So you've finally decided to renovate your kitchen. As many other homeowners out there, you may not know just where to start or how. Some check out appliances. Others collect beautiful kitchen photos for inspiration. Some decide more space is necessary. Others just want upgrade the look of their current kitchen.


Regardless, the following must be considered before the work begins:


What You Need


Look for ideas everywhere - the Internet, your down kitchen showroom, magazines, etc. How many people are going to use this room? Save or cut out pictures of kitchens you like.


Preliminary Budget Planning  


With a clear picture of the scope of work in mind, it's time to start planning your budget. Budget and scope go together and usually change from time to time during the design process as you learn more and understand how to make the project work within the limits of your resources. 


Looking for the Right Professionals


Even if you intend to pull a DIY on this project, you're going to have to hire a professional at some point.  Visit big box stores and showrooms and ask the clerk for recommendations. Ask your friends, coworkers, and neighbors as well. Otherwise, scan online review websites at and the like.


Schematic Design


This is the time to plan the space, the layout, cabinet sizes, and so on. You also have to decide on materials to be used, the amount of such materials necessary, and their costs. It's also a good idea to send out drawings to get estimates on finishes and fixtures.


Design Development and Construction Documents


This is when you finalize the design and prepare final details. This is also where your final permit set or Construction Drawings (CDs) will come into play.


Getting Contractor Estimates


If you still don't have a licensed contractor working on your project, you obviously need to find one to carry the project through. It's best to work with at least 3 different contractor estimates so you can make comparisons.


Setting Schedules


Put that schedule in order and plan on keeping things in storage, cleaning out the cabinets, and setting up a temporary kitchen if you intend to remain in the house during construction. Logistics must be covered in advance with your contractor. Putting this all on the table before work begins can help you set fair expectations and make the entire project smoother and hassle-free.


The Punch List


At the end ... or near end... of construction, there's always that little list of things that must be done. A missing light switch plate, a caulk line that has shrunk, etc.



Sometimes, your contractor  will have to keep coming back to your home and get these things done for good. It's just part of the equation.