Kitchen Remodel Checklist: 12 Tips for Success

Evelyn Long

Dec 14, 2022


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The kitchen is a high-traffic area of your house and the perfect place for entertaining. As you spend more time at home, you may be ready for a kitchen remodel at some point. Painting your walls or updating your fixtures can make a room feel brand new. 

Kitchen remodels can also increase a home’s value. A minor renovation can provide you with an 81.1% return on investment (ROI). However, there are so many elements to consider, from design to budgeting. Here are 12 tips to add to your kitchen remodel checklist. 

1.  Determine the Function of the Space

Before starting the renovation process, have a plan for the space. A good start is figuring out how to update its function. Consider how many people use the kitchen and how often. If the room gets crowded, then an addition may be beneficial. If you frequently entertain, this is an especially important upgrade. Suppose you like to cook, updating appliances is another necessary improvement. 

If you have a larger family an island can give you some extra space. Consider granite or marble countertops for their aesthetic appeal and durability. However, they can be more expensive than other choices. If you’re on a budget, laminate countertops are a more affordable selection. Also, consider if you need to update your plumbing or electrical. 

2.  Do Some Background Research

Designing is the fun part, but you want to understand what goes into the remodeling process. Figure out specific details, such as the goals and timeline of the project. Are you replacing the whole kitchen or just upgrading certain fixtures? You should also understand the phases of the project, such as demolition. 

During the construction process, you may have limited access to your kitchen. So, it’s important to plan how you’ll get meals during that time. In addition, know the payment schedule and obtain building permits. Understanding the scope of the project makes the renovation feel less stressful. 

3.  Hire the Right Team 

When it comes to major renovations, it’s best to hire a contractor. You can do simple tasks like painting or replacing cabinets on your own. On the other hand, plumbing or electrical work should be left to the professionals.

Keep in mind contractors have the knowledge and resources to complete a project. Hire them early since they are often booked in advance. Hiring contractors should be at the top of your kitchen remodel checklist. 

To find reputable builders, ask family and friends for references. You can also search online sites, like Upwork, for independent contractors. Interview more than one contractor and know what you want out of the renovation. Check licenses, project history, and online reviews as well. Along with contractors, hiring an interior designer can help with planning the layout. 

4. Create a Budget 

Having a budget prevenst you from splurging on items you can’t afford. It’s important to create this budget before starting the renovation. First, get a general estimate for kitchen remodeling prices in your area. For example, an average renovation costs between $12,567-$34,962. The cost varies based on several factors, such as the kitchen size and scale of the project. 

You can also ask friends who have had similar projects done how much it cost them. Set aside some money for unexpected expenses as well. Before moving forward, have a plan to finance the renovation. 

5. Pick the Right Time

Since renovation can disrupt your  family’s daily routine, it’s important to plan the timing. For example, summer or spring remodels are more popular. You can rely more on your outdoor grill and less on your refrigerators. Plus, it is the perfect excuse to visit with friends and family. 

Also, you may want to wait to do renovations after the holidays. During this time, you probably use your kitchen for family gatherings. If you have children, plan the project for a time when they’re at school. 

6. Design the Layout 

Once finances are in order, start figuring out your dream layout. Have you always wanted an island or extra storage space? L-shaped kitchen layouts are popular for their functionality. The two adjacent walls create a triangle path between work zones. Adding an island can further enhance this layout. 

Here are some more popular kitchen arrangements:

  • One wall
  • Gallery wall
  • U-shaped
  • G-Shaped

During the design step, it can be helpful to talk with a kitchen designer. They have the experience and can even provide valuable suggestions. Suppose you like your current layout. Then focus on cosmetic updates. Keeping the same arrangement saves you time and money. 

During the design phase, sketches are used to help visualize the space. Having discussions about the floor plans and cabinet sizes are important as well. You want to determine where everything will go and how much space you need. Once the details are in place, it’s important to look at the total cost. 

7. Make Sure Everyone Is on the Same Page 

Before starting construction, everyone must be on the same page. Any contracts should be signed, and the contractors should understand their roles. You must communicate your vision early on. It can save you stress and money down the line. Another thing to remember is sticking to your budget. 

8. Have Fun With Fixtures and Finishes 

This is the step of the kitchen remodel checklist you’ll enjoy. These small details can add character to your space. Once you determine your style, start finding pieces that fit in well. For example, stainless steel appliances match a modern-looking kitchen. 

