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Anyone got any tips on how to survive without a kitchen for 6 weeks. Or possibly more ...

(29 Posts)
spicemonster Tue 30-Jun-09 21:59:05

I live in a basement flat and I've finally bitten the bullet re getting the damp seen to. Unfortunately it means ripping out the whole kitchen (and most of my bedroom), tanking all the walls and then putting a new kitchen in. It will take 3 weeks drying time after the tanking's complete before my builder can install the new kitchen.

I've considered renting but there's a one bedroom flat up the road available for a short term let and it's £500 a week shock. So that's out. So any tips? I can move the fridge freezer into the hallway I guess, go to the laundrette and cook using a microwave but should I get a camping cooker or something? And will that mean no water or what? I have a feeling the mains turns off under the kitchen sink ...

Any tips/advice/sympathy gratefully received. I'm dreading it!

IlanaK Tue 30-Jun-09 22:01:54

If you will have access to a microwave and freezer then I would batch cook lots of dinners that can them be frozen and warmed in the microwave.

cazzybabs Tue 30-Jun-09 22:03:04

we mananged it .. we bought a 2nd hand baby belling oven and washed up in the bathroom

CMOTdibbler Tue 30-Jun-09 22:07:43

I'd get a camping stove so that you can cook things like pasta and rice - try asking on Freecycle for one.

Your builder will sort out the water supply.

Can you arrange to stay with family or friends at the weekends so that its a bit less grim ?

spicemonster Tue 30-Jun-09 22:16:11

Good idea re batch cooking and also the camping stove - I might be able to borrow one actually from camping friends. We are going away for a couple of weeks but will be here for about 4-5 weeks of it but yes, will try and go away at weekends. My mum normally comes to look after my DS on Fridays but perhaps we'll go to her instead. Actually we can probably do our washing at her house - sure she wouldn't mind.

Has anyone got any tips on covering up furniture too? I have an enormous double wardrobe and two chests of drawers in the bedroom (not to mention the bed)- how do I stop everything getting covered in dust? I have nowhere else to put all the furniture - can move it out of the way but will I have to empty all my clothes out or would covering everything in huge plastic sheets protect them?

trixymalixy Tue 30-Jun-09 22:21:25

camping stove and a combi microwave and you'll be fine.

oh and the local pizza place on speed dial!

The dust will be hellish, sorry !

forkhandles Tue 30-Jun-09 22:24:49

we borrowed a camping stove and it was great, we set it up in the hall way on the kids little tabel. We moved the microwave, kettle and toaster in to the sitting room. The builders left the tap in the kitchen (like a kind of stand pipe) right til the last minute and also left the washing mashine as long as possible.

We weren't very successful in covering stuff up and I'm still finding bits that have got dust on them 5mths later. Maybe you could go through your clothes and just leave out the essential stuff and put the rest in plastic bags. We just threw loads of dust sheets down but they do bugger all really

cece Tue 30-Jun-09 22:28:55

We are just about to have our kitchen taken out too.

I will be using;
George Foreman Grill
Slow cooker
Rice cooker
BBQ in the garden

genieg Tue 30-Jun-09 22:34:00

Get yourself a delivery from (or something) lovely ready meals for when any batch cooking you've done runs out. Choose the microwavable ones like curry, cook rice in the rice cooker - hearty, home-cooked-style meals, hardly any washing up and great for days when you're busy and can't be faffed with bbq, slow cooker etc and preparation without all your gear but are tired of takeaway. Portions def a decent size.

Sound like I work for them but even now a year after our bathroom fell into our kitchen its still my guilty treat.

Pannacotta Tue 30-Jun-09 23:00:46

Can I ask what sort of tanking you are doing?
Are you putting a render on the walls?

I ask as we had problems with damp in our basement and we had lots of damp specialists round, and some very large quotes to sort it out. In teh end it turns out that the damp was caused by rainwater leaking from a smashed rainwater gulley.
But a few of them did say that SIKA render is not foolproof as it often cracks when the building moves and as soon as it cracks the tanking effect is lost.

ilovesprouts Tue 30-Jun-09 23:07:33

hi iknow how u feel ,im just having our kitchen/bathroom done its hell with all the dust etc wink

Doozle Tue 30-Jun-09 23:08:38

Agree with a lot of what's been said.

I wouldn't bother cooking too much because you'll just end washing up loads of dishes in the bathroom sink - not ideal.

Batch cooking and freezing is very good idea. We lived on a lot of shop-bought microwave meals and got very sick of them after 2.5 months.!

Get lots of invites round to your friends' houses for dinner. They'll understand and you can return the favour later.

Oh and we were never without water for very long, they always put it back on in the evenings without fail.

