Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

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You've most likely packed up belongings for a move, so you will understand how the first part of this process works: gather as many clean, sturdy boxes as you need. The tricky part of packing is deciding what to box up, what to keep out, and what to take to Goodwill. An average kitchen remodel can last 4-8 weeks. So, you will not have easy access to the stored items for a period of time. You will also need to find a place to store the boxes in your home, or elsewhere.

Consider packing or moving fragile items close to the space being remodeled. This will ensure they do not get dirty or damaged during the project. This includes wall decorations as vibrations during the remodeling process could damage them.

As you pack, there will be a few items you will need to use during the remodeling. Pack these in a separate box or near the top for easier access. Remember to label your boxes.

Don't wait until the last minute to start packing. You will want to finish this before the remodeling starts. If you are using a temporary kitchen, you will need to set this up with all the necessary supplies prior to kicking off the remodel. While unlikely, if your project gets delayed, resist the urge to unpack kitchen items.

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For today’s lifestyle, the kitchen is the hub of family activity. During a kitchen remodel, the lack of a usable kitchen poses many challenges. If you frequently prepare meals in your kitchen, consider setting up a temporary kitchen. While this may not allow you to host a dinner party for 20 people, it will help with daily living and help avoid the need to eat out for the duration of the project.  A few items to consider if you set up a temporary kitchen.

  • Keep critical items accessible. This might include coffee, coffee maker, non-perishable food like soup, meals that work in a microwave, utensils, dish soap and rags, napkins, cereal, and disposable plates & cups, and garbage bags.
  • Water. You will be without your kitchen sink for the duration of the project.  Think about an alternative location to do dishes, get water for coffee, etc.  This could be a sink the laundry room or a bathroom. As an alternative, you can use disposable items and avoid washing dishes.
  • Use small appliances. Microwaves, toasters, small electric grills are very helpful in preparing simple, home-cooked meals.  Like the sink, find a convenient place to set these up. Be aware, the outlets in this area may not be able to handle all these appliances running at the same time.
  • Move your refrigerator. Find a convenient place for your refrigerator. This, combined with the small appliances will facilitate making simple meals and provide a place for snacks. A small, mini-fridge may also be useful.

During a remodeling project, a part of your home is thrown into complete disarray, chaos and clutter increase, household routines are disrupted, and everyday items are packed away. At some point during the remodel, stress levels in the home will increase, leading to arguments or the proverbial “kicking the dog.”

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The best way to handle remodeling stress is to anticipate it and prepare for it.  A few simple suggestions to reduce stress are:

  • As mentioned in a previous post, keep the end in mind. You have undertaken the remodeling project for a variety of reasons.  When it is complete, you will have a wonderful space for your family to enjoy.
  • Ask questions and clarify any issues. Being persistent in getting answers to your questions will reduce stress during the remodel. Leaving issues unaddressed only increases your frustration and may leave a feeling that the work was not done well.
  • Don’t be surprised when arguments occur. Remember the argument is likely due to the disorder in your home and is not personal.  
  • Help your children manage the disruption by engaging them in the planning process. This can help them view the project as an adventure, reducing their stress.
  • Pets are also impacted by remodeling. Like the rest of the family, their routines have been disturbed and a variety of new people are coming/going. A little extra attention will help them cope with the situation.

Cabinet Inspirations & Ideas

Reface or Replace Cabinets?

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As discussed in a previous blog, remodeling a kitchen can be expensive. One alternative is refacing cabinets instead of replacing them. Refacing cabinets can be a viable option, however, there are situations in which refacing cabinets does not makes sense. Let’s look at what refacing is and the advantages/disadvantages of this option.

With cabinet refacing, the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed and replaced with new doors/drawer fronts. The exposed face frames and cabinet ends are covered with material to match the new doors/drawer fronts. New molding is installed to cover any raw edges or exposed areas. Typically, the new finish is painted or stained wood.



The key advantages of cabinet refacing are:

  • Cost – Typically, refacing cabinets will cost less than complete replacement. That said, the difference versus replacing cabinets may not be significant as it involves replacing the most expensive part of the cabinet … the door and drawer front.
  • Time – Refacing cabinets will take less time than removing and replacing cabinets. Most refacing projects take around one week, while replacing cabinets typically takes four weeks.
  • Cleaner – There will usually be less mess/dust with refacing.
  • Convenience – During the cabinet refacing, you will still be able to use your kitchen in the evening.


Disadvantages of refacing cabinets include:

  • Poor kitchen layout – Many remodeling projects are undertaken to improve the functionality or layout of your kitchen. Refacing cabinets will not solve this problem.
  • Tired cabinets – In many cases, the existing cabinets are tired … sagging shelves, falling apart. Refacing will not fix worn out cabinets.
  • Structural issues – There may be structural issues in the home, including floors that have settled, causing problems with the cabinets. Refacing cabinets will not correct these structural issues.
  • Cabinet accessories – Today, there are a growing number of wonderful cabinet accessories to improve the storage, functionality, and design of kitchens and bathrooms. In a refacing project, you will likely be limited in the ability to incorporate these accessories into the existing layout/design.

Refacing cabinets is a good option for some kitchens, however, if any of the above issues exist, examine all the options before making your final decision.

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