The Kitchen Renovation Checklist

The Kitchen Renovation Checklist

As a homeowner, you want to make sure that your house is enjoyable and safe to live in. Updating and renovating your kitchen is one way of doing that. It’s no secret that kitchens are the center of family life. 


They’re the perfect place for gatherings, not to mention being the busiest room in the house! A kitchen renovation can be a daunting task and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The key to a successful kitchen renovation is planning and preparation. By working out the details before you start your project, you’ll ensure that your renovation is a total success.


This checklist has been created to give you an idea of what’s involved in planning a kitchen renovation and will help guide you through the process of making choices, from start to finish. As with any repair or improvement job, every home and budget is different, so be sure to adjust this checklist to fit your specific needs.


If you’d like more detailed information on a specific topic, simply click on the plus sign (+) beside that item for more information. The information contained in this checklist will provide the foundation for most kitchen renovation projects, large or small.

1. Draw up a “wishlist” of desired features, finishes and appliances.

Every renovation project needs a plan, but many homeowners don’t know where or how to start. Start by creating a wish list of your dream kitchen. What’s important to you? Would you like a large island or an eating bar? How about new appliances, cabinetry or lighting? Make a detailed list of your ultimate kitchen design from top to bottom, inside and out islands, cabinets and countertops, flooring and decorating accessories.


2. Inventory your current kitchen.

Once you’ve decided on your wish list, take stock of what you already have. Evaluate the layout, condition and style to see what works best for your home. Make sure to include measurements and details of appliances, cabinets and countertop selections in your inventory.


3. Visit the local building department and get a permit application.

When working with contractors, there’s nothing worse than being told that a selected feature isn’t available or will cost significantly more than originally thought because it wasn’t included in the bid process as an option or extra charge.


The best way to avoid this scenario is to make sure you have a complete list of all selections, details, measurements and costs before you start your project. It may seem obvious, but there is a lot to consider when renovating your kitchen. The first step in making it a reality is to get the proper permits.


Get an idea of what it will take to do your kitchen renovation by taking a look at some typical design elements. You’ll need door and window trim, flooring underlayment or other covering for wiring, insulation and drywall for the walls and ceiling, electrical outlets for lighting and appliances. You’ll also need shelving for storage between cabinets and counter space for appliances. Plan on additional costs for venting over stoves and refrigerators, exhaust fans and other items.


4. Order samples.

Now that you have your wish list and budget in hand, you’re ready to pull the trigger on a design. The very first decision you’ll need to make is what style of decorating look will work best in your kitchen. Do you want a traditional or modern kitchen? How do you envision your space? Will it be formal or informal?  Before making any final decisions, order samples of flooring and countertop materials so that you can see how they will look in person.


5. Prepare for demolition.

Before demolishing your kitchen, make sure that you have the proper permits. Also, decide how you want to dispose of the unwanted items from your demolition. Usually homeowners can recycle their cabinets and countertops for a nominal fee or for free by calling their local pick-up services.


Figure out what your budget will be for your project. This is especially important if you will be hiring contractors to do the work because contractors often quote a price based on square footage or other features. Decide how much of the project you want to do yourself and what type of work you want to outsource to professionals.



A nice kitchen renovation is a great way to upgrade your space and make it look and feel brand new. Follow the steps outlined in this checklist, and you’ll have everything you need to make your renovation a success!