Horton Tue 30-Jun-09 23:11:50

You can cook loads of things in an electric frying pan, including roast chicken and cakes and all kinds of things that sound really unlikely. My mum cooked for all of us on one when we moved into a wreck of a house without a kitchen. And this was pre-microwave era. Good luck!

stealthsquiggle Tue 30-Jun-09 23:22:10

Microwave. Borrowed camping cooker or [[ equiv]]. Mains water shouldn't have to be off for long at a time (should be hours, not days).

Self-storage (Big Yellow Storage Company et al) have good short-term deals so that you can stack anything you absolutely don't need out of the way (and out of range of the inevitable monstrous amounts of dust)

Freecycle is your friend for camping cooker/baby belling/electric ring

stealthsquiggle Tue 30-Jun-09 23:22:47

bother. link again

CMOTdibbler Wed 01-Jul-09 08:41:53

Another thing that may make life a lot better would be a Remoska. You can do pizza, bakes, cakes, baked potatos etc in it.

I'd hire a self storage unit like Big Yellow (or which ever self access is nearest you) and move absolutely everything you can out to that. When we had the plaster off in our old house it was all just thick with dust through the house. Then you can go there if you need stuff out, but it will all stay clean. Take the clothes you don't need for a week to your mum.

Then with your lovely de cluttered flat, invite everyone you know round for a painting party once all the work is done and you'll be able to get round all the walls easily

Gipfeli Wed 01-Jul-09 08:49:17

We've bought one of these for the next few weeks/months when our kitchen will be out of action ikea hob

I would think that if the furniture was completely covered in plastic sheets with no gaps at all your clothes would be ok, but the dust is horrifc and it will go everywhere. I'm still finding building dust on items one floor up from where our bathroom was renovated last year.

jeanjeannie Wed 01-Jul-09 09:22:10

We did it for 4 months....I was preggie and had a 1yr old - it was awful but this is what we did

Moved fridge to a space we had available.
Used the microwave
Got a 2 ring camp stove with grill
Got a steamer - great for non-brainer veg!
Batch made loads of food in advance
Ate lots off paper plates
Washed up in the bath and made a drainer with looked daft but kept stuff out of the way!
Oh and we had a slow cooker too.

Good luck and enjoy smile

fizzpops Wed 01-Jul-09 09:32:13

If it is warm can you do loads of salad type stuff with cold quiche etc.

We have had kitchen issues on and off as we moved into a place with no cooker - then had a spell when our kitchen was ripped out when we washed up in the bathroom and only had fridge freezer and microwave.

We had one of those two ring mini electric hobs so did pasta, rice and stirfry, omlettes (with chips from the chippy) - anything really that you would cook on the hob. We also have a steamer so could steam fish. The batch cooking is a good idea too.

Does get boring and frustrating not to mention untidy - it all becomes worth it for the peace of mind and makes you appreciate your new kitchen all the more.

spicemonster Wed 01-Jul-09 10:08:31

Thanks for all the suggestions - very helpful. Yes I think taking stuff to a self-storage place is going to have to be done. I don't suppose it will make any difference to the dust levels if I shut doors will it? <clutching at straws>

CMOTdibbler Wed 01-Jul-09 10:43:52

We shut doors, the guys hung plastic in front of them, and still it got very dusty. it seems to hang in the air as it goes on for weeks. Sorry

spicemonster Wed 01-Jul-09 10:51:17

Pannacotta - I think it is a sika render they're doing unfortunately. Is there any other kind? It is guaranteed for 30 years though.

CMOT - you reminded me: I had a new bathroom fitted in a previous place and had forgotten about that fine dust that seems to permeate everything for ever ...

Urgh - this whole thing is such a colossal pain in the bum. I know it will be good afterwards but it's just getting through the pain barrier!

Pannacotta Wed 01-Jul-09 13:42:59

Not sure is there is another kind.
Its just from my research I found out that the render can crack quite easily eg from tiny amount of movement within a building, also you cant put anything in the walls such as screws/picture hooks etc.
30 yrs is a good guarantee, it's just that if it fails you'd have to do teh same thing again...
Sorry not meaning to be the voice of gloom, just thought it might be worth checking this with the builder before he starts.

I think the best way to tank a basement now is to use some kind of membrane on the walls and add sump pumps but this is quite £££.
Soem details here

stealthsquiggle Wed 01-Jul-09 14:33:38

If it makes you feel any better (I doubt it will, really), we had the beams sandblasted (as well as plaster stripped, etc, etc) when we had our kitchen done - we had about an inch of sand in the bedroom above the kitchen shock and sand in everything for weeks afterwards, inspite of the contractor sealing all doors etc very efficiently. It was as if we had taken the entire house to the beach grin

spicemonster Wed 01-Jul-09 15:25:58

It's slightly encouraging to know it could be worse stealth

Pannacotta - think we're going to have to live with it - that pump thing looks very expensive and we're already in shock at the cost of everything. The whole house isn't underground anyway - just the front of it. And I'm not planning on staying here forever so if it all goes wrong in ten years' time (which I sincerely hope it won't), it will be someone else's problem to sort out

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