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How does one function during kitchen remodel
Old 05-05-2009, 06:38 PM   #1
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How does one function during kitchen remodel

We are thinking of doing a complete kitchen remodel. We are both retired and at home most of the time. We both love to cook and really need the old kitchen remodeled. How do we live with workmen coming to the house at 8AM everyday for 6+ weeks and taking over the section of the house where we spend most of our time then do without a kitchen for all that time? Anybody survive such a thing? Move out? Eat out, etc.?
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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I would schedule around the seasons. It's amazing what I can cook on my patio BBQ. With a batch of cooked ahead frozen meals, a good grill and simple breakfasts, sandwich and fruit lunch and lots of paper plates it might be a bit inconvenient but well worth it. Remember dishpans were what many homes used before dishwashers.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:47 PM   #3
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That is a perplexing problem. I have not remodeled a kitchen, but have wondered about it myself.

I suppose that an ice chest, microwave, coffee maker, and portable electric burner could be set up in another room. You couldn't do much cooking that way, though. And who wants to eat out for six weeks? Not me. You could grill outdoors.

Maybe you have a friend who would let you "borrow" his/her kitchen. In my case I could always go over to Frank's house and cook, if I were so inclined.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:54 PM   #4
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That is a perplexing problem. I have not remodeled a kitchen, but have wondered about it myself.

I suppose that an ice chest, microwave, coffee maker, and portable electric burner could be set up in another room. You couldn't do much cooking that way, though. And who wants to eat out for six weeks? Not me. You could grill outdoors.

Maybe you have a friend who would let you "borrow" his/her kitchen. In my case I could always go over to Frank's house and cook, if I were so inclined.
When my kitchen was remodeled (Apr 2000) they moved the fridge (which was replaced) and microwave into the dining area. I was still wo**ing so did much eating at cafeteria.

Six weeks?
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
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Ahhh, this brings back memories. My 1994 kitchen reno, which was pretty drastic, took exactly 3 weeks, and that night I hosted a dinner party for 8 people. Really! They were screwing in the wine glass holders as I was beginning to cook. The pressure was ON!

Among the changes was sending the almond coloured stove and refrigerator away to be repainted white. (I'm still using the stove but have since replaced the fridge). Well, that definitely limited my culinary options. I planned it down to the last detail, arranged everything to take place while I was working, made sure to drop in at least once every day to troubleshoot, and ate at work or at friends' houses. I paid them back with gourmet dinners afterwards.

Now, the bathroom reno was another story......
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:00 PM   #6
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When my mom had her kitchen remodeled, she set up a small kitchenette on her condo's covered balcony. She had a small fridge with a small electric hot plate set on top. She also had a toaster oven. She used the balcony table to prepare her meals and eat. She did her dishes in a plastic dishpan (the water came from the bathroom's faucet). She also kept one side of her condo "private" so that she could retreat there when she got tired of being around contractors.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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I'd agree with Connie here. We remodeled our kitchen in October, a time of year down here when the weather tends to be pretty nice. We had our gas grill outside and a microwave temporarily in the living room. We put the fridge just outside the kitchen in a place where it could block access to the cats. And lots of paper plates and plastic utensils.

It was only four days in our case.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
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How do we live with workmen coming to the house at 8AM everyday for 6+ weeks and taking over the section of the house where we spend most of our time
Something doesn't compute. "Workmen" implies a minimum of 2, "everyday for 6+ weeks" suggests a total of 12 * 5 * 8 = 480 man hours minimum. Even at $50/hour it's almost $25K in labour. How big is your kitchen and much are you spending?

Maybe 6 weeks start to finish but I'm guessing that the actual time spent in your house will be much less. If this is so, you can negotiate the completion date with the contractor.

Maybe you need a different contractor?
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:19 PM   #9
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We're doing a small "remodel" now but it will only take six days and not six weeks. This amounts to tearing out wood laminate flooring (we hate it) and going to ceramic tile. However, every appliance has to be moved two or three times while they put in subflooring and then the tile and then the grout. Kitchen, laundry room and guest bath. We just eat out every night and love it. We can eat out nightly for $10 to $16. At that price, we often ask ourselves, why do we even bother to cook?
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:25 PM   #10
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Last time I went through a kitchen remodel washed dishes in the bathtub ,had the refrigerator in the living room , stove was hooked up until the last minute . It was a pain but the results were worth it .
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:51 PM   #11
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Went through a total home remodel/addition (5 months long ) a few years ago. EW hated the rental house, and insisted we move back in before the kitchen was complete, so we spent 6 weeks with our old refrigerator in the laundry room, along with a $8 hot plate and $39 microwave. Used a lot of paper plates and plastic utensils, brought home take out, ordered pizza, etc. Also used the BBQ grill, washed dishes in the laundry sink. It wasn't that bad- my advice is to try to minimize the amount of cooking required so you won't miss your fully functional kitchen that much...
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:05 PM   #12
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Move (temporary) to your beach place ?
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:10 PM   #13
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Relocate frig to dining room or living room, away from kitchen remodel area. If being replaced in the remodel , temporarily set it up in the garage or porch.
Use all disposable plates, cups and utensils.
Food ideas:
1. Takeout in small quantities, all consumable that night.
2. Lean Cuisine type premade dinners and a microwave
3. Pizza
4. Impose on friends, neighbors, or relatives in exchange for doing their dishes or mowing their lawn or walking their dog.
5. Find all the inexpensive church or volunteer fire dept fundraising dinners.

Good luck!
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:32 PM   #14
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Want2retire, who is Frank and where does he live? That sounds like the best idea.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:35 PM   #15
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All good suggestions. This kitchen project is a complete tear out with walls and a window moved. Got one quote for 30K and 6 week time frame. I think I need to scale it back.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:41 PM   #16
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Want2retire, who is Frank and where does he live? That sounds like the best idea.
Frank is my companion, and we choose to live in our own houses which are near to one another. Yes, something like that would probably be OK, especially in conjunction with ideas others have suggested on this thread like BBQ, take-out, and eating out, for variety.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:46 PM   #17
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All good suggestions. This kitchen project is a complete tear out with walls and a window moved. Got one quote for 30K and 6 week time frame. I think I need to scale it back.

Whatever time frame they give you double it ! Plus add at least 20% to the estimate .
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:40 PM   #18
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Whatever time frame they give you double it ! Plus add at least 20% to the estimate .
That was my thought...
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:39 PM   #19
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In our case, I would just use the outdoor kitchen/screen room.

You could move the frig to the garage or back porch, use your bbq for meats and the like, and get a campchef Camp Chef Explorer - 2 Burner Propane Stove - KODIAK OUTBACK like this one, and cook to your heart's content.

You could set up a sink to do the dishes, or just heat some water in a pot on the campchef.

I have two campchefs, and will be doing much of the summer cooking outside on them (when I move back to the states).

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:45 PM   #20
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We did like many others here--made a mini-kitchen. Our small dining area adjoins the kitchen, and we weren't having any work done in there, so we cleared it out and I put some blankets down on the hardwood floors and covered them with OSB. This gave the guys doing the kitchen work a place to stage their stuff--tools, the cabinets, etc. It saved a lot of time (i.e. helped them finish sooner) and also reduced disruption in the rest of the house. They put up plastic to keep the dust in the kitchen/dining area.
I moved the fridge out into the living room along with a small cart which contained the microwave and a toaster oven. No stove or hotplate. We ate simple meals (instant oatmeal, sandwiches, frozen dinners, etc.) for a couple of weeks, and i grilled outside sometimes. We used paper plates and cups and washed the few dishes in the bathtub. It wasn't bad at all.
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