Kitchen Workbook: 4 Prep Measures for Building
There are two actions that come to mind as being the most important in getting ready for a construction project: Avoid prepare and denial. Everything you have to do falls under one of these two categories. But how, specifically, can you prepare for the first day of building? Here are the basic steps.
Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab
1. Create a listing of all the items you will need to have onsite when building begins. Have you ordered the sink and faucet? Do you have your appliance delivery scheduled? The reason for this is that after work begins, life gets a bit more chaotic — OK, a whole lot more chaotic. Matters like ordering a sink will slip through your fingers, and you will end up scrambling when the contractor asks for something.
Fantastic Rooms Designers & Builders
2. Establish expectations with contractor. This is not just about telling the contractor what you expect, this can also be about the contractor along with other professionals letting you know what are realistic expectations. This will make for a happier customer and a more agreeable process overall.
As the homeowner, you truly have any control over the schedule. Taking too much time to finalize decisions could cause significant delays. Below are some things to consider and talk with your contractor:
• Just how long will the overall construction last?
• Ask your contractor what you can do in order to guard against flaws. Oftentimes this means having all the item onsite and not designing in the field and creating changes.
• Discuss pest management. How will the building be sectioned off from the rest of the house?
• Discuss debris removal. Are you getting a Dumpster, or can debris be stowed in the garage and removed in phases?
• What areas can the crew use? What will be the staging area for resources, cutting tile and wood? What bathroom facilities will be available?
• Which are the cleanup expectations? Some contractors clean up in the end of each day, but others don’t. Communicate what you want, but realize that certain requests may mean more cost effective.
• When will you have to be from the house for refinishing of floors? And for how long? What products will be used? Do they meet your expectations of low-VOC emissions?
• What hours would be OK for the crew to get the job done? Can they operate Saturdays? Arrange for items like keys and alarm codes.
Don’t forget to be wonderful to your neighbors and inform the contractor to perform the same. Allow the neighbors know you are starting a building project and that there will be crews around. Tell them to let you know whether they have issues. Noise, debris and obstructing the road with deliveries are often issues that come up with neighbors.
Set up a recurring weekly construction meeting to touch base with your contractors and other pros. You may not need it each week, but at least it’s on the schedule if you happen to do.
3. Empty out your own cabinets. So you’ve taken care of business, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Rather than stressing this, look at it as an opportunity to do some serious spring cleaning. Instead of throwing everything in a bunch of boxes and deferring the editing procedure to the end, do it now to create moving back into that much more fun. However, if you’ve got too much on your plate to deal with this now, it can always be done later.
Place each of the items you won’t need for a couple months into boxes — or better still, big plastic bins with lids to protect the contents from dirt and dust. Separate what you’ll want to use in your temporary kitchen: legumes, coffee mugs, food you will actually consume and also some wineglasses so you don’t feel like you’re really depriving yourself. Who says you have to drink from plastic cups the entire time?
Kathy Ann Abell Interiors
4. Set up a temporary kitchen. The more organized and more prepared you are in this area, the happier you will be. A half-hearted endeavor at a temporary kitchen is not advised. Even if you don’t have kids and plan to eat out each night, you will need somewhere to create a cup of coffee or a snack.
I think two tables are perfect, and if you have the room, two tables in addition to the kitchen table for seating. If you don’t have an old table, pick up a couple of folding tables 24 or 30 inches deep by whatever length you can match (maybe not the 48-inch square ones, which are too deep to use as countertops). If you are using a table in the house, receive a plastic-coated tablecloth to protect it.
Think about setting up your temporary kitchen exactly the way you would a true kitchen, in stations:
establish a channel for cooking and prep. Contain a microwave, a toaster oven, and also a hot plate if that’s something that you’ll use. Also have out a big cutting board for making sandwiches and cutting fruit.
Have the contractor set up your old fridge at the temporary kitchen area.Store food in big, clear plastic bins with lids beneath the table.
Set out an area for paper plates, napkins and utensils. Think of your temporary kitchen like a campsite or an outside picnic or party spot. The nicer and more organized it is, the happier and calmer you’ll feel during construction. Next: 8 Steps to Surviving a Kitchen Remodel