Home Improvement

How to Plan a Successful Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodel Tacoma is a major undertaking and can be disruptive to your household for weeks or even months. The best way to prepare for a kitchen remodel is by taking careful measurements and drawing a rough sketch of the layout.

This will help you accurately convey your ideas and the space you have to work with. It is also important to know your scope, which can be anything from a simple cosmetic refresh to what Lovato calls a “total gut renovation.”

The budget for a kitchen remodel is one of the most important aspects of the project. Experts recommend setting aside 20 percent of the project’s total costs for unexpected expenses, such as water damage or electrical wiring that isn’t up to code.

The total cost of a kitchen remodel depends on the scope of the project, as well as materials and labor. For example, installing granite countertops or hardwood floors will significantly drive up the project’s costs. However, you can save money on these expensive items by using cheaper alternatives like tile or laminate. Additionally, it’s crucial to plan ahead and set aside enough time for the remodel. According to a recent study by Houzz and Home, kitchen renovation projects take on average 8.3 months of planning and 4.5 months of construction.

A complete kitchen remodel involves replacing all of the major surfaces and adding new features, such as an island or extra cabinets. This type of remodel can be especially costly because it often requires professional help from architects, designers and contractors. It also requires the purchase of new appliances, and the installation of new flooring, counters, sinks and cabinetry.

Labor is usually the biggest component of a kitchen remodel, eating up between 20 and 35 percent of the overall budget. This can be mitigated by planning ahead and negotiating with local contractors to find the best rates. You can also save by reusing existing cabinets, hiring an independent contractor to do the demolition work and performing other tasks that will lower the overall cost of your project.

It’s also important to plan for the possibility of extra expenses, such as moving costs and eating out during the remodel. It’s a good idea to create a spreadsheet of the estimated cost for each task and update it frequently. This will give you a clear picture of how much your kitchen remodeling project is actually going to cost and allow you to make any necessary adjustments.


The design stage of a kitchen remodel involves selecting foundational elements, such as cabinets, countertops and flooring. A color palette can also be established at this time. Bright, saturated hues can energize small rooms, while soothing neutrals visually expand spaces. Dark colors, on the other hand, shrink a room and make it feel claustrophobic.

At the planning stage, homeowners can work with a professional to set goals for the space and define what Ariana Lovato of Honeycomb Design calls the project’s scope. This can range from a cosmetic refresh to a “total gut,” which involves tearing down walls and reconfiguring the layout.

Once the scope is defined, it’s important to consult the condo/co-op/HOA/whatever rules apply for renovations. These will lay out what can and cannot be done to the property, including where a kitchen can or can’t be located. For example, this kitchen’s sink window faced directly into the downstairs dining area, which meant that any new layout would have to address this issue.

Next, a general contractor will evaluate the plumbing and electrical to determine what needs upgrading or repairs. The crew will then install drywall and frames, doors and windows, followed by cabinets and countertops, flooring and lighting. Finally, decorative touches can be added, from glossy backsplash tile to eye-catching drawer handles. This is when the kitchen remodel starts to look like a stylish cooking and entertaining center.


When starting a kitchen remodel, homeowners need to determine what needs to stay in the kitchen and what can be removed. This is known as the scope of the project. Scope can range from a cosmetic refresh to a complete rip-and-replace, and will depend on the goals of the homeowner. Whether you want to add an island, or if you are considering upgrading to stainless steel appliances and a walk-in pantry, you’ll need to have a clear idea of what your goals are and how the changes will affect your workflow and space.

The most popular kitchen layout is the u-shaped kitchen, which wraps around three walls and provides plenty of storage and countertop space for food prep. This design also creates an efficient work triangle and separates the kitchen from the rest of the home. If you choose this layout, you should install corner cabinets with pull-outs or lazy susans to maximize storage and eliminate pinch points.

Another popular kitchen layout is the g-shaped kitchen, which adds an extra wall to a traditional u-shaped kitchen. This adds more counter and storage space and can be used for additional seating, a breakfast bar or a pass-through. This design can also accommodate two cooks, making it a great option for homes with more than one chef.

Depending on how you use your kitchen, you may want to consider adding an island or a peninsula. These options offer more storage and countertop space for cooking and dining, but they will also increase your budget. Also, make sure that you have enough space to maneuver in front of your appliances, such as the oven, dishwasher and refrigerator.


There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to the materials used for a kitchen remodel. There are cabinets, sinks and countertops, flooring, lighting, appliances, and colors & finishes. It is important to find durable materials that will hold up to frequent use and abuse. For example, marble countertops may look beautiful in a showroom, but they are not the best choice for a hardworking kitchen. Other choices for countertops include poured concrete or quartz, which are more resistant to staining and moisture than traditional granite.

Cabinets are typically made from wood or other solid material, such as fiberboard or plywood. They are available in a wide variety of styles, finishes, and color options. There are even custom-made cabinets that can be designed to fit your specific space. You can also choose from a variety of different doors and drawer fronts. Many people also install glass panes or chalkboard paint in their cabinets for a fun and unique look.

Countertops should be durable and easy to clean. There are a lot of choices for kitchen countertops, including natural stone, quartz, ceramic tiles, and stainless steel. Each of these materials has its own benefits and drawbacks. Some are more affordable than others, while some are more eco-friendly than others.

Flooring is often made of wood, vinyl, or ceramic tile. It is important to choose a floor that will withstand heavy foot traffic and spills. It is also a good idea to choose an environmentally friendly option, such as recycled wood or flooring made from low-emissions materials.

Finally, it is a good idea to purchase energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures. These will help you save money on your utility bills in the long run.


There are several different professionals you’ll need to work with throughout the kitchen remodel, including a general contractor or remodeling pro, cabinet installers, plumbers, electricians and an interior designer or kitchen designer who orchestrates the planning of structural changes and the design of your new space. Often, these individuals will collaborate to ensure everything is completed on time and within budget.

When assembling your list of potential contractors, ask for referrals from satisfied friends and neighbors. Check out online reviews and the websites of local businesses to get a feel for their customer service. You may also want to contact industry members such as the NKBA or NARI to see if they can provide referrals to reputable remodelers in your area. Before you sign a contract, be sure to ask the prospective contractor for references, certifications, licenses and insurance. In addition to worker’s compensation and liability coverage, you should inquire about any specialty designations the contractor may claim, such as a kitchen and bath remodeler (CKBR).

As you begin collecting estimates, interview the pros who you think are best suited for your project. Be clear about your vision and goals for the space, as well as any limitations you might have with the existing layout. Ask each potential contractor to explain their pricing structure and how they will handle any unforeseen issues that could arise during construction. It’s important to have a written contract and set up a system for communicating updates on the progress of your kitchen remodel. This will help to avoid miscommunications or misunderstandings that could lead to disagreements and delays. Establishing a timeline for when you expect updates will help you to stay on track with your schedule and budget.