Makeshift Kitchen For Your Kitchen Remodel: Getting Ready for Granite

Remodeling Your Kitchen?

Some kitchen remodels are small. Some kitchen remodels are big. What is yours?

Kitchen remodels, from easiest to hardest:

  1. Replacing the old kitchen countertops with granite or quartz
  2. Re-arranging a few cabinets (or adding some), then installing new granite or quartz countertops and backsplash
  3. Installing new cabinets, countertops and backsplash
  4. Moving walls, replacing flooring, installing new cabinets, new countertops and backsplash

If you’re just replacing the counters (and maybe the backsplash, which almost always go hand-in-hand), you might get away with eating out for a few days until the new counters are installed and the plumber gets your sink and faucet hooked back up.
Makeshift kitchen with countertop appliances
If you’re doing a more extensive remodel, setting up a little makeshift kitchen will go a long way towards making it easier to get through the weeks of kitchen upheaval.

In the grainy photo on the right you’ll see what we did for a recent kitchen remodel: a table stacked with a toaster oven, microwave, rice cooker and our hands-down favorite countertop appliance: a Liddle Griddle. That little griddle is only a little big bigger than a sheet of paper, is dishwasher-safe and heats up in about 90 seconds. It was only supposed to hang out while the stove was on order, but it has taken up permanent residence on the new granite kitchen island. It has become our must-have, most-used, most-beloved appliance. We got it on for under $35 and it made it SO much easier to weather the ups and downs of having the kitchen torn apart.

Replacing Your Kitchen Countertops with Granite

If you’re doing the easiest kitchen remodel and just replacing your old counters with granite, you may only be without the full use of your kitchen for two days.

It takes us about half a day to a full day to rip off your old counters, and install the new ones. That includes installing the new sink underneath the new granite counters. Then you need to let the glue cure overnight or a little longer before getting the plumber to hook up the drain, dishwasher and faucet.

So, if we demo the counters, you’ll be without a kitchen for part of two days: demo and install day, and hook-up-the-plumbing day.

Some people have someone else take off the old counters, especially if they are also replacing the backsplash. You might get a better deal on installing your new backsplash if you throw the tile guy the demo work as well. In that case, your counters should be taken off the day before we come to install your new granite kitchen counters, to make sure they have time to get all of the old stuff out and hauled away.

So, if someone else does the demo, you’ll be without a kitchen for part of three days: demo day, install day and hook-up-the-plumbing day. Sometimes you can use the kitchen even if the tile guys are installing the backsplash, although they generally want the kitchen to themselves while they are working.

If you’re doing a more extensive remodel (moving cabinets, adding cabinets, replacing cabinets, moving walls), you’ll be without the use of all or part of your kitchen for more than a few days. Sometimes you might be without a kitchen for a week, sometimes for a month or more, depending on how much work you’re doing, how much you’re doing on your own, and how long you have to wait for special-order stuff to arrive (appliances, tile, fixtures, cabinets).

If you’re doing a more extensive remodel, we can come out and template as soon as all of the cabinets are in place. If you have a slide-in range, we will also need to see the installation diagrams so we know how big to cut the hole where the range goes.

It takes us a week from when we have your templates, your final material selection and your deposit for us to fabricate and install your new granite kitchen counters.

Setting Up Your Makeshift Kitchen

A little planning and small-appliance shopping can get you a makeshift kitchen that will help you get through your kitchen remodel without a huge pile of restaurant bills.

The only thing we really wished we had had during our own was a hot plate that could boil pots of water. Otherwise, the pile of small appliances in the photo above got us through quite nicely. In case you are wondering, that silver thing on the back left of the table is an ice maker! Totally not necessary, but for my kids it was a really big deal since the fridge was in the living room and not hooked up to the water-supply line for a few weeks.


  1. We remodeled five years ago, and it was quite an ordeal. But we lived through it, with a little makeshift kitchen. It was so worth it. I recommend quartz countertops for serious cooks like me.

  2. The Austin Granite Girls says:

    Hi Jean! You are so right about the quartz – it’s super durable and now it comes in a lot of funky colors. We’ve been seeing a lot more of it going in, especially in modern kitchens. It took me a few weeks to get my own makeshift kitchen put together and can’t imagine getting through another kitchen remodel without one!

Speak Your Mind