Best Practices: Preparing for a Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel

Sanity-saving tips on keeping your cool in the middle of a hot mess

All those horror stories you’ve heard about remodeling your home...well, there’s a reason. Enough so it’s not uncommon for some homeowners to pack up and head for the hills during the process. But if that’s not part of the vision (or budget) - you can survive a home remodel with your sanity intact, all it takes is a little preparation.

HDR Remodeling strives to make your home remodeling project as painless as possible. Here are a few of our sanity-saving tips for keeping your cool – in the middle of a hot mess.


Get in The “Zone” - Bracing for Remodeling Construction

We do our best to minimize the disruptions to your life, but your home becomes a construction zone for several weeks (or months) meaning messy and noisy – with lots of people coming and going.  Here’s a couple of tips for preparing for the Construction Zone – and crazy-free outcomes:

  • Create a “Safe Zone” – Designate a room (or two) to store temporarily displaced items during construction.

    • Pack fragile or precious items – Preserve and protect fine china, lamps, photos, artwork, electronics, etc. and move to the Safe Zone or other safe, temporary location.

    • Move large items – Large furniture, sofas, cabinets, and TV’s should be moved to your Safe Zone, garage, or a portable storage container prior to construction - your furnishings will thank you.

    • Stow valuable items - Whether located in Worker Zones or not, protect yourself from misplacement by stowing all valuable items in a safe and secure location

  • Define “Worker Zone” –  Define where workers are allowed, or not allowed, in your home during construction. We’ll ZipWall these areas off from the rest of the house.

    • Always wear shoes - Our builders do their best to leave your home and property tidy at the end of a work day, but take precautions to protect yourself during construction.

    • No unattended children or pets in the Worker Zone - ever.

  • Define “Time Zone” – Define when workers are allowed to work, or visit, your home before construction commences.

    • Determine whether you want workers on site during the weekends - and only with prior approval.

  • Tell the Kids – If you have children, they’ll be living through this too. HDR Remodeling works with your schedule  to minimize disruptions to family routines, and towards keeping everybody happy - and safe. We ask that unattended children stay out of the Worker Zone at all times.

  • Don’t Forget the Pets – The “Safe Zone” room might work well for your housecat, but cooping a dog up all day is not optimal - for the dog (or workers) – especially one that barks all day. Consider a pet day care center, or pet sitting service - to keep your pooch from losing its marbles too.  Keep your pets safe (and our workers too) by keeping them out of the worksite area at all times.

  • Keep a Positive Attitude - easier said than done, but, this too shall past - and we hope the results delight.

Busting the Dust - Minimizing Dust Exposure During a Home Remodel

Let’s face it, construction is dirty work, but with a little preparation we’ll do our best to keep your home relatively dust-free. Here’s a few of the techniques we employ to minimize dirt and dust during your home remodeling project:

  • Dust barriers and ZipWalls – We’ll install plastic sheeting over construction zones and doorways to minimize dust in non-construction areas.

  • Air scrubbers – Reduces dust pollution by drawing in particulate laden air and ‘scrubbing’ it through a series of filters, before venting outdoors. NOTE: Contractors should NEVER vent dust-laden interior air directly outside without treating it for harmful particulate matter.

  • Power tools with dust extractors – we employ tools with built-in dust extractors to further minimize dust and debris.

  • Sticky mats – at construction zone entries to remove dust from shoes.

  • Floor paper – to protect flooring/carpet to and from a designated exit door.

You Gotta Eat! How to Eat In and Save Money During a Kitchen Remodel

The hub of the home goes away for a few weeks, but, you still have to eat (or at least get your coffee). We recommend remodeling your kitchen during the summer or fall when the weather allows for al fresco cooking AND dining, (but we’re happy to build whatever time of year that best suits your schedule).

Setting up a temporary kitchen in the garage, patio, deck (if not under construction), or even your front porch will help keep you in toaster oven treats and Peets, at the very least, while not breaking the budget on dining out excursions.


Here’s our suggestions on what to do before a kitchen remodel:

  • Pack up your kitchen in advance of the demolition, reserving minimal items for your temporary kitchen.

  • Designate a room with a sink as the temporary “water and wash” station.

  • Set up an outdoor sink and use greywater for non-edibles in your garden.

  • Use your gas grill, dust off that electric skillet or trusty Coleman stove, or get practical with a portable electric stove top. Having an easy, reliable heat source “normalizes” hot meal preparation.

  • Rent a mini-fridge to be used during the kitchen remodel. We’ll be happy to move your fridge to its temporary location before kitchen remodeling commences - and back when we’re done.

  • Repurpose a door blank atop two sawhorses for workable counter space - a least enough for a microwave, electric kettle and a cutting board.

  • Factor in dining out costs in your overall budget, because you will have to eat out occasionally (or a lot).

Much Ado About Your “Daily” – Coping During a Bathroom Remodel

For whole home remodels, we’ll do our best to leave you with one working bathroom (if you have multiples), to minimize disruption to everyone’s grooming habits. However, if you only have one, consider a short-term stay away during the bathroom remodel phase.

If you’ll be staying put, be sure to pack all toiletries while keeping your necessities - toothbrush, shaving gear, make-up and other essentials – easily accessible. You’ll be without water and plumbing for portions of the project. Here are some backup plans for this phase:

  • Ask a neighbor – If you have good neighbors, you might ask to impose on them for a few days. Return the favor and invite them over for a nice meal to help you celebrate when the project is completed.

  • Get a gym membership – Never a bad idea!

  • Check into a hotel or AirBnB – Give yourself a respite from the construction crazy, and enjoy a sane “staycation” nearby.  

Be a Good Neighbor - Communicate with Your Community During a Home Remodel

You’re investing in your home – and community, best to take the long view. Just like kids and pets, anyone living in close proximity will feel the impact of your home remodeling project. We recommend letting your neighbors know:

  • When your home remodeling construction project will begin - and end.

  • What time workers will be on the job - and off.

  • Provide them with the foreman or production manager’s telephone number.

  • If there will be any parking or traffic control issues during construction.

  • What precautions they can take to protect themselves, kids, and pets from increased traffic, noise, and dust.

  • When the housewarming party starts.

Now, you’re all set for a successful - and sane - kitchen and bath remodeling project. Let us help you make your dream home a reality. Schedule your complimentary, in-home consultation with HDR Remodeling today. 510-845-6100.