Planning a Kitchen Renovation: Your Complete Guide
The initial idea of renovating your kitchen and the final result are the two most exciting parts of a renovation, but the execution in the middle can be stressful. It is easy to become bogged down under the weight of all the decisions and things you need to keep track of.
Fortunately, we’re here to help! This article will help break down everything you need to know to get started with your renovation and a step-by-step kitchen renovation checklist template.
What is a kitchen renovation?
The word renovation is often used interchangeably with remodeling, but there’s a notable difference between them. A kitchen renovation entails updating an existing room with cosmetic changes, and people renovate to revive and refresh a space. It differs from a kitchen remodel in that it doesn’t require you to alter the kitchen’s layout.
Renovation is almost always cheaper than remodeling as it doesn’t involve knocking down walls or building new structures. Examples of renovation projects include:
- Putting in new cabinets
- Repainting walls
- Installing new wiring
- Swapping old lighting fixtures for new task lighting
How long should a kitchen renovation take?
The average kitchen renovation project will take between three and five weeks, though can take less or more time depending on the scale of your project.
What is the first thing to do when renovating a kitchen?
Your first step is to plan and design your new kitchen layout. You may do this alone or with the help of a professional kitchen designer.
Here are some points to consider when you’re starting your design process:
- Start with your fridge, freezer cooker and sink, adding other features around them.
- Think about what purpose your kitchen serves. Do you use your kitchen for cooking only, or does it have space for entertaining guests? Do you also eat in your kitchen? Answering these questions will help you decide what type of food preparation space and seating area you need.
- Consider what you like about your kitchen; are there any design or structural elements you’d like to keep or even emphasize?
- Look at your kitchen’s current lighting. Does the room have big windows to provide enough natural light? Will your current lighting fixtures tie in with your chosen theme? If not, you’ll want to consider your lighting options. Task lighting is a great way to highlight specific areas of the room, like under-cabinet lighting or pendant lights above the sink. If you also use your kitchen as a dining room, consider dimmable lighting for an easy ambiance change when it’s time to eat.
- Think about the room’s storage, particularly if your kitchen isn’t big. So many people renovate their kitchen with aesthetic beauty in mind and end up overlooking the kitchen’s functionality. If your kitchen currently features plenty of storage, look at emulating that in your new chosen style, or if there isn’t enough space, take that into account for your new design.
Great kitchen design isn’t easy, so consider reaching out to the experts if you're struggling. Our designers have all the experience and tools necessary to help you design your dream kitchen, even if you plan to DIY most of your project. Find out more here.
Can I renovate my kitchen myself?
Yes, though it will depend on your skill level, the quality of finish you want to achieve, your project's scale, and your ability to stick with the project! If you don’t want or have the skills to DIY the entire project, you can take charge of some of the “easier” parts.
For example, you can paint, apply a new backsplash, change your cabinet handles, and re-sand or refinish your floors. If you’re handy, you can even update and replace cabinets and countertops. The only thing you should never attempt is to alter the plumbing or electricity, unless you are trained to do so.
How much should I spend on a kitchen renovation?
The best thing about a kitchen renovation is that there’s no right or wrong amount to spend, and you can renovate your kitchen on an ad hoc basis. If you only have the money to update your cabinets, but you know it’ll make a huge difference, why not do it now? Unlike remodeling, kitchen renovations don’t need to be done all in one go. Kitchen renovations don’t involve gutting the room and re-structuring it, so there’s no reason you can’t take on this project bit by bit.
The cost of a kitchen renovation depends on the number of people you hire and the nature of their work, the materials you use and how much of each material you need.
What is the cheapest way to renovate a kitchen?
One of the most expensive parts of a kitchen renovation is the cabinets and counters. If you can’t afford to replace your counters right now, focus on the cabinets. If your cupboards’ style and color look a little dated, you can replace the doors provided the framework is in decent shape. Otherwise, a few coats of paint can make a difference, whether you choose a new color or want to refresh your existing paint.
If you have a knack for upcycling, take some old bed slats and turn them into wall storage. If you don’t have any bed slats handy, you can cut leftover pieces of wood into little pieces and add S-hooks for hanging dish towels, cutlery pots and large utensils. Not only does this make use of a material that may have gone to waste, but it also reduces drawer clutter by shifting some items onto the wall!
You can create a feature wall fairly easily too. Stick-on wallpaper is a great rent-friendly way to spruce up your walls, as you can peel it off at the end of your tenancy. Or, if you’re a homeowner, you could choose a bright paint color to contrast with the other walls in your kitchen. For some added excitement, put up some framed photos or your favorite artwork. Who said the kitchen is just for cooking and eating?
A Step-By-Step Checklist To Renovate Your Kitchen
- Create a plan for when you’re going to renovate your home and how you’ll adjust while it’s in progress. A kitchen remodel will disrupt your home for a few weeks or months, so you’ll need to be prepared for the temporary inconvenience. Thankfully, you can avoid undue stress by choosing to renovate your home during quieter months. When deciding when to renovate, consider your family’s schedule and the weather. For example, summertime is a popular season for homeowners to remodel because they can utilize an outdoor grill while their oven is unavailable.
- Decide what to renovate. Will your project be quick, consisting of a lick of paint and some new blinds? Or are you thinking of something more drastic, like installing new kitchen cabinets and counters? Once you’ve decided what you want to change, you’ll be able to take the next steps more easily.
- Establish your budget. Whether you’re splurging on this renovation or doing things on a budget, it’s important to know how much you’re willing and able to spend. You should also be prepared to spend a little more than expected and set aside an extra 10% in case materials cost more than planned or your contractors need to add time to your project. (If you need to, take a step back to #2 and rethink what you’re renovating if you have a tighter budget than you thought.) For more help on how much you should budget, click here.
- Find and book the right professionals/contractors (if/where necessary). You may need to hire an interior designer, plumber, electrician, and painter, depending on if you plan to do any DIY. The contractors you choose can make or break the process, and hiring the first person you encounter can result in a rushed project, so choose your team wisely. The most trustworthy and experienced contractors are often booked up to eight months in advance, so planning well ahead is vital.
- Complete the renovation.
- When your renovation is complete, accessorize! The right accents and decorations will bring your kitchen to life. For more guidance on how to decorate your new kitchen, click here.
The schedule of work may be dictated by the schedules of any professionals you hire to help you complete the renovation, but a typical schedule is:
- Remove old wall units
- Remove worktops
- Remove base units
- Remove flooring
- Any rewiring that needs doing
- Any rerouting of plumbing that needs doing
- Paint walls/ceiling
- Lay new flooring
- Install new wall units
- Install new base units
- Fit any necessary electrics
- Install countertop
- Fit sink and plumbing
- Install appliances
- Install extractor fan
- Install backsplash
If you’re in the early stages of renovating your kitchen and aren’t sure where to start, Skipp has got you covered. We’re passionate about helping our customers realize their kitchen dreams without breaking the bank.
We can save you up to 40% on your kitchen renovation with four easy steps:
- We’ll take a scan of your kitchen. No lengthy calls or visits; just one quick scan.
- We’ll generate hundreds of design options and narrow them down to suit your needs. You can pick a general style that speaks to you and customize the fine details.
- We’ll give you access to curated design collections and top tier designers.
- Finally, our vetted contractors and planners will put your kitchen together exactly how you want it.