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5 Tips for Starting Your DIY Kitchen Remodeling Project

5 Tips for Starting Your DIY Kitchen Remodeling Project

A kitchen remodel is no small feat, as there will be a lot to do and plan. From removing old appliances or knocking down walls to rewiring and painting, the wide variety in types of tasks for your remodel may have you wondering what you can realistically manage on your own. If you have a lot of experience in the DIY world, then it is likely that you will be able to do a substantial amount of the work yourself. However, if you are just starting out, then you will likely need to call in professional assistance.

In this guide, we are going to take a look at ways you can get started planning your DIY kitchen remodeling project. Before we get started, remember: if you are unsure if you can properly complete the task, call in help. It is typically cheaper to have it done correctly the first time than to have to do the same job twice.

Be Realistic with Your DIY Skills

If you have a deep toolbox and strong DIY experience, then you can most likely begin planning and executing most, if not all, of your remodeling tasks. However, for those who are just starting out and have limited experience, we recommend seeking out help. Whether that is assistance planning your budget, consulting with contractors, or hiring professionals is up to your judgment about your skill level.

Getting Your Project Started

Determine What You Need

Now that you are ready to get started, the first step is to make a plan. You should consider this remodel plan to be a living document, as it will no doubt change and evolve over the course of the project. To get your plan started, it is helpful to make a “must-have” list and a “wishlist”. As you make these two lists, it may be beneficial to simultaneously be moving around the kitchen and taking a bit of an inventory.

This process helps you get a good idea of what you already have, what you know you won’t be able to live without, and what can get cut if the budget gets too tight. Knowing what all you plan to add to your kitchen will also help you plan your new kitchen layout.

Planning a new kitchen layout may feel confusing or too subjective. A helpful framework for planning out where everything will go is the kitchen work triangle concept. Developed in the 1940s, it is a way to organize your kitchen in order to reduce the maximum amount of steps taken by the chef.

Crunching the Numbers

A calculator

Once you have your list ready, you can start pricing out your project. The exact cost breakdown will vary depending on your location, the quality of the upgrades made, and how much professional help you hire.

KBR Kitchen and Bath lists the national range for a kitchen remodel anywhere from $10,000 all the way up to $50,000. However, they go on to state the average cost is around $22,000. While this average is still a daunting number, you can rest assured that you may recoup some of the costs in added value to your home. To learn more about remodeling ROI, check out our article on the subject, or talk to a realtor in your area.

Collect the Supplies

Rather than paying to have someone else select and pick up your building materials, you can take on this responsibility and help your bottom line. For example, if you are replacing your cabinet boxesdoors, or drawer fronts, our measuring guides can help you find the sizes you need.

Prepare Your Kitchen, Home, and Self

A kitchen remodel can create quite a mess if your home is not ready for it. Before you or your hired professionals get started, it can be a good idea to cover and protect items and areas that are not going to be worked on. In addition, if large, heavy appliances are being moved in and out, you may also want to consider putting down padding to help prevent scratches on the floor.

It is also important to remember that you will not have full access to your kitchen during the remodeling project. You should plan ahead and set up an alternative cooking space to make meals during the project. This could be a camping stove outside, or another option is to freeze food to be reheated later.

DIY-Friendly Projects

Fresh Wallpaper

Creative wallpapering is on-trend right now and we can see why. Although this project will take some time and patience, it is a relatively simple project.

New Paint

A kitchen with a red refrigerator and gray cabinets.

If you have ever painted a room, then you know how instant the transformation can feel. There are many options for paints and primers, but it is recommended to use a separate paint and primer than a 2-in-1. We also have a thorough guide that can help you through the painting process. 

Put Down Your Own Flooring

This project would likely be the most difficult on the list if you have never put down flooring. The difficultly will also depend on the type of flooring you choose. Many laminate flooring options can easily be fit together and adhered to the floor. Ornate tiling, on the other hand, will require a lot more time and skill.

Cleaning Crew

After the last piece is finally in place, your kitchen, and likely your home, will most probably be in need of deep cleaning. While it can be tempting to hire professional cleaners, you can save yourself some money by just cleaning yourself.

Hire A General Contractor

If you have no experience with home improvement, it is important to stay realistic with what you can do. It is easy to quickly get in over your head with remodeling projects, so if you are feeling unsure, call in help.

Several people looking at a blueprint together.

If you hire a general contractor, then they will take the weight of the remodeling project off your shoulders. The general contractor will be in charge of scheduling plumbers, electricians, and possibly handling the acquisition of materials. It is important to do your research to ensure that you hire a great contractor. Look for local message boards and online reviews to make sure your project gets the attention it deserves.

Here are a few things your general contractor could help you with:

  1. Apply for Permits
  2. Kitchen Demo and clean up
  3. Kitchen Cabinet Installation
  4. Installing Countertops
  5. Electrical Work
  6. Plumbing
  7. Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  8. Final Inspection

The Middle Ground with a Subcontractor

If you don’t want all the responsibilities but still want to be involved, you can do some things yourself and hire subcontractors for the rest. You, for all intents and purposes, become the general contractor, in so far as you will need to find, hire, and supervise the individual professionals. This includes carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. This route can save a lot of money if it is between a general contractor and subcontractors, but it will require a lot of time and effort on your part.

Closing the Book on Your Kitchen Remodel

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to save money in your kitchen remodel. However, while you do save money, you are now fully responsible for the work being done. This includes applying for permits when necessary.

A two-tone kitchen with full-overlay thermofoil cabinet doors.

If you are ready to start ordering or if you need assistance, please feel free to call us at 1-855-669-5222 or send us an email at Our team of cabinet experts is here to help with everything from measuring to ordering.