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How Long Does a Kitchen Renovation Really Take?

Your kitchen renovation may take longer than you thought

white modern kitchen

How long does it take to complete a kitchen renovation?

The simple answer for most people is that it takes longer than they think. Several common errors done to speed things up can actually end up adding time and increasing costs! Starting demolition before finalizing your design or rush ordering cabinetry more often creates delays than efficiencies. Listen to those experienced carpenters who recommend “measure twice and cut once.”

A kitchen remodel planned and organized by professionals prior to construction proceeds much more smoothly.

The renovation is also more likely to be completed on time and on budget.  Too many companies and designers pass on unrealistic timelines to secure a sale. Be wary of anyone that does not give you a timeline at least similar to the one below.

The following is a realistic timeline for a successful kitchen renovation from the planning phases through demolition, construction, installation and finally to completion.

Shaker Inset Kitchen with peninsula


Day 1         A professional kitchen designer measures the kitchen. 

Day 8        Designer and homeowner meet to go over preliminary designs created by the kitchen designer, make changes, and create a budget and timeline for the project.

Day 9-39    Homeowners consider their different design options and cabinet lines, door styles, finishes, and pricing. Appliance, countertop, flooring and fixture shopping begins. Coordinating is ongoing as selections are made.

Day 24-39 Designs are usually solidified enough to obtain estimates from contractors. Bids will be lower, more comprehensive, and easily compared when contractors are bidding from near complete plans. 

Day 49-60    Major design decisions, appliances, cabinets, countertops and contractor are finalized and scheduled. Cabinets are now ordered.

Cabinet delivery time varies depending on the cabinetry selection. Generally, the more expensive the cabinetry, the longer the lead time. No cabinetry that is of any quality will take less than 3 weeks. Higher end semi-custom cabinetry usually takes around 6 weeks and custom cabinetry from 8 to 10 weeks. A 4–6-week delivery time is used for this timeline; a capable designer will assist you in managing this aspect of your project. 

Day 80-100    Demolition and Construction begins. 

Day 95-120     Cabinet installation complete and countertops templated.

Day 105- 134 Countertops installed.

Day 115-150 Kitchen Complete (There will always be a small “punch list” of things the contractor will need to return to complete or touch up at a later date)

So, from the first day a professional measure, it is usually almost 4 months before a customer will have a completed kitchen. It is rarely less than two months from the day the cabinets are ordered before the job is complete.

Being aware of a realistic timeline at the start of your remodel will eliminate surprises.

ktichen with green island

Click on the photo above to watch our 211 second video following a kitchen from demolition to completion. The video is both entertaining and gives your insight into what’s involved in a kitchen renovation.

I usually conclude my blogs with Julia Childs’ signature sign off – remember her recipes are so excellent because they are well planned, too.

So, plan well, enjoy the process, and when your kitchen is complete…

Bon Appetit!

Paul, Ray, Tom, and Julie

Main Line Kitchen Design

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