Skip to main content

Five Tips to Survive a Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Renovations can be very stressful.  A well thought out plan will help to reduce your stress but what happens when you turn the plan over to others to do the work?  Sure, you've got a great plan and you are most feeling in control and excited about your kitchen renovation plan. Now it is time to get the work done to make your vision come to life.
Kitchen design plan
Kitchen Design Plan

How to Survive Your Kitchen Renovation

Here are my five tips for how to survive the work phase of your project.  These recommendations are the result of my own experience with my own successful kitchen renovation.  I hope my experience helps you to weather the upheaval a kitchen renovation brings with a minimum of stress.

Five Tips for a Successful Kitchen Renovation 

#1. Hire the Right Professionals

Ask for Recommendations:  
Talk to family, friends and neighbors to get recommendations for kitchen designers, plumbers, electricians, painters, and carpenters.  It is best when you can actually see the work that has been completed.  If your project is complex, this is the point to decide if you will hire a contractor to manage it.  My project was of medium complexity and I chose to manage the timeline and coordinate the tradespeople myself.

Meet with Each Professional
You should interview two or three tradespeople from each category.  You will want to compare bids from each. My experience has taught me that bids may vary greatly. Your meeting will allow you to talk to each of your potential hires about expectations you may have like cleaning up on a daily basis, daily work schedule, and willingness to coordinate with the other tradespeople.  You'll get a sense of their professionalism during these in-person meetings.

Plan a contingency for renovations
Add a Contingency Pool to Your Budget

#2. Finalize Your Budget

You must get your bids in writing.  This is where your preparation work will serve you very well. Careful preparation means you can be very specific when you speak with the tradespeople about the requirements of the job and the materials you want to be used.  The more details you have decided by this point the more complete the bids will be.  That means you will have common points from which you can compare bids and fewer surprises once the work starts.

You'll also want to understand the payment schedule for each of your tradespeople.  Just as you expect them to show up and complete the project on time, you must commit to payment on a timely schedule.  Once the bids start coming in be ready to be astonished. My bids varied by as much as 100%.  I was shocked at the amount of variation.  Read the bids carefully to be sure you are comparing apples to apples.  You may need to have follow-up calls with the tradespeople to clarify elements of the bids.

#3. Confirm Availability and Commitment to Schedule
Once you decide which tradespeople you want to work on your renovation be sure to confirm their availability by phone and in writing.  Renovation work follows a step by step process where any one of your tradespeople can create a problem for your timeline.

In my case the tile layer came down with a horrendous case of bronchitis, requiring hospitalization, the first day of tile laying.  Luckily, the other, members of his team were able to keep the job relatively on track and my carpenter was able to work around the small delays.

#4. Stay Out of the Way While the Work Progresses

This may be the hardest part of the process.  You are excited.  You want to see how your new kitchen is progressing.  Now is the time to let the professionals do their work.  Now is not the time for you to get new ideas and ask for changes.  If you do, expect to pay handsomely.

2016 calendar picture
Build Wiggle Room into Your Timeline
#5. Expect Surprises
In spite of your careful research and planning, there will be surprises like when my tile person got sick.  These surprises will either impact your budget or your timeline.  For this reason, you should build a cushion into both areas. You'll need a contingency budget of approximately 10% and some wiggle room on your completion date.  You'll also need to know how tight the timing is for each of your tradespeople and take that into consideration before hiring them.  If a tradesperson's window of availability is too tight you may want to choose someone else.

My kitchen renovation was completed on time and on budget.  You can see the results below.

Kitchen renovation pictures
My Renovated Kitchen

Check out my prior posts for more detail on the start to finish steps in the renovation process.  I wish you good luck with your renovation.  My kitchen renovation experience was excellent and I credit my detailed planning for that.  Here are my other posts in this series:

#1 Time for a Kitchen Renovation
#2 Five Questions to Answer When Planning a Kitchen Renovation
#3 Kitchen Renovation-The Plan
#4 Kitchen Renovation-Getting Inspiration

Thank you for sharing this post on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!


  1. These are great tips. I am convinced that I have the ugliest kitchen in the world and am pretty confident we can get it renovated when the kids grow up and move about 20 years! My daughters are 3 and 1! I would love to redo our kitchen and hope to at some point! Thanks for linking up with us at Blogger's Spotlight and please come back next week!

    1. Carrie, I know what it's like to live with a kitchen you don't love. You have plenty of time to plan a kitchen you will love.

  2. These are great tips! Even the most basic remodel has a few surprises and it is best to be prepared rather than hoping it won't happen. My parents are about to start on a major kitchen renovation. I'll have to pass this along to them :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ashley. I wish your parents good luck with their remodel. Careful planning does help to control the surprises!

