There will be strange men working in your kitchen and sometimes looking for the bathroom, a bin liner, a cup and various other incidentals. They probably won't have the same taste in music as you have and want to be allowed to listen to their favourite channels.
So don't expect them to turn off their radios or cell phones or change their ways just because you say so. They are there to do the work you ordered but they are also human beings at work on site. They won't want to upset you in any way – they know it's your home; so remember that clear communication and compromise works best in such situations.
One of the worst situations is being kept in the dark and not knowing what to expect next. Connect with your Designer and ask about the schedule. Sure, it will be sketchy because there'll be variants but at least you'll have a basic guideline of roughly what to expect and approximately when to expect it. When people are given information about the work agenda then this knowledge assists them to be more empowered and involved with the process. Being in agreement and harmony, seems to help the work go much faster and better on site, and everyone is happy.
Expect lots of dust and quite a bit of chaos – that's how you'll see it - because strangers are working in what used to be your favourite room and it's only now that you're realising it. You'll feel out of control and suddenly displaced and possessive about the one room you cannot get into. For people who are very neat and tidy in their everyday lives, this part seems to hurt the most. It doesn't matter how much plastic is used to cut the dust to a minimum, there will still be lots of dust; and those dust particles find their way almost everywhere. Just tell yourself this is par for the course and that you'll do a big clean up at the end.
There are very few complete kitchen remodels that go smoothly from beginning to end. Usually the misshaps are small but there could be several. Maybe a supplier was out of stock and assumed it was OK to deliver something else; or they don't have it in stock and everyone must wait a couple of weeks for delivery. Sometimes an order will be misread, or an instruction misinterpreted through a communication slip; items might be discontinued, etc, but these are all fixable. The trick is not to sweat the small stuff, expect it and take it in your stride or you'll be stressed within the first week.
Often, remodels are completed exactly on time but, it's best to plan for the remodel to take longer than quoted. If you keep looking at the finish date quoted, drumming your fingers impatiently and ticking off the days on the calendar, then you make everyone nervous and when people are nervous and jumpy, the job could overrun and your stress levels will go up noticeably. Rather stop thinking about the time and start thinking about the finished effect. It's the watched kettle situation, yet if you plan for the job to run over schedule and it gets finished ahead of time, it's a pleasant surprise and everyone's happy.
So factor in delays, budget variants – caused by out of stock or delays, etc; and also plan for a bit of unforeseen disorder or confusion and your survival rate will increase as your stress levels decrease.
We at Kitchen by Design are deliberately painting a very black picture here, so that anything better than this will make you happy! People react differently; we just want you to know what you could expect.