Kitchen Remodel--Am I Nuts? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 14 Old 05-17-2010, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we've been putting off doing a major kitchen remodel in our house for years, but it really needs it. Long story short, it dates from 1974, has broken cabinets and cigarette holes in the yellow plastic countertops and just need to be totally demo'ed.

We just found a construction company to take care of it, and although I was really hoping we could start right away and have it done in about 2 months, they're projecting that we'll be under construction until mid-September.

This means no kitchen for three months, and baby being born during this time. The good news is we have an extra bedroom and bathroom we can use as a makeshift kitchen/dining area, and our old kitchen can be pretty much sealed off from the rest of the house. The bad news is, chaos.

I was feeling hopeful but realistic about the challenges, but now my mom is trying to talk me out of it, and thinks it would be so much easier to wait until the new baby is at least 3 months old. I was just thinking that summertime, with dd out of school for the majority of the construction time, would be easier--plus, no newborn for at least half the duration (my EDD is 7/24). I should add that I've never had any pregnancy complications--just the usual discomforts along the way.

Am I being off my rocker? Would it be better to wait? Or should we charge on through? Help me think this through!

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#2 of 14 Old 05-17-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Been there, done that...I say charge on through.
Weather is great for remodel now. You can have the house open at least part of the night through the summer to help with any off gassing/odors associated with the remodel. You will have a fully functional and pleasant kitchen by the time the holidays are here again. You can easily BBQ most meals through the summer months, and break out a camp stove for the rest. You are coastal So Cal, so weather doesn't matter AS MUCH as say Indiana, but still I think the weather now is better. The inconvenience of remodel is really 80% attitude anyhow.

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#3 of 14 Old 05-17-2010, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes! I want to be done for the holidays, and I hadn't considered that.

Plus, you're right--the weather will be good for a remodel and for lots of outdoor cooking/eating. Hmmmm.

I know it's going to be a challenge whenever we do it, but I keep feeling that now really is the best time. Thanks for the input about attitude--I have a positive outlook about it, but I think I'm fairly realistically informed as well. (And I know my mom is a bit of a pessimist . . . )

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#4 of 14 Old 05-17-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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As someone who is on week 4 of 7 anticipated weeks with no kitchen I'd say think long and hard about all the details. This is killing me. The only running water is the bathtub (imagine me with this huge belly hunched over the tub washing dishes). Imagine eating processed crap food that you've mirowaved (or toaster-ovened) for weeks....
I'd be really wary, and also know that almost every construction project I've even had done takes at least twice as long as projected, because stuff comes up (like say structural issues that have to be fixed to move on). Just sayin'....
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#5 of 14 Old 05-17-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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I don't think doing it with a 3 -month old sounds any easier than now. I think it sounds much harder... the baby is more sensitive to noises and disruption, for the first month after delivery we ate a lot of takeout anyway and people brought over meals, etc.

However, I honestly think they both sound pretty bad. I can't imagine dealing with construction when I come home with my new baby and trying to eat icky foods for the remainder of my pregnancy. If I truly needed it done before the year was over, I'd do it now and see if I could pay them to "hurry" and put things into the contract with the company about what will happen if they run late.
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#6 of 14 Old 05-18-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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im actually a kitchen and bath designer....from a professional point of view, the truth is there is NO convenient time to do it. and the pp who mentioned that surprises always come up is 100% correct, and yes, it usually takes longer than anticipated. you are in soucal, so you can grill year round which is really nice.....that's a huge help for cooking without a kitchen. the only thing holding me back from telling you to just get it over with is that you have 4 kiddos....naptimes will likely be disrupted by the noise....maybe it is better to wait until they are in preschool/daycare? (if they even go to school)?

i don't know how high-end you are going in the remodel, but one thing that you can request the company do for you if you are doing counters that need to be templated (granite, solid surface, quartz, etc) is have them install the sink with temporary plywood tops after the new kitchen has been installed. this gives you a week or 2 with a kitchen that is useable while you wait for your counters. in my opinion, those last 2 weeks are when most clients really lose it.

please feel free to pm if you have any other questions! good luck with whatever you decide.

oh--one other thing. i would make sure you have the contractor seal off the work area, so that the dust and other crazy particles stay in the work area and not in the rest of your home. they have these really cool plastic walls they can put up with zippers in them. this will keep your home much healthier.

married to DH for 5 yrs, ds born at home 6/26/10
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#7 of 14 Old 05-18-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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Oh I'm not the only one!!! I'm due the 20th, hopefully not sooner!! Just get it done with, it won't be any easier later. Our cabs and counter are falling apart and we have cloth wiring. The counter is literally disintegrating and there is a definite possibility that the sink will fall in soonish. We're (hopefully) not ripping out walls, but cabs, counter, and floor are all being replaced. Electric is being rewired (sadly not adding any new fixtures due to budget), moving a heating vent, removing a small load bearing wall and putting in new support (this is my biggest worry). New layout, though the water/gas is staying as is. We're starting in a couple of weeks. Hopefully.

