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kitchen remodel checklist

The Ultimate Kitchen Remodel Checklist for Homeowners 

The kitchen is the heart of the home for most families. It’s also the room likely to see the most wear and tear. Overhauling the kitchen has many advantages, but it’s a big project with many moving parts.

The realities of such projects temper most homeowners’ excitement for new appliances and countertops and extra storage space. As with any remodeling project, it can feel like you must make a million decisions and tackle an endless list of details, but using a kitchen remodel guide can help. To help you enjoy the process and ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible, we’ve compiled a comprehensive, multi-phase kitchen renovation checklist to help you stay on track during an expert kitchen remodel in Danville, CA.

How To Plan a Kitchen Remodel With Less Stress  

Although we put this checklist together to help you plan a kitchen remodel with as few headaches as possible, the fact is that any major home renovation can be stressful. Working with an experienced contractor and knowing what to expect ahead of time can reduce surprises and give you peace of mind throughout the project. 

By taking the time to plan before the work begins and addressing some critical details, you can direct the project to a successful conclusion. Following our checklist can also help save time and money by reducing the risk of mistakes and setbacks affecting the project timeline and budget. 

The 5 Phases of Kitchen Remodel Project Planning

As is the case with any project, looking at a long list of tasks can feel daunting when trying to take it all in at once. It’s better to approach the work in phases, following the plan for each along the way. By breaking down the work into more manageable chunks, you can stay organized and give yourself peace of mind. 

1. Budget

Start your home improvement project with the first phase on the kitchen remodel checklist: establishing a budget. Knowing how much you can spend keeps expectations in check and helps you prioritize project elements. 

The most expensive element of any kitchen remodel is cabinetry, which accounts for about 30% of the budget. Appliances, countertops, and labor are the next most expensive. Spending more in one area could require cutting back on another, so be realistic about what you can afford and align it with your priorities.

Another key budgeting component for any renovation project is setting aside extra funds for unexpected expenses. Plan to set aside an additional 10 to 20% of your budget to deal with surprises. 

2. Planning 

Once you know what you can spend, it’s time to decide what you want for your new kitchen. Start by evaluating the space to determine what is and isn’t working. Identify anything that needs updating, like cabinets, floors, and appliances, and what you might want to keep from the existing space. 

The planning phase is the time to start exploring design styles, collecting ideas for your new kitchen, and meeting with a designer to discuss how to design a kitchen layout. Before the consultation, make a wish list, prioritizing the must-haves. Having an idea of what you want and how the room should look before you hire contractors can help keep the project on track and prevent delays. 

When working with the designer, prepare to answer some critical questions, such as the following:

  • What do you like and dislike about the current space?
  • How do you want to use the new kitchen (i.e., for eating, entertaining, etc.)? 
  • Do you want to add features like a kitchen island, small appliance garage, warming drawers, wine fridge, etc.?
  • How much storage do you need? 
  • Do you want to move the appliances?
  • Will the project require changing or upgrading the plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems? 
  • Are the cabinets, flooring, countertops, and other elements in good condition, or will they need replacing? 

When working with the designer, be open to new ideas and solutions. Professional designers have years of training and experience and can identify creative solutions for even the most outdated or dysfunctional kitchen.

3. Hire a Crew 

Finding the perfect contractors takes time. The best crews typically book several months in advance, so the sooner you start interviewing professionals to update your kitchen, the more likely you are to get the work done without a long wait. 

Being flexible about when the work takes place can help you secure an in-demand team. While most homeowners prefer to remodel their kitchens in the spring or summer, being open to a winter project can save you time. 

Once you hire a contractor, coordinate with them to streamline the permit process and answer any questions to ensure everything goes smoothly. Be available to respond to the contractor and provide information to prevent unnecessary delays or errors. 

4. Choose Materials 

The next step on the kitchen remodel checklist is selecting materials. Many homeowners enjoy this part of the process, as it lets them express their style and taste. 

During this phase, expect to make executive decisions about the following:

  • Cabinets (including hardware and additional features)
  • Flooring 
  • Countertops
  • Appliances
  • Lighting and switches 
  • Sinks
  • Fixtures
  • Backsplash tile
  • Paint or wall coverings 

To make the process easier, keep these tips in mind:

  • Choose cabinets first, as they have the longest manufacturing lead times. 
  • Be open to alternatives. For example, many homeowners automatically gravitate toward granite countertops, but you can save money by choosing countertop materials like quartz that offer a similar look. Or, if you have your heart set on an expensive option like blue mare quartzite, consider mixing materials and applying the exotic ones most selectively to save money.
  • If you are keeping some existing appliances and replacing others, choose new ones in a similar style, like stainless steel. 

5, Prepare for Construction

During a kitchen remodel, you won’t have access to the room, so you must plan for meal prep and storage. This usually means setting up a temporary kitchen space elsewhere. The more you prepare for this inevitability, the less inconvenient it will be.

With some planning, you can prepare meals using an outdoor grill, a slow cooker, a toaster oven, and a microwave. Invest in a minifridge for essentials, and stock up on paper plates to avoid having to wash as many dishes as possible. Expect to order more takeout than usual during the project and include that expense in your kitchen remodel budget. 

If you have children and pets, you must also make arrangements for them to stay out of the construction area while the work is ongoing. 

Let Kitchen Concepts Create Your Dream Kitchen 

Whether you know exactly what you want from your brand-new kitchen or just know the existing space isn’t working and needs an update, Kitchen Concepts is here to help. As Danville’s full-service kitchen remodeling company, we love helping our neighbors make their kitchen fantasies a reality. From custom cabinetry to tile flooring, we handle everything. 

A beautiful new kitchen increases your home’s value, so let’s work together to transform the space. Schedule a free design consultation to learn what our expert contractors can do for your home, get useful kitchen remodeling planning tips, and write up a kitchen remodel checklist and ideas on how you can achieve your goals without breaking the bank. The talented team can complete most projects in four to six weeks, so you never need to worry about a long, drawn-out project that disrupts your routine.

Start your kitchen remodel today by calling Kitchen Concepts in Danville, CA, at (925) 915-3307 or requesting an appointment online.

Tyler Fraser

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