to do this is ask your friends and neighbors about their experiences and get referrals.
–Do plan on some type of temporary tables for coffee pot, microwave, toaster, etc.You’ll find those temporary “countertops” extremely helpful.
–Do expect to add to your budget the cost of eating out. Despite your temporary digs, you will find making the simplest meal frustrating.
–Do take care of any pets in the house.We have three cats.2 of them would vanish at the sound of the workmen coming up the stairs, but the third was incessantly curious.It was really hard keeping him from being under foot of the workers.One day one of the skittish cats decided his “hiding spot” was going to be through a tiny hole in the floor (put there to run wiring and pipes) and he got under the floorboards.Thankfully, the workers said they would leave and not scare him any further, and he eventually came out.I had three strokes and a heart attack that day.
–Do expect curse words.A lot of curse words.The men we hired were very sweet and professional but were a little rough around the edges.The days I tried to stay there to work from home were riddled with a stream of $%#@’s, loud music, and cigarette smoke (We did not allow smoking in the house, but smoke inevitably attaches to clothing.)
–Do expect to lose your garage use for the duration.Between the huge dumpster in our driveway, and the need for space in the garage for cabinets, appliances, etc., I lost use of the garage.You might not care, but my car is my baby.Ask anyone that knows me. And, inevitably, a flock of birds with gastrointestinal issues will somehow find the perfect trajectory.
–Do expect to lose your mind on occasions.It’s not just losing your kitchen on a temporary basis.It’s the boxes and boxes of stuff from when you cleaned out the old cabinets.They’re everywhere.And after a few weeks, you start to lose your sanity from the apparent explosion that hit your house.
–Do not expect things to run smoothly.There will be glitches along the way.We found a huge carpenter ant problem when installing a new door to the deck. Enter unexpected pest control cost.We found one of the floor-to- ceiling cabinets that needed to slide in along the floor from the adjacent room was 1’4 of an inch too tall to do so.So, we had to remove the flooring underneath.We discovered the refrigerator we were planning on reusing stuck out too far from the cabinet that encloses it.Enter new refrigerator cost.And since we were now replacing the refrigerator, we might as well replace the dishwasher to match, right?Sigh…
–Which brings me to the final Do:Do be excited for the change to come.You will find your new kitchen is fresh and delightful and ready for entertaining.At least that’s what hubby keeps telling me…