by Rachael Boyer
You know that doing a kitchen remodel in Fargo, ND is the best investment you can make in your home.
You also know that a beautifully designed kitchen provides a significantly better living, entertaining, and cooking experience.
Whether you are doing a kitchen remodel in anticipation of selling your home or you just decided that now is the time to have the kitchen of your dreams, you know that it’s going to be a worth it.
The problem is…
A proper kitchen remodel takes time and careful planning to get a return on investment and not pull your hair out during the process.
Having a kitchen that is out of commission during a remodel project can seem daunting, even downright frightening.
It doesn’t have to be that way…
In this post, we’ve put together 7 simple tips to allow you to not just survive the kitchen remodel process – but thrive!
Follow along as we walk through a series of suggestions for embracing the kitchen remodel experience…
…even during a notoriously freezing Fargo, ND winter!
Before the remodel even begins, take the time to interview various contractors and find someone that will work with you to bring your kitchen remodel vision to life.
Make sure that the contractor you choose is licensed, upfront about pricing, provides an actual cost breakdown so you can see exactly where your money is going, and will share with you a calendar or plan of attack for the entirety of the remodel.
Too often there is an ambiguous end date provided for remodel projects, leaving you in the dark as to how exactly the contracting team intends to complete the renovation within that time frame.
Asking for a clear snapshot of the steps of your kitchen remodel is not an overstep – it is a necessity.
When you are living in your home while the renovation work is being done, you need to have an idea as to when certain steps will take place.
For example, if the kitchen cabinet boxes are being refinished and sprayed, you will most likely need a plan to have dinner out that night due to the smell that can be present.
If you are kept in the dark as to when these steps take place, it creates unnecessary stress and scrambling in the moment.
Something to ask contractors during the interview and estimating process is whether or not they use a construction management software that can be shared with you.
Some remodel companies will utilize incredibly useful tools, like these software options, that allow you to communicate with your contractor directly, approve any change orders, see your finish selections, and follow along with a shared calendar.
If a contractor tells you they “have their own process” or that a detailed plan is unnecessary – this should definitely be considered a major red flag.
Nobody likes the feeling of frantically trying to accomplish a task.
Getting your kitchen packed up prior to a remodel will absolutely take longer than you think.
This is not a “I’ll just toss everything in some boxes” type of a situation.
Take this opportunity to organize things into respective boxes – packing away things you know for sure you will want, keeping things you want to sort through in another set of boxes, and setting aside anything you will need for your makeshift kitchen during the remodel.
Because everything is sure to be moved/shifted multiple times, you will want to take care to pack anything fragile carefully.
By setting aside an appropriate window of time for packing, you will alleviate stress and start your remodel off on the right foot.
Do you have a mini fridge or portable stove?
These are two items – along with a toaster oven – you will want to have set aside for your temporary kitchen.
If you don’t have these items already, look into borrowing them from a family member or friend – or consider purchasing them, as these will be your primary appliances for a few weeks.
By planning for this ahead of time, you can borrow or find budget-friendly options and have them set and ready from day one of the renovation.
Set some funds aside for take-out meals or eating out.
When you are craving something you can’t make at home, or just need a change of scenery for a meal, planning out this budget ahead of time will allow you to enjoy these take-out or eat-out options without guilt/stress that you are spending too much on food.
Designate a Remodel Haven for your family.
You will absolutely want, and even need, a remodel haven.
Have a section of your home that is tool-free and untouched by anything dealing with the renovation.
Creating this space will allow you to retreat from the construction chaos and relax – still feeling at home even in the midst of major kitchen remodeling.
Giving yourself and your family a place to take a breath and relax is key to living at home during the process, and provides a sense of normalcy.
Critical to the success of this haven is ensuring everyone on the team is aware that this room is off limits.
No tools, no jackets, no nothing.
By keeping the entire team on the same page, you don’t have to wonder when someone will pop in or whether or not you will come home to a pile of stuff in your designated sanctuary.
Find a spot for your temporary kitchen – in a different room of the house or in your garage.
Part of this remodel-free area should house your mini fridge/coffee maker/portable stove/etc.
Having these items set up and ready to go from day one of the renovation will make the transition from normal kitchen to tiny kitchen as natural as possible.
Whether your morning coffee or nighttime tea is a necessity, having the tools you need to keep up the status quo for these habits will alleviate last-minute panic as to how to make it work.
