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A printable kitchen remodel checklist will save you time and money. Most people have a kitchen remodel project every 10 to 15 years. The experience, materials, budget spreadsheet, and new appliances are now completely different.
But even if you are a professional kitchen designer, it’s a great idea to use a kitchen remodeling checklist.
There are a ton of small things that you have to keep in mind. Your brain is for solving problems, not storing data. Take a hint from the airline pilots. They have done the same thing several times a day for years, and they still use a checklist for everything.
Your life may not depend on it, but your money and peace of mind do. Use a checklist!
- Determine what you want in a kitchen remodel and what you don’t know you need.
- Consider the most efficient kitchen layout for your specific needs.
- Establish a budget for your kitchen remodel and plan accordingly.
- Shop for materials and appliances, keeping cost-saving options in mind.
- Meet with at least three contractors and vet them thoroughly.
- Sign a clear agreement with the chosen contractor to ensure mutual understanding.
- Use a kitchen remodel checklist to stay organized and on track.
- Take into account what is included in a kitchen remodel, including costs and value-adding elements.
- Consider using an app for virtual kitchen remodeling, if available.
Now, let’s go into deeper details!
How do I start a remodeling project?
Take a look at the kitchen layout options that are most popular. There’s a reason why they are the most popular. These kitchen layouts work! Imagine which standard layout matches your current house or apartment. There’s no best layout only the one that makes you most comfortable.
Start with what you don’t like and want to eliminate during the kitchen remodeling process. Next, think about what you miss in your existing kitchen. Finally, think about what would be the luxury items for you in your kitchen.
Now you are ready to talk to a kitchen designer or become one yourself.
What should I do if I don’t know what I want?
This is where the kitchen remodel checklist comes in handy. Go through the list and for every item consider how often would you use it? Don’t waste space on things you don’t need.
Next, think about the size. Do you really need a range with 8 burners? Most people don’t.
Things you don’t know you need
This is a tough one. If there’s something you haven’t used, you don’t know how it would affect your life. Talk to your friends or go online and ask people about what has surprised them most. Something they didn’t know they needed, but when they got it, they can’t live without it.
An old-school example is a dishwasher. When someone has washed dishes by hand forever, they don’t have the slightest idea how much time it will save them. They may even say that they don’t mind doing the dishes by hand. However, when they get the dishwasher, they never want to get back to the old way.
Kitchen design and layout
You start with your new kitchen layout. When your kitchen renovation project has enough resources, then you could aim for an ideal kitchen. But most of us have limited budgets. This is why you have to start with must-haves.
Don’t think in terms of specific items or layout. Thing how you want to feel and use the new kitchen you are planning. The first step is to eliminate the little annoyances you currently face in your kitchen.
Next, go wild with ideas about what could be done to create more space by changing or removing walls or reconfiguring the countertops.
What is the most efficient kitchen layout?
There are four basic kitchen layouts:
Single wall layout – you have one line of cabinets against a single wall. This is probably the least efficient layout as you can’t create the kitchen triangle in this layout.
L-shaped layout – you have base cabinets against two walls. This is likely the most popular kitchen layout as it will fit practically anywhere.
Galley kitchen layout – your two lines of cabinets are positioned against two opposite walls. The galley kitchen could be a great solution when you have to position your kitchen in a location with through traffic. Another possibility is that you have an opening on one side, and the other side could be large windows.
U-shaped kitchen layout – you have three walls with base cabinets and countertops. U-shape will give you the most counter space for the size of your kitchen
You can choose the shape that fits your budget and other rooms. However, keep in mind that you would like a triangle of stove, sink, and fridge, where you have to take as few steps as possible.
Kitchen remodel costs and considerations
The remodel checklist is for you to make sure you don’t forget anything. In some cases, I have procedure checklists that are 40 or 50 items long. Every time I think that I have done it a thousand times and don’t use a checklist, I miss something. Usually, you can fix the small things you missed. For example, if you didn’t think through all the items that wouldn’t need a wall outlet, then the fix is painfully expensive or ugly as an extension cord.
First, the big things. You should have a kitchen triangle that consists of a sink, fridge, and cooking location. These should be relatively close together, so you only have to take a couple of steps to get from one work area to the other. One side of the triangle shouldn’t be shorter than 4 feet or longer than 9 feet. This is an ergonomic design and will make your life so much easier.
Take a look at the space and the square footage you are working with and plan the perfect kitchen around the triangle.
This will help you understand where the cabinets go and what places need lighting and electric connections. The fridge and the stove are two of the major appliances in the triangle, and when they are in place, locations for other appliances will logically follow.
The costs of your remodeling consist of kitchen cabinets, new appliances, materials, construction work, plumbing, and electrical work. Homeowners can often cut costs by doing some of the work themselves. Figure out in the early stages what you can do yourself and discuss that with your potential contractors as they have to include your work in their planning. Professionals should have their own kitchen remodel checklist for contractors, it should be included as part of your agreement.
How much do you want to spend on your kitchen renovation? Using the kitchen remodel checklist add everything you need to the budget.
- Kitchen cabinets (maybe custom cabinets?)
- Cabinet hardware
- New appliances
- Granite countertops
- More storage (a walk-in pantry even?)
- High-end materials or something more modest?
- General contractor and the cost of labor
The list goes on, but you get the idea. If you plan everything in advance, then you save on everything. After you have put together a rough estimate for your kitchen remodeling project, add 30% for emergencies. You can spend it on extras when you come in under budget.
