Our DIY diva Cara Wilkerson has finally finished her kitchen remodel! Today, she’s giving us a few tips on what to expect when you’re expecting…to begin a kitchen remodel, that is. Follow her story from the beginning by reading her At Home guest blog series here. I do realize that most people aren’t my type of crazy. The type of crazy who not only dive into a kitchen remodel, but the lovely sort who keep it going for nearly a year. From ripping out 1960s appliances to re-facing cabinet doors, installing new countertops to tiling the floor, my do-it-yourself kitchen overhaul has been a work in progress to say the least. Now that I’m finally wrapping up this corner of my construction site, I must admit that I’ve become quite the survivalist at living without one of the the key rooms in any house. However, throughout my year-long kitchen drab-to-fab journey, I’ve learned quite a few lessons that how-to blogs and step-by-step guides failed to relay. Let’s take a look at a few of the life lessons that no one bothers to tell you about a kitchen remodel.
Learn to love eating out. Sure, we all love a good dinner out. Someone else does the cooking, there aren’t any silly dishes to fool with…what’s not to like? But to survive a complete kitchen overhaul, you must learn to really LOVE eating out. Whether it be at restaurants or the homes of friends & family, the depths of a kitchen remodel boil down to one of two things: eating out or cold sandwiches. Demo is a dirty little word. Day one of demo is a blast! Progress has officially begun and you are on your way to a shiny new kitchen…then you encounter the wait time for your pretty cabinets & countertops to arrive. Weeks go by and you’re stuck staring at exposed pipes and scary wires protruding from the walls. Full freak out mode sets in. How on earth is all of this going to be put back together? What have I done?! Deep breaths,my friend. Those dark, cabinet-less weeks too shall pass and suddenly miracles start happening. Countertops are in, appliances arrive and your new kitchen is coming together faster than you can keep up with. Be smart with your decisions. Every wise homeowner knows that before you dive into a major project, you set your budget (with overestimates for those pesky little “oopsies!”) and work your darndest to stick to it. Let’s take that penny pincher mentality one step further. With big checks written left and right, pick cabinets, countertops & fixtures that you love, but also make sure you (and future buyers) will love them 10 years down the road. It’s okay to be afraid of your new kitchen. Once my kitchen was finally finished, I was terrified to use it. I would walk around petting my new quartz countertops and peek around the kitchen door to admire the transformation, but it was a solid couple of weeks before I dared cooked a full-on meal in my new kitchen. Grease on my oven? Splatters on my new tile backsplash? I think not! Needless to say, I soon took my kitchen off of its pedestal and we’ve been cooking away ever since, but don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back for making your dream kitchen a reality.