It is not always a good time to remodel a kitchen. But it is always a good time to improve your kitchen remodeling timeline.
You know this already.
A full kitchen remodel will take longer than repainting its cabinetry.
Implementing a new kitchen layout eats more time than installing new countertops and an island combined.
But is there even a standard kitchen remodel timeline?
How long does it take to remodel a small kitchen? What if you need to do a custom kitchen remodel?
And how do you speed up a kitchen remodeling process?
Accurate answers to those questions will help you in other regards, such as:
- You’ll know how long you may need to wait before cooking inside your renovated kitchen.
- You would know how long it would be until you can host a particular event at home.
- Learning how many person-hours it takes to remodel a kitchen can help you calculate how much it would cost.
- Then you’d be in a better position to see if you can speed up your kitchen update–and by how long.
When you have a good idea of a kitchen remodel’s average time, you can also plan your family activities accordingly.
For example, you’ll know whether to move temporarily. Or you’ll figure out if simply isolating the work area will be enough to keep loved ones safe.
So, how long will updating your kitchen take?
What’s a Kitchen Remodeling Timeframe?
The typical small kitchen remodeling takes 2 to 6 weeks. Expect a midrange kitchen remodel to take up to 8 weeks. A custom kitchen renovation that requires restructuring the kitchen, laying new flooring, reconsidering natural light sources, and fitting high-tech appliances can last 12 weeks or longer. And if you want a thorough remodel that includes increasing your kitchen size, it may take up to six months.
Different contractors will have unique remodeling processes. Each vendor deems their process the most optimal.
And if you are doing it yourself, it might look more or less like this commenter’s process:
But here’s a typical kitchen renovation process.
- You tour showrooms to see if they have what you’d love to install in your dream kitchen. This can take up to several months or years, depending on the specifics you want.
Karin captured this point perfectly in this comment:
- You start to look around for a reputable kitchen remodeler near you. You probably want the best you can afford, too. Depending on your availability, leads you may have got from family and friends, and how badly you need to update your kitchen, this may take a week or several.
- Next, you discuss your preferences with one or more remodelers (1-3 days). Think: spacing, layout, flooring, materials, lighting, and timeline needs.
- They suggest a plan within 1-2 weeks.
- You sign a remodeling agreement if you want to pursue that idea or suggest new updates. You can take your time. No pressure.
- You approve or suggest more updates.
- The remodeler constitutes the new suggestions until you approve. How long this takes will depend on how responsive you are. Give 1-4 weeks.
- Next, the professional will visit your home, take measurements, and order custom fittings and appliances. Give 3-8 weeks depending on the materials, devices, and design you chose.
- Demolitions begin after getting the relevant approvals and insurance cover (3 days to 6 weeks, depending on project scope). A credible remodeler will handle this on your behalf.
- Electrical and mechanical work follows, such as layout construction, new window placements, and plumbing (3 days to 2 weeks).
- Insulation and drywall complete the walls.
- Countertops, backsplash, sink, faucet, and cabinet installation follow.
- Flooring comes next.
- Your new kitchen is taking shape, and painting is done at this time.
- Finishing touches such as staining the floor and installing stand-alone appliances complete your kitchen renovation process.
Many people often add new work to the initial scope to complete their dream kitchen look and feel.
Additional work during kitchen construction may look like this:
- A new window to increase natural light, ventilation, and appearance
- Additional glass surface
- Repair or replace damaged items
- New lights over a work area
- Designer faucet replacement
Don’t be shy about suggesting a fix here or a touch there before the contractor leaves.
Getting someone else to retouch the revamped room can damage the original work, cost more, and leave you unsatisfied.
So, let the starting remodeler do everything you have in mind.
They’ll know how to bring everything together without breaking things to fix others.
Kitchen Renovation Timeline: How Long Updating a Kitchen Feature Takes
Here’s a quick breakdown of different kitchen construction areas.
How Long Does it Take to Install Kitchen Cabinets?
Semi-custom cabinets take up to 6 weeks to arrive after ordering. Custom cabinetry typically takes 8-10 weeks to arrive. Cabinet installation takes much less time at about 1-3 days. Of course, the more cabinets you have, the longer the installation. Also, it can take a day more to fit built-in appliances.
How Long Does it Take to Fit Kitchen Countertops?
Measuring countertops takes a day. But countertop fabrication can take 6-28 days, depending on the material you pick. Engineered quartz and ceramics take the least time, while custom granite tops eat up the most. Countertop installation takes 1-3 days.
Often countertops are templated from cabinets. But you choose.
And what if you want an island?
It’ll need trenching work laid out on the floor, which can add extra hours or a day.
How Long Should Kitchen Flooring Take?
Kitchen floors take 2 to 7 days to install, depending on your kitchen’s materials and size. Hardwood floors are the most intricate and time-consuming. Tile floors take 1-3 days.
When remodeling your kitchen, do you do the floors first?
No. The flooring comes last, including sanding, staining, and finishing.
If you hired a contractor, he’d ask that you stay away from the kitchen for the entire time. If you are renovating the kitchen yourself, keep loved ones away during this time.
How Long Does Kitchen Lighting Take to Install?
Expect ceiling works, work area, and other lighting fixtures in a kitchen to take 1 to 3 days, depending on how sophisticated you want them. Connecting smart kitchen lights and syncing them to your intelligent home control center can take a day or more.
Here’s the thing, though.
Many remodeling projects take longer than most homeowners expect.
Why Do Kitchen Remodels Take So Long?
Reasons include inadequate planning, shifting costs, change of mind, bad hiring decisions, erratic measurements, and cutting corners. Kitchen remodels also last longer if you pick a renovation time when you are too busy to make prompt approvals.
