The Average Time to Renovate a Kitchen From Start to Finish
One of the best improvements you can make to your home is a kitchen renovation. For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and so giving your kitchen a makeover is an easy way to increase your enjoyment of your home and its value.
Now, you’ve almost certainly considered the costs of a kitchen remodel, but have you thought about how long a kitchen renovation takes? If you start a kitchen renovation before knowing all the steps involved and how much time each will take, you may quickly find yourself feeling overwhelmed.
Here, we will outline each part of a kitchen renovation, step-by-step, so that you can plan your entire project to make it go smoothly and stress-free.
What is a kitchen renovation?
A kitchen renovation is any work you do to your kitchen without making drastic structural changes (that would be a kitchen remodel). That means unless you’re ripping out walls or changing the layout of all your cabinets and appliances, you’re likely thinking of embarking on a renovation.
Besides a bathroom renovation, a kitchen renovation is the most popular improvement homeowners make to their homes, despite often being the most expensive.
Whatever the scope of the kitchen renovation, an updated kitchen will help to make your home a more comfortable place to live and increase the value of your home, should you think about selling in the future.
How long should a kitchen renovation take?
The time a kitchen renovation will take depends largely on the design, the size of the space, the quality of materials, and the availability of contractors/sub-contractors.
If you are keeping your existing kitchen layout, a kitchen renovation could take as little as six to eight weeks for completion, especially in a small kitchen. However, if you are looking at a much larger kitchen renovation project, you will find it takes a lot longer to complete, typically between three and six months.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the timeline you can expect for a full kitchen renovation, step-by-step.
Kitchen Renovation Timeline
Step 1: Plan
This can be done at a pace to suit you. You could gradually put together your plans over a year or two, finalize your plans in a couple of weeks, or get something drawn up in only a few days. It will simply depend on the scope of your kitchen renovation and how organized you wish to be.
Step 2: Find a Contractor
This is another step that can be done at your own pace. You need to be sure to interview at least three contractors with positive referrals, receive quotes from each, and ensure that they are available to complete the renovation within your projected timeframe.
Finding a reliable and trustworthy contractor is crucial to ensure that your kitchen renovation goes to plan, with highly skilled sub-contractors. That’s why we work with only our most trusted contractors on our customers’ projects, so they don’t have to do the leg work.
Step 3 and 4: Design
The initial design process will probably take somewhere between 1 and 3 days, depending on your project’s size. This is when you should decide what you need, what you want, and what you could compromise on to cut down on costs if necessary.
It should take around 1 week to 1 month to work up your completed design, ready for your contractor. At this point, your design should be finalized so that it can be referred back to throughout the project, without any confusion.
Step 5: Order Materials and Products
This can take somewhere between 1 and 2 months but can be started before your design is complete if you already know what you want, especially with appliances. If you opt for higher quality materials, these are likely to take longer to receive as they will be made bespoke to order. This timeframe also allows for delays due to damaged goods, any returns you need to make, and if you change your mind.
Step 6: Demolish and Complete Structural Changes
Now you are ready to demolish your existing kitchen. Exciting stuff! This is likely to only take a few days, but if you are also looking to make structural changes to your space, such as wall removal or relocating windows and doors, you should allow for 2 to 3 months.
Step 7: Rough-in Utilities
Next, you need to have any plumbing, gas, or electrical changes corresponding to your new kitchen layout. This should take anywhere from 2 to 5 days to 2 weeks, depending on when sub-contractors are available to complete the work and how far off the original footprint the utilities need to be moved.
Step 8: Paint
You should take the opportunity to paint the walls, ceilings, and trim before doing anything else at this stage. It is much easier to paint an empty space than trying to cut your way around cabinets, and it should only take 2 or 3 days to complete and fully dry.
Step 9: Install Flooring
Depending on the type of flooring you have chosen and the size of your space, this should take 1 to 2 days. If you are tackling this project yourself, you may find that it takes a little longer.
Step 10: Install Cabinets
Now your new kitchen can really start to come to shape as the new cabinets are installed. This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 days, depending on the size of your kitchen.
Step 11: Measure for Countertop
You should pre-schedule a date with your vendor to do this to ensure that they will be available to come to your home and collect accurate measurements ready for manufacture. This can be done within a day. You can then expect to need to wait between 1 and 4 weeks for your custom-made countertops to be made and delivered.
Step 12: Install Appliances (part 1)
Now is when you should install appliances that would otherwise be affected by the installation of the countertop. This can be done within 1 or 2 days, or you may be able to skip straight to the next step.
Step 13: Install Lighting
This includes ceiling lighting, workspace lighting, and under cabinet lighting and should only take a day or two.
Step 14: Install Countertops
This can be completed in 1 to 2 days.
Step 15: Install Backsplash
This will take 1 or 2 days, depending on the material used and the complexity of the design.
Step 16: Install Appliances (part 2)
This includes the sink and all other remaining appliances. This should only take one day but can take longer if you have gas appliances.
Step 17: Finishing Touches
Allow one week to make any finishing touches, such as carpentry finishes, adding hardware, free-standing furniture, and pieces of décor.
What is the first thing to do when renovating a kitchen?
The very first thing you should do when renovating a kitchen is to decide what you really need and want from your new kitchen and what is most important to you. This is especially important if you have a smaller budget to work with, as you can distinguish the necessary from the luxury and make cutbacks on these aspects.
Is it worth doing a kitchen renovation?
If you can afford a kitchen renovation, it is well worth the cost. A brand-new kitchen not only provides your home with a more comfortable, enjoyable space to cook and spend time with family and friends, it can also greatly increase the value of your home. (It typically increases the value by 6%.)
Buyers looking for a new home place a lot of weight on the kitchen's condition and quality, so if you are thinking about selling your home in the future, a kitchen renovation is worthwhile.
Can I renovate my kitchen myself?
If you have the skills and tools to renovate your kitchen yourself, it is certainly possible, and it can save you a lot of money over the course of the renovation project. You should be aware that your renovation timeline is likely to be longer than the one outlined above, with more time needing to be taken to ensure that jobs are done right.
It should also be said that you should hire professionals to do plumbing and electrical work as this could result in serious issues or injury if not done correctly.
If you’re brave enough to DIY your kitchen renovation, you may be able to cut costs down by as much as 50%, assuming you do it all yourself.
How much should I spend on a kitchen renovation?
According to HomeAdvisor, you should look to spend no less than 5% of the value of your home on your kitchen renovation, but no more than 15%. This gives you a better chance of getting the best return on investment when you sell your home in the future.
A kitchen renovation can be daunting, but it is well worth the time and effort when all is done. If going through all the steps alone doesn’t appeal to you, we’re here to help. We can take the reins to take accurate measurements, generate hundreds of design ideas personalized to your space, and pair you with the right professionals to get the job done quickly and to the highest finish. To find out more, click here.