I don't know what it is about a kitchen renovation but it's been the hardest yet! I have no doubt most will tell you the same. Maybe because we use our kitchen so much and we notice it more? When we couldn't use our family room for a few weeks last year it wasn't a big deal, we just watched TV in other spaces. Finishing our basement was a piece of cake -- we didn't use the space every day anyway so it wasn't a big deal. There is a point at the end of every project when you just want it done. :)
But the kitchen, especially when you are spacing it over a long time like me -- that takes more patience. There are a few bits of advice I can give that have probably been said a million times, but all are so true.
1. It will take longer than you think. You can plan with the best of them but that flies out the window when stuff happens. For example, the granite installers broke our countertops and it took another week to finish them up. Because we couldn't make final drywall touch ups that put us back about two weeks. There were a few other things I could do in the meantime but I had a very specific timeline for projects so it slowed me down.
I was really hoping to have the whole space done by Halloween and that's obviously not happening. Goals are good though. :) I am estimating it will be another two weeks, which makes me want to rock in a corner a little bit. But I want to do it right!
The (in between) before after the new island
If you're like me you kind of give up on the whole house. Our house is never clean during a major project anyway -- I can only focus on the task at hand so the rest of the house goes to crap a little bit. I don't think I'm alone in that one!
3. You'll have a love/hate relationship with the space. Some days I can barely stand it, I love how the kitchen is coming together SO MUCH. Other days I don't even want to walk in there because it means more work. ;) I shouldn't say I ever hate the space, I don't. I love the transformation. But this part of the reno is the worst -- I can see the final result finally coming together and it's so close…yet so far away. Patience! I don't have it! Of course if you are hiring out the work you may not feel this way quite as much, but you'll still get to a point when you just want it done.
I think doing a reno this time of year adds to that feeling. I felt this way last year during the family room redo -- I want to just focus on the upcoming holidays and nest a bit. Next time I do this I'm determined to start in March. ;) (Our bathrooms will be the next two big renovations, but those will be another year or two.)
The first time I could see my vision
4. It will cost more than you think. Yeah, duh. I've heard this a million times and it's so true. I had a number in mind a year ago, and up till about a week ago I was pretty confident I was going to stay under that. There are a lot of things at the end of a kitchen reno (at least ours) that add to that cost -- hardware and finishing touches for sure. The really fun stuff! I still don't think I'll go over my self-imposed budget by much.
Along the way you make decisions that add to the cost too -- I was originally planning to do a non-ducted vent hood like we had before (it was in our microwave). But after some research I found it's better to do vented if you can. Since it's an exterior wall and a fairly easy thing to do, we ended up spending more on that project. It's a fairly easy project but it involves cutting a hole in my house, so I'm hiring that out. :) Hopefully this will be the only major redo of our kitchen, so there's definitely a feeling of, "If we're doing this we're going to do it right."
It goes without saying but I'm gonna say it -- doing most of this myself is WAY less than I would have paid to have it done. So there's that. :)
5. Things will go wrong. Count on it. Literally days after we finished our basement a few years ago, my son started yelling that water was spilling everywhere. We ran down and water was quite literally shooting full force across the room from a pipe for our future kitchenette. The plumbing hadn't been capped off well enough and our newly finished basement had water everywhere. At one point we also had a leak that ruined the baseboards (that I had just installed) in my husband's office.
This time the issues have been minimal. The new range couldn't be fully installed because the gas line had be to moved down. We almost lost the food in our fridge because a breaker was turned off and we didn't realize it. And just last night the sump pump was starting to overflow and we thought the worst…and then realized the breaker had been turned off yesterday while some work was being done. We avoided a HUGE disaster because of these small alarms -- I placed one down there years ago after the basement was done and it worked GREAT:
Whew. I'm so thankful I heard that going off! Seriously! They aren't loud enough that I'd hear it two floors up but I was in the kitchen and heard it going off in a far corner of the basement. I also keep one under the fridge after we had one break down and cause a huge leak years ago.
There you go! My bits of advice if you are tackling a renovation, especially in a kitchen or bathroom. All that being said, I'm SO thrilled with everything and I think it's going to be gorgeous! It's like labor -- all the pain will be forgotten in the end and I'll have a beautiful kitchen to cuddle. OK…not quite the same. But I will hug it.
Have you done a big renovation? DIY or not, these tips will probably resonate with a lot of you. Any mishaps or stories to share and do you laugh at them now? ;)
Have a happy and safe Halloween my friends!!