Kitchen Renovation Checklist

In this post: Learn the steps needed to update your kitchen with our kitchen renovation checklist

Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring out the work, undertaking a kitchen renovation can be a daunting task. However, with careful planning and execution, it is possible to renovate your kitchen on a budget.

Our DIY vintage farmhouse kitchen remodel has received so many positive comments and  questions, that we decided to write a post about how we did it- including all the resources we used. This kitchen renovation checklist for anyone else out there who may be feeling inspired to tackle their own kitchen remodel!

Kitchen renovation checklist

**This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using one of these links.  However, I only recommend items I personally love. Thank you for your support of my creative business!**

Kitchen Renovation Checklist Overview:

There are 10 easy to follow steps in this kitchen renovation checklist. They include….

  1. Define Your Renovation Goals
  2. Determine if Your Project will Require a Permit
  3. Design the Kitchen Layout
  4. Create a Budget
  5. Create a Mood Board
  6. Choose Your Materials
  7. Hire Contractors (If Needed)
  8. Knock Out Walls, Paint, & Install Flooring
  9. Install Cabinets & Counters
  10. Appliances & Finishing Touches

The Kitchen Renovation Checklist

1. Define Your Renovation Goals

The first step in any home renovation is to define your goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your kitchen renovation? Are you looking to update the appliances, fixtures, and cabinets?

Or are you looking for a complete gut job? By defining your goals at the outset, you will be able to better plan your budget and timeline for the project.

Prioritize your wants vs. your needs. For example, if you entertain often, you may want to include an island in your design so that guests can chat with you while you’re cooking.

On the other hand, if you have a small kitchen, you may need to forego the island in favor of additional storage space.

Another want vs. need to consider is whether or not you need to update your appliances. If they’re still in good working condition, you may be able to save some money by keeping them and using that money towards other aspects of the renovation. 

2. Determine if Your Project will Require a Permit

When planning a kitchen renovation, you may be wondering if you need to pull a permit. The answer, unfortunately, is not black and white. It depends on the scope of your project and your location.

There are some types of kitchen renovations that will never require a permit, no matter how extensive they are. These include painting, tiling, and installing new countertops or cabinets. 

Other renovations it’s safe to assume a permit is required. These often include extensive electrical work, plumbing work and structural changes. If you’re planning any of these types of renovations, be sure to check with your local building department to see if you need a permit. 

The first step is to contact your local building department to find out what types of permits are required for your project, if any. Once you have the necessary paperwork, submit it along with any required fees. You may also need to provide drawings or plans of the proposed work, and/or other documents. Once your application is approved, you will be issued a permit that must be prominently displayed at the job site. 

3. Design the Kitchen Layout

One of the first things we did was sit down and map out the layout of our kitchen- both what we had currently, and what we wanted it to look like.

This helped us determine what changes needed to be made in terms of moving appliances or plumbing, and also gave us a better idea of how much counter space and storage we would need.

Common Kitchen Layouts for your Kitchen Renovation Checklist

The L-shaped layout:

This is one of the most popular kitchen layouts because it’s efficient and easy to use. The L-shaped layout puts all of your major appliances and storage within easy reach, and it leaves plenty of room for multiple people to work in the kitchen at the same time.

The U-shaped layout:

This layout is similar to the L-shaped layout, but with an extra leg on one side that gives you even more counter space and storage options. However, this layout can feel a bit cramped if your kitchen is small, so it’s important to make sure you have enough room before choosing this option.

The galley layout:

This layout is ideal for small kitchens because it makes efficient use of every square inch of space. With this layout, everything is within reach, but there isn’t a lot of room for multiple people to work in the kitchen at the same time. 

The island layout:

If you have a large kitchen, this layout is a great option because it allows you to create separate areas for cooking, dining, and entertaining. This layout can be especially useful if you like to entertain guests in your home; for example, you can put a bar or prep sink on one side of the island while leaving the other side open for guests to mingle. 

Kitchen renovation checklist

4. Create a Budget

Once you have defined your goals, it is time to start creating a budget for your project. How much money are you willing to spend on this renovation? It is important to remember that most home renovation projects tend to go over budget, so it is important to set aside some extra money just in case.

Once you have a clear idea of what you want your kitchen to look like, it’s time to start setting a budget. Kitchen renovations can be costly, so it’s important to determine how much you are willing and able to spend on the project. This will help you make decisions down the line about which materials and appliances to choose.

5. Create a Mood Board

Once you’ve identified your wants vs. needs and you have a budget in mind, it’s time to start gathering inspiration for your new space. The best way to do this is by creating a mood board.

This can be a physical board that you put together using magazine cut-outs and paint swatches or it can be an online board that you create using Pinterest or another similar platform.

As you’re searching for inspiration, pay attention to both the big-picture items (like layout and appliances) as well as the smaller details (like hardware and backsplash tile).

By taking the time to collect all of this information upfront, you’ll be able to reference it easily as you begin making decisions about your own kitchen renovation. 

Canva is my favorite go to when I’m creating a mood board.

Kitchen mood board

6. Choose Your Materials

Now that you have a budget and mood board in place, it is time to start choosing materials for your renovation.

This is where you’ll need to do some research to find the best deals on everything from countertops to light fixtures. Be sure to compare prices at different stores before making any final decisions.

If you are working with a limited budget, it is important to choose cost-effective materials without sacrificing quality or aesthetic appeal. For example, laminate countertops can provide the look of granite or stone without the hefty price tag.

7. Hire Contractors (If Needed)

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need to hire contractors to help with the installation of certain materials like countertops or cabinets.

Make sure to get multiple bids from contractors before making your decision. Be sure to also check references and review portfolios before hiring anyone.

8: Knock Out Walls, Paint, & Install Flooring

The next steps in your kitchen renovation will be knocking out walls (if needed), painting, and installing flooring.

These are all fairly straightforward tasks that can be completed relatively easily by most do-it-yourselfers.

However, if you feel uncomfortable tackling these tasks on your own, there is no shame in hiring a contractor to help out.

Kitchen renovation checklist

9. Install Cabinets & Counters

Installing cabinets and counters is one of the more challenging aspects of a kitchen renovation.

If you are not confident in your abilities to install these items correctly, it may be best to hire a contractor for this part of the project as well.

10. Appliances & Finishing Touches

The final steps in your kitchen renovation will be installing appliances and adding finishing touches like cabinet hardware and light fixtures.

Once again, if you are not confident in your abilities to complete these tasks correctly, it may be best hiring a professional contractor .  

Kitchen Renovation Checklist Conclusion

Renovating your kitchen can be a challenge. But with careful planning and execution it is possible to renovate on a budget. By following this our kitchen renovation checklist, you can save yourself both money and stress.

Kitchen renovations can be costly, so it’s important to set a clear budget before beginning the project. Once you have a budget in mind, you can start choosing materials and appliances for your kitchen.

If you’re not confident in your ability to complete the renovation yourself, there is no shame in hiring a professional contractor to help out. With careful planning and execution, your kitchen renovation will be a success!

Do you have any other tips for budget-friendly kitchen renovations? Share them in the comments below.

Happy renovating!

Until next time,



Kitchen remodel

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