How To Remodel a Kitchen: Ultimate Guide

By Jeneva Aaron Updated August 21, 2020

When your cook space needs a new look, get advice on how to get the most with these expert kitchen remodeling tips!

A good-looking kitchen can really add a lot to the comfort of your home overall. For many people, having a gorgeous kitchen means taking a look at your budget and getting some remodeling tips from the internet, showrooms and other areas so that you can create the perfect look. As a result, you’ll be able to transform your current layout into something truly wonderful.Renovating a kitchen isn’t just about installing fancy new cabinets, lighting and countertops. You’ll likely need to learn about the more technical aspects as well such as dealing with plumbing connections, moving gas lines and handling electrical wiring. If you’re really getting into it, you may even knock down walls to make the space more open!

Table of Contents

Who Is This For?

This guide is for anyone who is planning about a new kitchen renovation. It’s also a good read for anyone just keen on finding out about the process! There are a number of details and things to consider as part of the process. That way, you can get everything you want from your kitchen.You’ll get ideas about how much to spend, what aspects are most important to consider and the kinds of flooring, appliances and more that are on the market. Feel free to read all of this guide, or just the parts that relate to questions you may have.

Chapter 1: Preparation

Chapter 1 PreparationBefore you get going, it’s important to make sure that you’re ready!

This will include considering what you want from your renovation as well as what you’re willing to put into it. With enough effort put into the preparation, you’ll surely get a lot more from the process overall.

1.Considering Cost

The first thing to think about is the overall price. Take into consideration prices for additions you might want to make, professional labor and the kinds of issues you might run into. This initial rough budget can help you with knowing whether you have enough saved to budget for the renovation.It’s a good idea to have more than you expect to spend, just in case any unexpected expenditures pop up. An added savings of around $5,000 is a great idea.

That way, you’re ready for most issues that can make an appearance. Otherwise, if everything goes smoothly then you keep that money for another day!If you’re making an especially large renovation, then you may want more of an additional savings. This ensures you’re ready for just about anything. A good rule of thumb is to try to have about 20% of the overall renovation cost available to use. Otherwise, you may need to stop the project until you have the funds to cover the extra cost.

2.Getting Estimates

After you’ve considered the initial costs, you may want to consider getting estimates from a few different companies. Most people can do some of the project parts themselves. However, things like plumbing and electricity especially should have the attention of a professional.Naturally, the more companies you can get estimates from, the more choices you’ll have.

However, not everyone wants a multitude of different people walking around their home. As a result, it’s a good idea to try to get estimates from at least three different companies.When you’re working with a contractor, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration. These include the kind of work they’ve done in the past, as well as background and strengths. The more you can learn about each contractor, the easier your decision will be when you need to choose one. You can also take a look at their reviews online. This will allow you to see what past clients have had to say about the contractor and their work.

You’ll then want to think about which contractor seems like they would be best for the job overall. It’s a good idea to really think about who is most qualified and trustworthy in addition to the price. After all, if you select the one with the lowest price there can be problems. For example, you may find that the person might make a mistake or leave a detail unattended. As a result, there can be higher costs down the road. It’s best to ensure that the job is done correctly the first time. That way, you don’t need to hire another contractor for the same job in the future.

3.Look for DIY Opportunities

In addition to getting estimates, you may also want to find out which parts of the renovation absolutely need to be done by a professional and which you can do yourself. If there are some smaller tasks you can take on, that’s a great way to save on professional costs. In most cases, the contractors you bring in will be able to give you a good idea of how the tasks can be spread out.Naturally, doing any of the job yourself is fully up to you. If you don’t want to do work yourself, then you can absolutely pay a contractor can do it all. Just keep in mind that this will increase the price overall, so that’s going to be worth taking into consideration.

4.Talk About Timeline

It’s extremely important that you make sure you’re on the same page as your contractor. Consequently, you’ll both need to have a good idea of what you want the kitchen to look like once it has been finished as well as how long the process is going to take.Furthermore, it’s a good idea to try to get an estimate of the timeline during your visits with potential contractors.