Knowing ahead of time how much space you’ll have in the fridge, or what meals you’ll be capable of making, will help with planning for stocking your temporary pantry.
We’ve said it over and over again, but it’s just that important – planning before the remodel starts is key!
Not only will you want an area to store and prepare your food, you’ll also want a spot to eat as a family.
Whether you decide to use TV trays or a folding table, make sure there is a comfortable spot for everyone to come together and enjoy each other’s company.
These trays or folding tables can double as food prep space too – giving you a little more flexibility in your temporary kitchen.
Take this space to the next level with little touches of normalcy – like a tablecloth over that folding table or putting your typical centerpiece on whatever surface you are using to eat at.
Soak in the fact that this is your new living space for a handful of weeks, and plan to make it feel as normal and home-y as possible.
With limited storage space for both refrigerated and pantry staples, you’ll want your trips to the grocery store to follow a plan vs. a free for all.
Chances are you will be visiting the store more often, as you won’t be able to bulk-buy produce or other perishables.
Have the family help create this meal plan to make sure everyone is happy with the choices, aim to avoid messy or overly extravagant meals.
Think about what can be done for quick and easy breakfasts and lunches that require little to no prep – and try to buy exactly what you need for each meal as the space to store leftovers will be next to nothing.
Grilling can be a great option in the warmer temps, and you can carry your dining space to the backyard if that option is available to you.
However, remodel projects are not planned around the weather, and for timing or budgeting reasons sometimes these renovations fall in the freezing temps of winter.
Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo just experienced weeks of negative temps, clearly negating the potential for an outdoor barbecue.
This is not a problem – as plenty can be accomplished indoors in a toaster oven and on a portable stove top.
Keeping your temporary kitchen and remodel haven clean will help keep everyone calm.
Clutter and smells will be your worst enemy when confined to smaller spaces.
When you are washing dishes in the bathtub or bathroom sink, there really isn’t an option to leave those dishes until tomorrow.
Cleaning up right after meals will keep your space organized and will also eliminate lingering odors in what will more than likely be a multi-use space.
Putting everything away in a designated place is also key to maintaining sanity, allowing the room to feel bigger than it is.
Make sure you have set aside all necessary cleaning supplies when packing up the kitchen and prepping your temporary spaces, keeping them in an easily accessible spot for any of the quick cleanup jobs you’ll have.
Move back into your remodeled space with just the essentials.
Now that you’ve minimized your kitchen tools, and are creating meals with a pared-back set of options, think about what you truly need for moving back into your remodeled kitchen.
Thanks to giving yourself plenty of time to pack up the kitchen, you can go through those designated boxes and determine what you want to keep and what you can give away.
Are those seven spatulas really necessary?
How often do you actually use two cheese graters?
Moving into a fresh, new kitchen with the essentials will prevent over-cluttering your remodeled space.
Take a page out of Marie Kondo’s #1 New York Times bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and ask yourself, “Does this item spark joy?”
After going through a physical transformation of your kitchen, allow yourself to reevaluate what you use in that space and transform its contents along with everything else.
Just look at this transformation!
Instead of treating your remodel like a dreaded endeavor, look at it as an adventure!
If there are kids involved, frame the experience as an indoor camping trip.
Entering into the remodel process with a positive mindset will work wonders in taking on any hiccups, moving through stress with ease, and truly enjoying the process.
Know and prepare yourself for the fact that some days will be tougher than others, and plan for fun outings/events when those times arise.
Purchase some movie ticket gift cards, go ice skating in the winter or for a day hike in the summer, plan some visits to family or friends – create a safety net of activities before the remodel even starts.
Have an exciting time following along with the process of your kitchen’s transformation from the inside!
You’ll be able to see first hand what the countertops look like when they are installed, watch your appliances be delivered, check out the light fixture from the moment it is hung – etc., etc.
Look forward to each piece of the renovation, and take pictures of the process so you can see the progression from start to transformed.
When you work with a contractor who is transparent about how they operate, and who you can subsequently trust, you are able to embrace the process and love the result.
As you can see, a kitchen remodel doesn’t have to be a painful experience. In fact, it can be quite a wonderful opportunity to bond with your family.
We hope this list provides assistance in planning your kitchen renovation, and reassurance that the process can truly be an enjoyable one!
Are you ready to get started with your kitchen remodel and you’re in the Fargo, ND or West Fargo, ND area?
Click the link below to fill out our kitchen remodel form, and we will get back to you within 24 hours to start planning your dream kitchen.