How to Plan Your Kitchen Renovation: 5 Steps to Planning the Kitchen of Your Dreams. An in-depth guide to help you plan your kitchen renovation or remodel.
Renovating a kitchen is definitely an exciting experience and of course, as with any renovation, can at times be stressful. The best thing you can do when going into any renovation is to have a plan in place and let it guide you throughout the process.
It doesn’t need to be completely rigid, as things will inevitably change while you’re in the middle, but it definitely helps to have a guideline you’re trying to stick to.
When you’re stuck in decision paralysis, it’s a lot easier to have a plan to fall back on to help guide your decision making.
I’ve renovated two kitchens so far, one major project and one smaller project, but in the end, the planning process was relatively similar. Here are steps to help you plan your kitchen renovation.
How to Plan a Kitchen Renovation
- Create a budget
- Measure and plan out your space
- Create a mood board/design plan
- Get quotes if hiring
- Create a timeline
Create a budget
This is going to be entirely up to you and what you feel like you can afford.
Maybe instead of replacing cabinets entirely, you’re going to just paint your existing ones. Or maybe you’re going more of a do it yourself route and you’re going to get Ikea cabinets. Maybe you don’t
One thing to keep in mind is to have a backup or “oopsie” fund. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 15% of the budget to the unknown because inevitably, something is bound to come up.
In one of our kitchen renovations, we ended up having to pay an extra $700 for the countertop due to a window we had. We didn’t originally account for this but luckily we had enough extra money to cover this surprise cost.
Once you have a set budget, you can figure out what sort of renovation or remodeling you can afford. Maybe you can move some walls, maybe it’s just a spruce up with paint, maybe it’s all new appliances.
Measure & plan out your space
Planning out your space, especially how it’s going to function, is arguably the most important aspect of the whole project!
Maybe you’re planning on moving walls and demo’ing the room down to the studs, maybe it’s a simple refresh with new paint and hardware, maybe it’s somewhere in between the two. Either way, it’s important to have a plan.
It’s also important to have measurements for your space. You should take the following measurements:
- Measure from floor to ceiling
- Measure from wall to wall
- Measure the windows and the distance from the floor and to the ceilings
You should also mark the positions of your existing pipes and outlets, etc. This includes drains, water supply, power outlets, light switches, gas, etc.
If you plan on moving any of these, make sure you make note of that as well.
Once you have all of the measurements, it’s time to start planning your space.
You can go all out and use a project like SketchUp or even something simple like drawing it on paper. I used to create my room on graph paper and then cut out little pieces of paper to scale of the different items that needed to be in the room.
Seeing the room will help you visualize the finished space and make any changes necessary before you begin.
A couple of questions to ask yourself as you plan your space:
- Are you going to DIY or hire someone? Maybe a combination of both?
- Are you going to be moving anything major? (Walls, appliances, etc.)
- Are you going to gut the entire thing or keep anything existing (such as cabinets, appliances, etc.)
Create a mood board
Once you’ve got your measurements and a basic plan in place, it’s time to expand on that plan and figure out the style and overall design of your kitchen. Enter the mood board.
First, if you’re unfamiliar, a mood board is basically a collection of images that depicts the style of room you’re going for. In any renovation or remodel, it’s really helpful to have a mood board or a basic plan for the design style you’re going for in the room.
These can also be really helpful if there’s more than one person designing a space. You can share the mood board so that everyone knows what the overall room is going to look like and everyone’s on the same page.
My process for creating a mood board goes something like this:
- Find inspiration photos of rooms that I like (in this case, kitchens)
- Pinpoint what I like in the rooms
- Add those elements to a document (or wherever)
- Fill in with whatever other elements of the room are needed
That’s pretty much the process. In the end, you’ll have a collage of images that represent what you want your room to look like.
Get Quotes (if hiring people to do the work)
If you’re not going the DIY route and you’re going to hire out the work, obviously you’re going to need to get quotes. It’s always helpful to get a few, as prices will vary between contractors.
It’s helpful to keep a list or a spreadsheet of the quotes you get from each contractor so that you can compare them.
Keep in mind, the best contractor for the job is not always the cheapest. Ask lots of questions, make sure they understand your vision for the space and make sure you feel comfortable with them. It’s a big decision after all!
Create a timeline
It’s important to know how long your project is going to take and when you need to get certain things done. For example, it’s important to have your cabinets all set up prior to your countertop going in, especially if you have to hire a company to do that.
With all that said, keep in mind that even the most detailed timeline and schedule can sometimes run off track. Sometimes things happen that can’t be avoided or that just push your schedule back. Like that one time our countertop installers put in the wrong sink under our new countertops and had to pull it up and re-do the whole thing. That added on a few days to our project.
Even still, it’s always a good idea to have an end date in mind and this can be particularly useful in keeping yourself sane! Because renovations can get overwhelming and sometimes frustrating, it’s always nice to be able to see the finish line and look towards that when you’re in the trenches.
I hope these tips are helpful in your kitchen renovation! It’s a fun and exciting, albeit stressful at times, so enjoy and congrats on your new space!
To see our finished kitchen, you can see our White Kitchen Reveal here.