Realistic Timelines for Your Kitchen Renovation

A full kitchen remodel is no simple project. While HGTV, DIY home improvement television shows, social media sites and the Internet are a great source of inspiration, they also are a greater source of misinformation. 

Viewers see the entire home renovated in seven weeks, and seven weeks is not a realistic timeframe to completely gut and rebuild a kitchen, yet alone re-do a whole house. The processes omitted on home improvement television shows are the time to select a designer, the design process itself, the development process and decision making. The magazine House Beautiful‘s first-ever kitchen issue, offers a more realistic time frame. 

Step 1: Envision Your Dream – Research (3 to 18 months+)

Most of our clients at Leatherman spend months researching different styles, products and design concepts. We encourage this research because it helps save time once moving forward with a renovation. You could create design boards on Pinterest, or your platform of choice, to identify the types of kitchens, layouts and products that you prefer. 

Step 2: Create a budget

Regardless of the total cost, it’s important to create a budget. During the research phase you could learn what costs to expect. 

Step 3: Select a Showroom and a Designer (1 to 2 months)

An essential service that you should expect from your showroom and designer is to make order out of chaos by discussing your wants, needs, expectations and budget. Expect your showroom and designer to narrow your product choices based on your needs, preferences and budget. This process takes time because there are lots of questions that need to be answered to help your designer better envision what you want and develop the perfect solutions for your project. 

Step 4: Develop the Design (5 to 6 weeks)

Based on your input, a designer takes your ideas and expectations and uses them to develop drawings, plans, specifications, perspectives and elevations. 

Step 5: Product Selection (4 to 5 weeks)

You should expect your showroom professional to develop a realistic budget and to direct you to products and techniques that represent the best value for your available funds. During this phase of the project, your designer does a deep dive into the details that make all the difference, finalizing material choices and sources and finalizing organization and storage plans.

Step 6: Fabrication and Delivery (2 to 5 months)

The time frame to source and obtain products depends on the design and product selection. Custom-made cabinets take longer to fabricate and deliver than stock cabinets. You should expect your designer and showroom to provide a detailed timeframe for sourcing and obtaining products. Product sourcing should begin before demolition.

Step 7: Demolition and Installation (1 to 9 months)

The timeline depends on the scope of the project. If the design calls for moving electrical, plumbing, ductwork, structural systems, adding additional space, installing new windows and/or doors, the timeframe will take longer than simply replacing what currently exists. You should expect your designer to not only provide a realistic timeline but also offer guidance for creating a make-shift kitchen during the renovation process. The design and product selection should be finalized before demolition begins. Making changes mid-course not only will expand the time necessary to complete the renovation, but changes will also adversely affect your budget.

Step 8: Adding the Finishing Touches (1 week)

This step involves installing window coverings, hanging art on the wall, placing your favorite keepsakes on open shelving and smiling every time you cross the threshold of your brand new dream kitchen.

If you would like to discuss a realistic timeframe for your new kitchen renovation, please give us a call at (574) 533-0597 or send an email to