What is the order in which to do a kitchen remodel?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ May 13, 2013 ~ No Comments

I'm planning to remodel my small kitchen, hallway and bathroom from floor to ceiling. I also plan to replace all of my appliances and reduce the size of one window. Is there a general check off list of what needs to be done and in what order to do it? Should I do the ceiling first or the floor? What projects are best left to the professionals?

- Tim B.

Jeffrey Anderson

Tim, the first step in any significant kitchen remodeling job is to have a drawing done that shows what you hope to accomplish during the project. A job as large as what you have planned normally requires a building permit, and many localities need a drawing for that as well.

As far as the order in which to do things, this is what I suggest:

  1. Demo -- This would include removing old cabinets, walls, and sheetrock.
  2. Framing -- Install any new walls that are needed, and make your window changes.
  3. Rough plumbing and HVAC -- If you're making any changes to the existing plumbing lines or heating and cooling ductwork, they should be done once the framing is complete.
  4. Rough electrical -- New outlets, switches, and light boxes are normally installed after the rough plumbing and HVAC.
  5. Inspections -- Most jurisdictions require inspections after the rough mechanicals are installed and before they are covered up.
  6. Insulation -- If you make any changes to exterior walls, make sure they are thoroughly insulated.
  7. Sheetrock -- This is when you close in the walls and ceiling with sheetrock or other materials such as wood paneling.
  8. Paint -- If you installed sheetrock, it will need to be finished prior to painting.
  9. Cabinets and countertops -- Installing them any sooner may result in accidental damage.
  10. Flooring -- Almost all types of flooring should be installed as one of the last steps to prevent damage.
  11. Appliances -- Be careful of the flooring when rolling the refrigerator into place.
  12. Finish mechanicals -- Outlet covers, faucets, and light fixtures are installed during this final stage.

The parts of a kitchen remodeling project that should be left to the professionals often depends on the DIY skills of the homeowners. If you haven't installed ceramic flooring or cabinets in the past, you may want to give them a try or make the decision to bring in a contractor. However, electrical and gas work should always be done by a contractor, and it's usually a good idea to use professionals for plumbing and HVAC work as well.

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