he kitchen serves as a home’s centerpiece, where countless memories are formed. It's a place where family members spend quality time cooking and enjoying meals together.
Since this space is the heart and soul of any residence, it comes as no surprise that a kitchen renovation is included in every homeowner's bucket list of improvement projects. And as with any other home upgrade, a kitchen makeover can be a time-consuming but fun activity.
The return on investments for kitchen remodeling projects ranges from over 50 to 81%, according to 2018 estimates—that is, if you know how to do it properly. However, without a timeline, you might go overboard with the costs.
A kitchen remodeling timeframe must include a series of preparations and realistic projections to make the project successful. Understanding how it works is the first step to making one.
So, what is a kitchen remodel timeline?
A kitchen renovation timeline is a calendar of activities expected during various project stages. It includes a list of tasks and a schedule of when each job must be completed. Moreover, it lets you know how much time you need to spend making your dream a reality if you take the do-it-yourself route.
Similarly, a kitchen remodel schedule is crucial when hiring professionals to estimate costs. Either way, setting up a program of tasks is valuable in planning your activities and ensuring you don't spend more time and money than originally intended.
The main considerations in a kitchen remodel timeline
Creating a timeline can be challenging mostly because there are several aspects you need to consider:
- Scope of work: A kitchen renovation can be as minor as replacing the floor tiles, certain fixtures and repainting. Conversely, it can be as time-consuming as breaking down and reconstructing walls or realigning utilities like the plumbing and electrical systems.
- Availability of materials: Are you going to replace all your countertops, cabinets, and other fixtures with state-of-the-art products? Expect delays if you want customized materials or complex designs for your large-scale kitchen renovation project.
- Budget: Having sufficient funds to finance the project is crucial. With the rising prices of construction materials and labor, it's best to set aside at least 20% of the total project costs for unexpected expenses to avoid budget-related delays.
Comparing the current kitchen design to how you'd want it to look is key to pointing out what needs to be done. For instance, a ‘70s kitchen remodel would likely need a lot of work—upgrading the cabinets, fixtures, cooking apparatus, and others—compared to one built more recently. The same applies to projects requiring a drastic kitchen space or layout change.
What are included in the kitchen remodel timeline?
Below are the core elements that must be included in a kitchen remodel timeline.
1. Preparation (two weeks to one month)
When remodeling a kitchen, what comes first is a series of preparations to guarantee smooth implementation:
- Finalizing your objectives and design theme (months before the preparation stage)
- Assessing your space (one day)
- Meeting with your contractors (one week)
- Accepting bids and choosing the contractor (one week)
- Finalizing and signing the contract (one week)
- Obtaining permits and other requirements (varies from state to state)
Before initiating the renovation project, a second visit may be needed to take all the measurements and hold additional discussions regarding the project. Contractors can also start sourcing the materials at this stage.
💡Tips for choosing the best contractor
After discussing with around three to five contractors, ask them to submit a bid. Choose which company provides the best offer and perform due diligence by asking for referrals or meeting with the firm's former clients.
2. Remodeling proper (one to two months)
Once you've accepted the project quote, the contractor or professionals will start the project as soon as possible. The following are rough timeline estimations of some of the most common kitchen remodeling activities:
- Demolition (three to four days)
- Customization of cabinets, countertops, and other fixtures (four to six weeks)
- Purchasing new kitchen appliances (one to two days)
- Re-piping and rewiring (one week)
- Backsplash and kitchen tile installation (two to three days)
- Repainting (two to three days)
- Installation of plumbing and electrical fixtures like switches, lights, taps, etc. (three days)
- Flooring and cabinet installation (one to two weeks)
If you're taking the DIY approach, you should know in what order you need to remodel a kitchen to prevent mistakes. Generally, it will depend on the jobs that need to be done. For example, removing cabinets, countertops, and flooring must go first. Transferring plumbing and electrical systems must be done too before demolition.
Once you have your kitchen renovation permit, an inspector will check the ongoing work. If a certain job fails or if violations of local building laws are noted, your contractor will be asked to address the issues. A repeat inspection will be scheduled as well.
3. Post-renovation activities (three to five days)
Clean-ups take one to two days and are typically done by contractors. Additionally, you may need a few more days for minor changes like realignments, touch-ups, and detailing tasks. Before handing out the full payment, make sure you're completely satisfied with your contractor's work.
A kitchen remodel takes three months on average, but it can be longer or shorter, depending on the project’s complexity and scope, your kitchen space, and the customizations needed. Whether doing it yourself or hiring contractors, making a timeline is crucial to ensure the project fits your goals, budget, preference, and needs.
However, note that no project is perfect, so prepare for some hiccups and major setbacks. Remember that the timeline isn't set in stone, and you can extend it reasonably if needed.