I have wanted a kitchen renovation ever since I moved into my house twelve years ago.
However, we kept putting off the kitchen renovation because we had no idea what to expect. My husband had done smaller projects around the house before, but nothing as big as an entire kitchen. We wanted to do the work ourselves in order to save money and to keep the kitchen at least semi-functional at all times. We also ended up renovating during the Covid-19 pandemic, so we also wanted to keep extra people out of our house. It took us several long months, but our kitchen is finally renewed and exactly how we want it.
Here are the things I wish I had known before starting our kitchen renovation.
You will need lots of storage space.
Our cars were kicked out of the garage for the entirety of the kitchen renovation. There was a lot of old stuff coming out of the kitchen and a lot of new stuff, like cabinets, that were waiting in the garage until it was time to install them. I also took over the kids’ playroom to store all of the pots, pans, and storage containers I took out of the kitchen. I had to spread things out enough that I could find various items as I needed to use them- which was an added challenge. I stored food in our downstairs bathroom, where our dog wouldn’t be able to access and eat everything. We ended up moving our refrigerator and an old cabinet into our living room for the duration of the kitchen renovation to maximize renovation space.
Order custom cabinets early.
We ordered custom cabinets. They are gorgeous, well-made, and we were able to pick exactly what we needed for our kitchen. However, it took us a while to decide on our layout and commit to ordering the cabinets. Then, it took the company some time to build the cabinets, as there was a lot of demand during the pandemic. We had some issues with the delivery, so that added even more time to the process. As a result, our kitchen renovation ground to a halt for a time while we waited for the cabinets to arrive. We should have ordered them earlier in the process.
Your entire house will be a mess.
The kitchen renovation seriously affected the rest of my house. I already described how we had pans in the playroom, food in the bathroom, and a refrigerator in the living room. We also had dust that floated seemingly everywhere, despite my husband’s best efforts to contain it. I wiped down the furniture endlessly. There was a constant stream of traffic between the kitchen and the garage, which dragged sawdust all over the entire house. There was so much vacuuming!
In the end, I just had to accept that my house would be somewhat of a disaster for the entire period of the kitchen renovation. I was glad that this happened during the pandemic when I couldn’t invite people over anyway.
Be prepared for unpleasant surprises.
Things will go wrong during a DIY kitchen renovation. That’s just the way it goes. At one point, we had to shut off the hot water until we could get a replacement part to fix what we accidentally broke during the renovation. At another time, I could look through a hole in the kitchen floor into my basement. Unexpected problems like these are fixable, but they will all add time onto your kitchen renovation. If you have a hard deadline, leave more time than you think the renovation project will take. Also, leave a little extra room in your budget to repair these unforeseen issues.