If you have time to look for deals and are lucky enough to find them, you can sometimes come in under budget.
The checklist helps you to make sure you plan for everything. We have another article about kitchen remodeling project planning where you can read about how much time each step of the project will take.
If you want to get the project plan template, then don’t worry when you download the checklist, we’ll also include the project plan template.
Select and purchase materials
When you have a lot of time to prepare for the upcoming remodeling, then you can optimize your budget. When you have your plan in place, take time to shop for deals. New appliances, materials, paint, tile, etc., have deals every now and then. Find clearance sales. You only have to pay full price when you run out of time, and the schedule is dictating what you should decide.
In some cases, your kitchen designer or general contractors could have deals where they get everything much cheaper than you would. Then it’s a good idea to let them handle it. In that case, you could also save on logistics, planning, and time.
When you think you are getting something on the cheap, make sure you also consider the time, logistics, and headache doing it yourself would cause.
Shopping for kitchen appliances and saving money
The average family income in the US is about 5,800 dollars. The average kitchen remodel cost is 15 to 30 thousand dollars. You could save 15 to 25 percent of your initial budget. These savings could easily run into thousands of dollars.
- Always look for deals. If there are no deals, ask for a deal.
- There are always close-out sales to look out for.
- Check second-hand markets like Facebook Marketplace. You can find brand new appliances there.
It all comes down to your schedule. If you have time, you can find deals. If not, you have to pay more.
Meet at Least Three Contractors
If you are not a professional builder yourself, then you should talk to general contractors to let them evaluate the work and give you an offer.
Prepare a description of your project and send the request for proposal to at least three general contractors. The prices can be wildly different, and you have to figure out whom you trust with your new kitchen.
When the contractor visits your house, take the time to explain your remodel ideas. Miscommunication is the major reason for failed construction projects.
Also, be humble. You are the client and make the decisions, but the contractor has seen it all. They have years of experience completing dozens of kitchen remodel projects every year. So, when a contractor says that there’s a better way to do something, homeowners should listen.
Vet & Select Contractor, Sign Agreement
When all the contractors have visited your house and sent you their proposals with references, start calling those references. Call the people for whom the contractor has worked in the last year. You want an answer to two main questions.
First, “Would you hire this contractor again if you had to do it today?” If the homeowner answers “No,” ask, “Why not!”
If the answer is “Yes,” the second question should be, “What would you let them do differently this time?”
Now you are ready to make your selection and sign the agreement with the chosen contractor. The details in the contract spell out the scope of the work, warranty, payment terms, and other items to make sure everything goes smoothly. Usually, you only need to use your kitchen remodel contract when something goes wrong.
How to use the kitchen remodel checklist?
The first step is to go quickly through the checklist and cross out everything that’s not relevant to your kitchen remodel project.
Next, you will start to work on all the items on the list. You must make sure you don’t forget any important details that will later cost you more money.
Finally, you order the list in a way to make a crude step-by-step guide that you’ll use to manage your project to successful competition.
Printable kitchen remodel checklist template
When we send you the checklist template, then we include two versions:
First, we have the PDF file. The printable template. Just print it out and use it. Enter your email below
Kitchen cabinet and cabinet hardware
Here you have two main options, you can reuse your existing cabinets. For example, replacing the doors and front panels on drawers will cost you a lot less than getting new cabinets.
Depending on your existing layout and cabinet construction, you could change a lot while using the old frames of what you already have.
If you decide to get new cabinets, then you can still recuperate some of the cost of the old cabinetry by selling them on the second-hand market.
Major kitchen remodel
Is there an app where you can remodel your kitchen?
There are a lot of apps where you can remodel your kitchen. Some are free to use, more professional tools may cost a lot of money. Here are some tools you can test out to get a visual representation of the space you are working with.
Planner 5D. Use the 2D mode to create floor plans and design layouts with furniture and other home items. Switch to 3D to explore and edit your design from any angle.
Edit colors, patterns, and materials to create unique furniture, walls, floors, and more. Snapshots capture your design as a realistic image – shadows, lighting, and rich colors make your work look like a photo.
Home Design 3D. Design and remodel your house is quick and intuitive. Accessible to everyone from home decor enthusiasts to students and professionals, Home Design 3D is the reference interior design application for a professional result at your fingertips.
What’s included in a kitchen remodel?
The kitchen remodel includes everything you want. You can start with just new paint on the walls, new knobs on the cabinet doors, and maybe a new flooring. But the other extreme includes gutting everything. You start with a more ergonomic cooking area, then moving on to replace everything in the room. New floors, lighting, upgraded materials, paint, replacing the doors.
You can just do the upgrade, but you could also change the functional aspects, like replacing your installed cabinets with large drawers.
You decide what you want to change.
What costs the most in a kitchen remodel?
The most expensive item in the renovation is new cabinets. The cost of cabinetry and other furniture varies a lot. In most renovation projects, the price of the cabinets is in the $9,000 to $15,000 range.
What adds the most value to a kitchen remodel?
The low-cost option to add the most value to your home is new paint. Painting the walls is the easiest job, and it will have a huge visual impact. During the painting project, you can also deep clean everything else and achieve a fresh new look. If you could also upgrade floors, then you have achieved the most bang for your buck.
A more expensive upgrade you can take on is adding an island. Custom island could cost you from $6,000 up to $10,000. However, you could get a prefabricated island at a big box store that matches your existing design.