Replacing Countertops and Cabinets is Best Left to the Pros

new-kitchenThe kitchen is one of the most important and probably the busiest room in a house. The frequent foot traffic also means it’s likely to undergo maximum wear and tear. When it’s time for a redo, people like to take the responsibility upon themselves in order to help save a good chunk of money. However, there are certain kitchen projects that are best handled by professionals. Let’s look at the dangers or reasons why you should not redo your kitchen countertops and cabinets yourself, and hire a qualified professional instead.

 

Can Cause Costs to Inflate

 

A DIY kitchen project can be quite rewarding – in terms of both the money-savings and feeling of accomplishment. However, if you pick the wrong project, things can easily backfire. Things won’t just go wrong, but you could inflict further damage, making the job much more expensive and complicated for the professional when he arrives. The professional would now have to undo whatever wrong has been done and then get to the actual part of the project.

 

Kitchen countertops and cabinets can be quite dangerous even for experienced DIYers. Picking up and maneuvering the drill, for instance, needs a trained hand. Also, a kitchen cabinet installation needs good amount of strength and effort. You cannot do it all by yourself – at least two to three people would be required. It’s not just about lifting the cabinet, but also holding it in place when the other individual is fastening it to the wall.

 

Time-Consuming

 

If you are doing the countertops and cabinets yourself, you would probably be working diy-in-progresson weekends. And since kitchen countertop or cabinet work cannot be wrapped up in a couple of days, you must be ready to bear the unattended mess that exists during weekdays. If you only have weekends to spare for the task, the project may take weeks or even months for completion. This is not just time-consuming, but also extremely inconvenient and zero fun.

 

Projects that can be done within a couple of days make for great DIY activities – unfortunately, kitchen countertops and cabinets are not among them. Cabinet refacing is one such task that looks easy and quick on paper but involves a lot of work and mess, leaving the kitchen unusable for quite some time.

 

Cabinet Assembly Requires Serious Tools and Skills

 

At first glance, assembling and installing kitchen cabinets may seem easy. But when you get to the dirty work, you realize assembling cabinets warrants major skills and equipment. Even the most skilled contractor would take more than a few hours to put the cabinets together, and emerge from a sawdust heap when done.

 

fallen-cabinetA kitchen cabinet is quite heavy and when items are placed on the shelves, the heft only increases. Installing the cabinets, as a result, requires a lot more reinforcement than just bolting them to the wall studs. Moreover, all the measurements should be accurate, and the cabinets level and plumb. Even one centimeter gone wrong could mean serious issues later on in the installation process.

 

Kitchen Countertops Can Get Complicated

 

Not all kitchen countertops are the same. There are different types – such as granite countertops, marble countertops, etc. All have their unique renovation or installation requirements. However, renovating them is not like painting walls, or hanging shelf in a spare bedroom. These countertops are awkward to hold, heavy, fragile, and could require some unique finishing tools.

 

Almost all countertop materials are bulky and hard. If you drop a countertop or bang it into doors or walls, you’re likely to cause some damage. Countertops made of quartz and granite need special handling. Also, if you’re doing the countertops yourself, you should cut it to fit a particular size. You must have the budget or tools to cut the slab accurately. Professionals can handle this aspect easily since they would have the specialized tools to cut the slab to a particular fit and size. When a slab is cut incorrectly and you do not possess the right tools to mend things, the fixing part would cost a lot more money. Most likely, you’ll end up buying a new counter.

 

Professionals Help Save Costs

 

As oxymoronic as it may sound, you can save money on raw materials when you let cabinet-proprofessionals take up the responsibility. Generally, professionals manage to procure materials for a price that’s significantly lower than market price, thanks to their industry contacts and business understanding with suppliers. A professional also knows the places that sell top-quality materials for bargain prices. Moreover, when a professional is on-board, you save yourself the hassle and time spent on heading to the store and buying materials. In other words, things get so much more convenient.

 

Conclusion

 

Let the dirty and difficult part of your kitchen projects be handled by professionals. Doing things yourself can save you money, but if things go wrong even marginally (which is extremely likely), you’ll end up paying a heavy price. Some people like to get hands-on with their kitchen and want their personal stamp on it. If you’re one of those types, it might be better just to stick to the easy projects and decorating part of things.

