Transform your kitchen: A practical kitchen renovation checklist

Design a kitchen that's both stylish and functional.

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Do you dream of a kitchen that's both functional and stylish? A space where you can cook and entertain with ease? Renovating a kitchen can be a grueling task, but it doesn’t have to be. With proper planning and a handy kitchen renovation checklist guide, you can achieve your dream kitchen successfully–even if you decide to do a DIY kitchen renovation. 

From setting your renovation goals to adding those finishing touches, this useful checklist for kitchen remodeling will walk you through each step of the process. 

Kitchen renovation checklist


Set renovation goals

Define the specific goals and objectives you have before you start remodeling your kitchen. Do you want to enhance functionality, update the aesthetics, or create more space for entertaining? Identifying your goals will guide your decisions and ensure your kitchen remodel aligns with your vision.

Create a vision board

Gather inspiration from magazines, websites, and social media platforms to create a vision board. Visualize your desired kitchen style, color scheme, and layout. This will help you communicate your ideas effectively to contractors or designers and make certain everyone is on the same page.

Find a reputable contractor or designer

Take the time to research and hire a professional who understands your vision and has experience in kitchen renovations. Seek recommendations, review portfolios, check their licenses, and conduct interviews to hire a good fit. A skilled professional will guide you through the process, offer valuable insights, and help bring your dream kitchen to life. 

Create a timeline

Establish a realistic timeline for your project, including milestones and deadlines. Take into account the lead times for materials, availability of contractors, and any potential delays. A well-planned timeline will keep you organized and ensure that your kitchen makeover progresses smoothly.

Licenses and permits

Check with your local council about the necessary permits and licenses required for your renovation. Compliance with regulations will save you from potential headaches down the line. Research or ask about any specific regulations related to plumbing, electrical work, or structural changes to guarantee your kitchen makeover is following local building codes. 

Determine your budget

Setting a realistic budget is essential so you don’t go beyond your financial limits and prioritize your expenses, especially when choosing materials and appliances as well as calculating labor costs. Remember to strike a balance between quality, functionality, and your desired aesthetic while staying within your allocated budget.

  • Materials: Allocate funds for various materials, including cabinetry, countertops, flooring, backsplash tiles, lighting fixtures, and hardware. 

  • Appliances: Set aside a portion of your budget for kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, and microwave. Consider your cooking needs and desired features when selecting appliances within your price range.

  • Labor costs: Account for the cost of professional labor, including contractors, electricians, plumbers, and any other specialists required for specific tasks. Get multiple quotes to compare prices and ensure you have a realistic understanding of the labor expenses involved.

  • Permits and licenses: Once you’ve checked with your local council about the necessary permits and licenses, determine the costs associated with obtaining them. Factor these expenses into your budget to avoid any surprises later on.

  • Design and professional fees: If you’re working with an interior designer or architect, include their fees in your budget. Their expertise can help you make informed design choices and create a cohesive kitchen space.

  • Miscellaneous expenses: Consider miscellaneous expenses such as delivery fees, removal and disposal of old materials, temporary kitchen setup, and any unexpected costs that may arise during the renovation process.

white kitchen with a window above the sink

Design and layout

Assess the current kitchen layout and functionality

Evaluate your existing kitchen space and analyze what you like and don’t like about it. Consider the workflow, traffic patterns, and ergonomic design principles. Identify areas that can be improved for more storage space or reconfigured to suit your needs better.

Create an efficient workflow and storage solutions

Plan the placement of sink, appliances, and preparation areas to optimize functionality and create a smooth workflow. Explore various storage space options and incorporate smart solutions like pull-out drawers, pantry organizers, and vertical custom cabinets to maximize space and keep your kitchen in order.

Tip: Consider the classic "kitchen triangle" concept, which places the refrigerator, sink, and stove in a triangular layout for maximum efficiency. 

Plan your kitchen cabinets, countertops, and backsplash materials

Choose materials that align with your aesthetic preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Research the materials’ durability, ease of maintenance, visual appeal, and compatibility with your overall kitchen design ideas and concept. Pick high-quality materials that can hold out against the demands of a busy kitchen.

Tip: You may want to incorporate a timeless element like a subway tile backsplash and granite countertops to add a touch of classic charm and versatility to your kitchen design. 

Choose lighting fixtures and appliances

Lighting plays a vital role in setting the atmosphere you want for your kitchen. Combine different types of lighting, including natural light, task lighting for work-focused areas, ambient lighting for overall illumination, under cabinet lighting, and decorative fixtures for visual interest. 


