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Prepare for a Kitchen Remodel

Before starting your kitchen renovation, discuss your plans with a local building inspection department, obtain all the necessary permits, understand and follow relevant building codes and schedule the required inspections. Obviously, you should allow ample time for kitchen renovation. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to move too fast, sacrificing safety and risking exhaustion.

prepare for a kitchen remodel

Before You Begin

1. Protect what you’re keeping, whether floors cabinets, appliances or fixtures.

2. Seal off the kitchen from the rest of the house to minimize dust and dirt in other areas.

3. Rent and schedule the delivery of a dumpster for non-salvageable items.

4. Make arrangements with Habitat for Humanity or another charity to haul off usable construction goods, cabinets, fixtures, hardware or appliances following the demolition. Your donation may qualify for a tax write off, so keep your documentation.

5. Pull a linoleum sample to test for asbestos. If it tests positive, make arrangements with an abatement team for floor removal. If it’s negative, you may safely remove the floor yourself.

Good to Know

If you are working with the help of a family member or friend, you may want to trade demolition and clean up responsibilities to keep your site clean and safe as you go. If you are working alone, clean up often to reduce hazards in the area.

Prepare Your Kitchen in 10-Steps

Work backwards from the way the kitchen was originally built to make removal easier. This is always the fastest way to strip out the kitchen while minimizing damage to fixtures, counters and cabinets intended for reuse or recycle.

1. Disconnect the gas, plumbing and electricity to your kitchen.

2. Disconnect the water and drain pipes from the dishwasher, sink and refrigerator.

3. Disconnect the gas from the oven and the electricity from any appliance that is hardwired directly into the wall.

4. Remove glass shades from light fixtures, outlet covers, heat registers and window coverings.

5. Pull out the appliances and remove faucets and sink attachments. Lift out the sink if it sits above the countertop.

6. Pry trim from around cabinets, windows and floor, removing the sink’s backsplash, wall tile, countertop and particleboard. Remove the sink if it sits below the countertop.

7. Remove the upper and base kitchen cabinets using a pry bar or drill.

8. Pull the old drywall or lathe & plaster off the ceiling and walls using a crowbar or prybar. Exercise extreme caution around electrical wiring and ductwork. Remove nails and insulation.

9. If your floor tested negative for asbestos, remove the various layers of linoleum and glue or floor tile and grout using a pry bar and rubber mallet.

10. Clean up waste and clear as much dirt and dust as possible to prepare for your new kitchen installation.

Good to Know

Be sure to keep your trash bucket, contractor trash bags, a shop vac, broom and dustpan handy to clean as you go.