Here’s what we mean.
Perhaps you are not sure where to start when planning a custom kitchen remodel.
Maybe you need to see a kitchen renovation planning checklist to know you are not missing something.
You might not be sure if you want to do a DIY kitchen remodeling or hire a professional kitchen remodeling company near you.
Feel like any of those scenarios picture your situation right now?
Here are a few crucial questions to answer so you’ll know what to do and when.
What do you want from your kitchen remodel?
Do you want a contemporary look and feel? Or do you see yourself enjoying a classic kitchen layout for the next decade?
Would you like to increase your kitchen’s size, redesign its layout to a more contemporary L-shape, or install new, energy-efficient appliances?
Visit several showrooms. See the different types of appliances they have. Or see what the latest cabinets have to offer.
These days you can also browse showrooms online if you have little time to spare for a physical tour. Click several vendors’ virtual tour tabs, and you’ll be good to go.
We highly recommend talking to one or two kitchen remodeling professionals. Often, they are happy to engage free-of-charge.
That can help you see if there are areas you may have missed in your initial considerations, such as:
- Efficient ways to disburse steam
- Energy-efficient appliances
- Affordable water filtration systems
- Healthy ways to store food without refrigeration
- How to install new drywall without demolishing everything
Next, consider your budget, how you want to finance the remodel, and how long it will take to put aside enough for it.
How much does it cost to do a full kitchen remodel?
The average spend on a major small kitchen remodel was $25,800 in 2018. That included changing a kitchen style, refacing cabinets, installing engineered quartz countertops, and hiring professional help. A major large kitchen remodel averages $42,000 to $69,000 for a 230 square foot kitchen. A major remodel will usually include a 3-by-5-foot island, new flooring, custom lighting, a new sink and faucet, semi-custom cabinetry, freshly painted walls, and new appliances.
You can spend less or more.
For example, an upscale kitchen renovation can cost up to $126,000 if you want commercial-grade appliances, custom cabinetry, and a gourmet kitchen (with granite countertops).
However, most American households spend about $5,000 on kitchen remodeling.
Yet, more people prefer to increase the size of their kitchens, mainly rural and suburbs folks:
Others are preferring to change their kitchen layouts:
Few are willing to spend more than $10,000. And only one in 10 homeowners spend more than $100,000 on a kitchen renovation.
How does how much a kitchen remodel costs factor into how long a renovation takes?
Well, a 2017 study found a staggering 91% of homeowners who renovated a year prior paid in cash. Credit card payments came a distant second at 23%, while secured loans paid off a mere 11% of all renovations in that year.
Image: Houzz Inc 2017
What’s that supposed to mean?
Paying cash may mean holding some aspects of the project until you have enough money to proceed. And that can prolong the remodeling time frame.
But if you have cash saved up and ready to finance the kitchen redesign back-to-back, you may take just a few weeks to get it done.
What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?
Often, most people splurge on cabinets, countertops, appliances, and lighting. But flooring, restructuring layouts, and redoing plumbing and electrical works are the most significant investment. These are also the most time-consuming parts of a kitchen remodeling process.
For example, you may want to demolish walls to increase your kitchen’s size, redesign the layout, add new natural light sources, or link it seamlessly with your outdoors. Any of that may need you to:
- Move your stuff, and sometimes the entire family
- Get permits from the local authorities
- Consult your homeowners’ association for guidelines
- Get insurance cover
- Pay permit fees
- Arrange how to dispose of the waste from your property
All that will take time to accomplish without cutting corners.
What’s your availability?
In 2016, 37% of homeowners waited to renovate their kitchens when they had time, according to the Houz study. Compare that to homeowners who waited to have the finances (36%), customize a new home (27%), discovered damage (18%), and those who wanted to increase a home’s value ahead of an upcoming sale (12%).
Updating your kitchen is a significant investment–both emotional and financial.
So, you’ll want to be present to provide all the approvals needed to speed up the renovation timeline.
How Can You Reduce Your Kitchen Remodel Time?
Do the following:
- Start early. Give yourself room to decide or change your mind about materials, design, and timeline. Become sure you want to remodel that kitchen.
- Look around for inspiration. Visit showrooms and take virtual tours to see what’s on offer out there and whether it’ll work in your kitchen revamp project.
- Have your financing options in order. When you do, the renovation will likely continue without much downtime. Think in terms of a “cost range”. That way, you can finance additional preferences that may come up later.
- Hire the best contractor you can afford. Put another way: spend the most you can afford to get the best value money can buy over the longest time.
- Talk about your preferences in detail. Have a one-on-one meeting with the person-in-charge of your kitchen revamp. Don’t leave before you know they can do what you need. It’ll save both of you time to leave it at that if you are not a good match.
- Be responsive. Your contractor can’t proceed without your approval. So, make time. You do not want to live with an unsatisfactory kitchen for the next 15 to 30 years, do you?
Notice how crucial your involvement is in the process.
Remodeling a kitchen can take anywhere between 2 weeks and 24 weeks. Minor renovations for small kitchens, such as refacing cabinets, countertops, and installing new lights, can take 2-4 weeks.
Major updates for large kitchens, such as installing custom cabinets, countertops, flooring, new appliances, and an island, can take 6-12 weeks. Upscale kitchen renovation projects take longer.
Factors that will affect how long a kitchen remodel process takes include:
- Whether you choose a pro to help you out or redesign the kitchen yourself
- How badly you want to update your kitchen
- Whether you have a good idea of the dream kitchen you want
- How financially ready you are
- How available you are to collaborate with the people helping you out
- Whether you want stock, semi-custom, or fully custom installations
Think it is time you remodel your kitchen?