How to Safely Remodel Your Kitchen During the Pandemic

Written By Roy Faust

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, I graduated from Lamar University with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing in 1999. In 2006, I started New Creations and I am most proud to say we have earned 158 Five-Star Client Testimonials.

Trying to Figure Out How to Safely Remodel Your Kitchen?

You’ve been passing a LOT more time in your kitchen since early spring last year. It’s been nice having extra family time to prepare and eat meals, so there’s a bright spot amid a dark situation. Initially, it’s humorous bumping into each other between the fridge and the stove (never fails, right?). And that helped you realize those design improvements you’ve always wished for in your kitchen. But it can be confusing figuring out how to remodel your kitchen during this pandemic.

As you know, the pandemic drastically changed the way we live in relatively short period of time. And each problem we face is magnified during the pandemic, and home-cooking is just one of many. You want to maximize the extra time you’re spending with the family. But the current kitchen arrangement is making that complicated. And you’re wondering how safe it would be to remodel right now.

Project 17 | Kitchen IMG 2

Reality Versus Perception

The reality is many homeowners are finding that with the increasing amount of time they are spending at home, their desire and need to renovate has never been greater. Many people are moving to Austin, buying homes, and then needing to immediately update and remodel their home that was originally built in the ’80s or ’90s. The fact is home renovation projects are increasing in the Austin area at a staggering rate despite the Pandemic. 

We first honed our safe kitchen remodeling practices when a client hired us to perform their Onion Creek Traditional Kitchen Renovation at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As you can imagine, we were a little nervous at first, but implementing the right plan lead to another successful kitchen renovation.

Social distancing and safety protocols help keep both homeowners and craftsmen safe. Careful planning and a conscientious team that communicates professionally are more critical than ever. Luckily, our team always prioritizes creating a Five-Star customer experience and that includes safety.

But keep in mind, the same problems commonly experienced during a remodel can be magnified during a pandemic. If you reside in the Austin area, you likely have friends who have remodeled their kitchens. You’ve probably heard a few of them say, “I thought it would be done by now.” But what should you expect when you remodel your kitchen?

Project 17 | Kitchen IMG 1

There Are Three Probable Reasons for Complaints:

  1. An inexperienced contractor or inexperienced kitchen designer estimated an inaccurate time frame.
  2. The homeowner’s expectations were impractical and not corrected by a professional.
  3. Requests for changes were ordered by the homeowner, which increased the amount of work (and cost) or timeframe for delivery of materials.

The most frequent worry or question clients, and prospective clients, ask is, “when will it be completed?” They worry remodeling will take forever.

Sometimes, home remodeling projects can be finished quickly. Some take several months to complete. It all comes down to the scope of your project.  But having an experienced remodeling contractor on your side has never been more important.

How Much Time Will Remodeling Your Kitchen Take?

The time required for designing and remodeling your kitchen depends on the extent of the project, requirements of your design, and availability of materials.

If the kitchen design program is clear-cut, new elements replace old ones in the same layout. We call this a replacement kitchen. It entails minimal customization or construction. Replacement kitchen remodeling averages 6-8 weeks for a medium-sized kitchen.

It can take longer for kitchen remodeling projects that involve a larger room, wall removals, structural changes, and reconfiguring the floor plan. A realistic expectation is 10-12 weeks. That’s the estimated timeframe for a custom kitchen renovation.

Could Your Kitchen Remodel Take Longer?

An effective kitchen remodeling project is constructed around a schedule. The project manager establishes a full range of steps to be completed in order of sequence.

Yet, delays can happen with even the best-planned renovation projects — not necessarily because of carelessness or incompetence.

A lot of special-ordered products and numerous specialty subcontractors are involved in a kitchen remodeling project. That means scheduling can be tricky. It’s all tied together in sequential order.

Small hiccups are more than likely inevitable. But usually, loose ends are corrected by the project manager. So, if delays happen, they don’t stop the show.

Project 17 | Kitchen IMG 3

The Best Kitchen Remodeling Experiences Happen to Those Who Plan

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of a custom kitchen renovation timeline. It has two parts: Pre-Construction and Construction Stages

Kitchen Pre-Construction Phase
  1. Design Meetings

       Floor plans


       Furniture plan

       Lighting & electrical plan

  1. Selections


       Plumbing fixtures




       Light fixtures


       Cabinet Hardware

  1. Construction Drawings
  2. Apply for Permits
  3. Order materials (delivery dates align with construction schedule)
Kitchen Construction Schedule Example:

Week 1

  • Dust & floor protection
  • Demolition
  • Straighten & level framing

Week 2

Sub-contractors rough-in

  • Plumbing
  • Electric
  • Ductwork
  • A/V wiring

Week 3

  • Close-in inspections
  • Install insulation
  • Insulation inspection
  • Stock drywall

Week 4

  • Hang & finish drywall
  • Sand and prime drywall

Week 5

  • Install hardwood flooring
  • Receive and set cabinets

Week 6

  • Measure for countertops
  • Interior trim work
  • Countertop fabrication

Week 7

  • Install countertops and appliances
  • Subs trim out electric and plumbing.

Week 8 & 9

  • Painting
  • Finish hardwood flooring

Week 10

  • Professional cleaning
  • Final walk-thru & punch list meeting

Project 17 | Kitchen IMG 5

Intelligent Planning Is the Key to Safely Remodel Your Kitchen During the Pandemic

And there we have it. Home renovation is surprisingly increasing in the Austin, Texas area as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re sharing what we’ve discovered after 15 years of business experience in kitchen remodeling and home renovation. Naturally, it’s essential to set reasonable expectations with customers. Kitchen renovation is a substantial investment.

We believe the more knowledge you have from the start, the more you’ll appreciate the overall process and the team you’ve partnered with to enhance your experience with a new kitchen. The weeks of construction with be completed almost before you even know it.

Obviously, a replacement kitchen schedule will take less time, and a custom kitchen renovation that involves structural work can be longer. But if you ask us, that’s the beauty of expert kitchen remodeling for your Austin, Texas home —— making it seem nice and easy.

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