How to Plan a Kitchen Remodel

A High Level Review of the Planning Steps involved in a Kitchen Remodeling Project

By Mark J. Donovan

Mark Donovan of discusses how to plan a kitchen remodel in this video. He provides a high level overview on the key steps required for kicking off and ensuring a successful kitchen remodeling project.

A kitchen remodeling project is an expensive and complicated project. You can expect to spend anywhere from $20K to $100K on a kitchen remodel. Consequently it is important to plan your kitchen remodel carefully.

I usually start off with pencil and quad-ruled paper, and sketch out and list the key features I want to see in my kitchen remodeling project. Besides a scaled drawing of my kitchen remodeling plans, I also generate a separate list of key features that I want to incorporate into my kitchen remodel, including flooring materials, kitchen and countertop styles and materials, lighting, appliances, etc.

I then visit a kitchen supplier or home improvement center and meet with a kitchen designer. The kitchen designer can take my sketches and list of key features, along with an accurate set of measurements of the kitchen space, to generate a formal set of kitchen design plans.

Applying granite sealers

In the process I can work with the kitchen designer to select specific kitchen cabinet and countertop materials and styles. Often these stores also offer kitchen appliances. By the time the kitchen designer is complete I have a complete set of kitchen design plans.

Kitchen flooring is another major element in a kitchen remodel. I highly recommend installing the new kitchen flooring first, after removing all of the old kitchen cabinets, appliances, and flooring. This way the kitchen flooring can be installed with fewer cuts and seams. Cover the new kitchen flooring with drop cloths or paper while the kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances are being installed to protect it.

Another major component in planning a kitchen remodeling project is developing a sequence for the actual kitchen renovation. It is important to have a well thought out kitchen remodeling demolition and construction plan. If done properly there should be minimal downtime of the kitchen. If done improperly you could be 2 or 3 weeks with an inoperable kitchen. If planned out properly, your newly remodeled kitchen should be installed within one week.

If wrap-around tiles are to be installed around the kitchen countertop edge, a thin furring strip is attached along the perimeter underside of the plywood substrate.

A cement backer board strip is then attached around the perimeter of the plywood substrate. The granite tiles that are placed around the outer-edge of the top surface of the countertop are positioned such that they overhang the edge of the countertop to a width equal to the width of the small tile edge pieces. The small tile edge pieces are then placed into the thinset adhesive and held in place with tape.

So if you’re determined to have granite countertops in your kitchen, and you’re on a tight kitchen remodeling budget, granite tile for countertops is a great solution. By keeping grout seams at a minimum and applying a high quality grout sealer to the seams on a periodic basis, you can have the look and durability of solid granite countertops at a fraction of the cost.

For help on your kitchen remodeling project, see my Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet provides a request for quote checklist section that you can provide to prospective kitchen remodeling contractors. It also includes a comprehensive kitchen remodeling cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the contractor to include his projected remodeling costs for every phase of the project.

Related Information

Additional Kitchen Remodeling Design Resources


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