How To Plan Your Kitchen Renovation

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How To Plan Your Kitchen Renovation

We are about to start on a couple of major kitchen and bath renovations and it suddenly occurred to me how many people are involved in that process and how overwhelming it could be to someone who doesn’t do it every day. I thought it might help some of you if I simply documented the steps that we go through just to get through the estimate phase. If you can conquer that beast you are good to go.

kitchen renovations

Cindy Barganier Interiors

This will be a two part post so that you don’t fall asleep reading. I will throw in some pretty pictures for good measure.

Here is a list of  the subcontractors and suppliers involved in the process that your designer will be coordinating:

  1. Cabinet shop
  2. Tile and Granite suppliers
  3. Tile and Granite installers
  4. Electricians
  5. Plumbers
  6. Demolition Contractor
  7. Appliance Supplier
  8. Lighting Showrooms
  9. Hardware Companies
  10. Painter
  11. Flooring installer if using wood
  12. HVAC Specialists

I might have left someone out but these are the heavy hitters.

The first step is determining the time frame that you require for job completion. This is vital because it will affect which subs you can use and which will not be able to do the job.

I usually ask for inspiration pictures and do an interview to determine how the family will be using the kitchen which answers a ton of questions concerning layout and appropriate materials to use. Some of those questions would be:

Who does the cooking? Do you entertain? If so, how? Formally with large groups or casual family/friend suppers. Do you like people around you while you are cooking? Do you consider yourself to be a “professional” cook or are you more of a crock-pot girl? This one is huge…. are you neat or messy? Messies  require a lot more closed storage. No open shelves for us… yep, I’m a messy.

Countertops take a lot of abuse. Messies probably should not consider marble.



  1. At this point I begin working on drawings. One set is for general layout: position of appliances, islands, lighting etc.


The second set is for the cabinet man and shows the basic look in elevation format for each wall.


Then working drawings with actual measurements clearly marked.


This shows the style of door; if there will be glass or special features; how tall the wall cabinets will be etc

2. After a presentation to determine if we are all on the same page aesthetically it is time to bring in the subs. The subs will all want to do their own measuring to be sure that they understand the scope of the work and the conditions present on the site. A key question is “Will the family be living in the house during renovation or moving out.” I highly advise an extended vacation!

3. Collect bids from all subs.

4. Get 2nd and 3rd bids to compare

5. Decide which subs to use

6. Compile the numbers.

7. Does the budget work?

8. Rework the plan to get numbers down.

9. Prepare to begin work. We will tackle this on the next post.

kitchen renovations

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Toby Fairley recently posted her findings on budget rules of thumb for a kitchen renovation. I think that she is pretty much right on the mark.

She said,”A good rule of thumb is that a budget around $5,000 will get you some small cosmetic changes; $15,000-25,000 will let you pull out old appliances (or a few of them) and maybe slightly change your floor plan, but it won’t let you move plumbing or electrical. At $25,000-45,000, you’re able to take out a wall and to upgrade to better fixtures and cabinets if your kitchen isn’t too large. And at $50,000 or more, you’re probably going to get closer to your dream kitchen, with custom cabinetry and professional-grade appliances. But keep in mind, many people would need $65,000-$100,000 to really get the kitchen of their dreams. Be honest.”

Ouch. Right? But realistic. Next up we will discuss the actual process of accomplishing the task.

Cindy Barganier
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