Kitchen Renovation Checklist: Preparing for your Remodel

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About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
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Remodeling your kitchen can be an exciting yet challenging undertaking. Proper planning and preparation are instrumental in keeping your renovation on schedule, within the established budget, and minimizing disruption to your household. This comprehensive checklist will guide you through the necessary steps to take prior to commencing your kitchen remodel.

Planning Your Remodel

Evaluate Your Needs

Before diving into design plans, take time to assess how you use your kitchen and what you hope to gain from an upgrade. Consider what features matter most, like increased storage, new appliances, an island, or eating area. Decide if you need to knock down walls to create an open concept or better workflow. Determining your must-haves versus nice-to-haves will help guide design plans.

Set Your Budget

Be realistic about what you can afford. Get quotes for different remodel scopes to determine approximate costs. Factor in necessities like new flooring, cabinets, countertops, appliances, labor, and contingency funds for unforeseen expenses. Setting a clear budget before finalizing designs prevents unrealistic expectations and cost overruns later.

Find Design Inspiration

Search magazines, Pinterest, Instagram, and online galleries for kitchen designs that appeal to your tastes. Note elements you like such as colors, materials, layouts and storage solutions. Work with a designer to blend these inspirations into a cohesive design suited for your space. They can create 3D renderings to visualize the finished look.

Choose Materials and Fixtures

Selecting finishes early allows you to get accurate cost estimates for the project budget. Research countertops like granite, quartz or butcher block to pick the look and functionality you want. Choose cabinet door styles and hardware. Select appliances and fixtures that fit your budget. Order items with long lead times to avoid construction delays.

Create a Floorplan

Your designer will create a detailed floorplan showing cabinetry, appliances, countertops, and traffic flow. Verify it meets your storage, workflow, and design needs. Make any tweaks before finalizing the layout. This precision plan guides demolition and reconstruction and serves as the blueprint for your remodel.

Find and Vet Contractors

Check Credentials and References

Be selective in choosing qualified contractors. Verify they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Check reviews and references to ensure quality workmanship. Make sure they have expertise specifically in kitchen remodels. Discuss how they communicate with homeowners and keep projects on schedule and budget.

Get Multiple Bids

Interview at least three contractors and get written estimates. Compare the scope of work, materials, timelines, and costs. Be wary of excessively low bids that may indicate cutting corners. Negotiate any changes to reach a fair contract.

Prepare Your Home

Protect Floors and Furnishings

Cover floors, cabinets, and appliances with plastic sheeting to protect from dust and debris. Seal off doorways with plastic sheets to keep dust contained. Move fragile furnishings and valuables out of the work zone.

Remove Appliances and Cabinets

Uninstall and disconnect existing cabinets, countertops, sinks, and appliances ahead of demolition. This prevents damage and allows new layouts. Cap off plumbing lines and electrical wires.

Prepare Plumbing and Electrical

Reroute plumbing and electrical as needed for new layouts. Upgrade wiring for new lighting and appliances. Add circuits and outlets. Install plumbing for extra sinks, faucets, and garbage disposals. Doing this prep work eliminates delays once construction starts.

Pack an Essentials Kit

Prepare a kit with key items you’ll need while working out of a makeshift kitchen during construction. Include paper plates, plastic utensils, a microwave, coffeemaker, snacks, paper towels, and other necessities.

Create a Schedule

Work with your contractor to develop a start date and detailed timeline. Allow enough time for ordering and delivering cabinets, countertops, and appliances. Build in some wiggle room for potential delays. Arrange for childcare or alternate accommodations if the project will displace your household.

Advanced planning and diligent preparation are vital to keeping your kitchen remodel on track for success. Use this comprehensive checklist to get your project organized and set expectations before demolition day arrives. Investing the effort in proper planning will pay off with a smooth construction process and a beautiful new kitchen you can enjoy for years to come.


Can I upgrade to full-overlay cabinets without replacing the entire cabinet box?2024-03-22T14:29:03+00:00

In many cases, yes. Upgrading to full-overlay doors can often be done without replacing the cabinet boxes, but it may require new hinges and possibly some adjustments to ensure a proper fit and function.

Can I Add Soft-Close Hardware to Existing Cabinets?2024-03-22T14:19:01+00:00

Yes, many modern hardware features can be added to existing cabinets. Soft-close hinges and drawer slides are relatively easy to install and can significantly upgrade the functionality of your kitchen.

What’s the best way to incorporate lighting into my cabinetry?2024-03-22T14:18:36+00:00

Under-cabinet lighting is a popular choice for illuminating countertops. Consider LED strips or puck lights for an efficient and sleek option. Also, integrating lighting inside glass-front cabinets can beautifully showcase your items.

How do I choose the right material for my kitchen cabinets?2024-03-22T14:18:23+00:00

Consider factors like durability, maintenance, and aesthetic. Plywood is known for its strength, MDF for its smooth finish (ideal for painting), and particleboard for its cost-effectiveness. Assess your priorities to make the best choice.

