Renovation tips if we are living on-site(47 Posts)
Our building work has finally started but we only got a week’s notice of their arrival so we aren’t v organised. We are doing stuff upstairs and downstairs but we are starting downstairs and hopefully then moving contents of upstairs downstairs before we do upstairs.
We have two DC and both work FT. We will be doing some DIY around the work. We currently still have a sink and a hob but probably not for much longer.
Anyone have any top tips? Microwave meals all the way?
Having just had our kitchen renovated we had a slow cooker, toaster, kettle and microwave in the living room. And bottled water in the fridge. We also used paper plates and cups and plastic cutlery to save lugging stuff upstairs to wash up in the bath. It wasn't as bad as I had expected
You've picked a bad time of year. Washing up in the garden during summer time was very pleasant when we had no kitchen.
Going out to 'supermarket' restaurants (if they are decent) can be a bit of relief otherwise microwave and whatever you have got available.
We’re on week 8 of our extension and are only losing our kitchen this week. I’ve just bought a microwave. Our plan is a weekend away, meals out and microwave meals. It’s completely against my normal food standards but it’s all part of the adventure!
We’re planning on completely renovating soon so following for tips. Ikea do a portable induction hob for £35 but only worth it if you already have an induction or plan on getting one as you need special pans.
We are nearly at the end of living like this, after 4 months...! Best thing I bought was a 2 ring electric hob, can do heaps of meals on it. Microwave, toastie maker also useful. The coffee machine kept me sane - its amazing the difference a good cup of coffee made to my mood! Takeaways more often and easy quick meals like pasta.
See we won’t have a sink downstairs and I can’t bring myself to wash up in the bath where we shower 🤢
Ask me in two weeks as I might change my mind!
We would have loved to have done it in the summer, Outabout, but we are very lucky to have them on-site at all which I will need to remind myself of daily. I'm thinking beans on toast as we have a toaster and microwave. We don't have any local family otherwise we would be descending on them at meal times!
hide your vacuum cleaner in the boot of the car. Don't take it out until the builders have gone. Buy some cheap mugs in different colours, don't wash them up and don't give them extra. Give them a tray with a metal teapot, a box of teabags, and a box of sugar cubes (they will throw granulated on the floor and trample it in) and a value brand kettle and tell them they can make their own. You can wash and replenish the tray once a day when they've gone home if you want. Get cheap plain biscuits and issue one pack a day. Lock your fridge and your biscuit cupboard.
Buy a crate of bog roll and get some cheap towels, preferably black.
If you have a downstairs WC, point it out and say they can use it. Throw in a fresh crate of bog rolls once a week.
We also have no downstairs sink, we use a washing up bowl in the bathroom and empty it into the toilet. Then the bath/shower can be left alone.
Microwave rice is two mins. Add some microwave Daal. Yummy!
Microwave and slow cooker (for soups and stews). If you have or going to buy an electric oven, you can just plug it in and use it too.
Disposable plates and cuttlery also helped reduce the washing required.
Start at the top and work your way down. Roof, rewiring & bathroom first priority. Life is so much easier if you feel clean Been there done that. Don't give in to making nice bedrooms - do the important stuff first. Also if you are living there put a temporary kitchen somewhere - it doesn't have to be the kitchen. Go to b&q and buy 3 cheap base units and a worktop. Then buy a mini oven and/or a microwave and a washing up bowl.
We lived thru a massive load of work in the house.
We basically had 1 bedroom , an ensuite and the lounge for a Majority of the time.
I got quite good at cooking spaghetti Bol and chilli con carne in only a microwave!!
I am bracing myself for a knock-through in a few weeks, useful tips on this thread!
I have collected some gear for a 'field kitchen'. I have an instant pot, a Tillreda plug-in portable induction hob (£35 Ikea, bargain), a kettle, and a microwave. I reckon I can cook quite a lot of different meals in a combination of the three.
We used a George Foreman grill when we had our kitchen in the living room. It made a change from microwaved stuff.
We are on week 9 of a 14 week kitchen extension. The 'kitchen' (a microwave, slow cooker/steamer), kettle and toaster) is in our living room and we wash up in the bathroom.
I would second all the practical suggestions already offered, especially the use of disposable plates/cutlery.