There are many finishing choices to make. The cabinetry hardware is one of them. Matte black finishes are popular choices for homeowners. They blend well with bright colors and provide a sleek appearance.

Here are some of the other fixtures and finishes you’ll need to select:

  • Appliances
  • Kitchen sink and faucets
  • Light fixtures
  • Countertop material
  • Backsplash  

9. Finalize Design Plans

Once a design plan is in place, it’s time to figure out the final touches. These can include things like floor and lighting switch plans. Then you need to submit construction drawings to apply for a permit. Have a licensed contractor finalize the paperwork and pick up the licenses. 

Also, check on the timeline for this step. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive a permit. If there is an especially high demand, it could even take months. In Orland, FL, it takes an average of 10-15 business days. 

Keep in mind you’ll need to pay a fee. To help speed up the process, have all the required paperwork prepared ahead of time. 

10. Prepare the Space

When it’s time to start the construction, you want to be prepared. One of the first things you want to do is get the room ready. It is a step on the kitchen remodel checklist many homeowners forgot. Move the future into a temporary storage space, such as an extra bedroom, and wrap any items left in the room in plastic. Seal the doors and vents to minimize the circulation of dust. 

If  you plan to stay at home during the renovation, set up a temporary kitchen. Within this space, have a place to store food. For example, you can use a bookshelf or crates. It’s also a good idea to have a temporary water source, to clean dishes. Consider using a bathroom sink. 

During the construction, it’s a good idea to plan your meals for those weeks. Then you can stock up on the items you need and not have to run to the fridge. 

11. Remember the Construction Punch List 

A construction punch list is a document that states any work that still needs to be done on the project. It is usually created near the end of the process. The list covers the missing items or things that went wrong. For example, a contractor may have forgotten to install a switch plate. The list is essential so everything is complete before closing out the project. 

12. Have an Idea Folder

To help get some kitchen remodel design inspiration, look at pictures online. Then save photos of features you want for your house. You can also examine your friend’s kitchen and note things you like about them. Along with the decor, determine the type of materials you like. 

Plus, you can take style preferences from other areas of the house. Suppose you like to keep other spaces extra tidy; glass door cabinets may not be the best option. Instead, painted doors can help conceal the clutter. You can use your idea folder to create a wishlist, making it easier to make quick decisions. 

Kitchen Remodeling Design Trends

With so many design decisions to make, it can feel overwhelming. Here are some of the most popular kitchen trends. 

1. Minimalism 

After a year of living at home, many people are tired of the clutter. So, a minimalist design is a growing trend. It involves clean lines and neutral paint colors. It also emphasizes minimal furniture and less decor. Having vented cabinets can help hide small appliances. A minimalist design style can make a kitchen feel more open and inviting. 

2. Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands are staples in many homes. They are great for providing extra space to enjoy family meals or entertain. Large islands can even eliminate the need for a separate dining area. In addition, the cabinets offer plenty of storage space. Plus, if you enjoy cooking, it gives you more room to spread out. 

3. Sustainable Materials

Some homeowners want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. There are many ways to make a property more sustainable. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and installing low-flow faucets are excellent places to start. Also, you can use more natural materials in your floorings, such as bamboo or cork. 

Another way to have a green design is by repurposing items. Before demolition starts, consider saving certain fixtures, like cabinets. You cna repaint the shelves to give them a fresh appearance. White, dark gray, or blue are popular choices. 

4. Bringing in the Outdoors

Nature can create a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Consider bringing in more natural elements to your kitchen design. For example, larger windows or skylights can brighten up the room. Painting with greens and blues can also bring in the sense of nature. 

In addition, wooden decor, like tables and chairs, can provide a cozy look. Plus, wooden flooring can increase a home’s resale value. You can decorate with potted plants as well.  

5. More Storage Space 

As you start to cook from home more often, you need more room for your appliances. Having extra cabinets on a kitchen island is a simple way to increase storage. You may also want to add hooks on the walls to hang up coffee mugs. Keep in mind window sills can also be used to store smaller items. 

The Perfect Kitchen Remodel Checklist

Renovating a kitchen can be a fun and time-consuming project. There is so much to keep in mind, from design plans to hiring contractors. So, follow this kitchen remodel checklist to have a successful renovation. 

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