Homeowners are often unaware of the many stages their kitchen will go through during the remodeling process. Kitchen remodels involve many moving parts and displace you from one of the most used rooms in your house. As a result, the entire process can be intimidating and frustrating. However, hiring a great contractor and understanding the steps of your kitchen remodel will take much of the stress off your shoulders.
There are multiple different stages of a kitchen remodel. Therefore, every project is going to vary slightly. Kitchen remodels can be more complicated and require many decisions. Therefore, the steps and complexity of each remodel will vary quite a bit depending on your choices, lead times, preferences, and square footage.
The goal of this article is to give you a step-by-step guide to help you be prepared going into your kitchen remodel. Understanding the steps of your kitchen remodel is crucial for level setting expectations and being prepared for each step of the process.
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Step 1: Hire a Designer
The first step of a kitchen remodel is hiring a designer who will help you create a plan and get things like your floor plan, cabinet design, appliances, and electrical plan finalized. Your kitchen remodel is going to move much faster if you and your contractor know exactly how you want things built and where you want them.
Furthermore, your designer is going to be a useful resource when it comes to material selections. They will help you pick out paint colors, stain colors, tile, floor material, countertops, trim, cabinet designs, and more. Getting all your materials and fixtures picked out at the beginning of your remodel is important because it will ensure your kitchen remodel moves as fast as possible.
Step 2: Demo Your Current Kitchen
The second step of your kitchen remodel is demo. Depending on how in-depth your kitchen remodels is, this includes removing old plumbing, framing, electrical, trim, cabinets, flooring, and tile.
Going into the demo phase of your project you want to make sure your contractor knows where your water shut-off is, that way when demoing plumbing you can prevent any water leaks. Next, you want to make sure your contractor is using temporary caps on all the old water lines.
Additionally, be prepared for some inconvenience and dust. Even with plastic and tape blocking off openings, dust will escape. Therefore, just be prepared to cover or move anything you don’t want to get dirty. Additionally, be prepared for the inconvenience of not having a kitchen for a few weeks.
Step 3: Frame Any New Structures
The third step of your kitchen remodel is framing. This step involves framing up any new walls, doorways, headers, and windows. Typically, there isn’t a ton of framing to be done in a kitchen unless you are completely modifying your layout or opening up new walls.
Once the framing is done, it is important to let your contractor know if you want to make any changes. Once plumbing, electrical, and sheetrock are done it is much harder to make changes to the structure of your kitchen without costing you extra time and prolonging the project.
Step 4: Get HVAC Work Done
The next step of your remodel is HVAC. This is the step where all new ductwork is run or old ductwork is moved. For example, during this step, your range hood will be run and ducted outside. Additionally, any ductwork that needs to be moved to accommodate your new layout will be moved during this step.
You typically want to move or run any new HVAC before doing plumbing and electrical because it is easier to run plumbing and electrical around HVAC.
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Step 5: Modify Your Plumbing
The fifth step of your kitchen remodel is to get all the plumbing moved and run. This includes installing new water lines, valves, gas lines, and drains for things like your kitchen sink, fridge, ice maker, and pot filler. If you have existing plumbing and the locations are moving, then the plumber will work on removing and re-routing your old pipes, valves, and water lines.
If you aren’t relocating any of your current plumbing, then you might not have much plumbing to do. However, if you have older galvanized plumbing, it is recommended to switch that out with PVC and PEX, even if you aren’t relocating any of your plumbing.
Step 6: Get Everything Electrified
The next step is electrical. During the electrical phase, the electricians will work on adding and moving switches and outlets. Next, they will work on moving and adding any can lights, under cabinet lighting, chandeliers, under cabinet outlets, and sconces, which should be shown on the electrical plan.
Step 7: Add Insulation
Next, you will need to insulate everything. The amount of insulation needed is going to vary a lot depending on your kitchen. In a kitchen, you need to insulate all exterior cold walls. This will help make sure none of your pipes freeze, your kitchen is energy efficient, and your kitchen stays warm all winter and cool all summer.
Step 8: Install Sheetrock and Concrete Board
The eighth step of your kitchen remodel is sheetrock and concrete board. Sheetrock is going to be put up on all the walls and ceilings. Once the sheetrock is installed, then the drywall crew will start taping and mudding any imperfections and seams.
The concrete board will only be installed on the floor if you plan on using tile. You will use ¼ inch concrete board for the floor. This is the best substrate for thinset and tile to adhere to.
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Step 9: Finalize Cabinet Designs and Measurements
Once the sheetrock is complete, you can schedule your cabinet company to come out for a final measure. At this point, you want to make any final changes to the size and design of your kitchen cabinets and any other built-ins. You will need to make final decisions on door style, drawer style, wood species, and design as far as door and drawer layout.
Step 10: Install Your Flooring
The next step is flooring install. All the steps leading up to this will move much quicker than you think. Therefore, it is crucial to get your preferred flooring ordered early in the process. Most of the time, people use hardwood, tile, or luxury vinyl tile on their kitchen floors.
If you choose to do tile, make sure you have the grout and pattern specified for install. Next, if you are going with hardwood, make sure you know what material you want and the size. If you choose LVT, make sure you have the material ordered and the install direction specified.
Step 11: Trim and Doors
This is when you will install all your base trim, base shoe, crown molding, casing, and doors. Additionally, during this step, the trim crew will work on installing any special trim requests.
Step 12: Install Cabinets and Countertop Template
Once your flooring is finished, you will be ready for your kitchen cabinets and any other built-in cabinets to be installed. Right after your cabinets are installed the countertop company will come out and template, which essentially just them measuring.
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Step 13: Start Painting
Now that your cabinets are installed, the next step is to stain and paint. Make sure you have all your paint and stain colors prepared for your painting crew. You will need colors for the ceiling, walls, and trim. Additionally, you need to have a paint or stain color picked out for the cabinets.
It is important to be prepared for the painting step to smell. Primer and lacquer are going to be the beginning steps and they are going to smell. Therefore, you need to be prepared to leave the house or deal with the smell.
Step 14: Countertops
Once the paint is done, your countertop company should be ready to install your countertops. Make sure you have your sink present so the countertop company can install the sink while they are there.
Additionally, make sure you have your kitchen faucet and garbage disposal button on-site for the countertop install crew. This is important because they will be drilling the holes, so they need your faucets to make sure those holes are drilled accurately.
Step 15: Finish Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC
Finally, you are ready to get all your fixtures installed. The plumber will come back to install your faucet, pot filler, garbage disposal, and any other final plumbing items. Next, the electricians will come to install can lights, switches/ outlets, light fixtures, and any other electrical items. Lastly, the HVAC crew will come back out to install vent covers and make any necessary adjustments to your system.
Step 16: Finishing Touches
The final step of your kitchen remodel is going to be hardware installation on cabinets and doors, paint touch-ups, final cleaning, and any other punch list items.
You should have a list prepared for your contractor so they can have any issues fixed with one trip out to your job, so you can get to enjoying your new kitchen.
A kitchen remodel may feel like an intimidating and time-consuming process. However, it shouldn’t be that way. There are multiple ways to make your kitchen remodel a speedy process. What it all comes down to is being prepared for each phase and hiring the right people.
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