As we no longer had access to our washing machine/drier, we have been using laundrettes. As there are only three of us, including a teenager, this has been manageable. However I have found that prices and machines vary according to area and it pays to shop around. We live in an affluent area of London, which is reflected in the prices. By travelling 10 minutes outside the area, we have found a laundrette that provides much better value for money.
One more thing - and this will depend on you as individuals - we found it quite difficult to adjust to all of this for the first three weeks. We couldn't find things so easily and were constantly improvising. This led to tensions and arguements. We did, however then get used to it and now see it as a form of glamping - but are really looking forward to being able to access a proper kitchen!
Not a good tip, but put as many clothes, bedding, towels etc as possible into vacuum storage bags and try and all live with a capsule wardrobe
The dust gets everywhere
And ideally, masking tape up wardrobes are drawers as much as you can for the clothes that aren’t in storage bags
If you’ve got lovely curtains, take them down and store them, and live with cheap roller blinds or opaque window film
I lived in my house whilst it was being renovated last year - I have no DC. tho and it was still one of the grimmest times of my life - living in a single room that was semi open plan onto a room that was having work done to it. So dusty. So cold (times without heating). No bathroom (did have a downstairs WC).
Showered at work in the morning. At breakfast and lunch at work.
At microwave meals using disposable cutlery in the evening, or ate out, or worked late and ate at work.
I went and ate dinner and watched TV and showered (and put on a load of washing) at friends and family as much as I could. Stayed at with family most weekends.
Oh +1 what @PigletJohn said - hide your vacuum cleaner! hide your ladders, tools, buckets, brush - everything actually otherwise the builders will use it and trash them.
Also +1 for what @sparechange said - casual wardrobe and minimal possessions is the way forward. I only had furniture I was using in the room (bed) and enough clothes to wear on rotation plus my ipad in the house. Everything else in storage. On moving back in - I did Kon Marie and because I had been living without 'stuff' for months it was really easy.
Who needs debrettes etiquett guide when your have @pigletjohn builders etiquette
For what it's worth, granulated sugar on the floor will be the least of your concern.
We started a couple of weeks earlier last year and it was all fine before the knock through after about 6 weeks.
Suddenly they removed the kitchen Windows and landing window on a day when it was -3c overnight temperature, that was the bottom.
Essential for us was a "grill", not one for cooking but it's basically a Clarke brand 2kw quartz infra red heater. It is on a stand and we basically kept it with us and it's like an old fashioned electric fire, heats whatever you point it at, rather than heating the air.
I think it was about 60 quid but we'd have paid 600 by that stage!
Meals, we were only without a kitchen for a couple of days, but after they removed the old kitchen the hob and sink were out for a week, and the kitchen was basically the old units free standing in the middle of the new kitchen. Basically depends what's happening in your works, as our old kitchen was changing to a utility room so it didn't need touching until the new one was built.
Yes, the dust is awful. It will wreck delicate or electronic equipment such as a PC, laptoy or camera, and it will get into drawers and wardrobes.
I usualally suggest bagging everything and putting it in plastic crates with lids. Vacuum bags are a good idea.
the gritty dust will clog and ruin your hoover, so buy a builder's canister vac with a spare cartridge filter and bags (the bags are not essential but they will delay the clogging of the filter). If you can't buy one and get spare bags and filters, don't buy it.
this is a cheap brand but has a 2-year guarantee so if it goes wrong you can take it back. You'll get your money's worth in a building project. On ebay you can buy extra sets of hoses and nozzles (they are the weakest part). The one I show comes on automatically if you plug, say, a sander into it. If you let the builders use it they will break it. Wet and dry vac means it can suck up water and even unblock drains. It can suck up cement dust and pieces of broken brick. You can brush the filter when clogged, and eventually wash it, but have a spare filter so you can swap.
OP I was in Ikea last week and as well as really cheap metal wheeled kitchen furniture they had single portable ceramic hobs for around £30 - id say that’s a no-brainer.
I reckon for a few hundred quid you could set up a temporary ‘field kitchen’ with job, microwave and sink (I think ikea had something really easy but can’t recall)
I’d say dust is your chief hazard
@PigletJohn ooooh yes my dad got me one of those wet and dry builder vacs and it was superb to (try) and keep on top of the dust.
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