We'd like to update our kitchen--the cabinets and flooring are over twenty years old. We'd like to plan our kitchen remodel so that it has the least impact on our lives. Can you explain the stages of the process and about how long the project will take?
Martha B. ~ Los Angeles, California
Put simply, kitchen projects have planning, demolition, rough construction and finish stages. The most important stage of this process is planning. For the least amount of impact on your life at home, you will need to make all the decisions about everything that is going into your kitchen, before you even start the project. This means pick your cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances, fixtures, lights, sheetrock texture and paint. Then consult with your contractor, if you are using one, to coordinate delivery dates. This is the single longest and hardest stage, because most of the decisions affecting the final product happen here.
The construction on the project will go very fast as long as there are no delays for decision-making or materials to be delivered. Once everything is either delivered or has a delivery date, then start the demolition phase. Demolition is not really a good term for what you want to do to your house, it is more like disassembly of your old kitchen. Once everything is removed from your old kitchen it is time to add and remove plumbing, electrical, insulation and anything else that goes into the walls.
Cutting out sheetrock for this phase is absolutely necessary. Go bigger than smaller with holes in the sheetrock, a small patch is just as hard as a large patch. Once sheetrock is reinstalled, it is time to put everything back together. Install your cabinets, countertops, flooring, electrical trim, appliances and the rest of the items going into your new kitchen.
Depending on the scope of the project, and the amount of labor involved in the project, you can count on 3 - 6 weeks for a kitchen remodel.