When selecting a flooring material, consider its durability, ease of maintenance, resistance to stains and moisture, and compatibility with underfloor heating if desired. Choose a flooring material that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical for kitchen demands. Popular options include tiles, hardwood, and vinyl or laminate flooring

a homeowner selecting benchtop material

Demolition, preparation, and construction

☐ Remove existing cabinets, appliances, and fixtures

Clear out the old kitchen elements, like cabinets and appliances, to make way for the new. Properly dispose of materials and consider recycling or donating items that are in good condition.

 Safely disconnect electrical and plumbing connections

Call licensed professionals to disconnect electrical and plumbing systems safely. Engaging the services of an expert prevents any mishaps during the renovation process. Hire a qualified electrician and plumber to handle these tasks.

Prep for construction

Before installing new elements, make any necessary repairs and address structural issues. This may involve patching walls, reinforcing subfloors, or upgrading electrical wiring. Ensure that your kitchen’s infrastructure can support the changes you plan to make.

Install cabinetry, flooring, lighting, countertops, and backsplash 

Assemble and install your chosen kitchen components, ensuring precise measurements, proper alignment, and secure installation. Hire professionals for kitchen installations that meet industry standards. See to it that the installation process adheres to safety regulations and allows for proper functionality and durability.

Connect electrical and plumbing work

Once the new components are installed, reconnect the electrical and plumbing systems. Get licensed electricians and plumbing professionals to oversee compliance with safety regulations and guarantee reliable connections. Make sure all electrical work is properly grounded and plumbing connections are secure to avoid any future issues.

handymen installing kitchen appliances

Finishing touches, inspections, and adjustments

Add any additional features

Consider adding final touches that enhance the overall aesthetic and functionality of your kitchen. Install decorative accents, open shelves, or a kitchen island to personalize the space and create a focal point. Incorporate features such as a wine rack, breakfast bar, or custom cabinets that align with your lifestyle and preferences.

Apply the final coat of paint or finishes

Give your kitchen a fresh look by applying the final coat of paint or finishes that complement your chosen design. Take the time to ensure a smooth and even finish, paying attention to detail and protecting surrounding surfaces to avoid any accidental paint splatters or damage.

Install kitchen appliances

Carefully place and connect your new appliances and check if they fit properly and are in working order. Refer to manufacturer instructions or seek professional assistance for complex installations to avoid any damage or safety issues.

Do a thorough cleaning

Once the renovation is complete, thoroughly clean your newly renovated kitchen to remove any construction dust or debris. Wipe down surfaces, clean appliances inside and out, and polish fixtures to make your kitchen sparkle. 

Conduct final inspection 

Check for any potential issues or areas that require adjustments or touch-ups. Pay attention to details such as cabinet alignments, the functionality of drawers and doors, and any imperfections in the paint or finishes. Address these promptly to ensure your remodeled kitchen is flawless and meets your expectations.

A recipe for a successful kitchen remodel

With this comprehensive kitchen remodel checklist, you’re ready to begin your renovation journey! Set clear goals, establish a budget, and note what you should remember before and during the renovation. 

Seeking professional help through our platform can simplify the process and ensure expert handling of specialized tasks. Whether you require the expertise of a skilled contractor or a talented designer, you can find the right professionals for your kitchen renovation project. Make your kitchen makeover a seamless and fulfilling experience.

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FAQs on kitchen renovations

The biggest expense is typically the cost of cabinetry. Kitchen cabinets can account for a significant portion of the overall budget due to factors such as the kitchen’s size, quality of materials, design complexity, and any customization required. Other major expenses in a kitchen renovation can include appliances, countertops, flooring, and professional labor costs. 

While moving everything out of your kitchen during a renovation is not always necessary, it is generally recommended to clear the space as much as possible. Removing furniture, appliances, and personal belongings creates a clean and accessible area for the renovation work. It also protects your items from potential damage or dust during construction. 

However, smaller items and non-essential kitchenware can be safely stored in other parts of your home during renovation.

Set a realistic budget, prioritize the items you need to buy to avoid overspending, consider refacing or repainting cabinets instead of replacing them, and explore cost-effective alternatives for countertops, flooring, and other materials. DIY where possible, but leave complex tasks to professionals. Get multiple quotes to find competitive pricing.

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