Cooking for Seniors

cooking for seniorsMy mother is 82 years old, and I’ve been caring for her since my father died a couple years ago. She insists on living on her own and refuses to move in with my husband and me, so each week I drive across town to check up on her. My daily visits typically entail the basic stuff – helping her clean up the house, making sure that she’s happy and healthy, giving her her medications, and cooking for her. When I first took on the caregiving responsibility, I found the cooking part to be the most difficult. My mom wasn’t overly interested in eating and had a hard time eating and enjoying a lot of the meals that I was preparing. After trial and error and many conversations, we figured out what foods work for her and what won’t.

I know many others caring for an elderly family member experience the same problem at some point or another. As we get older, our taste buds change and we no longer eat the same way we used to. Not to mention that with a more sedentary lifestyle, a reduced appetite is natural. Yet, it’s important to ensure that our loved one is getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned along the way:

Softer Foods

This is one of the most important adaptations I’ve had to make. Since my mother, as well as many seniors, wears dentures and has teeth that are no longer that strong, I prepare meals that are easy to chew. Additionally, as people age, they don’t produce as much saliva, so it’s important to prepare meals that are also moist, like soups and stews. Usually I’ll cook up a large pot of stew, put some in the fridge for the week, and tightly package the rest into small containers in the freezer for future leftovers.

Let Them Choose the Recipes

This probably seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve spoken with so many caregivers who have no idea why their senior doesn’t like any of their meals. Maybe if they had a choice they would! I like to pick up a cookbook that I know has mostly healthy, nutritious meals, and then I look it over with my mom and we decide what I’ll make the rest of the week and how we can adjust some of the recipes to meet her needs.

Occasionally Include Comfort Foods

“Occasionally” being the key word here! Like many seniors her age, my mother isn’t always very interested in eating. Every now and then, just to pique her appetite, I like to cook her some of her favorite foods – even if it might not be the healthiest choice for her. She loves porkchops and mashed potatoes with butter and bread, and ice cream for dessert, so those are special treats that I put into the meal rotation.

Enlist Some Help

This has been especially important for my mother and me. When you spend most of your time cooking food, cleaning up around the house, and doing the laundry, you’re not left with much time to talk and catch up with your loved one. A year ago we made the decision to hire some additional help from a local Boynton Beach home care service. The caregiver comes by several times a week to help my mother, so I have more time to spend with her.

Caregiving can be a difficult responsibility, but it’s important to remember why you do it – out of love. When I cook healthy meals that my mother enjoys, I know that she’s not only benefitting from good nutrition, but also from my presence and care.

What to do with your free time

Sending your children to school is a blessing. Not just for them, but for your free time. You won’t believe what you will be able to accomplish with just a few hours to yourself.

depositphotos_41998281-Woman-making-french-press-coffee-at-breakfastMaybe you’ll go to the gym again. Maybe you’ll catch up on all your favorite shows. Maybe you’ll be able to head back to work. Maybe you’ll pick up a new hobby you never thought you would be able to. The possibilities are endless in this win/win situation with you and your children.

While it might be a little hard to let go at first, and you definitely will not stop thinking about them, letting go is good.

But don’t slack on the kids. They are your pride and joy, and you must treat them as such. Make sure they get to a good school. If you live in the Wesley Chapel area, click here. Sending them to a good preschool gives you the peace of mind to focus on yourself again.

While the kids are away, think about what you miss. Do you want to eat out with your friends? Do you miss being able to run for miles without worrying about if your child will wake up? Do you just want to sleep in?

There are plenty of ways to start your day with them. The right breakfast, like scrambled eggs or oatmeal, can start their day off on the right foot and yours too. Everyone should be eating as healthfully as possible to get the best start to your day.

Try something different every now and then. Make your waffles with bacon built into them. Just toss in a slice of bacon with the batter and watch the waffle iron sizzle. Or get fancy with your french toast and toss in some fruit slices as it cooks for a warm dessert flavor early in the morning. The possibilities are endless in the kitchen.

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You can focus on home improvement. Look around the house and see what could use some sprucing up. An investment here and there, whether it’s time or money, can go a long way to giving your family life a little more variety and giving you a lot of happiness.

What’s nice is that your children are working on improving themselves (probably) so you should be too. Maybe reinvest in that gym membership and become a runner again. Maybe you should pick up a new skill, or learn a new language. You’re only limited by your will.

So don’t limit yourself. Go ahead and try something new that you never thought you would be able to. And then come back home to your family and have them wonder what they ever did to deserve you.