Lessons Learned In The Kitchen (Remodel That Is)

One of the joys of home ownership for me is getting to do things my way and getting to say that I did it myself.  Generally, I stick to smaller projects like painting or installing light fixtures.  I have learned a lot over the last few days as we embarked on installing a new tile floor as step one of my mini kitchen remodel.  Before you start your own project, you might want to take a look and learn from my mistakes and successes.

  1. It pays to comparison shop.  I know this should go without saying, but it is easy to forget.  I found that Lowe’s and Home Depot can have huge price differences.  The starter kit for the tools we are using was $10 less at Home Depot and the counter tops we were looking at were $50 less at Home Depot (that is a project yet to come).
  2. Get a second opinion, or a third, or fourth when making plans.  Talk to the people that work with the materials each day.  I was really disappointed that Lowe’s did not have anyone working in their flooring department when we went for assistance.  There was a guy that knew enough to steer me away from the slate floor I initially liked which was helpful.  The attendant at Home Depot was able to convince Larry that his vision for the tile would not look right-sometimes just hearing it from someone else makes all the difference.
  3. Talk to your friends!  One of my buddies at work has a tile cutter-who knew!?  This should make one of the parts of the job we were dreading a lot easier.
  4. Never take for granted that previous home owners have any sense at all; our previous tile was laid over linoleum which was glued to the original hardwood.  Scraping was a lot of fun.
  5. Invest in safety equipment.  Rolled towels are not as good as knee pads.  Wearing an ugly mask is a lot better than turning your snot black.  Eye goggles are good, especially when your significant other gets angry and starts beating the hell out of the old grout.
  6. Cover doorways/close off the rest of the house.  The amount of dust that comes with removing layers of flooring is insane.  I will have to do a major cleaning following the completion of the project.
  7. Charge equipment beforehand and keep chargers handy.  Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait for the drill to charge before you can go onto another step.
  8. Plan ahead for meals and other necessities.  Just dragging out the refrigerator is not enough.  This morning, I had to go to the store and buy Lunchables because I forgot to get baggies out to pack lunches.  Yeah, I rock.
  9. If possible, work on warm, pretty days.  If you can just put the dogs in the backyard and leave them, life is so much easier.  Mine go in and out through the kitchen usually and are not happy campers at the moment.
  10. No project is ever as easy as it seems.  Just changing one thing creates a domino effect; first the floor, then the counters, then the walls, and the accessories….

I am sure there is a lot that I still have to learn, but we have just gotten started and I already have a new respect for construction professionals.  I love that we are saving money doing it ourselves and knowing that we did it ourselves.  I cannot wait to see the finished result (I hope to post before and after pictures soon) and move onto the next project.  Hopefully, this floor will last us a long time and the next tiling project (the bathroom) can be done by a professional!


1 Response to “Lessons Learned In The Kitchen (Remodel That Is)”

  1. March 29, 2013 at 2:10 am

    nice. I waiting for further info on kitchen remodeling

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