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Eight tips for keeping your kitchen remodel on schedule

(Public Domain Photo)

If you’ve ever done a major kitchen remodel, you probably have frightening memories of cooking dinner in a microwave in your garage and keeping your refrigerator in the family room.

It was fun for a while, but then it started to get monotonous and messy.

It doesn’t seem it will take all that long when you start out, but after alternating Stouffer’s lasagna and Marie Calendar’s frozen pot pies at home while making occasional trips to McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A, you keep wishing that you hadn’t decided to renovate and you wonder how you can stop the whole thing.

And you promise yourself you’ll never do it again as long as you live.

In part, that’s probably because it takes longer to remodel than you think it will and longer than the contractor promised.

But there are things you can do to keep your project on track and moving along speedily if you’re careful. The following common sense rules can generally keep your project from turning into a swamp of sticky delays:

1. Be sure your remodeler gives you a complete plan of action in advance with details on what will happen at what times during the project. We recommend you establish a fixed time once a week to meet your contractor to discuss what got done last week, what will get done next week.

This regular meeting goes a long way in keeping the job on schedule and making sure everyone has all the information they need to keep it moving.

2. Do not let the contractor start work – not even demolition — until all materials are delivered. That means doors, windows, cabinets, faucets, toilets, tile and countertops, bathtubs – whatever your job needs.

3. Before work starts, make sure that you or the contractor has pulled all the necessary permits needed for your job, including changes in plumbing, heating and electrical work.

4. Remember: If you change your mind about some part of the project or add onto it, you will suffer the consequences in delaying the job or paying extra for the project. With multiple changes, such as ripping down another wall or moving the sinks and plumbing, there might be delays that will ruin the entire schedule set out in the beginning.

5. Get your contractor to help you set up a temporary kitchen – maybe in a laundry room or a garage. Hopefully, it’s an area with an accessible sink.

It’s also possible that you might have to temporarily move in with Grandma or a neighbor or a motel for a little while.

6. Pets are often a problem, so sequester them or move them to a friend’s house. Keep children out of work areas especially when workers are on the scene.

7. If you want some relative or friend to help out with your renovation, possibly to save money, it could mean trouble. It might be hard to get that friend or relative on the job at the right time and to provide the quality you deserve and are paying for.

Also keep in mind that the contractor has no warranty responsibility for labor or the materials you or your relative or friend may provide.

8. If you elect to have work done while you are away, make sure your contractor is experienced in the technology to keep you up to date with progress and questions. This is fairly common with winter visitors who don’t want their stay interrupted by construction.

Make sure your contractor is prepared and experienced in doing work under these circumstances. There is nothing worse than showing up when the job is complete to find out you hate the cabinets or counter tops.

All of the above are good rules that make a lot of sense. You’ll probably violate some of them now and then, but the closer you come to sticking to this plan, the faster and speedier your remodel will go.

For more homeowner advice, DIY tips and videos, and information about all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

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