How To Renovate A Kitchen

The most-used room in your home is likely the kitchen.

Your kitchen is where you prepare your meals, where you eat, and often where you gather for family time or for entertaining.

So your kitchen needs to be functional, beautiful, and a pleasant place to be. If it doesn’t fit the bill, you’ve likely thought about changing that by renovating your kitchen.

This is not a simple undertaking and it needs to be carefully planned.

So let’s take a look at how to renovate a kitchen.

Follow the Steps

Renovating a kitchen is not a project to be taken lightly. For one, costs can escalate quickly if you don’t follow some important steps.

Secondly, without careful planning, you may find that you get stuck with a design you don’t actually want. For instance, your stove needs a special type of outlet, which means its placement requires some planning.

So follow the steps to a successful kitchen renovation.

Start With a Budget

While your budget doesn’t have to be to the exact dollar, you do need to aim for renovating costs that you can afford. If you’re getting a loan, be sure that you won’t place a financial burden on yourself or your family, just so you can get that extra special refrigerator.

When determining what you will be spending, be realistic, and build in some flexibility. To do that, add an extra 20 per cent for unexpected costs. Or, build a budget that’s 20 per cent less than your maximum.

By including flexibility, you can finish the kitchen in a timely manner, without running short on funds. Renovations rarely go exactly as planned. And if you don’t use that extra money, it’s a bonus.

In order to build your budget, visit show homes to get ideas, conduct research on the Internet or in the library, and talk to friends to find out what works and what doesn’t in their kitchens.

Then visit showrooms, home renovation stores, electrical and plumbing stores, flooring and appliance centres, and determine what you can afford for the materials needed to complete your kitchen renovation. Don’t forget to ask about shipping or delivery charges on the items you want to purchase.

The final step will be labor costs. If you can complete some of the work on your own, you can save money. If you need to hire a general contractor, or separate trades people to do installation, get quotes on the work for your budget.

Build A Plan

The next step is to plan the kitchen. Start by considering your current kitchen.

What do you like about it? What’s frustrating, difficult to use or downright useless? Determine the priorities for your new kitchen, so that you can make decisions if you have to eliminate part of the plan.

Be rigorous in your decision-making. Any type of kitchen appliance or gadget can be tempting, but you may not be able to afford every single item you see. Stay practical, choose quality products, and opt for reliability over fancy design. Think about what you need, not necessarily all the things you like. 

For instance, do you want to add an island to your kitchen? If so, what’s the purpose? Is it simply another workspace? Or do you want to have a sink on the island? Will it be a second sink? Will it have a garbage disposal unit in the sink? Will you need plug-ins on the island? Or would you go as far as having a stove top on the island?

You can see how one item can escalate quickly if you don’t have a clear idea of what you need.

Once you have your “must-haves” list, it’s time for the key piece of the puzzle: the design. While you have likely gathered many ideas, and have a wish list for appliances, flooring and even items like sink hardware, the actual floor plan is one of the most important pieces in the kitchen renovation puzzle.

It needs to be practical and functional, and make meal preparation and clean-up a breeze. It also needs to suit your needs for entertaining, or eating as a family.

The most convenient way to design your kitchen is by establishing what’s called a work triangle consisting of your sink, stove and refrigerator. Having them in a triangular setup makes meal preparation easy and saves you steps while doing so. Add in a dishwasher that’s easy to access and empty, and you have the ultimate beginning for your design. 

The next consideration is workspace, or counter space that provides you enough room for meal preparation. Remember that island? It’s a great addition if there’s usually more than one person working in the kitchen.

An island that’s big enough for a few stools also allows for a natural gathering place, where kids can have breakfast together or guests can visit during meal prep. But some people don’t like having an audience while they cook, so even the space for stools needs to be carefully considered!

The final piece is the eating area. Will it be part of the kitchen, or do you have a separate space. If so, do you want a breakfast nook, or is the kitchen only for meal prep.

Now you’ve got your plan.

Do The Work

Once you’re ready to start the work, there is a logical order to handling how to renovate a kitchen.

Whether you’re doing the work yourself, or hiring others to do it, here’s the best way to renovate your kitchen:

  1. Out with the old: Remove everything that won’t be part of the new kitchen, including flooring, appliances, cabinets or cabinet doors, wall coverings, sink and backsplash, and any walls that can safely be demolished.

  1. Replace plumbing and electrical, including fixtures: This is a perfect time to upgrade and ensure all plumbing and electrical is up to code. You may want to change your stove hook-up from electric to gas. If you are adding a garbage disposal unit, that needs to be installed. And, you will want to add new fixtures like a new sink and taps, new light fixtures, and perhaps new features like under-counter lighting.
  1. New drywall and paint: If your walls require new drywall, that’s next, followed by painting the entire space.

  1. Install flooring: Next up is new flooring and baseboards.

  1. Cabinets: Install the new cabinets, or cabinet doors, as well as countertops and backsplash.

  1. Appliances are last: Now you can bring in your new refrigerator, stove and dishwasher.


While there are always bumps in the road during a renovation, following these steps will make the process as easy as possible. 

Final Thoughts

Creating a functional and beautiful space in your kitchen is beneficial to you in the long term. It makes for easier meal preparation and cleanup and creates a gathering area for your family and friends. It also adds value to your home.

But renovating a kitchen can also be a daunting task. By following our steps to how to renovate a kitchen, you can have that new space on time and on budget, including everything on your kitchen wish list.