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How to Survive a Major Remodel

Living with a Major Remodel
You'll need to learn to deal with significant changes in one or more rooms.
You'll need to learn to deal with significant changes in one or more rooms.
Rosanne Olson/Photodisc/Getty Images

Most major remodeling projects involve a floor-to-ceiling redo, and if the area affected is a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, it's a good idea to make alternate living arrangements. Temporarily relocating to an extended-stay hotel or rental property is a real sanity-preserver, especially when your home renovation reaches a fevered pitch.

Living offsite isn't always a financially feasible option, though. The good news is that you can weather a major remodel onsite; you'll just need a plan to make it work. Take a kitchen made inaccessible by an ongoing renovation, for example. You could convert your bedroom into a studio apartment. With the addition of a mini-refrigerator, microwave, crockpot or hot plate, you'll be all set. Add a table or temporary counter-height cabinet to double as a pantry, and provide an easily accessible surface for items like a coffee pot or toaster oven. Creative renovation survivors sometimes set plastic bins in a sanitized bathtub to wash and rinse dishes, and use the faucet for a water supply.

Before the project begins, give your old kitchen one last go-round as you prepare and freeze simple meals in advance. Once renovation begins, you can reheat sauces in the crockpot or microwave, and cook pasta or rice on the hot plate. Relatively simple menus, such as salads, cereals and soups, will make cooking in your consolidated kitchen easier. And if the weather's temperate, you can prepare everything from meats and vegetables to desserts on the grill. Try marinating fresh pineapple rings in butter and brown sugar for a simple sweet-tooth satisfier you can pop on the grate. Cooking at home will keep your fiscal and caloric budgets in check, unlike dining out for every meal [source: Apartment Therapy, Wallick].

Plus, if you're outside, you can escape the dust -- if only for a few moments. Although most remodelers agree to seal the construction area with plastic, there's just no getting around the dust. Especially if you have central heat or air -- expect the dust to migrate through ductwork and vents.