There may be some that are able to stick to a certain timeline more easily than others.After you have selected a contractor, they’ll bring in a designer who can create a more detailed floorplan. As a result, this will give you a better idea of what to expect when the project is done.

Don’t worry too much about it not matching, the work won’t start until you approve of everything.Make sure that you address any problems or potential problems early on. That way they won’t have a chance to snowball down the road. Once there is a floorplan that you agree with, the work on your kitchen can get going!

5.Sign Away!

It’s exceedingly important that you sign a contract with the contractor you choose. That way, there will be a written agreement that ensures the contractor is held liable if there is a problem. When you’re already spending a great deal on a renovation, you don’t want to also have to pay for any mistakes that are made.

In addition, the contract you sign should list the responsibilities of your contractor. As a result, you’ll know what they’re responsible for and what you’re responsible for. You can also discuss any disagreements with the contract at this point. If you need to, you can also find a different contractor to get the job done if you need to.

Chapter 2: Cost

Chapter 2 CostThe cost is going to be a very important factor of a renovation. As a result, it’s important that you know what prices to expect for various aspects of the project.

You’ll also want to think about what value you’re expecting to get from the money you spend.

1.How long will you need it?

One aspect to keep in mind with a kitchen renovation is how long you’ll need to use the remodeled design. If it’s in a home you plan on living in for many years after the renovation has occurred, then you’ll want to spend the money to get lasting appliances.However, if you’re planning on selling the home not too long after the project is finished, then you may not want to spend as much on it.

Depending on the kind of budget you have available, many believe that only about 5% to 15% of the value of the home overall should be spent on the remodel. This is a good amount to make sure the home will be fresh and look great for the next buyer.Once you’ve decided how long you’ll need to make use of the renovations, you’ll be able to look for appliances, counters and more that can provide you the best possible value.

2.Your Budget

Not everyone is going to have the same budget to put into a kitchen renovation, and that’s perfectly okay. No matter how much that budget is, you’ll want to make sure you’re set for the changes you want to make. It’s not worth going in debt for a new kitchen!The pricing levels that people spend on kitchen renovations can vary pretty wildly.

For those who are looking for a low-cost renovation, it can be done for around $5,000. Meanwhile, larger kitchen remodeling can be upwards of $45,000, which is a pretty penny!Consequently, you’ll need to think about what you want to spend, what you have available and the kind of quality you want. In some cases, a full kitchen overhaul can be worthwhile.

Meanwhile in other situations you may get what you need from a couple of smaller changes.Don’t forget that it’s also important to have some backup funds, just in case any unexpected costs come up. Once you’ve decided the level of renovation you want for your kitchen, you’ll be able to make selections that best value your needs.

Chapter 3: Kitchen Remodel Price Points

Chapter 3 Kitchen Remodel Price PointsDepending on the kind of budget you have available, you might be wondering what kind of design options you have. If you’ve never renovated a kitchen, then you might not know how far the amount you have saved will go! To help clarify the matter, let’s take a look into some remodeling price points and what they can buy.

1.Over $30,000

When you plan for an amount over $30,000, then you’ll have a lot more freedom when it comes to choosing the exact features you want in your kitchen. As a result, you’ll likely be able to choose top appliances, flooring, countertops and other items as well as even adding in some of the extras that will make your kitchen even more enjoyable.

Some of the things you may want to pay special attention to is making sure you get high quality features. This will not only benefit you, but also increase the value of your home. Things like wood floors, Energystar appliances and custom cabinets can really make your kitchen pop.In addition, you can also opt to hire a designer who can help you get the most from your renovation. This is an especially ideal option if you plan on spending $50,000 or more, as it can ensure the finished look comes together well in a way that is efficient and pleasing to the eye.

2.Between $15,000 and $30,000

Within this price range, you can also choose to avoid some of the do-it-yourself work. You’ll also still have plenty of options with regard to choosing high-end appliances, flooring and countertops.As with any budget, it’s wise to focus on the most important aspects first, and then you’ll be able to move outward to the bells and whistles.

