How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take?

Kitchen Remodeling
Additions and Remodels
By Contractors.com Team April 27, 2021

One of the most surefire ways to modernize your home and increase its value is to do a full kitchen remodel. Even something as simple as sprucing up your kitchen cabinets with some fresh paint and buying new appliances can give an old kitchen a nice new feel.  

However, if you have dreams of transforming your narrow 1970s kitchen into a chic modern galley kitchen, one thing you’re probably wondering about is the timeline. Specifically, how long will a kitchen remodel actually take?

The timeline of your kitchen renovation project is indeed an important thing to consider, as a remodeling project with a clear schedule has a much better chance at success. In this article, we will cover the timeline and everything you need to know about the process of planning and realizing your kitchen remodel ideas.  

Let’s Be Real

kitchen remodel in progress

kitchen remodel in progress

Kitchen remodeling can be one of the toughest projects for homeowners to take on. 

A full kitchen remodeling project can drain your wallet, strain your patience, and even fray relationships. Once you start this kind of project, you’re committed to seeing it through, as the entire project will take several months to complete. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a non-functioning kitchen, and nobody likes living without running water.  

One reason kitchen remodeling can be taxing is that there are many different variables. In such a big project, it is hard to account for the occasional surprise complication.

Even if you’re able to nail down a general timeline for a kitchen remodeling project, expect that this might change as you start ripping out drywall and detaching cabinet doors. Chances are your kitchen is hiding some unwanted surprises just waiting to throw a spanner in the works by creating delays. 

Because of the cost in time and money, most homeowners will remodel their kitchen once or twice every couple of decades. For this reason, it is a good idea to make sure your timeline stays flexible and is as comprehensive as possible. Doing so makes it easier to change things as issues come up and will also allow you to smooth out potential challenges. 

Pre-Construction Period: ~ 2 months

planning a kitchen remodel

planning a kitchen remodel

Before you start your journey towards a modernized kitchenette, you’ll need to take some time to plan and prepare for your remodeling efforts. This stage can take around two months, depending on how picky you are about settling on a design and how long it takes for materials to arrive. 

For starters, a well-planned kitchen renovation will need a good design, and a good kitchen design will need to account for several factors. Unlike living rooms or bedrooms, a kitchen is more challenging to make designs for because any blueprint needs to make room for large appliances, electrics, plumbing, and cabinetry. 

A kitchen design, therefore, is something you want to make sure you get right so that there are no unexpected fitment issues. For example, selecting new appliances during this period will allow you to include their measurements in the plan so you can make sure that everything fits. To have a clear vision of your remodeled kitchen, you can create a kitchen remodeling checklist that lists your project priorities. 

How long it takes to complete a design, budget, and purchase material depends a lot on the size of the kitchen. If you intend to go through the planning stage on your own, proceed at your own pace, and be sure to tick a few important boxes.

  • Mark everything. And I mean everything. Make thorough measurements, including the elevations of the various work surfaces in your kitchen. Mark where electrical outlets are and have a detailed floor plan of both your current and future kitchen and a detailed lighting plan. Be sure to map out your kitchen plumbing as well. For your renovation design, accurately measure gaps and angles so that everything has enough space to fit properly. For example, you need to ensure that there is a gap of at least 15 inches between your countertop and your cabinets so that you can place large appliances on the worktop. 
  • Time estimates. Try to estimate a ballpark figure of how long each part of your project will take so that you have a rough idea of your timeframe. This will make your project more time-efficient since you’ll have a general understanding of how long everything will take. For instance, if you plan to knock out a wall, that could extend the project by as much as several weeks, so be sure to reflect that in your plans. More upmarket materials such as granite counters and wood flooring will take longer to procure and install, and typically add a week and a half each to a kitchen remodeling plan.  
  • Imagine everything is open. Imagine your design with all cabinet doors, fridge doors, and stove doors open. Your design will need to make space for this and account for potential conflicts between doors.  
  • Get a free plan. Large hardware stores such as The Home Depot and Lowes will gladly produce a basic design plan for your kitchen. This will not be as detailed as an interior designer’s plan, but it can be a useful guide.  
  • Ordering materials. When you begin ordering material, be sure to order early since it can take a month or two to receive everything. Plan to return some materials you don’t like or are damaged. 
  • Consider hiring a general contractor. If you can afford it, this is a great option for those who don’t feel comfortable making the designs themselves. They can produce a finalized plan usually in as little as two weeks. 

Demolish and Build: 1 - 2 months

homeowner remodeling

homeowner remodeling

Now that the planning stage has been completed and all your materials are in place, we can finally start breaking things. This stage can take up to eight weeks for a typical kitchen remodeling project. Of course, this can vary depending on what your plan calls for. As a rule, small kitchen remodels typically will take less time. 

As you remove your old appliances, tear out counters, disassemble cabinets, and remove insulation and flooring, be sure that you time things well. 

All your new mechanicals, meaning HVAC, electrics, and plumbing should be installed shortly after the old stuff has been ripped out. The demolition process can take around a week and a half and this allows you to do paintwork since repainting is far easier when there’s nothing in the way. 

After this comes the installation of insulation and the installation of new flooring. The installation of new kitchen cabinets and kitchen backsplash comes next, followed by measurements for your new kitchen countertop. Generally, a new countertop will be installed around the same time as new lighting, and your new kitchen durables. The final few days of the kitchen remodeling are usually devoted to finishing touches such as cleanup, details for carpentry, and final adjustments.  

Tips: 

homeowner remodeling

homeowner remodeling

This guide doesn’t account for more long-term projects or other complicated plans which are more likely to result in longer delays. For example, the removal of a wall, especially a load-bearing wall, will require more time than your average kitchen remodeling. 

If your plan is more complex, it is recommended that you stagger your kitchen remodel timeline. In other words, delay the removal of appliances and other items, and push back the installation of new stuff. This way you can make the most use of your old kitchenware and appliances until the more complicated jobs are over. 

Demolition will put your kitchen out of action for several days, so be prepared to live without running water, a stove, and other common conveniences for that interval. You should also have a contingency for longer delays caused by things such as floor installation. Staying with family or in a hotel is a good idea for such periods.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team