Your Complete Kitchen Remodel Checklist

Becca Stokes
Written by Becca Stokes
Updated November 4, 2022
Friends eat in updated kitchen
The Good Brigade / DigitalVision via Getty Images

Everything you need to check off your list before starting your big kitchen remodel

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You’ve dreamed, you’ve saved up, and now the time has finally come: You’re going to remodel your kitchen. But before you start ripping out fixtures and picking out finishes, make sure you have a plan in place to keep your project organized. 

This kitchen remodel checklist will help you keep your head on your shoulders until you bid the last contractor farewell.

Kitchen remodeling checklist, including planning a layout by determining the best flow and organization

Get Inspired

This is the fun part! Before you can transform your current setup into the kitchen of your dreams, you have to know what those dreams are. Where do you find inspiration? Seeing fancy kitchens in movies? Browsing Pinterest? Leafing through magazines? Taking a hike and letting your mind wander?

  • Look for colors and textures that appeal to you

  • Save examples of what you’d like your new kitchen to look like

  • Use this collection of examples to help you communicate with your pros

Evaluate Your Must-Haves vs. Can-Waits

Once you’ve settled on a look for your new kitchen, it’s time to start bringing the project back to Earth. Sure, a new refrigerator to match the reimagined cabinets would be nice, but it’s still only three years old and your cracked marble countertops are what really need attention.

  • Prioritize what needs to be updated for health and safety

  • Consider cosmetic enhancements second

Pick the Right Season

Kitchen with grey cabinets and white tile
Iriana Shiyan -

In our home, July is a busy time of year (four birthdays and an anniversary)! Chances are your family is also busier at certain times of the year than they are at others. Keep this in mind when scheduling your kitchen remodel and try to do it during a time of the year when things are a little less chaotic.

  • Pick the time of year that works for your family

  • Remodel in the milder months so you can cook outside

Know Your Budget

You’re now armed with everything you need to plan your budget. Do not start a remodeling project without even a basic outline. The average cost of kitchen renovation or remodeling $25,575 which breaks down to about $150 per square foot. Homeowners who tackle this project usually spend between $13,367 and $37,793 for their dream kitchen.

  • Budget for costs including labor and materials

  • Give yourself a buffer within your budget for additional expenses that might surprise you

Do the Research

Your job doesn’t stop once you’ve made a budget and hired professionals to get to work.

  • Research different professionals before you hire

  • Know the different options available for new appliances

  • Research the different options available for flooring, for lighting fixtures, or any other feature of your kitchen you may want to change

Set the Layout

Modern kitchen
By starush -

Get an idea of how you want to use the space. This part of the process is critical, and while it may change once you bring in the professionals, it’s good to get a feel for it early on. Don’t be afraid to do a couple of drawings of your ideal layout to share with those you hire. 

Here are the features you’ll want to make sure you include in your layout:

  • Appliances

  • Cabinets

  • Countertops

  • Lighting

  • Floors

  • Hardware

  • Interior decor, as needed

Hire Professionals Early

Once you have completed the steps above, you are ready to hire a professional. While there are certain parts of the process you can DIY with a kitchen remodel, certain work (like wiring and plumbing) requires experts.

  • Get at least three quotes from professionals in your area before you decide on who you are hiring

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for references

  • Once you find a contractor you want to work with, make your deposit to secure them for the job

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