Can I mix and match cabinet door styles in my kitchen?2024-03-22T14:17:54+00:00

Absolutely! Mixing cabinet styles can add depth and interest to your kitchen. Just be sure to maintain a cohesive color scheme or theme to tie the space together.

Do I need a design-build contractor for a kitchen remodel?2023-09-22T13:56:57+00:00

You can definitely hire a design-build firm for a kitchen overhaul, but a general contractor or construction manager working with an architectural designer can also execute this well. Design-build makes the most sense for whole home renovations, larger kitchen renovations, and those looking to minimize costs.

How much does professional cabinet refinishing cost?2023-09-06T17:14:01+00:00

Expect to pay at least $1000-2000 for a medium-sized kitchen, just for labor and materials. Costs go up significantly for larger kitchens.

How long does a refinished kitchen cabinet last?2023-09-06T17:13:13+00:00

Most refinished cabinets show noticeable wear, fading and damage after just 1-2 years of use. Factory finishes last 5-10 times longer under normal kitchen conditions.

Is it cheaper to refinish or replace kitchen cabinets?2023-09-06T17:11:46+00:00

In most cases, replacing kitchen cabinets is only marginally more expensive than refinishing them, and gives you longer-lasting results. Factor in long-term costs, and replacement provides a better value.

What size pizza oven should I get for my kitchen?2023-09-05T14:29:59+00:00

Choose an oven at least 45-60cm (18-24 inches) wide to comfortably fit a 12-14 inch pizza. Larger ovens allow you to bake multiple pizzas at once.

What design tips make a great pizza kitchen?2023-09-05T14:29:10+00:00

Focus on workflow, adequate counterspace, durable surfaces, ventilation, high BTU burners, and refrigeration for ingredients.

How much does a pizza oven cost?2023-09-05T14:28:50+00:00

Prices range widely from $300 for entry-level consumer models to $10,000+ for professional-grade pizza ovens. Built-in brick ovens cost $10,000 to $25,000 installed.

Should I remodel the kitchen before selling my home?2023-08-17T17:41:58+00:00

Yes, an updated, high-end kitchen with smart layout and finishes can greatly increase your home’s value and appeal to buyers.

Is it worth it to add a second dishwasher?2023-08-17T17:40:27+00:00

Yes. A second dishwasher keeps clean dishes available while others wash and provides extra capacity when entertaining large groups. A secondary dishwasher focused on glassware is perfect for home bars.

What are the most popular countertops for luxury kitchens?2023-08-17T17:39:41+00:00

Quartz and granite are top choices. Quartz offers a high-end look with less maintenance. Granite provides a rich, unique aesthetic at a lower pricepoint. Other common choices include butcher block, laminate, and corian.

When is the best time of year for a kitchen remodel in CT?2023-08-02T14:54:57+00:00

Winter and early spring are ideal as contractors may have more availability. Summertime leads to higher demand. Discuss timing with your contractor.

Should I choose custom or stock cabinets?2023-08-02T14:54:18+00:00

Stock cabinets cost less but offer limited sizes and finishes. Custom lets you customize the design, dimensions, materials and features. Assess your budget and design goals.

What are the most popular kitchen layouts in Connecticut?2023-08-02T14:53:49+00:00

Open concept kitchens that integrate cooking, dining, and family living spaces are very popular. Islands for extra prep space and casual dining are also in demand. Prioritizing workflow is key.

Do I need a permit for my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:37+00:00

The answer to this question depends on the scope of your project, your location, and local building codes. In general, if you’re doing any work that involves structural changes, electrical or plumbing work, or adding or removing walls, you will likely need a permit. Check with your local building department to find out what permits you need and how to obtain them.

What are some common design mistakes to avoid in a kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:22+00:00

Some common design mistakes to avoid include choosing trendy designs that may not stand the test of time, not considering the flow and functionality of the space, and neglecting lighting and storage needs. It’s also important to avoid over-personalizing the space, as this can make it less appealing to potential buyers if you choose to sell your home in the future.

How can I save money on my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:05+00:00

There are many ways to save money on a kitchen remodel without sacrificing quality. Start by setting a realistic budget and sticking to it. Consider doing some of the work yourself, such as painting or installing light fixtures. Shop around for materials and appliances to get the best deals. And consider using lower-cost alternatives to high-end materials, such as laminate countertops instead of granite.

Should I hire a designer or architect for my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:16:43+00:00

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on the scope of your project, your budget, and your personal preferences. If you’re planning a major remodel that involves moving walls, plumbing, or electrical systems, it’s probably a good idea to hire an architect or designer to help you with the planning and permitting process. On the other hand, if you’re just replacing cabinets and countertops, you may not need professional help. Consider consulting with a designer or architect to see what they recommend for your specific project.

About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

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