A Realistic Kitchen Remodel Timeline

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Remodeling a kitchen is an extensive yet exciting project, but how long does a kitchen remodel take

Imagine waking up and filling your coffee pot with water from the bathtub because you don’t have a functional kitchen sink. Then before you can pack the kid’s lunch, you have to clear off the construction dust to have a clean prep spot.

These are just a few things you’ll need to live with while going through a kitchen remodel, so it is wise to know what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time.

Don’t be discouraged because having a new kitchen, the one you’ve Pinned about for years, is a significant investment, but it will be worth it. But, the better you can plan and prepare, the smoother and faster the process will move along. 

In this post, I’m covering from surface upgrades to a custom kitchen renovation where you’re changing everything about your kitchen.

I’ve considered all the possibilities and will cover the average time a kitchen remodel project takes and much more!

How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take?

On average, the time frame for a small kitchen remodel takes several weeks compared to the amount of time a more complex remodel takes, which is several months. The most common timeframe for a complete kitchen remodel falls somewhere in the 6-8 week range.

Kitchen Remodel Timeline

Although the time needed to complete your kitchen renovation project can vary greatly, the order of steps in the timeline stays about the same.

  • Kitchen remodel planning steps
    • Dreaming and designing
    • Setting a budget
    • Orderings samples
  • Hiring a contractor
    • Interviewing
    • Review the scope of work
    • Putting down a deposit to secure a start date
  • Order materials
    • Measuring spaces
    • Appliances
    • New cabinets
    • Tile
    • Flooring
  • Prepare not to have a working kitchen
    • Pack up your old kitchen
    • Create a temporary kitchen
  • Actual construction phase
    • Demo
    • Make structural changes
    • Utilities rough-in
    • Drywall and paint
    • Install flooring
  • Actual work/Next Phase
    • Install cabinets
    • Measure and install countertops and sink
    • Install appliances and lighting fixtures
    • Attach hardware
    • Touch up paint
    • Install backsplash
  • Final phase
    • Clean, unpack and enjoy!

Common Kitchen Remodel Delays

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As you can imagine, there is a multitude of factors that impact your kitchen remodel timeline:

  • Size of the kitchen: a small kitchen project will not take as much time as larger kitchens.
  • DIY vs. hiring a professional: DIY may take longer, but hiring a professional kitchen contractor doesn’t guarantee they are available right away.
  • Scope of the project: surface updates take less time than gutting and replacing everything. 
  • Availability of materials: Backordered items and long wait times can delay the entire project.
  • Choosing custom vs. stock finishes: If you’re in a rush, opt for stock or plan way in advance if you want a custom kitchen.
  • Design changes: and change orders. Limit changes by taking your time during the design phase and bring home samples to see how everything looks together in your home.
  • Permitting delays: Obtaining a permit varies, so check your local laws as your first step in this entire process. Make this the first phase of the project.

What to Do First When Remodeling a Kitchen

Order of operations matters when remodeling kitchen cabinets. It helps to know what to do first to prevent headaches and potentially costly mistakes. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about what comes first.

Do You Install Kitchen Floor or Cabinets First?

You may be wondering about cabinets or floors first, and the answer is you should install your kitchen floor first. Installing flooring before your cabinets are preferred when possible for hardwood and vinyl floors. The reason is if you ever want to change your cabinets, you’ll be able to do. 

Kitchen Remodel Tile or Cabinets First

As with your other flooring, you should install tile flooring first. One money-saving tip is that you cannot run your flooring under your cabinets and kitchen island if you’re tight on budget. The time you save to ensure everything is level may not make it worth the few bucks saved.

What Goes First Cabinets or Countertops?

When doing a kitchen remodel, installing your cabinets comes before the countertops. Countertop installers will only measure for your counters once your cabinets are in place.

Do You Install Cabinets of Appliances First?

It may seem easier to bring your appliances in while your kitchen is empty; however, the order to remodel a kitchen is to install all the cabinets first and then the appliances.

