This guide will walk you through the steps of how to plan a kitchen remodel, and with the free printable you can organize your thoughts and get started! This post is sponsored by CliqStudios however all opinions are 100% my own!
You’ve finally decided to plan a kitchen remodel. I won’t lie, this is one of the biggest home related projects you will ever take on. Even if you hire it out, this has to be THE most inconvenient home renovation ever. Sure you can set up temporary kitchens, but nothing can replace the room where you cook meals and eat food. But that’s all going to be ok, you will make it through and you will be left with a gorgeous kitchen and all that misery will disappear with the construction debris.
I was being totally serious when I said this was a big project to take on, so let’s talk about how to plan a kitchen remodel, and then at the end of today’s post I have a printable to help keep you on track! Let’s get started!
How to Plan a Kitchen Remodel
When you plan a kitchen remodel it’s important to nail down your design before you start demolition. I’m sure you will change your mind (as I did, and most people do), but if you don’t have a plan and you start ripping things apart you will feel lost and everything will take way longer than it has to. I worked with CliqStudios on the design and layout for my cabinets. Once you have this figured out then you will then want to get these ordered because cabinets take some time to actually show up in your home.
During this stage of your kitchen remodel, take advantage of the fact that you still have a kitchen. Use this time to plan as many details as you can including the foot print, cabinets, layout, appliances, and more. I’ll be discussing the different phases before, but you can never plan too much!
Choosing appliances is the second thing I do, and in all honesty this happens along side the design process. If you already know the dimensions of your appliances you can include these in the design. If you haven’t decided on appliances you can always go with the industry standard sizes, however that may eliminate a few brands from your selection. It’s just not worth the risk if it can be avoided. For more tips on the appliance selection process see my post here.
We’ve got the design planned out, cabinets ordered, and appliances chosen. Now it’s time to actually get to work. We did almost everything ourselves, but if you plan to hire contractors, I’d definitely work on getting quotes as soon as possible because there are usually delays. You might just need to remove your old cabinets, or you might be ripping your kitchen down to the studs. We completely gutted our kitchen because of the age or our home so it was a lot of work. Make sure you have all the right tools and safety precautions taken care of before getting started.
Plumbing is one of the things we did hire out. We added a pot filler and a gas line and weren’t comfortable doing either of those ourselves. When scheduling contractors, make sure you are ready for them to come out and have everything prepared to save both of you time and money. You typically don’t want to have multiple contractors in your kitchen at the same time, so do your best to keep a schedule and plan ahead.
We didn’t have any intense electrical needs, so we did the little bit we had ourselves. Our good friend just so happens to be a contractor (sadly we don’t live near them anymore) and he was able to teach my husband a little bit before we moved away. The electrical we did do was to add the vent hood and install flush LED lights, as well as wire the pantry lighting. It’s important to know where you want your electrical to be run if you are changing the footprint at all to ensure everything is centered up. We’ve all looked up at one light fixture at least and said to ourselves “Why’d they put that there?”. Well… it’s because sometimes it’s hard to visualize every single aspect. It’s very important to work through all these details and draw things out on paper.
6. Sheetrock and/or Paint
Depending on how much demo you did, you might not need to replace sheetrock. But if you did, you will want to do that right after the electrical and plumbing. Then once that has been hung and texture has been applied it’s time to paint. I always prefer to paint with the least amount of finished items in place as possible. You never know when a spill is going to happen.
Once the painting is done, it’s then safe to lay the flooring. We ended up just refinishing the hardwood floors that are original to the house so we did try to be as careful as possible, but luckily anything we did spill was sanded off.
Cabinets are one of the last major things to go in minus all your finishing touches. If you’re installing your own cabinets, I have a detailed tutorial for you to walk you through the process. If you decided to go with a contractor I suggest asking for examples of their work. It’s very easy to make a kitchen look bad if you don’t take the time to make sure everything is nice and perfectly level. Our CliqStudio cabinets installed very well without any issues so if you’re looking to save a little money in the budget, I think anyone can do this if you just go slow and take it one step at a time!
Most countertops are will be installed by the company you order them from. There are a few options you can DIY. We poured concrete countertops for the very first time and I LOVE them. I have to say though the sealer is SUPER important. I’ll be doing a whole blog post about them very soon. You can also check out a post I did on installing butcher block counters. Another type of countertops you can install is laminate, though I can’t speak to the ease of that since we’ve never given it a shot. I have seen some pretty good options at Ikea though. Depending on your countertops you’ll need to figure out the exact sink you will be using and if any holes for the faucet are necessary.
Once your countertops are in place it’s time to install the backsplash. Since we decided against upper cabinets we were able to do all solid tiles for the backsplash instead of having to trim off the top layer which was SOOOO nice. Especially since we just finished tiling our bathroom and my husband was all tiled out! Another option is to set the height of your upper cabinets to leave just enough room for all full tiles, but there are industry standard cabinet heights to consider.
To me hardware is one of the fun parts. It’s when things start truly looking finished and you see your whole vision come together. It’s a beautiful moment after you’ve done all the work to get up to this point. One tip I will give is to be very careful when marking and drilling the holes for your hardware. Putting a hole in the wrong place can be a nightmare! I have a post outlining how to install your own hardware here. I did however use a different cabinet jig (I used this one) that I like much better.
Hardware is fun but decorating soothes the soul. At least it does for me. I love nothing more than putting all the things I’ve picture in this space into their little designated homes. Because this phase also means that you can use your kitchen once again. So go cook a meal and enjoy my friend, you earned it! If you’re feeling really fancy, maybe you can bribe somebody to come cook you a meal because you’re going to be exhausted! ; )
How to Plan a Kitchen Remodel
And as promised here is a simple printable to help you organize your thoughts. Click the image below to print.
Shop our Kitchen:
I have another post that outlines some of the lessons we learned when remodeling our kitchen, it’s a great read if you’re looking to do a lot of the projects yourself: Tips for a DIY Kitchen Remodel
Take a look at all the posts in our Kitchen Remodel Series: