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Surviving the kitchen re-fit!

(30 Posts)
OutIntoTheBlue Thu 13-Feb-14 13:55:17

Does anyone have any practical tips for surviving a kitchen re-fit? As in, the period when you're going to be left with no working kitchen while the old one is ripped out, and before the new one is put in? We're having a small extension, and knocking through the dining room into the kitchen, so de-camping into there with a microwave and a kettle is an option only until they knock the wall down. The thought of washing the pots in the bath and 4 of us living on ding-meals for weeks is making me reach for the vino and the building work hasn't started yet!

So any practical tips or microwave/slow-cooker recipes gratefully received!

Misty9 Thu 13-Feb-14 14:15:27

My friend and her family are going through this exact thing at the moment...and hating it. She's decamped to her parents with the toddler for the week to escape it for a while. Other than that, utilise friends with dishwashers (!) and stock up on vino grin

Lagoonablue Thu 13-Feb-14 14:16:43

I dread this. When we get round to it I think I will just go away and leave the fitters the keys for a week.

Lagoonablue Thu 13-Feb-14 14:18:25

Actually how many days will you be with out a kitchen? Can you plan how you will do it? Take away one night, slow cooker meal the next, out for tea at weekend? Stock up on frozen home made meals before it happens. Use paper plates?

MrsPnut Thu 13-Feb-14 14:21:23

We had a separate utility room so managed to decamp into there but I made quite a few meals in advance and froze them so they only had to be reheated in the microwave. I also used frozen mash, packs of steam fresh veg and pouches of rice as accompaniments.

We were without a kitchen for the week, and I think we had 1 takeaway in that time. The washing up will be the worst bit, at least we had a sink in the utility.

Misty9 Thu 13-Feb-14 14:21:36

Our friends will be without their kitchen for 4-6 weeks.... shock we will invite them round for dinner soon and have encouraged them to use ours as theirs smile

littleredsquirrel Thu 13-Feb-14 14:22:13

We will be doing this in three weeks' time but are lucky in that our utility room is quite big and has a sink in it so I'm clearing out the utility cupboards and we'll camp in there. Lots of meals ready in the freezer waiting to be microwaved, slow cooker at the ready and then a fair bit of takeaway/eating out I think. Fortunately the kids have cooked meals at school and so we should be fine but I'm not looking forward to it. I also work at home which will make life interesting….

lakeland do a worktop cooker thing that I've seen others on here talk about. Will look it up.

EduCated Thu 13-Feb-14 14:26:23

Google microwave recipes, you actually get quite creative when you need to. You can easily cook pasta in them, for example, and fresh veg. Cous Cous is also nice and easy.

Will you still have access to a freezer? If so, you can start cooking up batches of bolognese and casserole and things to just heat back up.

Misty9 Thu 13-Feb-14 14:28:42

Forgot to say my friend has bought a stove top cooker type thing not sure she's used it yet though she said it's the constant going upstairs for water which is the biggest pain, so is trying to get a massive container of water to keep downstairs.

MummytoMog Thu 13-Feb-14 15:17:10

Washing up is the big problem? Er no. We're washing up in a bucket, which we have to fill in our loft conversion en suite. That's not the problem, it's only once a day really. The problem is that all the water has to be brought down from there (buy a six pack of mineral water and keep refilling) and we go through a lot of water.

We bought the island a bit early for our kitchen, shoved it in the dining room with the microwave, kettle and toaster on it and set the fridge up next to it. Have a big cupboard which we're using as a pantry. We mostly cook using the slow cooker anyway, but we've been like this for a month and no sign of the builders finishing our extension any time soon. I hate builders. I hate new kitchens. I hate everything right now. Luckily morning sickness means that I don't want to eat anything but rice krispies.

We put most of our kitchen into storage. I think it was about �100 for eight weeks for quite a big room into which we packed all of our kitchen equipment, the furniture from the dining room, some of the kids toys (no room) and the big pushchair (which used to live in the hall but was in the way of the builders). It's been well worth it and we only kept out what we really felt we needed.

EduCated Thu 13-Feb-14 18:53:44

Oh yeah, if you can, try and get one of the old units out in tact and set it up in another room. Useful to have a cupboard to keep the bits you'll need in, and to have a work top to use.

MrsAMerrick Thu 13-Feb-14 19:14:38

We were without a working kitchen for 3 weeks, although the last week of that we did have the oven installed, but no hob.

I bought a very cheap (£25) 2 ring electric hob, and that together with a fridge for £10 from the paper, plus our ancient microwave, kept us going. We have a freezer in our garage which I stocked up with lots of stuff like bolognese, chicken tagines etc. Uncle Ben's express rice came into it's own! Plus we used the bbq on the patio to cook grilled chicken, sausages etc. . I don't think we ended up having a single takeaway.

Once we lost the dishwasher I packed away all crockery, cutlery etc and just left out 4 plates, mugs, bowls etc. This made sure that everything was washed up (in utility room) as soon as it was used, which helped.

Good luck!

poocatcherchampion Thu 13-Feb-14 20:58:18

we are doing this next week. will be washing up I'm utility room once a day (only as the only access is through the kitchen), we will be using a spare bedroom as kitchen, dining and sitting room with microwave, kettle and toaster. luckily we have a couple of upstairs bathrooms so no water problems.

we are having our sitting room diner with separate kitchen made into a kitchen diner with sep sitting room. should have the kitchen diner after a week (can't afford to replace the kitchen yet) but will be finishing off the sitting room for a good few weeks months

I can't wait.

