Kitchen Renovations Process

If you’re thinking of renovating, by now you may have looked at design magazines, design sites like Houzz and social media platforms such as Pinterest. You don’t know where to start or what to expect and begin to feel overwhelmed.

We have put together a checklist to give you an idea as to how your kitchen renovation will take place from start to finish.


Research your Design Style:

By using online resources like Houzz & Pinterest as well as design magazines, begin the process by finding pictures that appeal to you. Once you have saved a few of your favourites, identify what it is that you like about the pictures. Do you like a white airy kitchen? Or do you like the warmth of the hardwood floor in the white airy kitchen? Identifying what you like about each picture specifically will help you better communicate your style to your design team.

Pro Tip: Save less pictures (there’s an overwhelming number of pictures you will love out there) and invest the time in identifying what you love about the design. Write a few words in the “notes” area of the pictures you’ve pinned.

Meet with a Designer:

Once you’re ready to take the plunge from dreaming of your kitchen to designing, you will need to do some research on hiring the right designer for your renovation. Most designers have an online presence these days. We encourage you to browse the designer’s website and social media platforms to give you an inside look at the candidate’s style, design process and personality.

Meet with the designer to discuss possible layouts, your design style that you’ve identified through pictures, and any additional research you may have done.

Pro Tip: Interview a few designers. Most will do an initial site visit at no cost. This is your first step in understanding how the designer’s process begins.

Meet with a Contractor:

This process can be done before or after meeting with a designer.

Sourcing a contractor is like sourcing a designer. Take the same steps by browsing through their website and social media platforms to get a better sense of the scale of their firm, a visual of the type of projects they work on and maybe even a sense of their overall process.

Providing the contractor with as much information as possible will help with accurate quoting on the labour. Helpful information includes: drawings, elevations, appliance specs, changes to flooring, lighting, windows etc. Have the contractor confirm that the proposed design will work within your space and budget.

Discuss tear out date. Cabinetry has a usual lead time of 6-8 weeks from order. This timeline is important as your contractor will work backwards from that anticipated date of cabinet delivery.

Pro Tip: Meeting with the designer first, will help identify a scope of work and finishing materials to be used. This will in turn help the contractor provide accurate pricing.

Ordering of Finishing Materials:


By this point in the design you must have a list of sizes that are appropriate for your space. This research is up to you! Appliance shopping is very personal and can vary based on your cooking style. Appliances should be ordered before cabinetry as they effect the openings and clearances of your kitchen design.

Approve final floor plans and select the cabinetry door style, colour, interior hardware & handles. You are now ready to order your cabinetry!

Finalize on selections of flooring, countertop, backsplash and paint colours.

Plumbing & lighting fixtures: This is a topic we like to visit early in the design process. Selections made on these fixtures will affect plumbing and electrical rough-ins which are worked on in the beginning stages of construction

Pro Tip:
Having all finishing material ordered before tearing out will help run the project on a timely manner

 One Week Before Demolition:

If you plan to live in the home through the renovation, begin to organize an area in your home to set up a mock kitchen. Shopping for easy foods to prepare, paper plates and cups is recommended as you may not have access to your usual appliances like a range and dishwasher.  

• Start packing up your kitchen. This is a great time to separate the items you wish to keep and the ones that must go.

• Depending on the extent of your renovation, prepare for approx. 8-10 weeks without a completed kitchen.

Constructions Begins

Tear out begins: removal of old cabinets, countertops, appliances, backsplash tile, electrical, lighting, plumbing, followed by: drywalling, mudding, sanding, painting, and flooring (flooring can also go in after cabinets). To properly prepare the kitchen for cabinets, this process usually takes between 1-3 weeks (depending on the size of your project).

Cabinets are delivered and installed. For the first time you start to see your new kitchen taking form. An average kitchen in our market takes about 4 days to install.

Countertops are templated. You must have your sink and faucet on site at this time. Generally, solid surfaces such as Quartz take 2-3 weeks of fabricating from the time they are measured to time of install. If decisions on countertop overhangs and reveals haven’t been made in the earlier design stages, they must be discussed at the time of templating.

Countertops are installed. If you’ve decided on a solid piece of backsplash whether it is glass or Quartz, this would be measured after countertops are installed to ensure the best possible fit.

Plumbing fixtures and appliances are installed.

Backsplash tiles are set.

Cabinet installer returns to finish off any deficiencies, drawer adjustments, and final touch ups.

Construction clean out provided by the contractor.


Congratulations on making it through your renovation! Your new kitchen is now move in ready. You may have not done all the dirty work yourself, but you should feel proud of the hard you put into the planning and designing phases to make your dream kitchen come to life. Before you become the next Iron Chef, take a moment to reflect on the renovation process. Were you satisfied with your designer and/or contractor? If your answer is yes, a positive review can help other consumers make the right decision in hiring their team and help small business grow.

They say a kitchen is the heart of the home, and as designers we couldn’t agree more. That is why it is important to take your time and the right steps to ensure you are proud of the results for years to come. Enjoy it and let it inspire the inner chef in you!

Happy Designing

Designs by Katerina & Silvie