Remodel Checklist

A good checklist provides you with a road map to the what, who, when and how (much) will be involved in your kitchen remodel. You don’t need to know or complete every step now but developing a plan will help you avoid stress during your project.

Keep your schedule flexible. Your designer will do much more than help you visualize how the cabinets will look on the walls. As a kitchen expert, the designer will serve as a resource, coordinator and sounding board as you finalize your remodel plans.. You will be advised on how storage, organization, appliances and design elements work together as well as how to coordinate cabinet door styles, colors, new appliances, countertops, flooring and backsplashes. Plus your designer will help you consider the details that distinguish a good kitchen from a great kitchen, including spacers, trim, molding and toekick.

Develop A Plan

The key to a great kitchen remodel is starting with a well-thought-out plan and timeline. The planning stage is when you build a solid foundation – don’t begin with unrealistic expectations. A solid plan will be flexible and help you cope with unexpected circumstances.

When to Remodel Your Kitchen

The time of year will affect your plan. Your kitchen will be temporarily unusable, and unless you have a second kitchen you’ll need a temporary kitchen. If you plan to eat out during your remodel, don’t forget to add this expense to your budget. If you and your family love entertaining during holidays, a kitchen remodel during this time is a bad idea. Instead, consider starting the project after the holidays. On a similar note, if you have any special occasion planned, like a graduation party or a wedding, it is wise to plan the project for completion at least two months prior to the event.

Family Schedule

Having a kitchen torn apart can be stressful for all family members. Make sure to consider family activities and school schedules when planning your kitchen remodel. It is best to plan a remodel to take place when your family has the least number of commitments and their schedules are flexible. Remember your pets, too. Be sure to keep pets out of the work areas for their own safety.


A lot of work and planning starts before you even think about tearing out your first cabinet. The first step is to do some research to help define your needs and wants, set a rough budget and think about what style you’re after. Books, magazines and the internet are valuable resources to help you define the total scope of your project. This pre-planning stage to define what you want can save a lot of time and frustration later on. And it’s never too early to get your CliqStudios designer involved.

Your Physical Space

The kitchen process can take several weeks to several months based on the scope of your project. This will require coordination and communication with a contractor if structural changes are needed, or utilities and appliances are relocated. During construction you need to take into consideration everything from your home entry points to where you put the mail.

Codes and Permits

Every municipality has its own codes and permit processes. Be sure to allow time for the process for any permits that you or your contractor will apply for. There may also be inspection points. A wait for an inspection may cause delays in the project. Most municipalities have planning offices where you can get code information and apply for permits. If your remodel involves an addition to your building, you may even need a code a variance which could take several months.

Temporary Kitchen

In anticipation of your kitchen tear-out, set up a temporary kitchen with a microwave, refrigerator and access to water for washing dishes. Move your refrigerator and plan meals that can be made in the microwave. Paper plates, bowls, cups and plastic utensils are a must, because you won’t have a dishwasher or a kitchen sink. Remodeling during good weather does give you one advantage – an outdoor grill can provide an alternate method of cooking and a larger variety of meal options.

Ordering Your Products

One thing that upsets good planning is product delay. Order flooring, cabinets, countertop and appliances well in advance, then wait for all of your products to arrive before starting the project. Special order materials can take weeks to arrive. Problems with the manufacturer, shipper, retailer or contractor can cause unexpected delays. Have a contingency plan. When products are delivered, inventory and inspect them carefully. Prepare a large, safe storage area like a garage, porch, dining room or local storage facility. Note that cabinets and flooring will need to be stored in a climate controlled area. Excessive cold, heat, humidity, moisture, and dryness will cause damage, especially to wood products, and can void the warranty.

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Related Topics

Want a great kitchen? Learn more with the topics below to help plan your project.


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