Also, we're using cabinets pulled from a high-end neighborhood in the area during a gut rehab. Coming up with solutions that work is proving ... challenging. I worry it will actually look bad when we're done, but it can't possibly look worse!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for both our remodels!

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#8 of 14 Old 05-18-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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We moved into this house in December and have been doing major remodels throughout (like.. EVERY room!) ever since. We are hoping to be done with major stuff by the time baby comes, but it's likely we'll still have a lot to do. So if you're crazy, I am too. But I would say go for it.

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#9 of 14 Old 05-18-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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Assuming you've got a place to plug in a refrigerator and a source of running water, it can be done. Since you've got the extra bedroom and bathroom, it seems reasonable to me. (What I would NOT recommend is remodeling your only bathroom right now. )

A portable burner for cooking pasta or stir-frying can be had for about $15. And you can bake just about anything in a toaster oven--I've done bread (small loaves or pans work; large free-form loaves and baguettes don't), muffins (6 at a time, but still), cookies, and a meatloaf. (On a hot day, it creates a lot less heat in the kitchen than the regular oven does.)

Good luck!

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#10 of 14 Old 05-18-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Just a tip- be sure the contractors are EPA certified in lead abatement. As of April 2010, ALL contractors remodeling houses older than 1979 have to be licensed and take special precautions when remodeling. This is especially important for you with little ones! mY dh just went through this. Good luck!
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#11 of 14 Old 05-18-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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I'd say get it over with now while your baby is still basting. The weather should be good enough to grill outside and to spend more time outside if it's too noisy in the home. Do you have family/friends nearby where you can go if the noise level starts driving you mad???

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#12 of 14 Old 05-18-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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The house we are living in for the last 7.5 yrs has been an on-going remodel, so the thought of remodeling is not much of a big deal to me. BUT for some reason this pg I am having big issues with any kind of change or rearrangement of things. I just get overwhelmed. If you are not having some kind of weird issue like that, you'll probably manage OK. Remodeling a kitchen is a big deal, but I think if you plan ahead, totally managable.
I woulda say go ahead. A new kitchen sounds lovely!
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#13 of 14 Old 05-19-2010, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thank you for all the thoughtful replies--this really helps my thought process.

Evjolin--thanks for the tips on sealing off the room and the temporary countertops. I definitely don't want the nasty dust and debris in the rest of the house! I do agree that there really is no convenient time, and this is part of what's motivating me to just git 'er done. My oldest will be in school starting in September, but everyone else will be at home with me. So I think unless we delay three or four years, we're just going to have to live with disruptions

Amilia--I hadn't realized the lead abatement applied to places as "new" as 1979! Thanks for alerting me--I'll definitely ask about this.

Protolawyer--We do have some good indoor and outdoor space to devote to makeshift kitchen/eating areas, and I've been brainstorming recipes that work in the toaster oven, on the grill, or on one burner. I'm thinking I can get a garden or utility sink, the type that attaches to the hose, for outside, and we can use the bathtub in our "guest" bathroom for the majority of the dishes. We also have an old wooden bakers rack that can be a temporary counter space. So if I get creative, I'm pretty confident that I can make this much more comfortable for us all.

Terrilein--I do have some friends and family we can impose ourselves on when needed, and I'm actually hoping that we'll have a few people volunteer to bring us meals anyway when the baby is born. We did last time and it was the BEST GIFT EVER!

To QueenofChaos (love your name ), mamakaryn, neonalee, emilyash, and all others who have BTDT or are in the midst, thanks for your perspectives and I wish you godspeed and lovely home makeovers!

Thank you everyone! I shared all the replies with my dh, and I think we're going to dive in and go for it. I suppose it won't be forever, right?

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#14 of 14 Old 09-27-2014, 01:26 AM
 
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Remocdeling kitchen

Remodeling a kitchen is a challenging project but Renovating your kitchen will add ease to your lifestyle and value to your home.I am looking for someone who can do best remodeling with my kitchen.
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