  3. There's a kitchen renovation in my future. Advice received and taken to heart!

    1. I wish you good luck in your renovation process, Michele. In hindsight, I can say the disruption is worth it when you get a finished product you love. I do love my new kitchen!

  4. Great tips! I renovated and updated my kitchen three years ago - a total gut and overhaul - stressful but so glad I hired a professional kitchen company to do the job. They knew my budget and never tried to steer me over it or sway me away from it!

    1. Having good partners in a kitchen renovation project is a must and a blessing. It takes so much of the stress away. Thanks for sharing your experience, Amanda.


Post a Comment

Talk to me. I welcome your comments. (These comments are strictly moderated. Spammers take note.)

Popular posts from this blog

How to Trap and Get Rid of Fruit Flies

What can you do to kill fruit flies?  We've all been there.  Fruit flies in the kitchen.  Fruit flies in the bathroom.  Fruit flies buzzing around everywhere in your home.   It's a frustrating problem that happens to everyone at one time or another.  If you are a fresh fruit and produce lover you certainly know what I mean. How to Kill Fruit Flies with Two Ingredients Those pesky little buggers can often be brought into your home on the vegetables and fruit you buy. There are many solutions offered for fruit fly traps to help you solve your problem.   A quick Amazon search found these products. You can spend your money on one of these solutions or I can save you a whole lot of your hard-earned cash today. My solution is the best.  Here's why: You have the ingredients in your kitchen now.  You need apple cider vinegar and a mild dish liquid . It's a healthy, family-friendly solution. It works quickly. Two-Ingredient No Pesticide Fruit Fly Trap

How to Make a Perfect Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

In my opinion, the best breakfast consists of two perfectly fried eggs, crispy bacon, and toast made with a hearty bread. It is the breakfast you want when you have time to relax around the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee or two. The Best Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) How to Cook Bacon and Eggs My technique was learned from my mom, by watching her make our family's breakfast over and over again, year after year.  Cooking eggs in bacon fat is easy and takes just a little practice to perfect. All you really need for a great bacon and eggs breakfast is a good nonstick skillet and a good toaster . If you want to make your own bread for toast, a bread machine like mine  will make that easy as can be. Three Ingredients for a Great Breakfast A loaf of your favorite bread Extra-large eggs, because you want a g

How to Turn Store-Bought Potato Salad from Blah to Amazing

Here's a time-saver for you just in time for summer cookouts.  When you need a quick potato salad, that ordinary store-bought potato salad you have in your refrigerator can go from blah to amazing in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. There's no judgment here. We don't always have the time to make a potato salad from scratch. Sometimes it is just easier to stop by your local grocery store to pick up a container of the store-made potato salad. It's good. It's predictable.  It will do.  All it needs is a little doctoring. How to Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Better Take Your Potato Salad from Blah to AH-Mazing! What should you do if you want that store-bought potato salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having people over for an impromptu barbecue and you'd like your potato salad to be a little special. There is no need to fret.  A quick trip to the grocery store will get you start

Rum Punch for a Party

As the weather warms and you start to think about gathering friends and family for parties and celebrations you'll want to think about signature cocktails. This rum punch cocktail is an ideal cocktail for a large gathering. Don't you think a warm-weather cocktail should make imagine yourself sitting by the shore with your toes in the sand? Rum punch is one of those cocktails.  Cool and fruity, rum punch will make a party! One sip and you'll be transported to the beach. Rum Punch Cocktail (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) Rum Punch for a Party! This rum punch recipe is a make-ahead recipe I use whenever we are having a large group for a summer picnic or barbecue.  Use the recipe below as your baseline and double or triple the ingredients as needed. You'll need a large container for storage and room enough in your refrigerator to keep it cool.  My f

Forgotten Pork Chops

Today dawned dark and dreary in my corner of New England.  I woke to a dusting of snow, gray skies, and an ongoing drizzle forecast for the remainder of the day. It's days like these when you turn to a one-pan, comfort food dinner like this recipe for Forgotten Pork Chops. This recipe is perfect for a dreary winter weeknight or any day you want an easy, hearty meal. (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  When you purchase through these links I receive a small compensation.)  Forgotten Pork Chops Truth be told, this recipe came about on a day when I wasn't really in the mood to spend time in the kitchen.  Much like today, it was dreary.  It was pouring rain and we had just sent the last of our guests home from my son's wedding. All I wanted to do was sit with my feet up. I needed an easy pork chop recipe!  This recipe is the result and has been a favorite ever since.  The recipe serves two to four, depending on the number of pork chops you us