How to manage a kitchen renovation project without losing your sanity!

17 Jul 2023

Follow these tips for a stress-free kitchen renovation.

Not being able to cook, wash up, or do laundry really affects day-to-day living. But if you are about to embark on a new kitchen, there are some steps you can take to lessen the disruption and save your sanity.

Before the kitchen renovations start:

It is all in the planning. Fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. It’s a cliché but it’s true.

The more you can plan before the work starts, the easier the renovations will be.

Below are some simple things you can do at the planning stage to lessen the impact of renovations.

1 Declutter

The first step you should take before you even consider your kitchen design is to have a good clear out. Decluttering your kitchen will give you a good idea of the cupboard space and storage solutions you require. You will then be able to design a very practical and liveable kitchen.

2 Budget

Prepare a budget with everything you will need listed and cost accordingly. Kitchen renovations can be expensive, so you need to ensure you know your numbers.

3 Insurance

Research your tradespeople. Use companies that are CPA accredited and can offer a deposit protection scheme. Also ask for an Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG) to protect you should the trading companies you employ go into liquidation.

4 Design

Don’t be in a rush to sign off your kitchen design. This is an investment that requires consideration. Show friends and family and get their opinions, as they might make suggestions that you had not thought of.

5 Make space

Not only will all your belongings from the kitchen need to be stored in another room whilst the renovations are completed, but it is likely you will have to store your new kitchen, flooring, and tiles too. The more space you can clear before the renovations start, the easier it will be to stay organised and on top of day-to-day life.

6 Order

Order any bits you need such as tiles and taps before the work starts so they are delivered on time. Having trades hanging around waiting for materials will do no good for your budget.

7 Pre-Cook

Batch cook meals and freeze them whilst you still have a kitchen. That way when the work is happening you can easily heat dinner in the microwave.

8 Plan to be out!

If you have children, pencil in as many play dates as you can and keep everyone out of the house whilst the work is happening. Be prepared if you work from home that things can get noisy.

9 Protect your belongings

With tradespeople walking through your home, it is a clever idea to put some floor protection down. Move anything fragile that might be in the way because accidents do happen. Ensure you have some dust sheets, and plenty of cleaning supplies.

10 stock up on tea and coffee

Tradespeople drink a lot of tea and coffee! It’s tough manual work, so they’ll be grateful for the refreshments.

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Whist the kitchen renovations are happening:

The exciting planning stage is complete, and now comes the messy and disruptive bit. Here are a few things you can do whilst the renovations are happening to save your sanity.

1 Prepare for the unexpected

Even with all the best planning in the world, something unexpected can happen. Perhaps a damp patch is discovered behind an existing cupboard. Your kitchen fitter could fall ill. Things will happen that increase your budget or extend your deadline. Try to be as flexible as you can and allow for contingencies. This will help reduce stress.

2 Clean down every day

Renovations are messy work, and that mess is nearly impossible to contain in the room being worked on. Be prepared to have a quick dust and mop every day to try and keep on top of the grime and stop it spreading into every room in your home!

3 Check work every day

Check your trades progress each day and ask questions as you go. If you spot something you do not like or think is wrong, it is always easier and less costly to rectify it at the time, rather than at the end of the project.

4 Keep a snag list

Some things will not be done until the renovation is complete. Keep a list of any problems or unfinished work, such as a squeaky door hinge, or chipped paintwork, so these can be rectified by your trades people before the renovation is signed off.

5 Keep track of your budget

Remember that budget you planned before the old kitchen was ripped out? It is important to keep on top of it during the renovation stage, as that’s when costs could spiral. Also keep a record of all the payments you have made.

6 Minimise chores

It is not much fun washing dishes in the bath, so if you can use recyclable paper plates do it! See if a friend or family member can do a laundry load for you. Now is not the time to try and cook a full-on roast dinner.

7 Set up a mini kitchen

If there is any space left in your home, setting up a little kitchen with a microwave and kettle can make things a bit easier.

8 Take advantage of offers

There will be times when you cannot face trying to put a meal together without a kitchen. Look for 2 for 1 offers in your local area and enjoy a meal out where you do not need to wash up.

9 Lower your expectations

It is fine if the kids or grandkids have a picnic on the lounge floor for dinner. They will love it. Accept the mess and chaos and remember it is only temporary.

10 Ask the experts

Remember you have employed experts to do this work. If you have any questions or are unhappy about anything, talk to them.

Taking on a kitchen renovation will cause stress and disruption. But these steps will help to minimise that. And remember, it will all be worth it in the end, when you have a shiny new kitchen.