9 Steps to a Successful Kitchen Remodel

Proper planning is the first step to any successful project. This especially true when you’re renovating your kitchen, where it’s so easy to go over budget. Ready to turn your dream kitchen into reality? This post walks you through the nine steps to a successful kitchen remodel.

1. Take Time to Plan Your Kitchen Remodel

Once you decide it’s time to remodel the kitchen, just jumping in with both feet can be incredibly tempting. And, while we love that enthusiasm, we want your remodel to be successful. That’s why we recommend spending at least 3 months on the planning stage. It may even take up to 6 months, depending on the extent of your remodel.

So, why do you need so much time? First, if you need to finance any aspect of the remodel, that takes around 6 weeks on average. But even more important is the fact that, the more time you spend planning, the less likely you are to make changes after the work starts. And those changes nearly always cost time and money.

2. Develop a Realistic Budget

The dreaded money question. But, you have to know what you can afford to spend before you decide how to spend it.

The average kitchen renovation costs around $60,000. Of course, your cost may be less than half or more than double that amount. It all depends on your individual project.

Compare quotes from multiple vendors, always making sure they’re listed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. When comparing quotes, beware of any contractor who comes in significantly lower than the competition. Look closely at what that quote includes – and what it leaves out. And it’s always a good idea to read reviews.

3. Hire a Professional Design Team

If “remodel” is code for a fresh coat of paint, you probably don’t need a design team. But, if you’re looking at new cabinets, countertops, tile floors, or changes that impact your plumbing or tile, you’ll likely benefit from talking to professionals.

AZ Stone and Tile has over 30 years’ experience remodeling kitchens and bathrooms in the Greater Phoenix area. We also offer free, no-obligation consultations. Contact us today to discuss your kitchen remodel.

Kitchen Closed Sign

4. Create a Temporary Kitchen

One item few people seem to consider is the fact that a full kitchen remodel will leave them without a working kitchen. After a day or two, you’ll be amazed how much you rely on your kitchen – even if your plan is to rely on takeout. Consider the following for your temporary kitchen:
  • Location: You want an area removed from construction that also has an outlet that can handle a refrigerator. A guest room is ideal, particularly if it has easy access to a bathroom.
  • Water: Even if you rely on takeout, you’ll still need an area to wash dishes. You’ll also want something to carry those dishes. A large cooler with a drain plug serves as both wash basin and dish carrier.
  • Keep it simple: It’s easier to stay on top of cleaning when each family member has no more than two sets of dishes and utensils. If you opt for the disposable route, look for compostable or biodegradable options.
  • Protect floors: If your temporary kitchen has carpeting, protect it with an inexpensive throw rug.
  • Countertops: You need an area to prepare meals. The dining table may seem obvious, but protect its surface against scorch marks and stains first. You can also use a folding table, which keeps your dining table available for, you know, dining.
  • Storage: Wheeled carts and storage bins give you easy access to nonperishable food items, dishes, flatware, and cooking utensils.
  • Cooking appliances: You probably want more than a microwave. Stock your temporary kitchen with a pressure cooker, electric skillet, blender, electric kettle, or any other suitable appliances.
Don’t forget microwave-safe storage items for your temporary kitchen for easy reheating.

5. Keep Your Current Footprint

The most expensive kitchen remodels require electrical and plumbing changes. Not only is moving appliances and water fixtures more costly, it’s more likely to cause problems mid-project. Avoid it if possible.

6. Focus on Quality

Kitchen cupboard with drawers

Quality and durability should be the top selling points for every choice you make with your kitchen remodel. This includes appliances, flooring, cabinets, and countertops. Look for products that combine easy maintenance with a long (or extended) warranty.

When it comes to the appliances, you best bet is the same brand for each item, preferably one with an excellent reputation. And unless you run a catering business out of your home, you probably don’t need that commercial-grade stove.

7. Maximize Storage Space

You can get more storage space without changing your kitchen’s footprint if you get creative.

  • Cabinets: Consider installing cabinets that extend to the ceiling to store seldom-used items. Yes, the stepladder can be annoying, but if you only fondue on New Years Eve, does the pot really need to be accessible the other 364 days?
  • Hanging items: You can hang all sorts of items from well-placed hooks. Large skillets and stockpots hanging from the ceiling are easy to reach, free up space, and look great – that’s a triple win! You can also place hooks inside pantries, closets, and even on the wall to hang aprons, dishtowels, and potholders.
  • Shelves: Don’t waste empty wall space – use it for shelves to store spices, cups, or whatever strikes your fancy.
  • Doors: Hang a shoe organizer on the door to the laundry room or pantry for easy access to cleaning supplies.

Remember to ask your design team for more storage ideas.

8. Don't Forget Lighting

A well-lit kitchen is both safer and more attractive. Task lighting covers the safety aspect while ambient lighting makes the room look larger and brighter. We recommend two or more fixtures over every task area to guard against shadows. You can hang pendant lights over a kitchen island or any surface without overhead obstructions like cabinetry. Other lighting options include track or recessed lighting, flush-mounted fixtures, and wall sconces.

9. Clear Communication with Your Remodeling Team

Like so much of life, clear communication helps ensure a remodeling project runs smoothly. Let your design team, project manager, and anyone else working on your kitchen remodel know exactly what you want. Then, ask them to explain it back to you, so you know they truly understand your goals.

Before work begins, share any rules you want the workers to follow, such as where to park and which bathroom to use. And, of course, make sure they know how to reach you if necessary. During the remodel, feel free to ask questions or check progress, but try to keep distractions to a minimum.

If you follow these nine steps, we’re sure you’ll have a successful kitchen remodel.