How To Plan Your Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel done by Rea Pro Construction

Kitchen remodels are a big undertaking. But with careful planning and the right team in place, it can be an enjoyable and transforming experience. 

Keep reading to discover what you need to do to get started.

How To Plan Your Kitchen Remodel

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to do to plan your kitchen remodel, from choosing a contractor to making a budget to picking out appliances. By the end of this post, you’ll be ready to start your kitchen remodel with confidence!

Choosing a Contractor

The first step in any home renovation project is choosing the right contractor. (Unless you’re doing the work yourself, then you can skip this step.) But if you’re hiring someone, you want someone who has the experience and is a good fit for your specific kitchen remodel project. 

Ask for referrals from friends or family, or look for online reviews. You should also make sure that the contractor is licensed and insured. Once you’ve found a few contractors you like, reach out to them and schedule consultations. 

This will give you a chance to ask questions, get more information about their services, and get a feel for their personality and how they do business. When you’re ready to move ahead, be sure to have a contract in place that outlines the scope of work and payment schedule.

Think About Your Layout

A remodeled kitchen with a hardwood floor

The kitchen layout is one of the most critical aspects in the process for how to plan your kitchen remodel. You’ll want to think about how you want your kitchen to function and flow before you start tearing anything out. 

Do you want an open concept? Would you like more counter space? Do you have some breakfast nook ideas you’d like to implement? Is there something specific you want to change about the current layout? 

While every kitchen is unique, there are three basic approaches to layout design for busy kitchens you should definitely consider:

  • The work triangle: This refers to the imaginary triangle formed by connecting the three most common elements in any kitchen—the refrigerator, the sink, and the stovetop or range. When it comes to how to plan your kitchen remodel, the layout of this triangle will determine how efficient your kitchen can be. Planning each side so that no two elements are too far apart increases accessibility and lessen the total steps taken between tasks. 
  • The zone approach: This method divides your kitchen into distinct zones based on its purpose and use. For example, a cooking zone would be a space designated specifically for that purpose. The idea is to limit certain activities to specific zones. By working within zones, you can create a layout that is both efficient and aesthetically pleasing. 
  • The island workstation: This approach makes thoughtful use of space by dividing the room into distinct functional zones, each centered around a hub or “island” that serves as a multi-purpose workspace. The kitchen island can be used for cooking (with a cooktop), washing up (with a sink and dishwasher), dining (counter seating), and storage. Other workstations are usually clustered around it, such as for baking or entertaining. The main difference between this approach and the “zone” approach is that this layout focuses on using kitchen islands.

Once you have an idea of what you want, sit down with your contractor and talk through the different options. They’ll be able to help you finalize a layout that will work best for your space and needs.

Make A Budget

Another essential step in how to plan your kitchen remodel is creating a budget. This will help ensure that your project stays on track financially and helps you avoid going over budget. 

Decide how much money you’re comfortable spending on the project as a whole, then break it down into smaller budgets for each individual element. For example, allocate a certain amount of money for cabinetry, appliances, countertops, etc. This will give you a better idea of how much wiggle room you have when it comes time to make decisions about materials and finishes.

Be sure to factor in the cost of materials, labor, permits, and other miscellaneous expenses. It’s also a good idea to add 10-20% for unforeseen costs that always come up during a remodel.

Select Cabinetry

When it comes to the process of how to plan your kitchen remodel, choosing the right kitchen cabinets is a key step–and often a difficult one.

Here are a few examples of questions to ask yourself when selecting cabinetry for your new kitchen:

  • How will your cabinet layout affect the overall look of the space?
  • How much storage do you need for all of your kitchen items?
  • What kind of style will appeal most to you?

You’ll also need to decide whether you want to invest in custom cabinets or opt for stock options. Here are some of the pros and cons of each type of cabinetry:

Custom cabinets:

Pros:

  • Custom shelving space
  • Custom size
  • Custom overall look

Cons:

  • Considerably more expensive than stock cabinets

Stock cabinets:

Pros:

  • Pre-made and ready to install
  • Less expensive and a great option if you are working with a strict budget and need to save money
  • Don’t require a lot of customization adjustments

Cons:

  • Can’t be customized to fit space

Pick Appliances

A kitchen remodel with a butcher block countertop

Appliances aren’t just decorative–they drastically affect how your kitchen functions and, in large part–how it looks. When you’re considering which appliances to buy for your kitchen remodel, think about what will fulfill your needs not only now but also in the future.

Here are some key questions to ask yourself before investing in specific appliances such as an oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher:

  • Are you planning on entertaining guests frequently?
  • How many meals do you typically make per week?
  • Are leftovers a part of regular meal planning?
  • How often do you need to use multiple dishes simultaneously?

Oven: Ovens are one of the most important items in your kitchen; therefore, choose one that accents or complements other features, so it stands out as a centerpiece for your cooking area.

Refrigerator: Refrigerators come in numerous sizes and designs (and energy ratings); pick one based on who will use the fridge most often and what type best fits within your remodeling plan’s style.

Dishwasher: Consider if you need additional space for specialty dishes when choosing dishwashers.

Finally, be sure to measure all appliance dimensions before purchasing to make sure they fit properly into designated spaces after installation. 

Consider Storage Needs

How to plan your kitchen remodel includes considering storage needs

The next step in how to plan your kitchen remodel is to evaluate your storage needs. Here are some essential questions to ask yourself when considering your storage needs:

  • How much food will you need to store?
  • How many cabinets or drawers do you need?
  • How much pantry space?
  • How many appliances and dishes will live on countertops?
  • How often do family members require access to cooking staples like sugar, flour, spices, kitchen towels, and utensils?