Kitchen Structural Changes

When you don’t love the layout of the kitchen, your kitchen remodel is the perfect time to address any issues you have with your kitchen layout. A complete overhaul of your kitchen can include the following:

  • Switching up appliance layout
  • Adding an island
  • Installing new or more oversized windows
  • Adding recessed lighting
  • Structural work like wall removals

What Kitchen Changes Add Value

Increasing the value of your home may not be the first reason you are doing a kitchen remodel, but it certainly is an added benefit. Here are 5 value adding ideas for your kitchen remodel:

  • Add a kitchen island because buyers love the added storage and counter space.
  • Updated cabinets because buyers prefer something that has more visual appeal.
  • If updating the cabinets is not in your budget, then replace the cabinet hardware at the minimum.
  • Matching finishes and upgraded appliances go a long way in winning over buyers.
  • Install light, and bright countertops, such as quartz gives an instant facelift to even the most outdated of kitchens.

Kitchen Cabinets

There are plenty of options for updating or replacing your kitchen cabinets; some are more expensive than others. Some ideas to re-use existing cabinets by refacing or painting your existing cabinets. New cabinetry options include ready-made cabinets, and semi-custom and custom kitchen cabinets.

Best Place to Buy Kitchen Cabinets

Even among new cabinet options, there are ways to save money, such as RTA online sites or buying stock from your local cabinet store.

Avoid custom cabinets if you’re on a tight kitchen remodel budget. You can also save a significant amount on cabinet installation if you can DIY this (or know someone willing to help you).

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting the existing kitchen cabinets is an affordable option if you are happy with your current kitchen layout and your cabinets are in good condition. 

I lucked out in my kitchen remodel because despite the kitchen being over 50 years old, the original kitchen cabinets were immaculate, which allowed me to paint the cabinets.

Although painting cabinets is time-consuming and has a very particular set of steps that you must do to ensure the paint lasts. But it’s not hard, and it saves thousands of dollars. 

What is the Most Popular Color to Paint Kitchen Cabinets?

White continues to be the most popular kitchen cabinet color. Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore are the top two color creators. Here are six paint colors for kitchen cabinets:

Updating Existing Kitchen Cabinets

There are plenty of ways to update your kitchen cabinets that won’t break the bank. Check out budget-friendly ways to update cabinets in this post.

What is a Good Budget for Kitchen Cabinets?

HomeAdvisor’s latest stats reveal that you can expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $26,000. Most kitchen cabinets ring in the $4,000 to $13,000 range.

New Kitchen Appliances

New kitchen appliances are a typical kitchen upgrade that homeowners do while remodeling a kitchen. Stainless steel appliances are the most popular, but depending on the style of your kitchen, black, white, and even colored appliances are just as good.

How Long Does It Take for Appliances to Come In

According to Consumer Reports, you can expect new kitchen appliances to be available in as little as a couple of weeks (like two to three) and, with some products, as long as four to six weeks

If your item is in high demand or on backorder, like the GE Cafe Line during the pandemic, you can expect to wait six to eight months.

How Much Do New Kitchen Appliances Cost

Depending on the brand you select, you can expect to spend, on average, somewhere in the $3,500 range on a kitchen appliance package. For higher-end kitchen appliances, you could pay upwards of ten of thousands of dollars for all new appliances.

New Kitchen Countertops

How long does a kitchen remodel take // Kitchen countertops // www.TatrumsandTools.com

Swapping out kitchen countertops is another component of a kitchen remodel. Common upgraded countertop materials are granite countertops, quartz, marble, soapstone, and butcherblock.

If cost is a concern, consider using laminate in a matte and light finish. 

When I refinished my kitchen, I wanted quartz or marble, but both were several thousand dollars more than laminate, and I couldn’t justify the expense.

Trust me; laminate countertops have come a long way. The matte finishes are gorgeous, the lead time is much less, and the price is shockingly affordable.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Kitchen Countertop?

According to Home Depot, the average cost is $9 per square foot.

To get an idea of how much it will cost to replace your countertops, you first need to measure your space and determine the square feet. The average price per square foot varies greatly depending on the material.