One of the things you might want to consider is adding an island to your kitchen if it’s something that will work in your home.One of the best ways to give your kitchen a new look is to consider the flooring. Adding in some high-quality stone or wood flooring can bring the design to a whole new level, even if you decide not to do a lot with the rest of the space. That said, in this price range you should have plenty of options available.

3.Between $10,000 and $15,000

This price range provides you with a decent amount to get your kitchen remodel done, but it does mean you’ll likely have to do some of the smaller jobs yourself to save money. For many people, this isn’t a problem and some may even prefer to help out if it means keeping a little more money in their pocket.If you can, it’s also a good idea to try to get some of your materials before calling in a contractor, as this can also be a good way to save a little on the overall cost.

In many cases, contractors may add to the overall charge for the effort of getting materials themselves. If you shop yourself, you have the options of looking for some of your materials at wholesale costs.Adding in some new appliances, countertops and even a little bit of tile can really leave your kitchen looking refreshed. It is likely that you’ll have to use some materials that are less expensive, but there are plenty of options on the market that fit into a budget while providing a great look and some fantastic durability.

4.Smaller Renovations

With smaller kitchens, such as those in very small homes or condos, you can get away with spending quite a bit less than those in larger homes. In many cases, these kinds of jobs can cost under $15,000, sometimes as low as $5,000.With this kind of money, you’re likely going to be able to get hold of the larger changes, like new appliances but on things that are less necessary, you may want to prioritize.

Another option you’ll want to consider is making sure you have plenty of storage place, which can keep a smaller kitchen clutter-free.Countertops that can pull out are also a great idea, as they’ll give you the space you need while cooking but can be kept away for optimal space otherwise. If you can, doing some of the work yourself can also help to keep the prices down.

Chapter 4: Design Choices

Chapter 4 Design ChoicesThere are a huge variety of aesthetic choices out there that you can make, and they all come at different pricing levels and offer different benefits. As a result, you’ll have to choose the best options for your budget as well as the design you’re looking for in your home.


When you’re thinking about the price that goes into the flooring you choose, you’ll want to take into account the material as well as the square footage you need. Start by measuring out the area that is going to need the new flooring, as that will be your starting point.After that, it’s a good idea to consider the kind of style you’re going for.

Do you want a bright floor? Are you looking for wood, stone or tile? There are so many options out there and each has a lot to offer, so make sure you choose carefully!For those who don’t mind spending a little more money, options like granite, wood and tile are not only going to look great, they’ll increase the value of your home. You will want to think about the kind of effort that goes into caring for these choices as well.

In many cases, these options can take a bit more work to maintain, so it’s wise to make sure you’ll be willing to keep up with the needs of the flooring type you choose.There’s absolutely no shame if you don’t want to put in the extra effort to care for those expensive floors! In those circumstances, there are other options out there that can look great and work well with a more standard amount of care.

When you’re choosing, make sure you think about what tends to go on in your kitchen. Are there small children? Pets? Spills? All of these things are worth taking into account, and if spills are a common issue then it’s going to be worth looking for a flooring that can handle water better. Options like tile and some forms of laminate can be a little more durable under wet conditions.


The cabinets you choose can make or break the look of your kitchen. In most cases, this is the area of your kitchen that guests will notice first. Consequently, you’ll want them to make the right impression. Whether you plan on living in the home or selling it, great looking cabinets are well worth the price!In addition, there are so many cabinet options out there to choose from.

To help you with making that choice, let’s take a brief look into them:Refaced cabinets are the most expensive option out there. The price range on these cabinets can range from $4,500 to $9,100 depending on the choices you make. Furthermore, this is a choice that won’t require completely new cabinets. Instead, the doors and hardware will be replaced with new designs of your choosing. As a result, you can get some interesting design choices.

