Shabby closets. Dirty flooring. Lack of storage space. Obsolete devices. If these words describe your kitchen, a remodel is probably on your wish list. But what exactly is a kitchen remodeling about? To be honest, it can be a huge undertaking. The key is to understand the process before you begin because your success depends on following the right steps in the right order.
Before doing any of the following, it’s important to prioritize the safety of everyone involved in the renovation process (including household members and any contractors you might want to bring on board), says Joan Barton, designer and general contractor, Dirty Girl Construction, Inc. based in California.
Important safety measures include turning off the water and electricity before starting the demo, wearing protective equipment (such as gloves, high-performance shoes, and eye protection), and using the correct tools. Following code requirements, which vary by community, and consulting professionals on tasks beyond your ability also help ensure your safety.
Failure to comply with safety standards can lead to all sorts of problems related to your project, including personal injury, according to Barton.
Ready to start? Here is our step-by-step guide on how to remodel your kitchen.
Step 1: make a plan
As eager as you want to get started, don’t remove that dirty old sink or order a new smart refrigerator until you’ve come up with a detailed plan for your kitchen remodeling. This comprehensive plan gives you a chance to tie your vision to your budget and allows you to determine whether you can tackle the project yourself or whether you should turn to some remodeling professionals.
The planning phase is also the time to determine what Ariana Lovato, owner of Honeycomb Design in Shell Beach, California, calls the scope of the project.
Scope, also known as girth, can range from a basic cosmetic refresher to what Lovato calls the “whole bowel,” which will likely result in walls being torn down and your layout reconfigured. (Some of this work may require permits.) Somewhere in between is pretty typical, but it all depends on the goals you’ve set for your kitchen.
Step 2: demo and / or prepare your kitchen
Now that you have a plan and know your scope, it’s time for the demo.
At this point, you can rip up your outdated vinyl flooring, remove that ugly, shabby cooker hood, and remove all those dingy 1985 oak cabinets. (If your girth is minimal, you can just prep walls for paint or remove your old backsplash). Lovato recommends getting a large dumpster for all of your construction rubble so you can just throw it away once you remove it.
After you’ve completed the demo, you can prepare for the rest of the project by starting any necessary framework or foundation work, says Barton.
Step 3: plumbing and electrics
Next up is plumbing and electrical. Why so early when you won’t be able to run the dishwasher or turn the lights back on soon? At this point, your cabinets have failed and the insides of your walls are exposed. This is the perfect time to start dealing with pipes and wires.
If you wait, you’ll likely drill the back of these brand new cabinets or cut holes in the drywall so you can install pipes or connect the wires to your undercounter lights.
New to plumbing and electrical work? Proceed carefully, warns Busch. “Anything that a craft involves … you have to be very careful,” he says.
If for safety reasons you are calling a professional for just one step of the renovation project, take this step. Ordinary household electrical voltages can be fatal, and an installation mistake can also have tremendous effects. Inexperienced homeowners should not install their own plumbing and electrical installations.
Step 4: hang your drywall
Before you start drywall, make sure your measurements are accurate (you will need enough drywall to cover all of the walls and ceilings) and make sure you have the right tools and materials.
- 48 inch T square
- Taping knife
- Drywall tape
- Electric screwdriver
- Drywall saw
- Grinding bar
- Mixing paddle
- Dust mask
Allow some cleaning time at this point as drywall dust is relentless. You should get rid of it before proceeding (a store vacuum is the best choice for this job).
Step 5: paint your new walls
Painting is the phase when you finally see your vision take shape. Plus, painting is pretty easy. (You can choose your colors and paint by yourself the same day.)
TIP: When considering the paint color, think about the color and style of the cabinets you plan to install, as well as the general ambience you want to create.
Overwhelmed by your choices? Don’t worry – grab a handful of color swatches and accept that painting is more of a trial and error process. And if you need help, contact a professional. Many designers offer color advice so that you can get the help of an expert without putting too much of a strain on your budget.
Step 6: cabinets and floors
Some experts prefer installing cabinets first, while others say flooring is the way to go. Ultimately, it’s up to you. Lovato says she recommends prioritizing cabinets over floors because she likes the clean look this method offers.
However, when it comes to function, it is perfectly acceptable to use floors first. Note, however, that depending on the cabinets you have ordered, delivery may take weeks, if not months.
Step 7: order and install countertops
Once your cabinets are installed, you can measure for your new countertops. This step is done after the cabinet is installed due to the precision required for the measurement. Your sink should be included in this step too, so be sure to have it on site at this point.
Be prepared for a little break as it may take time for the countertops to arrive. According to Lovato, this stage is a good time to order remaining items like backsplash materials, hardware, decorative lighting, and bar stools.
When installing, the method largely depends on the material chosen. Options like laminate are DIY-friendly, but materials like granite are more complicated to install. So keep this detail in mind when making your selection.
Step 8: install the backsplash
The kitchen backsplash is a functional part of your remodeling and has the potential to really shine in design. Hopefully, you’ve picked up your backsplash supplies (tiles, mortar, grout, etc) while waiting for your countertop to arrive so you can get started as soon as you receive that countertop.
Step 9: install the sink and bring your appliances
Finally, it’s time to install your new sink and set up the dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, and whatever other gadgets you want to use in your kitchen.
At this point, most of the work is done. However, it wouldn’t hurt to call a plumber and / or electrician to make sure everything is okay. For example, a plumber knows how to connect your sink to previously installed faucets, and an electrician can verify that your new gas range is installed correctly.
Once these installations (and any inspections required by your community) are completed, your remodel is complete and it is time to move on to the most important step – relaxing and enjoying your new kitchen.
When to call a professional
For minor remodeling, a skilled handyman can likely handle most of the above projects, such as: B. painting and installing a backsplash. For larger projects such as plumbing and electrical, contact a contractor to ensure the safety and proper completion of the renovation. The last thing you want to do is compromise the integrity of the structure and function of your kitchen.