Getting Started with Kitchen Remodeling
Thinking of remodeling or renovating your kitchen? Here are a few tips for preparation and avoiding common pitfalls.
If you have a large kitchen remodeling project you will need to set up a temporary kitchen a different part of the house. It's important that the location you choose is convenient and have unrestricted access to water and allow you to keep foods refrigerated as well as heat foods up. It's also a good idea to have easy access to portable cooking appliances such as a microwave, electric wok and electric frying pan. Daily life must go on and you don't want to be eating take-out every night or running to the neighbor's house every time you need something from the refrigerator.
Here are the Top 5 Most Common Mistakes in Kitchen Remodeling:
- Damaging the wall as you remove old cabinets
- Damaging bench tops, cabinets or floors you plan to re-use
- Not shutting down utilities before starting your project
- Allowing dust and debris to spread throughout the house
- Not allowing enough time to complete your project
Before You Get Started
- Box and seal everything that will not be used in your temporary kitchen. Label the boxes and store them in a different part of the house.
- Remove anything from the kitchen that isn't nailed or screwed down. This includes drawers, lazy susans, spice racks, wall clocks, art work, ornaments, pots and pans etc. Place a protective cover over anything that must remain in place while you are working.
- Make arrangements for the removal of any rubbish that may accumulate during your remodeling project. If you must rent a dumpster, do so in plenty of time or have a utility on hand for removing the rubbish to the dump. If you plan to salvage the old cabinetry for a workshop or donation to a charitable cause, have a place ready for them to go as you take them out of your work area.
- Before removing any major appliances, turn off all utilities. This can be done at the individual shut off valves for gas and water. If there are no shut off valves, you will have to turn off the main valve. The main gas valve is usually located near the gas meter. Remember that, once you turn off the gas to the whole house, ALL pilot lights will have to be relit before they will work again. Without very careful planning you may well find yourself without hot water when you're ready to clean up after a hard day's work.
- Disconnect fuses or turn off circuits to the area in which you will be working. In older homes, the wiring may have been modified over the years and it may not be clear which circuits or fuses control specific areas. If you are unsure, turn off the main power or get contact an electrician. Never take a chance with electricity! In addition, tape over the breakers so they won't be turned on inadvertently. If you plan on upgrading your electrical system and adding new outlets and fixtures, it will be necessary to dismantle all existing outlets and fixtures.
- Remove all light bulbs. Then, dismantle each fixture by using a screwdriver to unscrew the plate and the receptacle and pull the receptacle out of the box. Put wire nuts on any exposed wires for the interim. The bare copper wire is the ground and does not need to be capped.
Kitchen remodeling can be a rewarding and satisfying experience by planning right and avoiding the pitfalls.
John Mangan is webmaster at Home Improvement Catalog Online
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