1. Only attempt a DIY kitchen remodel if you have a strong marriage. Don't think it will bring you together, it will bring every conflict you have to the surface. We are lucky, our marriage is rock hard (think Diamonds) but there have still been moments.
2. Plan, measure, budget and know the whole damn thing isn't going to go according to plan, match your measurments or your budget despite your most determined efforts.
3. Ask experts, read books, read magazines, watch DIY and HGTV for about a thousand hours and know that every single thing that you're NOT supposed to do, you will do.
4. Be flexible. Often hours spent shopping, calling and planning take up precious time, but can save you heartache in the long run.
5. Paper plates and disposable silverware get old. If it's going to drag on for months, think about purchasing an enamled steel plate, cup and bowl for everyone. Titanium camping sporks are perfect for most meals. These items wash easily in a wash bowl and don't break.
6. Know your contractors! Know their bosses, know the owners. Get all the cell phones and call them at the first hint that something isn't going to work. Be firm. Our cabinet order has been just this side of a nightmare. We're still calling and keeping on everyone involved until we're happy.
7. Pick updated, but relatively classic styled cabinets, appliances and flooring. Go wild with wall colors, accent rugs and other easily updated items like cabinet pulls. You don't want to have to do this more than once every few decades.
8. If you don't know any curse words, look some up. You'll need them.
9. Drag your children into the work at every possible turn. You didn't have them for nothing.
10. Despite owning every power tool and duplicates of many. You may need to rent a tile saw. It's worth every penny.
11. If you live within 5 minutes of a big box home store, plan to get chummy with the staff. You'll be there daily if not more frequently.
12. Contractor trash bags and disposable shop towels are necessities.