Kitchen Remodeling Checklist

A Kitchen Remodeling Checklist should be part of Every Kitchen Remodeling Project

By Mark J. Donovan

A kitchen is one of the most utilized and valued rooms in a home. Consequently deciding upon a kitchen remodeling project is a great way to better enjoy your home and increase its value. For many homeowners, however, they do not know where to begin in a kitchen remodeling process. A kitchen remodeling checklist can help. A kitchen remodeling checklist provides a plan and schedule for successfully tackling a kitchen remodeling project.

With pen and paper you can begin to create your own kitchen remodeling checklist. In essences, it begins by generating a list of questions, from which then the questions turn into an action plan. In the end, you will create a full blown kitchen remodeling checklist.

To get you started in developing your own checklist, I have tried to summarize below the high level items that you should include in your kitchen remodeling checklist. Bear in mind that this is only a high level checklist, and that there are many more details that you will need to fill in to complete your own kitchen remodeling checklist.

By fleshing out a complete checklist you can mitigate unforeseen problems that frequently come up in kitchen remodeling projects, and increase the likelihood of getting the remodeled kitchen of your dreams.

Summary Kitchen Remodeling Checklist

1) Check out Financing Options for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

Assuming you are not paying cash for your kitchen remodeling project, you will need to obtain financing. Visit a few of your local banks to see which ones will loan you money, how much money, and at what terms.

With a better understanding of the funds you can borrow you can establish a baseline budget.

Kitchen Remodeling Checklist

2) Evaluate the Goals of Your New Kitchen

Assuming you are remodeling your existing kitchen, versus building a new kitchen addition, assess your kitchen goals within the context and confines of the existing kitchen space. For example, is the kitchen area large enough to support a kitchen island or a small eating area?

Write down your kitchen design goals so that you can share them with either an architect or a kitchen designer. They can also help evaluate your kitchen remodeling options to see what is feasible.

3) Kitchen Remodeling Design Plans

Depending on the complexity of your kitchen remodeling project you may need to enlist the services of an architect. If you plan to move walls, and change electrical outlet and fixture locations you will most likely need to hire one.

If, on the other hand, your kitchen remodeling project simply involves new kitchen cabinets, appliances, and flooring, you may be able to get away with just a kitchen designer. I should hesitate on saying “just a kitchen designer”. Most kitchen designers are extremely knowledgeable in designing state of the art modern kitchens and can provide solutions and recommendations that include cabinetry, flooring, and lighting.

Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet

After you have a complete set of kitchen remodeling plans, including a kitchen cabinet design, you are nearly ready to begin remodeling.

4) Hiring a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

Again, if your kitchen remodeling project involves moving walls, and electrical and plumbing fixtures, then you will most likely need to hire a kitchen remodeling contractor and some subcontractors.

Use your complete set of kitchen remodeling plans to meet with prospective kitchen remodeling contractors to obtain contractor remodeling bids. Make sure you take the time and effort to carefully review each kitchen remodeling contractor bid to determine which contractor is right for your kitchen remodeling project.

5) Obtain Financing (If Required)

Once you have identified your kitchen remodeling contractor and have a formal cost estimate you can then complete the process of obtaining financing.

6) Pulling Kitchen Remodeling Permits

With a kitchen remodeling project you may or may not need to pull permits. It depends upon the complexity of the remodeling project and what contractor trades are required. Again, if you are moving walls, changing/adding electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures you will indeed need to pull permits.

7) Start of Kitchen Remodeling

Once you have your kitchen remodeling permits in hand you are ready to begin the first step of your kitchen remodeling project, demolition. Depending upon the terms of your contract with your kitchen remodeling contractor you may, or may not have to do this work yourself.

In addition, you should have also included in your plans a solution for providing temporary kitchen services, such as a sink and stove.

After the kitchen is free of the old kitchen cabinetry and appliances then the real remodeling work can start in earnest. Start and completion dates for the remodeling work should have been included in the kitchen remodeling timeline provided by your contractor.

8) Inspect your Kitchen Remodeling Contractor’s Work Regularly

Assuming you are living in the home throughout the kitchen remodeling effort, it will be fairly easy to monitor your contractor’s performance and craftsmanship. If you see issues, promptly bring them to the attention of your contractor. Delaying the communication of problems will cost you more money, as well as the relationship you have with your contractor. Do not, however, constantly barrage your contractor with questions and petty issues. This is the quickest way to lose your contractor and cause cost overruns and delays. To simply put it, just make sure he is constructing the new kitchen to the specifications of the kitchen remodeling plans.

9) Schedule Kitchen Remodeling Inspections

If permits are required in your kitchen remodeling project, make sure that upon the completion of major milestones, e.g. the rough in of new plumbing, that either you or the remodeling contractor contact the building inspector to stop by and sign off on the work.

10) Obtain Final Inspection

If there were permits pulled, once the kitchen remodeling project is complete have the building inspector come in to make the final inspection and approve of the work.

With the final inspection complete, your newly remodeled kitchen is ready for use.

It is important to remember that this is a summary kitchen remodeling checklist. There are many other detailed steps along the way that will need to be taken into consideration depending upon your unique situation, for example, the selection of wall coverings, flooring and window treatments to name just a few. All of these items need to be addressed early on to allow for long lead times.

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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