remodel planning

As mentioned at the end of my first article, Spring Into Home Remodeling Projects, the next article would be about planning, so here it is.


I chose spring because Midwest winters can be harsh & I wanted to use the garage as a staging area but need the garage for our cars. A staging area is needed to store furnishings while the floor is being laid, and to store delivered materials prior to the project start date.  Oh yes I forgot to mention that the family room next to the kitchen needs new flooring, so it will be included in the remodel project.  That room has furniture that needs to be relocated so the floor can be replaced.

I’m not the only one that decided to start a remodeling project in the spring.  Make sure that the contractors you choose can fit you into their schedules, to keep your project on track to finish on time.


When I realized that I needed to get my kitchen remodeled, actually since I moved in 14+ years ago, I began to think about the layout of the kitchen as it is now.  Thinking about the flow of how I work preparing meals and storing tools and food, it just didn’t feel right.  So decided I needed help to tweak the layout to work better for my needs.

The points below depict how I went about determining the design for my new kitchen.  Part of this determination was based on the overall design of my home.  Most of my spaces have a traditional flavor, with some contemporary pieces thrown in.

  • I got hooked on the remodel shows on cable, but it helped to understand the trends for design, as well as seeing the things I like & didn’t like.
  • I went to a hardware store to look at the available materials, and picked up some samples as well as a guide for taking measurements of the existing kitchen to have someone create the design.
  • Unless you are an interior designer, or know someone who is, you need to find a designer with experience in kitchen design. There are many kitchen & bath companies that not only sell materials, but have designers on staff to create a design based on your requirements.  Hardware stores that sell materials to remodel kitchens, have designers on staff as well; that’s the route I chose.


Unless you have an unlimited amount of money, which I don’t know anyone like that, you need to determine a budget.  You know about how much you have to spend on your project, so you need to keep within that amount.   Consider the points below to help you determine your budget.

  • Go shopping at hardware stores to get an idea of prices for the components.
  • Include extras – I included replacing the kitchen stack (sewer) from the kitchen floor up & out the vent on the roof. A few years ago, the kitchen stack in the basement had to be replaced due to normal maintenance.  Since I was planning on remodeling the kitchen in the future, I had them stop at the kitchen floor.  If they replaced it all the way up & out, they would have to knock out the wall so I decided to keep all that type of work in the plan for the remodel. I also included replacing the floor in the family room which is located next to the kitchen that has the same flooring as the kitchen. The last thing I included was a pendant light in the family room that needs to be replaced.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know.  What I mean by this is, much of the time when you get into a remodel project, something will surface that you didn’t know about.  When the demo starts and cabinets are removed, the contractor could reveal a plumbing or electrical issue you didn’t know about, which will cost money to fix so the contractor can continue the work.  Factor in an additional 10 – 15% on top of your budget amount for the unknowns.


Part of your planning needs to include who will perform the work.  If you have the time and required set of skills you could save a boatload of money.  For those of us that do not possess that special set of skills, we will hire someone to perform the work.

There are multiple options for getting this work done.   The points below need to be considered as you determine who will perform the work.

  • General contractor – This is the option that I chose. A general contractor is the go-to person that lines up the trades involved, gets bids from them, creates a cost estimate, creates a schedule of work, and oversees the work to ensure it gets done on time, and within budget.
  • There are many remodeling companies as well as kitchen & bath companies that work as general contractors on the job when you contract with them. I am fortunate enough to have a dear friend that has a son that owns a remodeling company, CNCPTS Construction.  If you don’t know of a company that does remodeling, I recommend asking family & friends if they know someone.  Recommendations are the best resources.
  • Hardware stores – Along with designers, hardware stores that sell materials for kitchen remodeling, can also provide installation services. Installers, or sub-contractors, are not employed by the store.  The store quotes the installation cost and you pay them.  They have a job board with the contractors, and you get whomever they send to do the work.  You, or possibly the designer, if you hired them to create the design, would be responsible for scheduling the work.
  • You work as the general contractor – If you have construction project management experience, and have connections in the trades that you know of that do good work, you could take on this role. With this background, I don’t have to explain all the headaches that come from this role.

That is how I planned for my kitchen remodel.   The materials were ordered and most of them delivered; the countertops will be measured and ordered after the cabinets and appliances are installed.  The cost estimate and schedule were created.  Now comes the fun part, preparing for the demo; stay tuned!