All these questions must be taken into account. If you get this step wrong, there won’t be enough storage for all of your items, slowing down meal preparation and leading to a cluttered look. 

Choose Colors

Another crucial step in how to plan your kitchen remodel is to decide on a color scheme. This can be tricky since the options are virtually limitless. But choosing the right colors can transform your kitchen into an inviting and stylish space.

Start by considering your preferences, then decide on a color palette based on what kind of atmosphere you hope to cultivate in your kitchen. Think about whether you want bright, bold colors or subdued neutrals.

It also helps to keep countertops lighter than other surfaces, such as flooring and cabinets, which will provide additional contrast and make them stand out from other elements in the room. Finally, it’s essential to consider any existing furnishings that may need coordinating with the new color scheme you’ve chosen.

Decide On Countertops 

Choosing the right countertops is an essential part of how to plan your kitchen remodel. While many people make decisions like wall color and cabinet hardware based on personal preference, countertops provide a more functional component to your kitchen.

There are myriad choices when it comes to selecting the best countertop for your home. Of course, the cost can be a significant factor in making this choice–no matter what you decide, it’s best to go with a product that will last for years without requiring costly repairs or replacements. 

Here are some of the most popular material options for kitchen countertops:

  • Granite: If you’re looking for an ultra-durable material that is hearty enough to handle anything from the family dinner prep to projects involving hot cookware and sharp knives, granite countertops are an excellent option.
  • Quartz: Quartz countertops provide solid performance yet boast elegant colors and patterns which mimic more expensive stone materials like marble or granite.
  • Quartzite: Quartzite is a natural metamorphic rock that has gone through extreme heat and pressure over time and boasts one of the strongest materials with excellent durability. If you’re not sure whether quartz or quartzite works best for you, check out our guide to the important differences between the two materials.
  • Stainless steel: Steel countertops have several benefits–it’s incredibly durable, hygienic, heat-resistant, and low-maintenance.
  • Recycled glass: If eco-mindedness is important to you, consider recycled glass surfaces, which can come with a unique look, as no piece of glass will ever be created in exactly the same pattern as another. 

From layout and counter space to style and materials, your choice of countertops has the potential to improve or detract from the overall look of your remodel.

Find Your Flooring 

Flooring is a crucial component in the process for how to plan your kitchen remodel. Your floor is the foundation of your kitchen, and it’s important to choose a material that will be both comfortable and durable. Be sure to properly research each option before making a final decision to ensure you get the best new flooring for your kitchen.

Here are some of the most popular kitchen flooring options:

  • Hardwood: Hardwood floors offer timeless appeal and longevity but need to be adequately sealed from water damage.
  • Engineered hardwood: Another great option is engineered hardwood, which consists of several layers of wood topped with a thin layer of veneer for extra water resistance.
  • Tile: Tile offers durability and easy maintenance if it’s installed correctly.
  • Cork: Cork floors provide insulation for sound and comfort underfoot in the kitchen. 

Determine Your Lighting 

A kitchen remodel with recessed ceiling lights

How you decide to light your kitchen is a key decision in the process of how to plan your kitchen remodel. Lighting is not only important for functionality and creating ambiance–it can also provide enough brightness to let you show off all the hard work you put into the design!

Consider both task lighting and accent lighting, such as recessed lights, pendant lights, chandeliers, and more. Task lights help you see what you’re doing while cooking, while accent lights help create a sense of ambiance. 

Dimming options are also available so that you can control the amount of brightness in your kitchen when needed–a versatile option that could function as both task and accent lighting, depending on the brightness setting. Finally, don’t forget to consider the amount of natural light that your kitchen gets so your lighting choices aren’t redundant.

Avoid These Kitchen Remodel Mistakes

The process for how to plan your kitchen remodel can be an exciting task–envisioning the possibility of a whole new space with features that meet your exact needs and suit your style. But amidst all the excitement, it’s important to stay focused on making sound decisions to ensure you avoid these common kitchen remodeling mistakes.

  • Not having a list of kitchen remodel priorities. Don’t confuse your must-have design elements with your wish list extras. 
  • Not considering how colors and finishes will interact in the space. Don’t lose sight of your overall design plan, and pick clashing colors or textures!
  • Not making sure that measurements and sizes are accurate and double-checking that all components will fit together as planned. 
  • Failing to stick to your budget.
  • Jumping on a design trend bandwagon without considering your own specific tastes and needs.

What Is The Most Expensive Part Of A Kitchen Remodel?

This is a common question asked by homeowners considering a kitchen remodel. While every kitchen remodel project is unique, the most expensive component of a kitchen remodel is often the cabinetry.

Kitchen cabinets account for a large portion of the overall cost and typically boast a hefty price tag–especially when custom-made or purchased at high-end retailers. Other significant kitchen renovation expenses include labor costs, countertops, flooring, lighting fixtures, and plumbing. 

Final Considerations Before Starting Your Kitchen Remodel

How to plan your kitchen remodel can be an exciting but daunting process. There are so many things to consider—from layout and design to appliances and budget—but with careful planning, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Remember to take your time, research, and stick to your budget.

Let Rea Pro Construction Help You Bring Your Dream Kitchen To Life

We hope you can use this “How To Plan Your Kitchen Remodel” guide as a starting point in planning your own kitchen remodel. If you’re ready to start planning your perfect kitchen, fill out our contact form today!