The next possibility is having your cabinets refinished, which is a bit less expensive than having them completely refaced. For anywhere from $1,400 to $3,500, a contractor will sand down your current cabinets and stain them. This gives them a brand new look altogether.After that comes custom cabinets, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500. While fresh, new cabinets created exactly to your liking might seem ideal, it is an expensive option.

You’ll also want to make sure to find a skilled carpenter if you choose this option!After that come semi-custom cabinets and stock cabinets, which offer little to no customization. Though you may not get as much creative freedom with these options, they can be quite a bit less expensive. These options can range from $80 to $1,000 a piece.


For many people, the stove is a key tool in the kitchen. It’s great for most cooking and can be a focal point of the entire room. As a result, it’s worthwhile to get something that looks great and is easy for you to use regularly.There are also a lot of options out there, including gas, induction and electric stoves.

Depending on the needs of your home, you may already know which one is the most helpful for you. For those with small children in their homes, an induction option can be a little safer without the flame.Furthermore, electric options are more environmentally friendly, and tend to be less prone to any kind of gas explosion. However, you keep in mind that you won’t have the same control you might with gas or induction.If efficiency is most important to you, then an induction stove can be a great idea.

These stoves tend to be more efficient due to the use of electromagnets. This allows the cooking surface to stay relatively cool, keeping the heat on the pan where it belongs.Gas stoves tend to be more common, but they aren’t as efficient, safe or environmentally friendly. These options can also be more difficult to clean.

That said, a lot of serious cooks will prefer this options because you can get a greater level of control.You’ll also want to consider a quality hood. This can help with taking care of smoke or steam that can otherwise billow out into the kitchen. Finally, choosing something with a look that fits in can really bring together your kitchen look.


Like many other renovation options, there are a wide variety of sinks to choose from. However, unlike in a bathroom you may want to focus more on functionality when it comes to the kitchen sink. This is because it gets more heavy-duty use than a sink in the bathroom.Even if you own a dishwasher and use it for most dirty dishes, the sink is a great tool to use for giving dishes a quick rinse or scrub before going into the dishwasher.

It’s also great for emptying out hot water when you’re making pasta, or just being a resting place for peels from various fruits and vegetables until you have a chance to throw them out or add them to a compost pile.As a result, you’ll want something that can keep up. Choosing a double sink can add more functionality.

Some even choose to get a second sink in another area to make cleanup a little easier.In addition, take into consideration the kind of faucet you want. Just a basic faucet can get you buy, but one that offers a spraying mechanism can be especially helpful. This can provide an easy way for spraying off plates, soaking dishes and all around ease.


Appliances are a huge part of your kitchen renovation, and are often what draws the eye after the cabinets. These also tend to be some of the most expensive parts of the process. However, depending on how pricey you decide to go with the other aspects of your project.The good news is, you’ll have a lot of choices. Depending on your budget, you may decide to keep the appliances you have if they’re in good working order. Otherwise, you may decide to purchase brand new appliances. To assist with the decision, let’s take a look into some of the appliance options on the market.

6.Budget Appliances

For those who absolutely need new appliances but don’t have the money to spend on high-end appliances, then this may be your best route. When looking into budget options, it’s important to keep in mind the kind of shape they’re in. Otherwise, you may need to purchase a new appliance sooner than other options.


While these kinds of appliances are a lot more expensive than other options, they come with a reliability that backs up the cost. These machines are also certified as being more energy-efficient than other kinds of appliances. As a result, they cover for the up-front cost by saving you money on your energy bills.

8.Retail High-End

Oftentimes, these appliances are the same or higher prices than Energystar options. However, they are more cost-efficient than appliances custom built for you. That’s great, because not a lot of people actually need custom appliances. It’s important to keep in mind that the prices can vary depending on how many bells and whistles you want.


Custom-made options can give your kitchen an intense appeal that regular appliances just can’t provide. When you need something that will fit into a highly specialized design, this might be the option for you. As a result of the high levels of customization and potential layout changes, these do often come at a higher price than other options.