I'm expecting to use a lot of fuel to drive the babies to sleep and I know it will be disruptive, but it will be SO COOL after!

OutIntoTheBlue Thu 13-Feb-14 21:01:43

Thanks everyone. I've just remembered we have a single gas ring that we used camping, I'll dig that out of the garage and buy some canisters. The builder is a bit vague about when we'll be without the kitchen, but has warned it'll be 2-3 weeks shock
We are going away for a few days at Easter, was hoping that would coincide with one of those weeks but with building starting next week I don't think it'll take that long. I'll restrain us to one cup, plate, bowl each and get the rest packed away, prop up the camping table/rescue one of the cupboards before it hits the skip. I'm going to have to have a serious de-clutter I think! Oh, and rig a hosepipe from the bathroom (^jokes^)

OutIntoTheBlue Thu 13-Feb-14 21:07:36

Might have to move the fridge and freezer into the hall (garage being divided in half to give us a utility room). That'll work, right? I can get used to squeezing through.
I can't wait for the end result, but hell, I'm dreading the getting-it-done bit. Also going to stock up on hoover bags and wipes for the aftermath of builders mess wink

msrisotto Thu 13-Feb-14 21:11:12

I have no kitchen right now for the same reason. In my living room is the microwave, kettle, toaster, crockery and cutlery. It is fine. Prepare some freezer meals - lasagnes, pasta sauces etc. You can microwave cook pasta and rice, reheat sauces etc. Even frozen veg is good cooked from the microwave.

strongblackcoffee Thu 13-Feb-14 21:12:11

Our old lean to kitchen was demolished at the end if November. New kitchen should be in by mid March... there has been done building work to do in the middle... We are surviving (not brilliant, but ok) with microwave and 2 ring camping stove in the dining room (we have the 'kitchen' on its own trestle table) and carrying washing up to the bath. Lots of ready meals, things that don't need much cooking, and a Friday treat of hot cooked pizzas from Sainsbury - best discovery ever!! It's not as bad as you think - good luck smile

girloutofglasgow Thu 13-Feb-14 22:22:39

This was us just five months ago and we didn't even have a microwave! Yes, had fridge in hall and table, toaster, kettle etc in sitting room. Invited round to friends couple of times.
Fair few pub meals and fish and chip takeaways (DH won't eat onions during the week so no Indian/Chinese meals) Towards the end of the four weeks our fitter appeared with a one-ring cooker he'd been given. We didn't actually get round to using it.
The trickiest thing was the washing up. We'd refurbished the bathrooms the year before and didn't want to ruin them so ended up using the outside tap and washing up in the garden. As everyone says it's like labour, once all the aggro is over, you can breathe again and enjoy the gorgeous new addition in your life.
Good idea about the wipes etc - no-one mentions the dust and how it lingers...still...five months on.
Hope it goes well!

mabelbabel Thu 13-Feb-14 22:52:52

A slow cooker is useful, camping stove (as you've discovered), supermarket cafes have their uses! And there's loads of useful quick-cook stuff in the supermarket that you probably never normally look for! Don't overlook toasted cheese sandwiches as a meal option!

redshoespurplehat Fri 14-Feb-14 08:56:01

the place my friend bought her kitchen from lent her a 2 ring plug in hob and oven combo for when the fitting was going on. was a nice thing to do. think more companies should be that thoughtful.

OutIntoTheBlue Fri 14-Feb-14 09:53:33

Ha, girloutofglasgow there's certainly enough water in our garden at the moment to wash pots in, just a bit muddy! And ee should have done this in the summer and then we could have used the BBQ. Oh well, next time

Dontwanttooutmyself Fri 14-Feb-14 15:27:58

Yes, but outintotheblue if you had waited till summer you would not be looking forward to enjoying this summer with a shiny new kitchen. We are in the same position, but with a newborn thrown in for good measure! Builder is doing the new utility first (in fact, he is literally drilling in there as I tap) so we will have a sink. And he's lending us a mini oven hob combo thing (available on ebay for £30 or new from £80), so with that and e slow cooker, I hope we'll survive. My old kitchen is now so grim (I have been expecting it to be ripped out "next week" since early November, so haven't cleaned it properly since then...) that I can't wait for it to go, to be honest. And our freezer is full to overflowing with pre-cooked meals!

PrimalLass Fri 14-Feb-14 15:44:19

Try and do as much batch cooking as you can now, and fill the freezer..
You can do pasta and rice in the micro - a micro rice cooker is a good investment.
Set up as much of a 'kitchen' as you can.
Steam in the bag veggies.

Dontwanttooutmyself Fri 14-Feb-14 16:55:04

I was also told to get clear plastic storage boxes for the rest of your kitchen, so that when you decide you really need that dish, you can find it relatively easily.

KristinaM Fri 14-Feb-14 17:06:33

We had no kitchen for 3 months with children of 1, 3 and 7 . November to February

We took out several of the old units intact, including the sink and the hob. We used the room next door to the existing kitchen and plumbed into the cold water supply and waste through a pipe chase, so we had a sink with waste and cold water. The unit with the hob was wired into a normal socket , but with just two rings ( so it didnt overload the socket).

So we had a fridge and freezer, 2 rings , sink with cold water as well as microwave and kettle of course. So we managed fine. No take aways required. Although Christmas dinner was a a little tricky .

Do not believe any estimate your builder has given you about how long it will take. It always takes longer.

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