Step-by-Step Guide To Kitchen Renovation
Once the groundwork is laid for your kitchen renovation, it’s time for the transformation to begin! Here’s a rundown of how to prepare for your kitchen renovation, the key steps, what they entail, the order in which they should happen, and a general estimate of how long they may take. Check out our article, “How to renovate a kitchen” for additional information on renovating your kitchen.
Set Up a Temporary Kitchen
Time: 1-2 days
You’ll likely be “roughing it” for weeks, so think carefully about how to create a temporary kitchen away from the construction site to sustain your basic needs. Be sure to include: a microwave or hot plate, mini-fridge (or better yet, your old refrigerator, if you plan to replace it), access to a sink or cleanup area, everyday pantry essentials and somewhere to sit and eat.
Demolition & Clean Out
Time: 1-2 weeks for smaller projects, up to 6 weeks for larger projects
Before demolition can begin, you’ll need to clear out your kitchen, which is a great opportunity to rid yourself of anything expired, outdated or broken in your kitchen. Be sure it clearly states in your contract who is doing the demolition, when they are starting and who’s responsible for carting away the remnants of your old kitchen. Spoelker also advises against starting any demolition work before all your supplies and materials are on-site. “The last thing you want is for your renovation to stall because you’re waiting on a key delivery.”
Contractor Work Begins
Time: 1-3 weeks
This kitchen renovation stage may feel the most chaotic, but it’s actually a well-orchestrated dance of plumbing, mechanical, electrical, duct, wiring, insulation and drywall work. In some cases, the work is linear -- e.g., you can’t install drywall before the wiring work is complete. However, Spoelker points out that some things can also happen simultaneously, like plumbing inspection and tilework. Scheduling during this stage is especially crucial. Learn about the pros and cons of hiring a general contractor.
Installing Floors and Cabinets
Time: 2-3 days for flooring, 3-5 days for cabinets
Again, order plays an important role here. If you’re installing a hardwood floor, it needs to go in before the cabinets are installed. However, vinyl floors can be installed after cabinets. And even once the cabinets are in, it’s crucial to ensure they are properly leveled and installed. Otherwise, that could throw off the fit of countertops, appliances and more.
Installing Countertops and Appliances
Time: 3-5 weeks
Fabricating countertops is a lengthy process that can’t begin until the cabinets are complete, so this stage often represents the bulk of a kitchen renovation timeline. Plus, installation of new appliances and lighting may require testing, troubleshooting and fine-tuning of electrical or plumbing work. But it pays to take it slow. The last thing you’d want is to damage your new flooring, drywall or cabinets by rushing this stage.
Painting and Cleaning
Time: 2-4 weeks
You’re approaching the finish line! Now it’s time for the final touches: sealing, caulking, priming, painting and trim work. Check that any contractors or subcontractors are leaving your space clean and in better condition than when they found it. Do a final inspection, and once you’re satisfied, it’s time to move into your dream kitchen and celebrate the fruits of all your research, planning and vision!