Laminate is the most affordable, and solid surfaces and natural stones are the most expensive. Also, countertop installation is generally included in the price.

Kitchen Flooring Ideas

New flooring in the kitchen is a great idea to tackle as part of your kitchen remodel.

Commonly, homeowners will use the same flooring as the rest of the first floor to make the space look larger.

Another popular choice is tile or vinyl because these are more water-resistant.

When to Install Flooring in a Kitchen?

The order in which you install everything in your kitchen can get tricky. Here are a few tips:

  • Paint first- do your ceilings and walls before installing flooring.
  • Floors next – installing kitchen flooring before the cabinets are preferred.
  • Cabinets and appliances – put your flooring down before the cabinets and appliances.

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

A new backsplash is like putting on a necklace to complete your outfit. A kitchen with a backsplash looks complete, and it doesn’t have to cost much money to add one. These are some ideas for your kitchen backsplash:

  • Tile backsplash
  • Shiplap
  • Peel and stick
  • Slab matching your countertop
  • Stencil
  • Tin tiles

Do You Add Backsplash Before or After Countertops?

The backsplash is one of the last things you’ll do during a kitchen remodel. It’s also one of the fastest projects and should only take a couple of days to complete. For best results, install your backsplash after your countertops.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Light fixtures are another way to add charm and character to your kitchen. There are many different types of light fixtures, and not all kitchen lighting is created equally. 

Kitchen Light Fixtures

Planning and knowing where you’ll need an electrical box is essential for proper kitchen lighting. Ceiling height also affects the types of light fixtures that work best

Here are different types of lighting you can add to your kitchen:

  1. Wall Scones
  2. Upper Cabinet Lights
  3. Under Cabinet Lights
  4. Inner Cabinet Lights
  5. Recessed Lighting
  6. Flush Mount Lighting
  7. Semi Flush Lights
  8. Chandelier
  9. Pendant Lights

How to Layout Kitchen Lighting

Here are some tips to ensure you’re happy with how you laid out your kitchen lights.

  • Place recessed lights at the edge of your countertops – far enough forward so the light projects over your cabinets.
  • To determine how much space to leave between your recessed lighting, divide the height of the ceiling by two.
  • Add task lighting over your sink and island.
  • Under cabinet lighting is a nice added touch if the budget allows it.

Kitchen Paint Colors

Picking the right wall color for your kitchen remodel is yet another decision you’ll have to make. Homes these days are an open concept living style, so gone are the days of different paint colors for every room.

So, when selecting the paint color for your kitchen, you’ll want to ensure it coordinates with your cabinets, flooring, countertops, backsplash, and the surrounding rooms.

When Should I Paint My Kitchen Remodel?

Paint ceilings and walls after structural and functional (i.e., plumbing and electrical) changes and before installing cabinets or floors. You can expect minor knicks to occur during kitchen cabinets and flooring installation. Once this portion of the work is complete, you can go back and do quick paint touchups.

Hiring A Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

You need to ask a potential project manager several important questions at your initial meeting. You’ll want to ensure they are the right fit and can provide quality work. Also, plan in advance because a good kitchen remodeling contractor books out at least 4-8 months.

Kitchen Remodel Tips

How long does a kitchen remodel take // Kitchen remodel tips // www.TantrumsandTools.com

Decision overload can happen rather quickly during any remodeling project, and creating the kitchen of your dreams is no different. Sometimes you don’t know what you want or need until it’s too late. 

After living in and through several kitchen updates, here are tips to consider to make your kitchen renovation go more smoothly:

  • Plan your renovations for when it’s nice outside so you can grill most meals. Trust me, takeout pizza and fast food loses its appeal after the first week.
  • As part of your planning process, stock up on paper plates and disposable silverware because you won’t have a working dishwasher for a while.
  • The best way to create a temporary sink station is either near the bathroom tub, sink or laundry room area if you have water access. 
  • It’s a good idea to buy a dish drying mat, rack, and basin to hand wash dishes in your temporary sink area.

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