Chapter 5: Anything Else?

Chapter 5 Anything Else?There are a wide variety of extras you can consider while you’re planning for your renovation. For those who are keen on bells and whistles, things like Lazy Susan’s, under-cabinet lighting, pull out shelves, drawer dishwashers, rollout trays and more can be well worth the price if you’re looking for convenience.After all, what better time to make splurges like that than when you’re already doing a large kitchen project? Just make sure you take all the options into consideration and then narrow it down depending on what fits your needs and budget.

1.Rollout Cabinet

If you prefer to keep your trash can hidden, a rollout cabinet can be a great idea. In some cases, it’s possible to have one installed right next to your sink, allowing you to just pull it open for use at any time. Furthermore, it keeps your trash can out of sight while it’s not in use.

2.Drawer Dishwasher

Another interesting choice is a drawer dishwasher, which is fantastic for those who want their dishwasher to be a larger part of the overall kitchen design. It is important to keep in mind that this option can be smaller than standard dishwashers, so it’s great for doing small loads more often!

3.Under-Cabinet Lighting

This is a great option for those who want a little extra visibility while working on a counter. There are also plenty of options available, including lights that can be dimmed when you want a softer atmosphere. They can really add a bit of flare to the look of your kitchen overall.

Chapter 6: Inspiration

Taking a look at the various design resources out there can help you to get a good idea of the kind of look you want in your home. Whether it’s an overall look or one or two smaller details that you want to use in your own renovation, it’s a great idea to find examples!Chapter 6 Inspiration

1.What You Want Most

There are so many details that can be part of the kitchen renovation, so it’s going to be important to take into consideration the aspects that are most important to you. It’s unlikely that every person doing a kitchen renovation is going to be able to afford every detail that draws the eye.As a result, you’ll want to take a look at the options available and make a list of the things you’d like to see in your own home. Then as you get a clearer idea of the budget you have available, you can consider which features are must-haves and which aren’t necessary.

2.Look For Aesthetics

If you don’t have a clear idea of what design you want for your kitchen, then it’s worth taking a look at all the resources available. One option would be to take a look at the kinds of appliances and options that are available at your local home improvement stores. This can allow you to see what’s out there and start putting together ideas of what you like. You might even want to take some pictures to refer to later!Another option you have is looking through home improvement products online as well as getting some ideas from kitchens designs already in existence.

There are plenty of websites out there that can show you layouts, provide tips and suggest useful additions that you may not have considered before. That way, you can see how all the pieces of a design work together.Magazines can also be a great way to get ideas for your own kitchen design. If you feel like getting really creative, you can even cut out ideas you like to make collages or just keep on hand so that you can show contractors or store employees what you’re looking for.

Chapter 7: Your Priorities

Chapter 7 Your PrioritiesOn top of deciding which features to focus on and which to leave out, you’ll need to consider which to do first and which can wait. This can be a process that a contractor can help you with, as they’ll be more knowledgeable of these kinds of projects.

1.Think About All The Aspects

In order to begin making your decisions, you’ll need to make sure you have a clear picture of everything you want to accomplish. The clearer that image is, the easier it will be to get the exact result you’re looking for in your kitchen.A lot of this process you’ll be able to get through with the help of a contractor, as they’ll have the resources to get a plan drawn up so that you can see what the end product will look like. That said, the more you know prior to choosing your contractor, the easier and quicker that process will be.

2.Decide Which To Focus On First

When you get the chance to talk to a contractor, they’ll be able to give you an idea of the steps through the process of the renovation. Naturally, all of the pieces that are going to be renovated fit together something like a jigsaw puzzle.As a result, a contractor will know what to do first to make the process as efficient as possible. They’ll also be able to talk to you about which parts of the project can be postponed until later, which can be helpful for those on a tighter budget.

3.What Can Wait?

Some parts of your project will be able to wait until later without causing too much of a problem. Consequently, this is something worth keeping in mind so that you can use your budget on the more important aspects that need immediate attention.After the important parts of the renovation are completed, then you’ll be able to spend some time saving for the next project. As a result, you’ll have a little more time and cushion for getting your kitchen renovation completed as you see it without having to spend an even larger chunk of money at once.


Overall, it’s important to not get overwhelmed by everything that makes up a kitchen renovation. Just take it step by step and you’ll surely be on the way to the perfect new kitchen. If you follow the steps in this article, you’ll surely be able to get through the process without too much hassle.The key is to make sure you’re prepared, give yourself the option from multiple contractors and make sure that your design choices align well with the kind of budget you have available. Just take your time, gather all the information you need and get ready for the best kitchen ever!

About the Author

Jeneva Aaron

Jeneva has over years of passion for home decorating and cleaning. She is the founder and CEO of where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products.

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  • Tiffany Locke says:

    It’s great that this article mentions how it’s important to determine whether to keep current appliances or purchase new ones. If you’re keeping them, it could still help to hire an appliance repair contractor so they can check them out. This could help you get any repairs and maintenance that can keep them in good condition and help them last longer.

  • Sandra Patterson says:

    You make a great point that if you are remodeling a home that you know you will be living in for a long time, it is important that you consider spending the money on better appliances. My sister is planning on building her own home right now, and I know she wants to live in it for as long as possible. I will show her this article, and maybe she will find even more helpful information other than what I found!

  • Penelope Smith says:

    I liked what you said about how it would be smart to consider the types of cabinets you want. I would really like rollout cabinets because they would help me with the organization. It might be smart to also consider the placement of the cabinets.

  • Bob says:

    I love your remodel tips. That makes sense considering you want to get the most pleasant designs for your home. I’ll have to consider your tips so that I can get my kitchen remodeled.

  • Nick Richardson says:

    While doing kitchen remodeling there are several factors which need to look out at first of all you need to consider the cost of remodeling a kitchen if your budget is limited then there are some things which you can’t plan out and apply while remodeling it beside the budget there are also some major and minor things which need to consider at such as you will need to look at design patterns of the flooring, cabinets, stoves and other equipment’s which are used in daily home life.

  • Larry Weaver says:

    Thanks for the remodeling tips. My kitchen looks pretty old. I would love to remodel it with professional help.

  • Angela Waterford says:

    I suppose I should prepare before I hire a kitchen remodeling service. It may be time to assess the cost of the remodel before I hire contractors for the job. Thanks for adding that I should look into the price points of their services before I hire them so that I will know how much I can afford for this project.

  • Sarah Packer says:

    My husband and I want to remodel our kitchen, so we wanted some design ideas and other tips. I didn’t know refaced cabinets are the most expensive thing you can have installed, but your kitchen cabinets can make or break your kitchen. I’ll have to keep that in mind and I’ll ask the contractor we hire what colors we should have and other features, thanks to this post!

  • Shanza says:

    Excellent guide, will surely implement and share my experience with you. Thanks!

  • Angela Waterford says:

    I’ve considered having a portion of my home remodeled because I want to update its look, particularly my kitchen. You’re right about saying that I should think about the overall price of this endeavor, so I’ll be sure to consult an expert first. I think I’ll consider hiring a professional that I can afford so I can stick to my budget.

  • Eli Richardson says:

    I agree that it’s important to consider new appliances or keep the current ones. One of my cousins wants to get her kitchen renovated. I’ll advise her to hire a custom interior designer for better results.

  • James Borst says:

    I like your recommendation to hid the trash can by using a rollout cabinet. My wife and I have been living in our home for six years now and we’d love a kitchen upgrade. We may consider updating our cabinets to something more modern with hidden trashcans and dimmable lighting like you recommend.

  • Skylar Williams says:

    I appreciate your tip to talk about what the timeline for the finished job will look like. In the summer, my wife and I tried to start remodeling our kitchen ourselves, but we were never able to finish it, so now we are living in an unfinished kitchen. After reading this article, I know we should start looking for a contractor to help us finish the job.

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